Q. You earned your DPhil from Oxford University researching the validity of muscle testing. Can you describe these studies briefly?
As a curious person, with knowledge in chiropractic and psychology, I was interested to get a deeper understanding of Muscle Response Testing (MRT – see the first article for a more indepth explanation). I was interested in MRT because I used them in practice. And I knew it was one of the biggest strengths of my practice – because it allowed me to zero-in on a patient’s problem quite quickly. But I also realised it was a big weakness too – because it was not scientifically validated. In MRT, muscles are said to be tested, not to evaluate muscular strength, but neural control and other things. One established, application of MRT is to assess a patient’s response to semantic stimuli (e.g. spoken lies) during a therapy session. Our primary aim was to estimate the accuracy of MRT to distinguish false from true spoken statements, in randomised and blinded experiments. A secondary aim was to compare MRT accuracy to the accuracy when practitioners used only their intuition to differentiate false from true spoken statements.
I was able to get an ethical review committee approval easily as an Oxford student, however, it is more complicated to obtain if you are not affiliated with an academic institution. Once this was approved, I was able to recruit patients. All in all, I ran six studies of diagnostic test accuracy using MRT to detect lies. I studied the outcomes of practitioners using MRT and intuition on patients that had experienced MRT before, and others who did not to determine whether the patient was telling the truth or not. MRT has repeatedly demonstrated significant accuracy for distinguishing lies from truths, compared to both intuition and chance. These studies provide one step toward proof of concept for this application of MRT. They also demonstrate that scientific methods, including blinding and randomisation, can be used in the assessment of tests used by complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, such as MRT. (reference: ‘Estimating the accuracy of muscle response testing: two randomised-order blinded studies’ Anne M. Jensen, Richard J. Stevens and Amanda J. Burls; BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2016; 16: 492)
Q. What were the results?
From the results of these studies, we can say that MRT can accurately and reliably detect lies from truth, compared to intuitive guessing and chance.”
Q. You have also published on ‘rethinking MRT as an ideomotor effect’. What did you study? And what were the results?
We know that there are some studies validating that that MRT works, but I wanted to investigate whether the ideomotor effect was a plausible explanation of action for MRT. I extracted more data from the first 2 studies and analysed it to see if the practitioners could be influenced (or “biased”).
The main finding of this paper was that even though we tried to get the practitioners to bias the muscle test, we could not do this consistently.
For the full study read: ‘Emerging from the Mystical: Rethinking Muscle Response Testing as an Ideomotor Effect’ Anne M. Jensen, Energy Psychology 10:2 November 2018.
Q. Can you tell us a little more about HeartSpeak?
HeartSpeak is an exciting emotional healing and stress reduction tool that I developed from years of clinical practice, a lifetime of reading and observation, and well, common sense… HeartSpeak uses the premise that there are two parts to the mind: The Thinking Mind and the Feeling Mind. Our Feeling Mind is often the seeker of ‘truth’ that is so often drowned by our Thinking Mind. Yet being separated from your truth is one of the classic triggers of anxiety, depression and self-loathing.
The HeartSpeak Movement is all about using Feelings purposefully. They arise anyway, so we should be about to consciously regulate them – rather than hijacking our attention and behaviour. In some HeartSpeak processes, we just MRT to pinpoint the Feelings that need to be resolved. I realised that MRT is a big stumbling block for some people, so I developed other HeartSpeak processes, for instance HeartSpeak Lite, does not use MRT. This makes it easier for anyone to have access to HeartSpeak.
Q: How does HeartSpeak work?
HeartSpeak works on the proven concept that memories are changeable – and it is a memory that triggers an automatic response in us – and this often happens nonconsciously. We have two types of long-term memory: Explicit and Implicit. Explicit memories are factual – for example: “When I was 7, I fell of my bike and broke my arm.” We also have implicit memory that are related to the feelings around the event: “I was scared and just really wanted my mom.”. We usually have both types of memories around the same event. In HeartSpeak we use the fact that implicit memories are changeable – so with each HeartSpeak clearing, we soften triggers and reduce the stress on an event or situation. In a way, we are therefore able to “reprogramme” these memories in a few minutes.
HeartSpeak is: Fast – it typically takes only one or two sessions for clients or practitioners to experience results. Friendly – HeartSpeak gently listens to and works with the heart and emotions, rather than against them, delivering answers about repeated patterns. Fear-busting – HeartSpeak helps break old, fearful, futile patterns so healthier, more expansive ones can quickly emerge.
Q. You will be celebrating five years of HeartSpeak – can you tell us more?
Indeed, we will be celebrating five years since the launch of HeartSpeak! So we are returning to Oxford on 14-17 November 2019 to teach of series of HeartSpeak courses: HeartSpeak Levels 1 & 2, HeartSpeak Lite for Bodyworkers and HeartSpeak for Yoga – a brand new HeartSpeak course! We will also be holding a course called and a HeartSpeak Heal-the-Healer Day – very exciting! Oh and there will be a formal dinner at Balliol College – one of the oldest colleges in Oxford. And there is a lot more fun planned! (This publication came later than expected, so this celebration has passed unfortunately)
You can find Dr. Anne M. Jensen publications here: Paper: Estimating the prevalence of use of kinesiology-style manual muscle testing: A survey of educators Paper: Emerging from the Mystical: Rethinking Muscle Response Testing as an Ideomotor Effect Paper: Estimating the accuracy of muscle response testing: two randomized-order blinded studies Paper: Muscle testing for lie detection: Grip strength dynamometry is inadequate Paper: The Impact of Using Emotionally Arousing Stimuli on Muscle Response Testing Accuracy