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From the Townsend Letter
January 2015

Correlation of Manual Muscle Tests and Salivary Hormone Tests in Adrenal Stress Disorder: a Retrospective Case Series Report
by Scott Cuthbert, DC; Anthony Rosner, PhD, LLD[Hon], LLC; Trevor Chetcuti, DC, DIBAK; and Steve Gangemi, DC, DIBAK
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Figure 2: Manual Muscle Test Performed While Patient Therapy Localizes to Viscerosomatic Reflex of the Involved Organ

Manual Muscle Test

Figure 3:
Sartorius Muscle MMT

Sartorius Muscle MMT

Figure 4: Gracilis Muscle MMT

Gracilis Muscle MMT


Figure 5: Posterior Tibialis Muscle MMT

Posterior Tibialis Muscle MMT

Figure 6: Therapy Localization to Adrenal Neurolymphatic ("Chapman's") Reflex "Chapman's" Reflex

TL to Pulse Point of the CX

Figure 7: Therapy Localization to Pulse Point of the Circulation Sex Meridian




TL to CX-9

Figure 8: Therapy Localization to the "Ending Point" of the
Circulation Sex Meridian




Therapy localization to these reflexes in patients with adrenal gland dysfunction (suggested by symptomatology, history, and AK physical assessments, and confirmed by the salivary hormone tests) produced changes in strength of the adrenal-related muscles during MMT (Table 1).


Table 1: Patient Findings (Physical and Biochemical Correlations of ASD in 110 Patients Found during AK MMT Examination) (.pdf)

Table 2: Summary of Findings/Correlations between MMT and Salivary Hormone Tests

Correlations Found In Adrenal Stress Disorder

# MMT Correlations  (Adrenal-related muscle found inhibited)

Ragland's Sign/
Pupillary Reaction

Abnormal Cortisol

Cortisol: DHEA Ratio

Associated and Expected Signs and Symptoms






Table 3

Adrenal Glands

This cohort showed a 100% correlation of the AK MMT with the presence of ASD (as measured by the ASI), confirming the hypothesis that distinct neuromuscular impairments (associated with the adrenal glands in AK) could be detected using the MMT. Every participant in this study who had positive AK MMT findings showing ASD had abnormal cortisol values (91%) and/or abnormal cortisol/DHEA ratios (59%).  It must be remarked that because there are a relatively large number of viscerosomatic reflexes relating to the adrenal gland, the detection of the physical manifestation of ASD using the MMT as described here is more likely. In the clinical setting, as distinguished from the research setting wherein a more limited number of variables are permitted, multiple manual muscle tests are performed in a series or parallel manner before any diagnosis is ever made.

The prevalence of psychosocial complaints (n = 38) in this cohort might be explained by the fact that low cortisol indicates adrenal fatigue, which is usually caused by chronic, unresolved stress (biochemical/emotional/physical). ASD is responsible for so many symptoms that many doctors not knowledgeable in its diagnosis and treatment have classified patients with this condition as hypochondriacs or as having "nervous" conditions, and have given them antidepressants or tranquilizer medications. To treat the various forms of the condition called anxiety on a symptomatic level, Western medicine uses a variety of drugs such as benzodiazepines, buspirone, antidepressants, beta-blocking agents, and antipsychotics.35 However, recent data reveal that a large number of patients either fail to respond or remain with clinically significant residual symptoms after this treatment. Statistics show that 1 out of 3 patients does not sufficiently improve on these standardized Western treatments.36

Disturbances in the reproductive system were reported (n = 31). Applied kinesiology methods for detecting and normalizing adrenal function, as well as identifying food allergies – and decreasing mechanical stress to the reproductive organs – have shown promise in managing cases of menopause and perimenopause, dysmenorrhea, and infertility.15,37–40 Reproductive steroid levels may also influence the stress response, such that future work in this area is warranted.41

Insomnia was reported as well (n = 7). Cortisol affects melatonin levels. In this report we saw an inverse relationship between cortisol and insomnia. As cortisol levels become abnormal (as is common with those under chronic stress or blood sugar handling problems) melatonin levels drop.42 Recent studies have also shown that disrupted circadian rhythms (indicated in 101 of the patients in this cohort) may be an early indicator of increased risk for Alzheimer's disease.43 Insomnia may also be due to changes in glutamate levels due to hippocampus changes in those experiencing ASD.44

Fatigue was reported (n = 33), and lower cortisol values predicted fatigue in a large prospective cohort, suggesting that it may be of pathophysiological significance.45

Finally, headache was reported (n = 3). Elevated plasma cortisol has also been reported in migraine and a trend towards higher cortisol has been reported in tension type headaches.46,47 Menstrual headaches have been successfully treated with applied kinesiology protocols that include craniosacral and chiropractic manipulative therapies that included support of adrenal function, clinical nutrition, avoidance of aspartame and food-combining principles.48,49

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