Updated: May 26
MRT is an energetic testing method that evaluates changes in patients’ connective tissue, also known as the “ground substance” or “matrix” tissue. MRT assists doctors and practitioners in determining the underlying cause of a patient’s pain, dysfunction or disease, and the most specific and optimal form of treatment.
In 1998, Dr. Williams developed the Matrix Reflex Testing method. This energetic testing technique evolved from a combination of the reflex arm length test (AR) originated by Raphael van Assche, DO, from Austria; an assessment of the body’s electromagnetic field adapted from a French physician, Paul Nogier, MD; the use of hand modes and six-channel entry patterns modified from Alan Beardall, DC; and Dr. Williams’ own original contributions (the MRT EMF measurement, Mode Cards, distinction between right versus left arm shortening, the use of the hand chakra in determining clarity versus adaptation, the 6-channel entry patterns, etc.).
The Reflex Arm Measurement Component of MRT
The reflex arm length test is conducted by comparing a patient’s arm lengths with the elbows relaxed and slightly flexed. Analogous to the kinesiological phenomenon of a muscle changing from strong to weak when challenged with a toxic stressor, a shift from even arms to a short arm in the MRT technique also indicates a positive test. For example, a wheat vial placed within the energy field of a patient with a wheat allergy would elicit a short arm reflex response. In contrast to the autonomic nervous system-mediated kinesiology testing, the MRT method primarily assesses the functioning of the body’s connective tissue. Deane Juhan, in his excellent book, Job’s Body, describes this most ubiquitous tissue: “The look and feel of connective tissue is familiar to any cook: It is the whitish, glossy sac which surrounds each individual muscle in a carcass, the smooth, slick covering over raw bones, the membranes that encase the internal organs and line the body cavities, the tough tendons, ligaments, and bursae which cook up into gristle (p. 61).”
Connective tissue has this firmer texture of tendons, ligaments and membranes, but it is also quite fluid, ranging from a viscous gelatin-like state to watery. The connective tissue that has variable fluidity is known as the ground substance, or matrix tissue. This fluid matrix is the most ancient tissue in our bodies – one that we actually share with the aquatic organisms from which we first emerged. Often referred to as our internal ocean, this matrix mesh – much like egg-white in consistency – surrounds and bathes “every nook and cranny” in our bodies (Juhan, p. 60). Within this matrix resides protein-sugar molecules, or proteoglycans, that react so instantly and uniformly to stress, that the matrix tissue has been referred to as a liquid crystal. It is therefore easy to understand its very direct communication with the cell membranes, which have also been likened to liquid crystals that act as semiconductors (Lipton, The Biology of Belief, 2005, p. 90).
In contrast to what most of us learned in school, far from being simply a filling material or connecting tissue, the matrix tissue serves a multitude of other important functions in the body. For example, it is the strategic site where essential metabolic processes take place; that is, where nutrients and hormones cross from the capillaries to the cells, and wastes from cellular activity cross back. Disturbances within this capillary bed-cell matrix tissue area have been recognized as the starting point of many diseases. The matrix connective tissue is primarily affected in every type of disease, and in turn, can play the most significant role in the healing process (Pischinger & Heine, 1991, p. 17). In her article, “Quantum Coherence and Conscious Experience,” Mae-Wan Ho summarizes the very essential functioning of the matrix tissue most succinctly:
“Connective tissues make up the bulk of all multicellular animals. They are flexible, highly responsive, yet ordered phases which are connected, via transmembrane proteins to the intracellular matrices of individual cells. The extracellular and intracellular matrices together constitute an excitable continuum for rapid intercommunication permeating the entire organism, enabling it to function as a coherent whole. The existence of this liquid crystalline continuum has been directly demonstrated in all live organisms…It constitutes a “body consciousness” that precedes the nervous system in evolution…[and] works in tandem with, and independently of the nervous system.”
In the MRT test, toxins or degenerative processes in the matrix are identified by a change in arm length. For example, patients who have mercury amalgam fillings have this most toxic metal (second only to plutonium) diffused throughout their matrix tissue. When a vial of mercury is placed on these patients’ energy field, it can elicit a positive short arm response. This short arm reaction is a measure of the reflexive contractile response of the proteoglycans in the matrix tissue, responding instantly and uniformly throughout the body to a recognized toxic stressor.
This response is quite immediate, as observed in the MRT method as well as in the laboratory described by Dr. Alfred Pischinger and Professor Hartmut Heine in Matrix and Matrix Regulation: "As a result of their electrical lability, proteoglycans react to every quality of stimulus with depolarization and can transmit this in the ground system [matrix] as a chain reaction." (p. 114) And since the depolarization of these protein-sugar molecules "can spread suddenly throughout the entire system,” and “the extracellular matrix permeates the extracellular spaces of the entire organism, reaches every cell, and always reacts uniformly," it is clear why the whole body responds so instantaneously to any toxic challenge (pp. 18 & 19). The actual mechanics of the arm length change occurs through the lability of the matrix tissue’s unique reflex ability to change from gel (more viscous) to sol (more liquid) in response to stress (Oschman, J. Energy Medicine, 2000, p. 170). Benefits of Matrix Reflex Testing
MRT is generally a more sensitive method of testing than kinesiology, and thus serves as a useful ancillary test for many kinesiologists. Modern electron microscopy studies have found that the nerves do not actually touch the cells, but that their neurotransmitters are carried from the blind nerve endings through the matrix tissue to their target cells. Through its matrix-mediated assessment, the MRT method therefore more directly measures the body’s extracellular as well as intracellular environments, in contrast to the ANS (autonomic nervous system)-mediated muscle testing. Further, since the matrix tissue is also in direct contact with the hormones through the capillary beds, the subtle disturbances in hormonal functioning can also best be measured through this more sensitive test. This fact, that neither the blood nor the nervous system anatomically contact or innervate the cells, has actually been known as far back as 1845, as Dr. Pischinger and Dr. Heine elucidate in Matrix and Matrix Regulation:
"C.B. Reichert (1845) also understood the connective tissue [matrix] not only as a mechanically binding but organically vital (!) medium, and recognized that the nerves and vessels do not actually come into direct contact with the functioning cells at any point in the body, but that the connective tissue is the mediating member, the bearer of the nerve and nutrition flow, and that the reciprocal effects pass through it everywhere. Only the connective tissue has direct contact with all parts of the body (pp. 14 & 15)."
The superior sensitivity of Matrix Reflex Testing has been borne out countless times clinically, when strong defensive presentations such as “sympathicotonia” (systemic hypertonic muscle responses) and “crashing” (the loss of clarity during a treatment) are able to be assessed through MRT, when further muscle testing is not possible. Additionally, an important and extremely common pathological presentation known as oscillation – when the proteoglycans in the matrix tissue are in electrical chaos and become disorderd due to some acutely disturbing factor – can only be diagnosed and treated through MRT. Oscillation is not possible to assess through muscle testing, or through other energetic testing methods such as electroacupuncture. Although Matrix Reflex Testing has been proven more sensitive than muscle testing, kinesiology still remains a valuable ancillary testing technique for many MRT practitioners, since the dramatic change from a weak to a strong muscle with the correct treatment continues to be an excellent form of in vivo biofeedback for both patients and doctors.
One final benefit of MRT is that it is relatively easy to learn. Unlike kinesiology or the even-more-difficult-to-master Auriculomedicine technique (from Nogier), the basics of reflex arm measurement testing can be learned in weeks, and one can even become quite proficient at it within a few months. It should be further noted that doctors and practitioners with a background in muscle testing (AK, CK, NK, etc.) master the MRT technique exceptionally fast.
The Field Measurement Component of Matrix Reflex Testing
An even more subtle and sensitive parameter of MRT is the field measurement. This test measures the electromagnetic field, or EMF, that surrounds every living thing. Unlike the astral and mental planes that are described in esoteric schools as extending from four to six feet out from the body, the EMF very closely surrounds the physical body. This field that lies within millimeters of the physical body is not so esoteric however, and in fact, has been well documented through various scientific instrumentation, particularly Kirlian photography.
Recent research has found that this EMF is actually another manifestation of the body’s liquid crystal continuum, or matrix tissue, resulting in the direct current (DC) electrodynamic field that permeates the entire body as well as the borders of the body (Ho, 1997). The EMF measurement provides an even more sensitive measurement of the body’s matrix tissue, or “body consciousness” (Ho, p. 1997).
Testing this electromagnetic field, also known as the etheric field, the body double, or the Wei Qi (protective energy) in Chinese Medicine, was first utilized in energetic testing by Dr. Paul Nogier in his Auriculomedicine technique (Nogier also originated auriculotherapy). In MRT, the EMF can be measured through the therapy localization of the ulnar bone (used as a microrepresentation of the body’s EMF), using the reflex arm length measurement to note change when the exact distance of the EMF is located. In health, the EMF should be very close – within millimeters – of the physical body. In dysfunction and disease however, the EMF drifts out from the body, sometimes as far as four feet away.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), when this normally protective Wei Qi field of energy is dispersed outward, the body can no longer defend itself against “external pernicious influences.” These pernicious forces in TCM classically included the elements of wind, damp, cold and heat. Unfortunately nowadays, we face even more pernicious and formidable influences, including poisoning from heavy metals (mercury, nickel, aluminum, etc.) and chemicals (propylene glycol, benzene, toluene, etc.); foreign microbes from vaccinations (as well as the aluminum adjuvant and thimerosal preservative); pathogenic bacteria generated in insidiously silent dental, tonsil, sinus and genital focal infections; and the chronic inflammatory by-products from the use of excessive pharmaceutical (and street) drugs, needless surgeries (anesthetic is a proven carcinogen), and devitalized refined foods.
MRT provides practitioners with a primary – or secondary – system to more precisely and accurately evaluate patients’ issues. For example, the aforementioned patient who responded with a right short arm from the challenge of a mercury vial may next respond with even arms with the challenge of some form of appropriate treatment, such as glutathione (a powerful antioxidant which helps detoxify heavy metals primarily through the liver and small intestine). This is a classic “2-Point,” first identified by Dr. George Goodheart, which occurs in MRT as well as kinesiological testing.
The field measurement test can help further evaluate if this product is exactly right for the patient. For example, if the particular brand of glutathione is not perfect for the patient, then the field measurement test will not test well, that is, not close enough to the body. And since the doctor or practitioner is searching for the most perfect supplement to mitigate mercury poisoning, an EMF test that is still approximately 8 inches away from the body, for example, indicates this brand of glutathione is not good enough and should not be prescribed.
However, when the practitioner tests another form, say Liposomal Glutathione, which has demonstrated the ability clinically and in the laboratory to cross the blood brain barrier and be even more efficacious than IV therapy, the patient responds optimally – with a tight and protective electromagnetic field.
Thus, the field measurement test is like the second part of a “one-two punch” in diagnostic assessment. And when both the reflex arm measurement and the field measurement are used in tandem in the MRT method, doctors and practitioners more accurately assess dysfunction and disease in their patients, as well as more precisely fine-tune the most appropriate customized holistic treatments. The 6-Channel Adaptation Testing
Another important component of modern Matrix Reflex Testing is the use of the 6-channel adaptation patterns. The six channels, based on the ancient Chinese text Shang Han Lun, represent six different energies comprised of one arm and one leg meridian. For example, the Tai Yang, or Greater Yang, channel is composed of the bladder meridian (on the leg) and the small intestine meridian (on the arm), and is regarded in this system as one long yang meridian.
The six channels react to, defend against, and adapt to stress. The late great Alan Beardall, DC, who originated Clinical Kinesiology, mapped out these 6-channel patterns through the measurement of leg and arm length (not the reflex arm test but a measurement of the arms extended in a straight-arm, traction-like manner). He used to use all six at once as an entry into deeper (“core-level”) diagnostic testing. Dr. Williams has found that the use of these 6-channels individually is also valuable, and fit perfectly within the MRT technique. For example, when a patient who presents initially in Lesser Yin with a right short leg (lumbosacral contraction pattern) and a left short arm (cervicothoracic contraction pattern), the legs and arms can be “evened” with either the associated Kidney 3 or Heart 7 auriculotherapy point (according to Bahr). By clearing this 6-channel adaptation pattern, the true cause of the short leg/short arm adaptation can then be elicited and treated. Thus, this ancient Chinese philosophy and acupuncture technique can be used to help clear adaptation patterns that the body has utilized defensively when it was under stress – often holding on to these compensatory patterns for years and decades – that often obscure accurate energetic testing.
Dr. Williams also discovered over several years of clinical research in working with these 6-channel adaptive patterns another key factor that has since greatly influenced the Matrix Reflex Testing method. She found that whenever the MRT test displayed a left short arm, that this was signaling an underlying 6-channel distortion pattern that needed to be cleared before one could gain clarity and accuracy in testing. In contrast, the response of a right short arm may indicate an underlying 6-channel adaptation pattern, or be an entirely appropriate (non-adaptive) response to a challenge (a positive hand chakra in the patient’s dominant hand can differentiate an adaptive versus normal response). In conclusion, it was found that it does matter whether a patient’s arm goes right or left short, and the only appropriate clear response in the MRT method is a right short arm. Thus, the 6-channel adaptation procedure has been extremely useful in MRT, by alerting the practitioner of an underlying distortion pattern that when treated can bring the patient back into clarity. Further, a left short arm or oscillation response can also signal that the patient is not “on line” and not communicating congruently and clearly. This valuable clinical observation has resulted in significantly more profound treatments that are received “whole-bodily,” and disseminated more fully and deeply throughout the system via the ubiquitous liquid crystal matrix tissue.
The Use of Hand Modes
Hand modes were originated by Alan Beardall, DC, in 1978, and evolved into a primary component of his muscle testing technique, Clinical Kinesiology. After his death in 1987, more modes were developed by Richard Holding, DO; Gary Klepper, DC; Solihin Thom, DO; Rene Espy, DC; Robert Shane; Louisa Williams, MS, DC, ND; and others. The use of hand modes as diagnostic and therapeutic filters greatly augments the specificity of diagnosis and the effectiveness of therapeutic intervention. In 1998, Dr. Williams developed a set of Mode Cards containing almost 400 diagnostic and therapeutic modes, which help further facilitate diagnostic and therapeutic assessment in the MRT technique, as well as in kinesiology and other energetic testing methods.
Summary of Matrix Reflex Testing
When well-trained and knowledgeable physicians and practitioners carefully assess the state of the very ubiquitous and highly sensitive matrix tissue through the reflex arm length test and the measurement of the EMF, in conjunction with clearing any 6-channel adaptations that may present initially or arise during treatment, and further utilize the highly precise diagnostic Mode Cards, optimum energetic testing results. Holistic doctors and practitioners have experienced – in combination with an extensive history and physical exam and appropriate x-rays and laboratory tests – notably greater accuracy in their diagnostic testing as well as more profound, effective and in-depth treatments.
Just as with the Neural Kinesiology method (co-authored by Klinghardt/Williams, now taught as ART by Klinghardt), toxic metals and chemicals, primary food allergies, nutritional deficiencies, dominant foci, and other major factors that contribute to chronic disease and dysfunction still “hold up” as essential to diagnose and treat for optimal wellness. In addition, Dr. Williams has also included other “sine qua non” treatments that can be more accurately assessed with the MRT method, including the use of auriculotherapy (according to Nogier), drainage (gemmotherapy embryonic herbal remedies), Schuessler cell salts and San Pharma isopathic drops (especially to heal bone and soft tissue in dental focal infections), therapeutic food supplements and probiotics, and constitutional homeopathy (according to the Sensation Method).