Doing the sway test


Stand in a relaxed and comfortable posture. The sway test is similar to self muscle testing with your fingers, but it uses the muscles of your whole body rather than just your hand. This type of testing may work better for people with hand or wrist injuries or conditions.

  • Your feet should be in a wider stance, a little more than shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees loose and slightly bent.
  • Relax and lower your shoulders, drawing your shoulder blades down along your spine.


Take a moment to focus on your breath. Before you begin self muscle testing, connect your mind and body with breathing exercises to help clear your head. Inhale slowly through the nose, then exhale slowly out of your mouth. Repeat for 5 to 10 breath cycles, or as long as it takes you to feel connected to your breath.

  • Pay attention to your body and correct any imbalances. For example, if your mouth is dry, you may want to pause for a glass of water before continuing.


Ask yourself a question or make an affirmative statement. Draw your body’s attention to something that you want to know. It could be a type of food about which you’re unsure, or an emotional situation that is causing you stress.

  • Frame your question as a yes/no question. You can also use an affirmative statement that is clearly true or false. You want something with a specific, bright line – not something that’s vague or subject to interpretation.
  • For example, suppose you’re feeling anxious and you can’t determine the reason for your anxiety. Brainstorm possible reasons, then come up with a question such as “Am I worried I’m about to get fired?” You could also use a statement such as “I am anxious because I’m worried my boss will fire me.”


Evaluate your body’s response. After asking your question or making your statement, your body will start to sway of its own volition. If you start to lean forward, this indicates that the question or statement you made is true or beneficial for you. If you start to lean backward, that is your body telling you the question or statement is false.

  • Rather than asking a question, you can also hold an object to your chest. If your body leans towards the object, it means this object is good for you (or represents something good for you). On the other hand, if your body leans away, it means your body is repelled by that object or what it represents.
  • If you get a strong response to your question, look into that situation further before you act on the answer. Use self muscle testing to supplement, not replace, medical advice. For example, if you ask your body if you need more Vitamin C, and your body says yes, you might still want to research the benefits and risks of taking those supplements before you follow through.

Troubleshooting your testing technique


Calibrate your testing. If you’re not getting a clear response from your muscle testing, your body’s energy may not be calibrated to correctly send signals through your muscles. Calibrate by asking a series of questions to which you know the answer.

  • One of the easiest calibration methods is to state your actual name. You know what your name is, so when you say it, you should get a strong muscle response. If you’re not, play around with it a little until you figure out the right pressure to use.
  • You also may need to calibrate a negative response. When you state that your name is someone else’s name, you should get a weak response. Again, you may have to play around with it until you’re getting a clear and correct response.


Ask questions in multiple ways. If you’re not getting a clear response from your muscle testing despite having good calibration, you may not be asking a clear question. A vague question that is open to multiple interpretations typically won’t get a clear response.

  • If you suspect your questions are too vague, work on making it more specific. You may want to start with some calibration-type questions to which you already know the answers until you get to a level of specificity that can get you to the answer you want.
  • Once you become proficient at self muscle testing, you should be able to ask the same question in different ways and get the same response consistently. For example, if you say “my sister is safe,” you would get the same response as if you used her name.


Eliminate external distractions. To do self muscle testing, you must be able to clear your mind and focus. If your mind is wandering, take care of whatever it is that’s distracting you and then return to your testing and try again.

  • Generally, you want to be in a quiet, comfortable environment where there are very few things happening that are outside of your control or would compete for your attention.
  • As you become more experienced with self muscle testing, you may get to the point where you can do it anywhere and get an accurate and reliable response.


Drink plenty of water. If you’re dehydrated, your body’s energy won’t flow properly. Make sure you’re hydrated throughout the day, and drink a glass of water before you do self muscle testing. If you feel thirsty during testing, take a break to drink more water before continuing.

  • Your responses also may be off the mark for other physical reasons, such as if you’re hungry or tired. Pain from an injury or health condition also can affect responses from self muscle testing.


Meditate to improve your focus. If you have trouble clearing your mind to get a reliable response from self muscle testing, it may help to spend a few minutes in quiet meditation before you attempt the testing process.

  • Yogic breathing can help you focus. Come to a comfortable seated position and turn your mental attention to your breath. Inhale slowly through your nose, imagining you are filling your lungs from the bottom to the top. Pause, then exhale slowly out your mouth, releasing the air from the top of your lungs down to the bottom.
  • Maintain your focus on your breathing. If your mind wanders to other things, simply acknowledge the thought and let it pass quietly. Return your mind to your breath. When you get to the point that you can remain focused on your breath for several minutes at a time, you have the focus and clarity for self muscle testing.