Health Guide
Drug Guide

Autonomic response testing

What is it?

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the part of the nervous system that we cannot control with our mind. The ANS regulates breathing, heart rate, digestion, immune function, sleep patterns, and hormone regulation. It also controls blood pressure, blood sugar levels, tissue regeneration, and liver and kidney detoxification.

Autonomic Response Testing (ART) grew out of the importance of detecting and correcting problems of the autonomic nervous system. ART allows the doctor to correct the problems of the ANS. Autonomic Response Testing (ART) is a system of evaluation and treatment developed by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD and Lousia Williams, DC, ND. Dr. Klinghardt is a German-trained physician who also has a PhD in neurology. ART uses Applied Kinesiology, Electroacupuncture (EAV), O-Ring testing, Nogier pulse, Chinese pulse, heart rate variability, and other techniques to assess the health or dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system.

Dr. Klinghardt believes that many practitioners using kinesiology or muscle testing in their practice are often getting inaccurate information because the autonomic nervous system is not functioning properly. In ART, this condition is called blocked regulation and refers to the inability of the ANS to self-regulate and it is caused by 7 common factors, that include: undiagnosed food allergies, heavy metal toxicity, petroleum chemical toxicity, chronic unresolved infections and scars, temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ), unresolved psychological stress, and electromagnetic stress. Dr. Klinghardt has developed specific tests for these factors and treatments to correct them.

During the first visit, a doctor using ART will evaluate the patient and pay special attention to identifying any of the factors that are blocking ANS regulation. This is accomplished through a review of the patient's medical and dental history and a physical exam that includes kinesiology and nervous system evaluation. Once the blockages have been identified, the doctor will choose a treatment plan that will correct these problems.

A typical visit may reveal that a patient has severe wheat allergies, heavy metal toxicity from mercury in their teeth, and a scar from a past appendix surgery that are all causing stress on the ANS. The primary treatment for this patient would include scar therapy (using neural therapy, wheat germ oil, or cold laser), dietary advice to avoid wheat and gluten grains, and a referral to a biological dentist to replace the mercury fillings. In addition, the doctor may suggest natural remedies including homeopathic drainage, vitamins, minerals, herbs, essential fatty acids, amino acids, exercise, and meditation.

Autonomic Response Testing is thought to help allergies, chronic pain, chronic infections, immune problems, depression, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. It may also help pre-menstrual syndrome, menopause symptoms, cancer, diabetes, seizure disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, closed head injuries, sinusitis, and digestive problems.

Most of the doctors using Autonomic Response Testing are naturopathic physicians, medical doctors, chiropractors, acupuncturists, or dentists. ART is not taught in any of the medical schools, but it is taught at the American Academy of Neural Therapy/Neural Kinesiology and Klinghardt Academy.


1. Shane R (Ed): Human Bio-Dynamics (Clinical Kinesiology): The Complete Works of Dr. Alan Beardall, vol 1-3. Human Biodynamics, Portland, OR.

2. Klinghard, D & William L: Autonomic Response Testing (manual). American Academy of Neural Therapy, Seattle, WA, 1996.

3. Omura Y: Transmission of molecular information through electro-magnetic waves with different frequencies and its application to non-invasive diagnosis of patients as well as detection from patient's x-ray film of visible and not visible medical information, part I. Acupuncture & Electro-Therapeutics Research Journal, 1994; 19:39-63.

Last Updated: 9/15/2016

Thomson Micromedex. All rights reserved.

Thomson & A.D.A.M