Alexis Costello: Touch for Health Kinesiology


A level one Touch For Health class is a curious thing. It is often an individuals first experience with trying to muscle test someone and they will go from utter disbelief that such a thing works so easily, to pure joy, to crazy overwhelm and back again over the course of a weekend. When I began muscle testing, I knew that it was what I had been looking for in all of my other studies. (I don’t have the space here to go into the way that muscle monitoring works but there is plenty of information about it on my website if you are curious). It clicked. My heart sang. If it were a movie, the manual and I would have been running towards each other in slow motion in a field of daisies. After teaching the Touch for Health classes and many other courses in muscle testing for the past ten years, I have seen this played out over and over again with my students and it’s humbling every single time.

I figure that if Specialized Kinesiology isn’t the coolest thing you’ve ever seen, then you don’t really understand it. Though we call it muscle testing, it’s not always about physical strength. The muscles work as biofeedback mechanisms to show areas of stress in the body. Stress can mean so many things though! Yes, this can show a physical injury or area of pain, but it can also mean emotional stress, an energetic disconnect, a genetic issue, a belief system you’ve been carrying since you were young, a hormone imbalance – the list goes on and on. SK allows you to zero in on exactly what is going on in the individual at that moment in time and then bring the body back into balance, allowing the client to heal themselves. After many years of working with clients, my focus has recently changed. While I still love working with people one-on-one, my view of how I best contribute to the world is different. Now, I want to teach as many people as possible these powerful techniques so that we can all become our best selves and help the people around us. It’s one of those “balance someone’s stress and you’ve fixed them for a day, teach them to balance their stress and you’ve fixed them for life” kind of things.

But usually, when people ask me about my life lately, it’s not the muscle testing they are wondering about; it’s the decision to pack up our family and move to a tiny village in Costa Rica. It has been a long time in the making. Somewhere in the midst of studying herbalism I got this idea that I wanted to learn about traditional medicines in the rainforest. It may have been the Saskatchewan winters that tipped the scales in favour of that idea! I was fascinated by the thought of learning medical traditions from indigenous peoples and studying the kind of herbs I would never see in Canada and so, after years of preparing, we embarked on a six month journey to Costa Rica with our twin 7-year-olds. And it was amazing. We tromped around the country and I spoke with curanderos and brujas and shaman and anyone who would talk to me about plants. We toured botanical gardens and organic reserves. I received a massage using stones as I lay outside on banana leaves and was thwapped in the forehead with a hawk feather as a shaman chanted. I took samples and wrote as fast as I could to keep up. And at the end, we didn’t want to go home.

So we begrudgingly returned to Canada with a new 5-year-plan, that we would return, buy land and try to live as self-sufficiently as possible. Six chickens, three kids, two goats, two cats and, (occasionally), a monkey in a palm tree. Life here is a strange combination of the hardest thing I’ve ever done and weirdly idyllic. In the last year; I have built a chicken coop and a barn, learned about keeping animals and how to weld, and found many, many ways to utterly ruin a garden in the tropics. From here, I work with clients online and in person and then embark on teaching marathons where I will instruct a few levels of Specialized Kinesiology classes somewhere in the world. I speak about muscle testing; how and why it works, and how to actually make it successful as a business at conferences all over the world. And I publish Specialized Kinesiology Magazine online to a ridiculously specific niche market – muscle testing professionals who want to know what’s happening in their field and be connected. The juxtaposition of these two worlds is always satisfying and often hilarious, leading to blog posts like this one where I describe myself having to do a Touch For Health balance on a chicken.

But I also see this as a pivotal point in time for Specialized Kinesiology. I am a board member for IASK (International Association of Specialized Kinesiologists) which allows me to be in communication with practitioners all over the world and to see the trials and joys that are common to our field wherever we are. We are in a position right now to build upon the foundation that was laid for us in the 70’s by visionaries like George Goodheart  and John Thie (widely considered to be the ‘fathers’ of Applied and Specialized Kinesiology respectively) and bring this work to the masses. After all, there is no-one on earth who could not benefit from understanding more about themselves and being able to heal themselves more effectively.

As we wrap this up, I will admit that this isn’t my favourite kind of article to write.

I like to write about the strangeness of my life in the rainforest with children, the amazingness of my chosen field of study and how to better brand yourself as a holistic practitioner. These things are all components of ‘my story’, but it’s not complete. To actually tell the story of how I got here I have to be a little more serious than is my custom. To do it properly would require an entire page of ‘thank you’s to family, friends and the brilliant minds in the holistic health field that have tolerated my constant questions. Considered this an abridged version then.

And if you feel inspired to learn more, please get in touch.

I’ll call you back when I finish walking my goats.

follow me @healthylexi


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