Nutrition Response Testing: The Analysis

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Well, my Nutrition Response Testing (NRT) analysis was”¦ interesting. I don’t even know where to start with explaining it. Simply put, it was weird.

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Let me start off by saying that I’m keeping a totally open mind about NRT. My sister truly believes in it, and she has seen what it does for the patients at her practice, so I’m giving it a fair chance.

Hi, sister!

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Ok, so I arrive at the chiropractor’s office. It seems like a regular doctor’s office with a waiting area, exam rooms, and all that jazz. I chat with my sister for a few minutes, and then I am invited into a back room to start my analysis, which is the strangest medical test I have ever encountered in my entire life. I’m not saying I don’t believe in it; it’s just very “nontraditional.”

My appointment started with a computerized Heart Rate Variability Monitor Test. A strap was placed around my chest, which monitored my heartbeat for 8-9 minutes, first while laying down and then standing up. The machine measured the intervals between each heartbeat and provided the doctor with a quick assessment of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS).

What is the Autonomic Nervous System?

The ANS regulates the basic life-sustaining functions of the body such as the heart beat, heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature, respirations, turning on and off the function of the cells, glands, and organs, maintaining acid/alkaline balance of the blood, saliva, and urine, digestion of food, balancing glandular functions, stimulating and inhibiting the body and its parts. [source]

The Autonomic Nervous System is divided into two parts (Sympathetic Nervous System and Parasympathetic Nervous System), which must be in balance at all times. If they’re not, the body doesn’t function optimally, so the test looks at what is happening within these systems. The doctor only briefly showed me my results, so, hopefully, she’ll explain them at my second appointment.

The second part of my analysis included checking for “neurologic switching” and “regulation” in my Autonomic Nervous System to see which parts are “blocked” or “open.” Say what? Exactly. Here’s a brief explanation:

Switching is neurologic confusion, and regulation is the ability (or inability!) of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) to regulate itself in response to minute by minute demands. Blocked regulation means the ANS cannot regulate itself”” things are “stuck”, which among other things means that the body is NOT open to healing. If there is switching, then the body has a rollercoaster effect with healing””better, then worse, then better, etc. Or, it can also make the body have an opposite (“switched”) response to any supplementation or medication. If we find switching or blocked regulation, we look to see what is causing that. [source]

Hmmm”¦ I still don’t really get it, but I was “blocked” in a lot of areas, so, according to the doctor, it’s important for us to get to the root cause of my body’s problems.

The five major stressors that cause the “blocks” are food (and/or digestion), heavy metal toxins, solvent/chemical toxicity, immune challenges (bacteria, yeast, parasites, viruses), and scars, so the doctor tested for each of these things by using my body’s own reflexes to determine which organs were under stress. How? Well, this is where is gets interesting. I extended my left arm and the doctor pushed down on it with her hand while contacting a specific reflex area with the other hand. For example, she’d touch my spleen and then push on my extended arm while I resisted her pressure. If the reflex was stressed, my nervous system responded by reducing energy to the extended arm, which caused it to weaken. This indicated underlying stress or dysfunction in that area, which was noted in my evaluation. Once the underlying stress is corrected, this weak muscle response will no longer occur.

This video shows how the analysis was done:

Crazy, right?

I go back this afternoon for the results of my analysis, so, hopefully, things will make more sense then. I’ll let ya know what happens!


Last night’s dinner was a variation of the Tuna and Couscous Salad that I made a few weeks ago, but, this time, it included roasted broccoli and crumbled feta. Yum!

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Tuna Couscous Salad with Roasted Broccoli & Feta


  • 2 5-oz. cans of tuna, drained
  • 3 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup Israeli couscous
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • Salt & pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425*F. Toss broccoli with olive oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes or until lightly browned.
  2. Meanwhile, cook Israeli couscous as directed.
  3. When broccoli and couscous are finished cooking, combine with feta, garlic, salt, and pepper; mix well.
  4. Eat and enjoy!

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For dessert: a handful of pretzel M & Ms.

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  1. Huh, I think that is a really interesting procedure. Not sure it is something that I am willing to pay for at this point, but with your colitis flare up, etc, I think it is worth a try!
    I hope you can figure it out!

  2. I have never heard of NRT until yesterday, but it does sound interesting. I read a lot of the comments on your post yesterday and it seems like so many people who have had it really think it can help. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

  3. I am all for nontraditional medicine, but the video sure makes it look wacky. Did they put bottles of remedies on you? If so, could you really tell the difference in when a bottle was on you versus not?

  4. Ive seen similar thing done for allergy testing. No idea if it works but it looks interesting. I’m looking forward to your results as I’ve had some digestion issues that I want sorting out so might try this

  5. Those alarms going off in your head are your common sense telling you this is just another creative way to make money off of people with real or imagined medical problems. You don’t have to be mean about it to your sister, I am sure she is genuine in her beliefs, lots of people are, doesn’t make them right and it doesn’t mean you should hide or bury your critical thought about the subject when you have a wide audience.

    1. @Dan: It also doesn’t mean that there is no validity to it. People are naturally wary of things they aren’t used to. Doubt doesn’t mean it is a scam, it just means it is a new experience. I think alternative medicine is really interesting, and, if nothing else, can give us a different perspective on our health. It sounds like Tina is going into it with an open mind, despite her own skepticism, which is the perfect way to go about it! How can you expand your knowledge if you automatically shut out everything that seems different to you?

  6. This seems very fascinating! I am always interested to learn about different approaches to medicine. I will be interested to see your results 🙂

  7. Hahaha I absolutely love the honesty about the NRT. Sometimes I can be very ‘holistic’ but some stuff is just too out there for me too!

  8. I had similar testing (with the Dr pushing on your arm) when I was in high school. I thought it was a little wacky at the time. The test did come back that I was allergic to wheat…after 15 years I am starting to think he may have been right!

      1. @Jess:
        creepy, right. ok, fine, then I’m disappointed that a healthy living blog would feature something like this. is that better?

  9. Crazy, yes, but also very cool. I see a chiropractor and she uses the same testing to indicate where I need to be adjusted. All I know is that it works- don’t understand it really- but it does!

  10. Talking about neurological health – A connection between mind and body has been proven – things like mindfulness exercises and quiet meditation to quiet the subconscious and focus on your present moment can have lots of positive health benefits. They have done lots of studies on refugees that have been through major trauma and mental exercises and meditation was able to dispel anxiety and fear and improve vital signs in the majority of cases. Interesting stuff. Not sure about NRT.
    ANd on the pretzel m&m’s – I brought like 4 bags back to Nairobi with me after visiting home at xmas. They are the best.

  11. I’ve made a similar recipe before, tuna + [cooked] brown rice + cottage cheese + parm + celery… Mix all together, put into an oven-safe dish, crumble some crackers/ chips on top, & bake… LOVE IT!!!

  12. I think it’s rally brave of you to post your experience with this knowing that a lot of people will be negative. It shows you’re open to new experiences and are confidant enough in yourself to go through it, ignore their biases and then relate your experience honestly. That being said, I personally think this is absolute quackery and I would NEVER waste the time or money on it, but if people want to fork over money for it, it’s their prerogative.

  13. I participated in NRT about 3 years ago and had great success with it. I was so tired, slept 10 hrs a night, took 3 naps a day, and had digestive issues. I went to my doctor to have my thyroid tested and iron levels checked. My thyroid was fine, but I had a high red blood count, which didn’t concern the doctor. She basically told me I was probably depressed and suggested medication. I was so upset! Then my neighbor called that week to let me know they had just had their well tested and had high arsenic and iron levels. Immediately I got my well tested, and we had the same issue. Anyway, to make a long story short, my neighbor was also into natural healing and suggested I try it. I tested positive for heavy metals, adrenal fatigue, and was deficient in many nutrients. After 2 weeks of taking massive supplements I was a total new person. I thought it was strange at first and I was very skeptical, but I believe it truly helped me through that “depression” the doctor said I was suffering from. Hope it works out for you too!

  14. My prediction for the followup appointment is…..supplements will be recommended.

    I do not understand how a chiropractor can dabble in any practice or procedure containing the word nutrition. As someone else mentioned I think it is an insult to those medical professionals who have studied and practiced the science of nutrition.

    It seems to me to be a shady way to separate cash from people who are searching for a quick fix or relief to a problem. Would you call a plumber to fix your roof because he professed to be a water containment therapist? I would no more visit a chiropractor for nutrition therapy than I would visit a dermatologist for heart surgery. I think it is a cash grab and I think it is despicable. I’d be interested to know how much the two initial appointments cost and how much your follow up care, including any supplements and additional follow up appointments cost.

    For the record I am not against natural healing. I have had acupuncture with success and I have treated medical issues by altering my diet, both under the care of trained professionals.

    1. @Christine @ Oatmeal Bowl:

      I just wonder how many people have a perceived benefit or a “plecebo effect” because the feel the need to have some sort of positive outcome after the cash expenditure. No one wants to feel like they’ve been duped.

      It’s all well and good if you can afford it and you have the capacity to make an informed decision. Those who prey on the poor and weak minded are truly despicable.

      1. @Denise G:
        The perceived benefit comes when the practitioner tells you have a weak spleen or some other complete nonsense and then sells you supplements to fix it. You go back for your follow up “testing” and wow, it’s fixed. It’s a scam.

        I do believe there are some effective alternative therapies, but this is just NOT one of them.

  15. You are absolutely on the right track to be feeling as though your diet has to do with your condition: our immune systems are directly affected by the level of inflammation in our body and our inflammation levels are directly affected by our diets!! I would highly recommend you invest in Kris Carr’s book “Crazy, Sexy, Diet.” If you email me an address or PO Box, I would even send you a copy because I am that sure it would help you!! Her website is, check her out if you have a minute…you won’t regret it, she is AMAZING <3

  16. Please don’t call this guy a doctor. Doctors are health professionnals who were trained with real science, including randomized controlled trials. Unfortunately, science cannot answer everything. But this has never been proved to be helpful.

    But I understand that you want to feel better and you keep an open mind. Please just don’t spend too much money on this okay?

  17. Ok, I just had to comment! I just started going to a new chiropractor who does this same thing. I “get” most of it for me but what is even more weird is how this works for my son. My son just turned 1 year and was battling a bad double ear infection (was on his 3rd antibiotic in a row) and had ezcema for at least 6 months. Anyway, I was told about chiropractics for kids so I thought I would give it a shot since the antibiotics clearly weren’t working. So since my son obviously can’t sit patiently still while the DC does that ‘extended arm test thingy’, I had to hold him and extend my arm. While my son just sat playing with a toy, the DC touched his back/nect/etc while my arm would drop or stay held up. It was super crazy but that is how they then did their adjustments! When my arm fell, wherever he was touching my son, he would then “adjust” him (which is way different than they would with an adult). He then did this allergey testing thing while holding a vial of food (i.e wheat or dairy) and based on how MY arm responded, he was testing my son. CRAZY! It totally sounds like voodoo but it has made a HUGE improvement in my son.

    I just had to share. Love your blog, by the way!

    1. Chiropractors typically do not participate in any NRT. I hope readers do not confuse what is going on at this office with what they ate trading to do. Removing pressure from the central nervous system by adjusting the spine is the goal of chiropractic care.

  18. Haha, wow….if the placebo affect works for people than go for it…but I just finished taking months of Neuroanatomy and Anatomy classes…this is ridiculous 🙂

    Just my opinion, if it ends up working for you…great!

  19. I see a chiropractor and she uses the same testing to indicate where I need to be adjusted. All I know is that it works- don’t understand it really- but it does!..Thanks for sharing…

  20. My husband and I have recently had the same evaluation. We have had our program recommendations and are taking supplements and starting the journey to healthier eating and proper exercise. After only 5 days, I am already feeling much better and would highly recommend this to anyone. You must have an open mind and understand that most of the foods we eat have no nutritional value. We are all over fed but starving for nutrition. General medical practitioners do not know nutrition and really are taught to prescribe for symptoms. They are not taught root causes of dysfunction or disease.

  21. Here it is: If one is not properly educated about something it almost always seems weird. But, as we know more and more, we can discern what is weird and what makes sense. So, for those of you that are not trained in physiology and neurology and the related topics, how could you know if it is valid or not? To me drawing blood and analyzing it for al most every condition is totally useless. It is only the blood. The nervous system is comprehensive of every tissue in our body. Therefore, it can tell us a lot about our body when it is interpreted and used for benefit. That is, used and interpreted by a qualified practitioner, not uncle Joe’s third cousin that said it was “weird”. NRT is very effective and very accurate.

  22. American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology stated there is “no evidence of diagnostic validity” of applied kinesiology,[2] and another study has shown that as an evaluative method, AK “is no more useful than random guessing”,[3] and the American Cancer Society has said that “scientific evidence does not support the claim that applied kinesiology can diagnose or treat cancer or other illness”.

    NRT is quackery.

  23. Just to let anyone know, on July 8th 2014, I became paralyzed from the neck on down. I was in the hospital, hospital rehabilitation center, and then a rest home. All in all, this lasted for over 100 days. The doctors did an MRI, cat scans, emg, etc., to try to determine the cause. They never found the reason. After the 100+ days, when I finally was allowed to go home, I had to use a chair lift, have a nurse and physical therapist come visit me. I could barely walk and used a wheel chair. Talk about being discouraged! Then a friend suggested I go see a chiropractor who also did Nutrition Response Testing. I did and now I am able to walk, house clean for 5-6 hours, go to the YMCA for exercises, etc. The chiropractor found I had a lot of mercury in my body so she gave me a supplement to lessen it and other vitamins that I was insufficient in. You can say what you want….but now I can walk and do a lot of other things I couldn’t do until I went to see her!!!

  24. Thanks for posting ! I am actually going through NRT myself and I found it helpful for a couple weeks and my symptoms came back with PMS. She found parasite in my lung but I dont have any proof of it and supplements/consults are costing me a lot. Did you think it was worth it?

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