Intuitive Action Boot Camp
Chris Dorchak, DC
Practitioners, Skeptics and the Curious Welcome!
Do you use muscle testing, dowsing, pendulums, or intuitive touch in your work; or are you curious about how these ideomotor phenomena work? Do you doubt they have any basis in reality? Do you believe these methods communicate a Divine, unadulterated truth?
This page is an introduction to my workshop; which studies techniques used by ideomotor practitioners. It is a practical examination of ideomotor phenomena with the focus on the mechanisms that cause it to manifest. The goal is to educate you to become an expert – a source of knowledge, rather than a perpetrator of myths.
By the way, I’m pro ideomotor, and pro intuition – but I’m also pro realism. Yes, maybe we will develop super powers in the future, but do YOU possess them now – in a way that can be demonstrated and reproduced? Some people do, but it’s ok to say “no” if you are not there yet – we weren’t born as masters of anything. Every skill must be developed over time. I try not to put limits on what is possible, because I don’t know everything. But I do know IMP is not a magical, 100% accurate crystal ball. Take responsibility for your end of it, and keep it “real”.
Benefits of Studying Ideomotor Phenomena:
- Know the reality of what you are doing. When we learn an ideomotor method, chances are there will be a dose of legend & lore along with it… myths that are easily debunked.
- Test more accurately and realistically… but with an open mind to the new revelations of consciousness.
- Test unique circumstances, with the reality elements in tact. This keeps you from fooling yourself and your clients.
- Understand IMP as fundamental to motion. This allows you to not only speak in an informed and perceptive manner regarding all ideomotor phenomena, but also allows you to understand many common related phenomena.
- Develop neutrality with knowledge. Put an end to the “us vs them” debate between left and right brain thinkers.
- Add a new dimension to self-awareness. Connotation and bias are ubiquitous – we can’t avoid them, but we can be cognizant of them.
- Develop your intuitive abilities. It’s already there, but you will need to learn to distinguish “intuition” from “imagination”.
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“Ideomotor” can be defined as involuntary muscle activity caused by an idea. Cool!
Just like “speaking”, IMP is more about “communication”, than “neurology” – and to grasp that you will need to use both sides of your brain…
That may be a hard impulse to propagate for certain brains. People can have a hard time with information they don’t know how to process. We tend to get defensive and create complex dramas to suppress the stuff we don’t understand, and promote the stuff we do understand. Such is the case with physical science and the intuitive arts – it’s changing, but there are growing pains. The pains are felt on both sides of the fence. This “fence” is all in our heads – literally. It’s called the “Falx cerebri”, and it is a connective tissue fence that separates the logical left hemisphere of the brain from the non-logical right hemisphere. When people argue over scientific “truths”, chances are there is some left/right brain perspectives that are being kept segregated. We were given two eyes in order to see depth… maybe were given two hemispheres to see dimension.
Both sides of the fence have backed themselves into their respective corners, and set up camp – neither one wanting to admit defeat. That’s what happens when you take sides without fully understanding the nature of reality. We need to acknowledge the depths of our ignorance when we study science and mind/reality topics. We only see what we know … and illusions. Certain medical institutions are beginning to offer wellness care, that include therapies that make use of the intuitive arts. And so maybe the intuitive arts could also take a step toward center by acknowledging the limitations of the physical world. If our methods claim supernatural abilities that we can’t prove or manifest, admit it… and from this common ground we could put both sides of our heads together to evolve our understanding. This isn’t about boxing in what is possible – it’s about starting from a place of honesty.
The reality is that nothing is 100%. Nothing works all the time without fail. As human beings, bias and error are our middle names. It is an unrealistic goal to try to maintain the illusion that the intuitive arts are without error. This is done out of fear for being discredited. This fear is due to ignorance. The intuitive arts are quick to jump on the scientific bandwagon for research that supports their theories, only to jump off again when it shows evidence against their theories. What if, instead of this fear-based behavior, we just faced reality … a reality that contains both physical and non-physical. What if instead of sweeping things we don’t want to hear under the rug, we examined them closely for insights?
Most people who use ideomotor have good intentions, but this alone will not sidestep the illusion that causes people to feel that some other power is at work beyond one’s own body (“magic, “spirits” or “energetics”). Look at the optical illusion below. We can’t help but see it move – but it’s not moving. It’s not your “fault” if you see it moving – it’s a nuance of your neurological wiring.
So it’s no one’s “fault” that ideomotor is experienced as a force that is “out of your hands” – there is a neurological reason for it. The challenge is dealing with the psychological illusion – the need for the mind to fill in the logical gaps with a “reason” – something that makes sense to our current paradigm. Here is where we can fool not only ourselves, but those we work with. One way that “fooling” shows up is with practitioners who believe that, because they are in touch with a higher supernatural force, they can do no wrong in their work – that everything they do is “perfect”; and anyone who challenges this notion is weighed down by their own negativity… I’m sure you know the type. Supernatural forces aside, until we take responsibility for as much of ourselves as we are able, we will not evolve. I suggest we use challenges to our paradigms as opportunities for evolution… that we learn to take interest rather than offense in new perspectives. So let’s get real…!
“Truth is stranger than fiction”
We may not be able to avoid experiencing illusions, but we can avoid the urge for myth-making. Yes, it’s hard, but if we are to evolve in awareness (as is the goal of many who make use of ideomotor methods in their work), we need to see reality as it is… only then we can begin to expand our minds into a realer reality. There are new revelations that can’t be grasped if the mind is holding tight to a comfortable myth. If we are to develop our intuitive abilities, then step one is to develop our discrimination (the “good” kind – like being able to distinguish one thing from another).
Ideomotor phenomenon (IMP) represents a function of mind, nerve and muscle, whose nuances are known by many names: muscle testing, dowsing, pendulum divination, hypnotic suggestion, automatic writing, and even therapeutic touch – what an interesting array of phenomenon you might think… and I would agree. Basically IMP presents clues to how the mind works through the body… and there is something amazing (and very practical) to be learned here, if one is willing to examine this phenomenon.
There is a rapidly growing assortment of well-meaning people who make use of IMP for everything from therapy to sales. But because no definitive, official explanation of the phenomenon exists, a gray zone persists; providing opportunities for not only pro and con research, but confusion, and manipulation. A few years ago, an Internet search for “muscle test” had less than 3 million hits – now it’s close to ten times that. The concept (and misunderstanding) is spreading fast. It is no wonder results from “muscle testing” vary so widely. The current situation with ideomotor activity is very reminiscent of the early 20th century spiritualist debate.
Firm Belief in Illusion
Harry Houdini was known as a great illusionist and escape artist – skills that also allowed him a third fame: debunking spiritualist fraud. When you understand the elements required to create an illusion, you are not so easily fooled. He offered a $50,000 reward for anyone who could prove true supernatural ability, but it was never won. Houdini’s mission to expose fraud cost him the friendship of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, a staunch spiritualist. It is ironic that the illusionist valued truth more than the spiritual seeker. There is a deep desire for “magic” in the human soul, and despite evidence to the contrary, we hold dear this innate yearning for the supernatural. Often the deconstruction of a revered illusion is mistaken for an attack on our very soul – provoking many to take offense rather than interest in such an exposé.
People (be they doctors, therapists or researchers) possess cherished beliefs about what is possible, or how reality works. Beliefs are not dependent upon intelligence, educated knowledge, or even evidence and reason at times. Like anything known by a human being, there is a risk of attachment to and identification with ideas; and the whole drama that naturally follows of taking and defending a stance.
We have beliefs about how things work that, though we may be very proficient in our work, our understanding about the mechanism behind what we do may be totally wrong. I call it the Riddle of Muscle Testing: how is it that we can help people with a method proven not to work? Clues: who “proved” it; what part of “it”; and from what perspective? With a topic like IMP, “proof” can have a lot of holes. These “holes” are in our heads – our ideas, perspectives, agendas, biases, blind spots, and emotional connections to knowledge that nature never intended. Somehow, a mind needs a way to control its body – this has to happen if we are going to function in our physical world. Ideomotor action is fundamental to movement – once you understand the principle, you will see examples of it everywhere. Intellectual humility is essential for expansion of knowledge. If we don’t know what a mind is, and are still learning what a body is, how much authority do we wield in placing limitations on things of which we are ignorant? More importantly – who is going to break the bad news to the birds that their murmurations are all in their heads …?
Who is Qualified to Evaluate IMP?
If being an illusionist provided Houdini the perspective to spot spiritualist fraud, what bodies of knowledge are well suited to understanding ideomotor activity? One would need education and experience in working with both bodies and minds (as the name implies), and being an illusionist certainly wouldn’t hurt either. Dogmatic skepticism gets in the way, but healthy (“show me”) skepticism, is essential. One profession spanning the wide spectrum of these apparently dissimilar polar opposites is chiropractic. As you can imagine, such a span of interest is not without its challenges, as people take sides within the profession, debating how our subjective and objective worlds form our collective reality; and how this understanding can be applied to help people heal and evolve.
It’s a good debate, and it’s not limited to chiropractic; as the medical and osteopathic professions are experiencing the same thing. Such a debate is inevitable, as intelligent and highly educated professionals, who are trained to observe things most people overlook, begin to discover patterns and connections in their quest to help mind-body entities known as “human beings”. Again and again doctors realize that mind and body work together… as the saying goes: “wherever you (body) go – there you (mind) are”.
That is why ideomotor activity isn’t going away – it’s not a quaint little spiritualist parlor trick from bygone days. It’s here, it’s now, it’s how we operate in bodies. Ever wonder what “supernatural” force is at work that allows you to drive home while you are day dreaming? Ideomotor. If you work with people in that gray zone between objective and subjective reality (body and/or mind therapies), do you think it might be beneficial to have a solid grasp on how the mind works through the body?
The new age is upon us. Do you think it might be beneficial to understand the limitations of ideomotor action, the next time you or a friend visits a therapist who uses muscle testing, or a practitioner of the healing arts who dowses or uses a pendulum to tell you something about yourself, help you make a decision, or sell you something? There are many applications of IMP, but there are also boundaries to its use, and work-arounds to the limitations.
Intuitive Action Boot Camp
The workshop is boot-campy in that it breaks you down and builds you up anew. And what boot camp would be complete without an obstacle course? We will push ideomotor action to its limits in a wide spectrum of circumstances. By the end of the day, you will know what IMP can and can not do; and you will learn the elements that must be in place when testing a unique circumstance.
It is not like a boot camp in that there is no screaming, it is way more fun, and doesn’t require even one push-up. The “you” that is broken down is that corner of the ego that may be identifying its sense of self with ideas and activities that have nothing to do with who “you” really are. In other words: attachments to knowledge – the same basic human stuff that broke up the friendship between Houdini and Doyle.
I don’t think there’s anything in this boot camp that will make you cry, but there may be things that might upset you or shut you down – but only if you harbor ridged beliefs about IMP, and have taken a firm, unbudgeable stance (being “uncoachable”). Acknowledge how this stance may interfere with your ability to see and interpret what may be occurring while using or witnessing ideomotor activities. Deep emotional clearing work is not budgeted into our time – but this sort of thing can resolve itself by merely being open and acknowledging your experience with the experiments you will be conducting. If you know that having your beliefs challenged will light you up, then this boot camp is not for you. So keep your inner Doyle at bay, and let your inner Houdini out to play!
IMP is known by the experiences of its users, and by scientific investigation. Experience and investigation have their pros and cons. On one hand are the two perspectives of evidence: what we can subjectively sense (see and touch, etc), and what we can objectively measure. On the other hand, both of these forms of evidence are influenced by the mind. Approach is everything in the study of what is “real”. The experience of our senses can be modified by bias, just as easily as the design of a “scientific” experiment can be. Science can only measure what it specifically seeks, because scientists are people; and people only see what they focus upon or comprehend. We only know what we know… we have no clue what we don’t know that we don’t know.
The ideomotor debate has been going on for a while now; maybe there’s something about it that physical science is overlooking…because it doesn’t know something? We will attempt to reveal this unknown something in our experiments.
I am looking to create “reasonable doubt” in ideomotor myths, and common sense, reality-based application modifications. That mouthful means we will find work-arounds to accomplish the goal of your favorite ineffective IMP techniques. Like Houdini, I am open to finding people with special abilities. And like Houdini, I’m not just going to take your word for it – but I will believe you if you can prove it. Sorry the Houdini things stops short of a cash reward; as this is all for the love of knowledge.
We are going to experiment to see if common IMP methods actually do what they claim; recognizing that what may work for one person, may not work for another (there are a lot of moving parts in a bodymind). We want to base our IMP methods on facts rather than blind faith (which is evaluated as “double blind” testing).
We will distinguish three features of ideomotor action: mechanics, mechanisms and intent. The vast majority of training in muscle testing or any IMP method is focused exclusively on the mechanics (the stuff that a monkey could do): hold here, push there. The actual mechanism underlying the phenomenon is only briefly touch upon with an “us or them” decision to make; and the influence of intent is only mentioned by those who really know what they are doing (few and far…). We will focus on what causes IMP to work, and we will do so by experimentation.
Applied kinesiologists muscle test many different types of things; ranging from structural issues, nutrients, devices, emotions, beliefs, etc. If you muscle test all of these things without an understanding of the nature of the phenomenon of “muscle testing”, then how do you ensure accuracy… or even a grip on reality? There are some methods of muscle testing that have been scientifically proven to be purely random; and there are others that are obviously very accurate. Do you know the difference? You may not realize that these different genres of testing can not all be dealt with exactly alike.
If you work in the hands-on healing arts, someone is bound to ask about how you can find things just by touching. You may not be an applied kinesiologists, but your clients may seek your advice regarding the value of a finding from the growing number of ideomotor practitioners. So you have an opportunity to sound really smart.
The Intuitive Action Boot Camp will cover a lot of ground. Though we will experience as many forms of IMP as we can imagine (dowsing, pendulum, intuitive touch, body sway, aura sensing, etc), most of the time will be spent with muscle testing; due to the practicalities of its ease, speed, adaptability, reproducibility, and opportunities for teachable moments.
Why study muscle testing (or any other IMP method) if your work only involves scanning or treating the physical or energetic body via touch? Because understanding the fundamentals and nuances of your diagnostic tool adds depth your understanding. Any intuitive healing method where the practitioner uses their own body in some way, has mechanics, mechanism and intent at work – yes, even if you “channel”. As a versatile IMP method, the study of muscle testing is one of the easiest and most direct ways to learn how to access, or expand your understanding of your innate intuitive abilities.
Idea-influenced muscle behavior is not only at work in the facilitator’s diagnosis and treatment, but also in the clients’ response to a treatment. Clients have their own understanding of what is safe, appropriate or expected for their responses; and may even have subconscious “agendas” for their personal expressions. As a facilitator needs to learn to distinguish intuition from imagination, there is also a distinction to be made regarding the nature of a client’s response: are they having an actual shift/release, or simply emoting/distracting/avoiding? Muscle testing self-referential statements, and being sensitive to the quality of the client’s response are ways to sense if real change is occurring.
Instead of looking for research that supports our theory, we will look for a theory that supports our research. Become a source of ideomotor knowledge for yourself, your clients and for public awareness.
“Only You Can Prevent Ideomotor Ignorance!”
Tentative date for the workshop is Saturday, Feb 28, 2015
Please send a message below if you are interested, or have any questions; and indicate your experience level with any form of IMP (no experience is required for the boot camp).