Neurolingual Taste Testing

This is a way to test substances like foods, meds or supplements to see if they will benefit you or not; whether you might react to them or not. It’s quite fascinating and is gaining traction in the functional medicine world.

Essentially, you take a baseline measurement of some kind. That might be a pulse rate, scoring a pain you have out of 10, a movement limitation (ie. how many inches using a ruler are you from the floor when you try to touch your toes?!), a reflex point tenderness or even a current symptom, or maybe a hand strength tester like I used to use in NAET sessions. Or an old one is how long can you stand balanced on one leg?

Then you put a supplement, med or food in your mouth and taste it, keeping it in your mouth for 30 seconds. You need to taste it so if there is no taste and you can with that particular substance, chew, but don’t swallow. Then re-measure. Did it get worse or better? If better, it is likely to be beneficial for you. If not, it’s not.

Sounds like hogwash, doesn’t it? But it is actually based on solid science with the neurological connection between taste sensations and the hypothalamus in the brain:

When a patient tastes a substance there is a neurological connection between the
nerves in the mouth and the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus communicates to the
muscles to relax or strengthen. What moves the muscles? Nerves. So although
you are testing a muscle, you are in reality indirectly assessing the nervous
system via the muscles. It’s a very exciting concept.

Indeed it is.

You can see a chap from Biotics talking about neurolingual testing here.

I suppose it is not a million miles away from kinesiologists putting substances on the body, which is what I used to do with NAET, but I do rather like the central nervous system link by using taste – if we can.

Here’s a bit more about how it works: You put something on your tongue and a nerve impulse is generated in the fraction of a second. That impulse then travels via the lingual and glossopharyngeal nerves to the tractus solitarius in the brain stem. The brain then sends out efferent messages to multiple control mechanisms in the body and the whole control nervous system communicates with tissues and organs in the body to regulate or alter function in some way. Hence, you get more pain, less stiffness, a higher pulse rate or whatever. 

Not hogwash now, is it?

It is in fact being taught as an in-clinic testing mechanism for functional medicine practitioners. They often use reflex points to test. I prefer something a bit less open to practitioner or patient influence myself so I reckon something like a heart rate monitor might be good.

You can see a practitioner doing some here:

If you don’t have such a thing, you can use the simpler method. I often recommend the Coca Pulse Test and you will see more on that in the Elimination & Challenge factsheet.

Here is a way to combine the two systems from Empowered Sustenance:


Food Sensitivity Testing with the LNT Coca Pulse Test

  • Do this test 1-2 hours after eating or drinking anything. Start when you are mentally, emotionally and physically relaxed. Always take your pulse for one full minute… don’t take it for 30 seconds and multiply it by two.
  •  While sitting, take a deep breath and slowly exhale. Take your pulse by counting how many times your heart beats in one exact minute. It may be easiest to feel your pulse by placing two fingers on the upper right side of your neck. Record this pulse rate.
  • Next, put a piece of the food in question in your mouth. It is okay to chew, but don’t swallow. Taste the food for at least 30 seconds. Then, take your pulse again for a full minute with the food in your mouth. Spit out the food and rinse your mouth with filtered water. If the pulse rate rises 6 or more points with a food, it indicates a stress reaction and that food should be avoided. Remember, food sensitivities can heal through diet and lifestyle changes, so it will be possible to re-test and reintroduce these foods after a period of healing.
  • Let the pulse return to the baseline before testing with a different food.

Of course, the other way is to ask a friend to muscle test you: push your arm down and try to resist. Fascinating. Have a go and let me know how you get on.

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