By Emily Kaspari
Jeanne, how did you first learn about Nutrition Response Testing?
From my friend Nanci Pascoe. She owns a healing center in Corvallis named Mystic Mountain Center for Healing Arts. I was going down there 2 times per month to do treatments, chiropractic and AK. I was already muscle testing for 4-5 years and using more kinesiologic testing for nutrients and remedies. She was the first one to test me using NRT test kits. She also gave me those awesome Freddie Ulan Nutritional Pearls CD’s to listen to in my car driving back and forth from Portland to Corvallis. Those are great discs.
What was a moment you knew you needed to study and work with this modality?
I took an introductory class on NRT in Seattle in 2008, I bought the test kits and started using them at work. I had been taking the recommended supplement protocol I got from the teacher when he tested all the students after class. After a while I was feeling worse, and like I needed more follow up, so I called this teacher up and made an appointment at his clinic. His name is Paul Rosen, and he asked me to work with him and go to Florida several times over the course of a year learn NRT at the advanced level. There wasn’t a moment. It wasn’t an easy decision. It was a lot of travel and everything was at my own expense. I wasn’t sure I even needed it, because I already thought I knew plenty enough to do my job. I also had the opinion that I was already a good muscle tester. I did understand though, while working with Paul, that there was a lot of gaps in what I knew, so I wanted to learn more. I left my Portland practice and joined Paul Rosen’s practice in Vancouver, Washington. I worked with him for one year while I traveled eight times to Florida for advanced courses in muscle testing, nutrition, natural healing, and practice management. I lost momentum and most of the patients I had gained working as a chiropractor in Portland for 9 years in essentially the same location. The practice I have now is very different from the one I gave up in 2010 to learn advanced NRT, but it is pretty much right around the corner location-wise from where I started practicing on SE Belmont St. in Portland.
And why have you chosen NRT as part of your career?
Because I know it pretty well, it’s time efficient, and it works very nicely.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of NRT as a nutrition-based healing modality?
One of its strengths is in its consistency. I have observed and mentored new testers, and it’s exciting for them when I find the same things they did on the person they just tested. The accuracy and present-time information is so great.
I have observed that you do need to be trained to recognize when to modify a program and not over-detoxify someone, it’s a detailed process that requires clinical experience and training, otherwise you can get diminishing returns as the kidneys get overloaded in the process. That actually happened to me as a patient so I’m pretty keen on it, but detoxing metals and toxic chemicals can wreck your digestion if it’s not handled right. It may also require a rotation of several homeopathics, nutrients and herbs to get someone stabilized. I think in comparison to traditional symptom-based prescribing it’s incredibly economical, but as the patient you still have to do the work and it can take some time.
How would you describe the training you’ve received?
All the training I’ve received is both classroom and clinical, actually practicing on classmates. When I did my advanced NRT training there was a HUGE binder of notes, several stacks of flash cards, memorizing the location of remedies in the Standard Process test kits so you can be fast, there’s a lot of training in how to be fast so you can have a high volume practice. There’s some focus on practice management, which really helped me. Communicating the information to patients is also a focus because you have to get people to understand what you’re doing for them so they’re not too hung up on the process of arm testing.
Is there another training you wish you’d completed instead of or on top of what you have done? If so, what?
I don’t think about doing more big programs, just smaller seminars. I recently took three weekend seminars with Dr. David Leaf, who is a world famous doctor and teacher of Applied Kinesiology, and his classes really helped my chiropractic flow. I love learning from the best.
Was that training sufficient for your nutrition-based work, were you glad for your medical training, or did you feel the need to supplement with your own learning. If so, what did you do?
I am very thankful for all the things I’ve learned. It’s all made me the doctor I am today, and I use information from a wide variety of sources, including my own life experience, to administer care to my patients. I love being a chiropractor. I studied Applied Kinesiology and I practiced it for 10 years before I learned NRT. There’s amazing people in the AK community doing really advanced and progressive work, the true power of the chiropractic adjustment was really shown to me through AK. Some parts of NRT are derived from the work of Applied Kinesiology doctors. It’s a more traditional style of testing, not energetic, very anatomy, function and movement oriented.
How did your other background (ex DC, music) help/hinder/effect your process of learning/practicing NRT?
I play electric bass and guitar, and I find muscle testing to be natural for me because playing a stringed instrument requires a light tough and feel for attenuation and vibration. I am still taking music lessons and in jazz, my preferred study genre, it’s somewhat formal. There’s always going to be people who are ahead of you and behind you. You learn humbleness and respect for people in their learning process.
How did you start to bring patients into this part of your practice?
You have to talk about it and you have to show people what you’re talking about. Muscle testing is still new but many people know about it here and they seek it out. You have to make the suggestion to people you’re already in contact with while letting people who are looking for what you do know that your service is available.
Would you recommend this tool to other practitioners?
Definitely, but it’s a big commitment to learn it at the master level.
Would you recommending training in NRT to people who with to work as a nutritional healer but do not have a medical degree?
Yes I would, but with a qualifier that they work with other experienced licensed practitioners with medical or chiropractic training that can help with crisis. It happens. It can suck to be the person whose recommendation sends someone to urgent care. We get very sick people in our office. It’s not just about eating healthier, people show up with deep old layers of poisons in their bodies, and you need to help them detox in a way that doesn’t hurt them. It’s a considerable responsibility.
NOTE: Emily Kaspari is a student at Northwest College of Naturopathic Medicine. She has a background in Nutrition Response Testing working in the Michigan office of Dr. Darren Schmitt, who is one of the leading practitioners of this modality in the field.