Meridian Stress Assessment (MSA), also called Electro-Dermal Screening, is a computerized assessment of organs and glands using acupuncture points and meridians. The technology sprang from the work of German doctor Reinhold Voll, who used an ohmmeter to measure skin resistance along meridians and at acupuncture points. He discovered that these readings reflected the function and health of corresponding internal organs. Dr. Voll determined that high readings, reflecting lower resistance, higher conductance, and a greater flow of electrons, indicate inflammation. Low readings (high resistance, low conductance, fewer electrons) indicate degeneration of the corresponding organ or area.
Not surprisingly, his findings were disputed by conventional medicine. Dawn M. Ewing RDH, PhD, ND and Li-Chuan Chen, PhD in "Introduction to Bioenergetic Medicine" recount the attempt by Dr. William Tiller, past president of the Material Science Department at Stanford University, to prove that skin resistance was uniform. Instead, he found that resistance was, indeed, different at acupuncture points and meridians. Studies have shown a correlation between resistance readings at these points and related organs. A study by S. G. Sullivan et al, published in American Journal of Acupuncture (Vol. 13, No 3), found lower readings (indicating degeneration) on the lung meridians of lung cancer patients but not on healthy subjects.
Reinhold Voll also discovered that substances that are held by the patient being tested can affect the readings. In one case, he tested the meridians of a patient with chronic pyelitis who was prescribed terramycin and aureomycin, two different types of antibiotics. By having the patient hold one antibiotic at a time, Dr. Voll found that terramycin affected only the right kidney and aureomycin affected only the left, according to the acupuncture points. He also found that indicator drops (increased resistance after an initial reading) occurred for the small intestine and colon, which he interpreted as disturbance in intestinal flora caused by the medications. He also found that the antibiotics caused readings for the endocrine system (i.e., the Triple Warmer) to fall below normal.
Building on Dr. Voll's research, today's MSA devices are used to evaluate organ function, to choose medicines, supplements, herbs, and/or homeopathics that bring systems into balance, and to identify health stressors. Several devices are available on today's market: BEST (Bio Energetic Stress Test), Prognos, Computron, Avatar, Vega, EDS, CEDS, and Lis Ten. Like any computer system, these programs vary according to user friendliness, update frequency, and technical support provided by the company. German clinical trials of MSA devices indicate that tester expertise, not the system itself, is the most important factor for obtaining reliable data. Testers need to know which questions to ask and how to interpret the information they receive. In knowledgeable hands, meridian stress assessment can be a useful adjunctive tool for monitoring a person's health at the energetic level, before physical illness takes hold.
Ewing, Dawn M., RHD, PhD, ND & Chen, Li-Chuan, PhD. Introduction to Bioenergetic Medicine. Carolina Health & Healing, Summer 2001. www.integrativehealthandhealing.com/featurechh8.html
Morley, John. Controversy surrounding the Vegatest and Electrodermal Screening. www.wholisticresearch.com/info/artshow.php3?artid=97
American Association of Acupuncture and Bio-Energetic Medicine. Basic Explanation of the Electrodermal Screening Test and the Concepts of Bio-Energetic Medicine. www.healthy.net/aaabem/EAV/eavexplained.htm
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