How It All Began – Our Story
When I was about 34 years of age I began wondering what I would feel if my Dad were to die. He was getting up there in age, about 68, and though he seemed to be in great health, the question continued to present itself to me. So, in one of those moments of reflection, I set the world aside. And in that stillness of thought and feeling, I asked myself: “What will I feel when my father dies?” And I listened, and I felt, and…nothing showed up. Not a concern, not a tenderness, not any sort of reaction or response. Just plain old quiet, from crown to sole. And I sat in that space, for a few more moments, minutes…feeling, searching, looking and listening for some sort of response or reaction. And again…nothing. No tightening, no bump in the heart. Just quiet. And I assumed, that it would not present anything out of the ordinary when that moment came.
Two years later, that moment came.
It was a Monday evening, at 7:30 pm, at my office and I was in a session with a client. I still remember that clients name and face. Where he was sitting and where I was sitting in the office. The very moment. There was a knock on the office door, a pause, and then my wife Joyce walked into the office. Unusual, for sure. The client and I both looked at her. She didn’t ask a question. She didn’t say ‘hi’ to me or to the client, whom she knew.
She simply looked at me and said: “Your dad has had a heart attack and he is at the hospital.” I turned to the client and said: “I will see you later. I have to go.” And I got up and walked out the door with Joyce and walked to the car and got in. She was driving. She told me what hospital he was at and all that she had heard from her friend who had been driving by my parents home when the ambulance was leaving their home. She knew very little. We arrived at the hospital, parked the car and walked into the emergency room. I saw no-one that I recognized.
At the ER desk I asked for the Brinton family. The nurse told me: “They are all in the chapel”. That was the first emotional, mental, energetic slam of the evening. Head on. I knew what it meant that the entire family was in the chapel. They have a chapel at the hospital so the family of the deceased aren’t out in the waiting room creating havoc and spreading grief and chaos. A place to separate out and contain the noise and the pain, and to provide some privacy for a moment that wants no privacy, for a moment that wants no existence. Each family member were standing or sitting in silence. Locked down and in shock. I asked: “Where is he, where is his body?” They said to ask at the ER desk.
So I went from the chapel to the ER front desk and asked where the body of my father was. The receptionist led the way to the cubicle where my Dad’s body lay. I walked in and my father’s body was lying on the hospital bed. He, was gone. And what happened next was beyond my understanding. I began to talk with with him, hug him, kiss him, and have a full blown conversation with him. This behavior was completely outside the norm for me. I felt like I was strapped onto a bucking bronco and couldn’t get off of it. I had no control over the experience, the emotions or the words that were coming out of my mouth. Emotionally and physically I cried and sobbed, and wept aloud; talking, hugging and kissing my dad for 3 ½ hours.
At that point one of the hospital personnel came and told me it was time to take my dad’s body to the morgue. I followed the gurney all the way down the hall, and up to the roof and into the morgue. At that point I said good-bye to my dad. That night I spent the night at my Mom’s home, just so she would not be there alone in the morning. The first thing in the morning I awakened and found myself sleeping in my childhood bed, wondering what the heck I was doing there, and how did I end up there. I was totally not plugged into reality.
And then it hit me, I awakened! I’m at my Mom’s home because my dad died yesterday. That was a crushing awareness. My sister came and asked if I would come outside and give my mom a blessing. I came outside and my mom was sitting under the pecan tree, crying and in complete distress and helplessness. So I offered a prayer, for comfort, probably more for myself than for her.
That is a very raw emotional and physical experience to be with my mom, the morning after my dad, her husband, had suddenly died. Prayer is great and wonderful and… there is still an intense edge of pain and distress and emotional rawness that nothing can take away. Perhaps, it is meant Not to be taken away. It is the experience of the moment and of the event. It is a place of complete helplessness, powerlessness and vulnerability in the face of the pain with no way to diminish or stop it. Perhaps denial would work, yet in the face of reality of the absence of my Dad, denial was an inadequate pain killer.
That following Saturday was the funeral for my Dad. I was one of the speakers. I gave part of his life history. I was very compelled within to speak, and yet throughout my sharing of his history, I again broke into very verbal and loud sobbing and weeping from the pulpit. That was another ‘feeling out of control’ experience.
I had a cousin who videotaped the funeral. He later asked if I wanted to review the video, and my sharing of the history. No Way! Once through was enough. To watch myself weep and sob a second time on video was beyond my capacity for vulnerability.
In the morning, a week after the funeral, I awakened to a sharp, piercing pain in my back between the shoulder blades. I attempted to stand up and fell to the floor in pain. I was unable to stand and breath without the tremendous pain rolling through my back.
So I crawled down the hallway on all fours, crawled out through the front door and into the back of our little station wagon. There I was on all fours, in the back seat, no seat belt, while Joyce drove me to the chiropractor. She went in and got the chiropractor who with his assistant came out and helped carry me in. He adjusted me until I could stand up, yet the pain would not diminish. I did the chiropractic regimen for a month, progressing in my mobility and yet the pain still persisted. In every aspect of my life, including my work therapy sessions, the pain was present, imposing and pushing into my awareness. Every therapy session experienced like there were three of us in the room rather than two, and the third person (pain) was unwelcome and invasive. It was not possible to breathe or walk or talk without the ever-present imposition of the pain.
For more than a year a friend of mine had spoken to me about the magic of this very weird tool called muscle testing. I simply called it quackery. Fifteen years in the human services field and five years out of grad school and I knew too much to fall for something as bogus as this muscle testing deception. As some know, when the pain is great enough, persistent and pervasive enough, we sometimes go to the fringe, to the quackery to get relief, when the acceptable methods do not fulfill.
I called and made an appointment to try out this weird tool in St. George, Utah. We drove up very early on a Saturday morning. And I lay on his table with my arm vertical in the air. I thought: “this is truly weird and this guy is explaining nothing to me. He gave me no explanation or understanding of what he was doing or going to do. He just started asking yes/no questions and then pushed on my arm. He asked questions I had no answer to and I simply answered Yes or No. When I thought my arm would stay strong, it went weak. When I thought it should be weak, it stayed strong. I began to laugh aloud. It felt like I was detached from my arm, I had lost all control of how it responded. It didn’t seem to be ‘my’ arm anymore. I experienced it as ‘no control’. Let’s just say that ‘no control’ is my least favorite place to go; foreign, strange and dangerous. Watching my arm behaving with seemingly no input from myself was unnatural.
Using the muscle testing and a releasing exercise of forgiveness, I awakened to things I would have never considered as relating to the pain in my back. And yet in this awakening, what was revealed was the most obvious,” how could I not have seen it”, understandings. With the releasings and the awareness, the pain completely dissipated. For the first time in four months I could breathe without pain.
I was so in awe of such an immediate release of pain that I told him, that if he EVER taught this tool to others, that I wanted to be there in attendance. I had participated in the healing, behavioral health field observing and facilitating therapies for 15 years and had Never seen or experienced such an instant shift and release of pain. A year later, Jan Graff offered the first training session for his method of muscle testing and releasing and I was there. I returned home and began to integrate this muscle testing tool and forgiveness releasings into my daily therapy sessions with clients.
Jan’s method was primarily the use of muscle testing and Forgiveness, a very powerful combination. I implemented this tool into my daily treatment with clients and great results showed up immediately. It provided a greater sense of direction from my part as the facilitator. Rather than waiting for the participant to ‘reveal’, it was possible to be more proactive with the client in exploring the mind.
Plus, rather than going to the trauma to find resolution, with the muscle testing we could stay in the present moment, identify the trauma and release all the automatic, irrational chatter coming out of the trauma. When that chatter was released, the trauma healed immediately. No need to jump back into the 3 dimensional moment of trauma or even T-1. Just name and release the chatter. At that time, I was working extensively with highly dissociated individuals who came from catastrophic childhood trauma. Using the muscle testing we were able to easily access specific States of Being, bring them to the surface and use the muscle testing/forgiveness/release tools with those States. Essentially, we were delving into the unconscious, calling forth the wounded Ones, cleansing them and then allowing them to go where they needed to go within the person’s system. This was a monumental productive shift in working with this population of client.
I also found that I could use these same understandings with the everyday person who had not experienced this level of trauma or dissociation. We all have ‘parts’, just not so defined. Using the muscle testing, I found it possible to be even more precise and focused in identifying and releasing specific undesirable behavioral, mental, emotional and health patterns within the client.
Joyce (my wife) has an MEd degree in Counseling Psychology. I have a double masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and Clinical Social Work. We learned soon after getting married that trying to do psychotherapy with each other was the recipe for disaster and boundary violation. Too many agendas.
We found that by following the specific format instructions of the Muscle Testing, we could side-step our personal agendas and generate great outcomes from the work with each other. This was miraculous! And rather than lending itself to ‘blaming’, the muscle testing work leads to personal accountability and responsibility for each of us for the outcomes in our life and in our relationship with each other. Using the Muscle Testing, I found the a ‘criticism conversation’ that falls out of my lips toward Joyce, three days later manifests as an upset from Joyce. Using the Tool, I can identify, take ownership of that criticism, release it and get complete with Joyce about what happened. Of course, that gets rave reviews from Joyce! At a point in time in this process of using the Muscle Testing, I chose to step out from under the umbrella of Behavioral Health. I found that people. clients, came to me primarily for the use of the Muscle Testing. Muscle testing is contextually not congruent with the foundation of Behavioral Health. Thank you, thank you, thank you to Behavioral Health for the journey, and I moved forward with this Muscle Testing Work.
Much of standard Counseling is Insurance and diagnosis driven. This leaves the practitioner completely dependent upon and at the mercy of the insurance and governing powers. With the effectiveness of Muscle testing, my private practice is emotionally and financially highly productive and is completely fueled by ‘word of mouth’. In this realm of personal transformational work, that translates into a practice that is successful financially and produces desired outcomes that people seek out on their own, and they are glad to pay for this work with their own money.
I find this work of Muscle Testing to be succinct, expeditious, empowering and miraculous in its outcomes. I have had more than one client state: “I have been in counseling for a long time and I got more from one muscle testing session than I got in a whole year of counseling”. And of course…thank you to behavioral health for preparing the harvest that comes from the Muscle Testing.
Out of trauma comes awakening. From the experience of grieving the loss of my Dad, and seeking a solution that completely worked through the muscle testing, my entire life pathway was transformed. Since that experience and and having trained in muscle testing I have facilitated 39,000+ muscle testing sessions. This led me to eventually depart the profession I was educated for, generate a six figure income private practice with muscle testing and be the founder of the Muscle Testing Academy.
In 2008 a client challenged me. She said: “It would be a sad day if you were to retire or die and not pass this muscle testing tool on to others.” That statement was a shock to me! First of all, the idea of retirement seemed very futuristic and I certainly didn’t see death in my future! Nevertheless, the seed was planted.
I thought that what I did with the muscle testing was simply an effective way to generate an income. It is a niche in the transformational field that was effective and productive. Training others to use the tool mostly showed up as a blind spot in my mind. I just couldn’t see it as an option or even a possibility.
Yet, five years later, in 2013, the first Muscle Testing Academy session was created! Since that time, more than 200 individuals have trained in the Muscle Testing tool through the Muscle Testing Academy. Those who have taken the training share that their own personal transformation as a trainee and facilitator exceeds even that transformation which they experienced as a client/participant
Many use this muscle testing tool to generate income and add to their box of transformational tools. Many use the tool with family and friends. A great many have used the training as a stepping stone into other ventures in their life that would not have happened without the experience of the training of the Muscle Testing Academy. And now I want to show you some of the methods and tools that we use in the Muscle Testing Academy. Let’s just jump right into it.
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