Holford’s Whole Health Manual is a real joy to read: flicking through it in the library, it provided excellent light relief from the more serious texts I was reading. As well as writing positively about health dowsing, Professor Holford of Teesside University also seems to have had a soft spot for Applied Kinesiology (AK):
While the concepts behind this technique are often hard to grasp there is little doubt that it works and is a useful test in improving the overall function of our bodies. (Holford 1983, 130).
Unfortunately – while Holford has also written in the Whole Health Manual about the utility of intuition – whatever intuition, evidence or knowledge Holford was drawing on appears to have let him down here. As John Garrow has shown, Applied Kinesiology produces results similar to chance when subjected to blind testing.
In other words, AK testing is about as useful as the practitioner guessing. Hopefully, Holford has now abandoned AK testing as a discredited modality (though BANT – a professional body for ‘nutritional therapists’ – still view it as an “allied discipline”). However, Holford does still endorse allergy/intolerance blood tests, despite the House of Lords calling for responsible professionals to stop endorsing such tests.
Here at Holford Watch, we would like to see a move away from intuition and ineffective testing, and towards reliable allergy and intolerance tests supervised by suitably qualified professionals. With this in mind, it is high time that we enhanced NHS provision for those with allergies and intolerances. Allergies may have a substantial disease burden; they can be potentially serious, particularly where there is an anaphylactic reponse: intolerances may have a significant impact on the quality of life. Both allergies and intolerances need evidence-based diagnosis and treatment, rather than unproven or already falsified ‘alternative’ approaches.
At any rate, that’s what my intuition’s telling me.
Holford, P. (1983) The Whole Health Manual, Wellingborough, Northamptonshire: Thorsons.