ART (short for Autonomic Response Testing) was developed by Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD in the 1980s based on his understanding of the autonomic nervous system, which is an extensive network of nerve connections between the organs including the skin. The autonomic nervous system controls many of the involuntary functions in the body, (such as breathing, heart rate, blood pressure and digestion), and is involved in the “fight or flight” reaction. Dr. Klinghardt’s doctoral and PhD research focused on the relationship of the autonomic nervous system with the immune system. Dr. Klinghardt developed “The Five Levels of Healing,” which includes the physical body, energy body, mental, intuitive and spiritual levels.


ART is an adjunct assessment that incorporates various aspects of other autonomic nervous system assessment methods, bio-feedback and biophotons, (light particles that are generated within the body and constantly radiated from the body surface). The basis of ART is that the energy of organs, systems and subsystems can become out of balance, resulting in dysfunction reducing biophoton emission. ART evaluates the autonomic nervous system to gain insight into the energetic balance of organs, systems and subsystems.

ART holds that “open regulation” is a state of optimal health where information moves without disruption in the autonomic nervous system. Dr. Klinghardt’s research supports that if cells lose “coherence,” (the ability to create, send or receive coherent light), an interference field or block is caused in the autonomic nervous system. ART uses different tools to interact with the autonomic nervous system, including a polarization filter, signal enhancers and touch.

Interference fields may be caused by scars, implants, dental work, emotional trauma and functional blockages resulting from toxins, immune reactions and pathogens.


ART involves three parties: the provider, the patient and an intermediary. The intermediary is intended as a neutral conduit to assess regulation. They place one hand on the patient, typically above or below the knee. The intermediary then holds their other arm out for the provider to test the response of the body to different substances placed on instruments “broadcasting” into the patient’s energy field. The resistance or movement of the arm indicates the state of regulation to the provider. Other than some hand positions, the patient simply lays on the exam table while the provider adds and removes items from the instruments and uses the intermediary’s arm.