Achilles Reflex Test for Thyroid

This was another simple test Dr. Broda Barnes used with his patients to check thyroid status. He would observe the relaxation rate of the Achilles tendon reflex. He would have a person kneel on the edge of a chair and thump their Achilles tendon so that it would make their toes twitch away from their body. A person with almost any thyroid function will have the reflex, but what you need to watch is how quickly the foot relaxes back to its resting position. A hypothyroid person’s foot looks like it has a pneumatic door closer on it or there is no movement at all. A person with a normal reflex will return to resting position or even slightly past at a more rythmical tempo.

If you understand the premise that a tired cell is an excited cell then the ability of that cell/muscle/tissue/body to relax will be more difficult.

It’s similar to when you see a 2 year old who is “over tired” but can’t calm down.

The reflex should look similar to the T wave (repolarization phase) used in an ECG. A tired cell/tissue/muscle will tend to stay in the excited/contracted phase longer and will have a harder time relaxing. This will reveal it’s self in the ability of the muscle to relax. Could this also explain cramping? Rapid heart rate? Situations of anxiety?

Would it be a stretch to think the Achilles and heart would respond similar?

achilles reflex for thyroid

In the videos below we see two examples of the test. Both of these examples show a desired result with the female showing a slightly slower reflex but returns at the same rate of speed as the contraction phase.

There can be Three Negative test results:

1.The slow ‘pneumatic door effect’ in the return phase

2.  A choppy return.

3.  No movement at all.

I have found the no return can also be extremely tight calves so stretching them prior to the test is recommended.

Use this test as a tool. Use due diligence with all tests.

In other words,

Think. Perceive. Act

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