Or, an exercise in the “put science words in hat and pull them out at randon” fallacy™.

A reader emailed me this site and asked me to take a look. It’s called BICOM Bioresonance Therapy and is described, “as a gentle computer modulated therapy which helps to identify and treat the underlying causes of the disease, not only the symptoms”.

science!

In the BICOM device the disharmonious frequencies are filtered out and inverted. These inverted therapeutic oscillations are now given back to the patient. This makes no sense to me, and I am a scientist.

Has your quack alert been activated yet?

If not, it should have. Familiarise yourself with the seven signs of pseudoscience. This is a great way to learn to spot quack products and avoid yourself getting scammed (or worse, put your health at risk).

BICOM is just another one of those “zapping” devices, sometimes known as Bioresonance therapy or Vega testing, and is not a dissimiliar concept to the E-meter used  for personality profiling by the Church of Scientology.

These things claim they will treat or cure just about anything, from allergies and geopathic stress (?) to cancers, but there is scant evidenc that they do any of these things.  They all make similar claims, but for the sake of clarity, I will use Biocom as an example to analyse some of these claims.

Bicom fits the “junk science” label pretty well, and also has the dubious honor of hijacking scientific terminology and technology to lend legitimacy to it’s product. This has the effect of “blinding consumers with science” to make them think if it sounds sciencey, then it must work! See the diagram. Science!

This is a particular heinous modus operandi in my opinion, particularly because since these therapies are not based in evidence, they choose to
cherry pick science to suit their agenda.

So, whilst homeopaths will tell you that quantum physics explains that water has memory, on the other hand randomised controlled trials (RCTs) can’t be used on homeopathy – this is usually because the results do not turn out like they want.

*Sulk*.

Wow, looks sciencey, must be good!

Wow, looks sciencey, must be good!

Anti-vaxers on the other hand repeatedly demand RCTs for vaccine safety, but reject the mounting scientific evidence that mercury does not cause autism. Convenient hey?

But then I never claimed these people were rational or logical, did I?

But I digress, back to BICOM. I’ve picked some gems from their website as examples of junk science.

First thing you should always look for when determining if a product is a scam if it claims to treat or cure many unrelated diseases.

Bingo!

“The BICOM device detects and treats problems with Candida, parasites, bacteria, fungi, viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, miasms, allergies and food intolerances, immune system, treats geopathic stress, reduces scar interference, detoxifies, reduces pain and inflammation and regulates the hormonal system.

Programmes in the device are applied for a wide range of conditions such as smoking addiction, allergies, ankle problems, bedwetting, blood circulation, blood pressure, bowel and other digestive problems, catarrh, colitis, depression, dizziness, ear complaints, lack of energy, eye problems, fever, hay fever, hip/joint issues, impotence, liver, lymph, MS, pain, prostate, rheumatism, sinusitis, skin, spine, thyroid, warts, etc.”

I stopped counting at fifteen. Note the claims of “detects and treats”. Perhaps the Complaints Resolution Panel of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia’s equivalent of the FDA in America) would be interested in hearing about this? Just a thought.

Also, unlike the conventional science based option, this one will be completely safe, has no side effects and be non invasive.

Oh wait, look what I found.

“It is a highly effective, painfree, and non-invasive therapy without harmful side effects”.

Tick.

Next, look for any connection to quantum mechanics or quantum physics.

“Findings from the area of biophysical and quantum mechanics and quantum physics have opened up amazing possibilities and have led to impressive developments in technology. Such findings are useful to explain the basis of bioresonance therapy.”

Tick.

In the category of “pardon?”
“…it been proven that cells communicate with each other by means of “flashes of light”

No, it hasn’t. You just made this up. Cells communicate by sending messages via chemicals. Not baby fireworks.

“Every substance and therefore every cell of every part of the body (but also viruses, bacteria, pollen, etc..) emit their energy. They have a highly specific, typical wavelength or frequency with entirely individual characteristics. This is termed the ‘frequency pattern’.”

Wha? This is an example of making stuff up and chucking in “energy” to make it sound kinda sciencey. Funny, whenever you ask these people exactly what they mean by “energy” they fail to answer the question. That’s because they have no idea themselves.

This is what I like to call the “put science words in a hat and draw them out at random” fallacy.

But what about the Treatment of Pathological Oscillations? Well Bioresonance therapy can do that too.

“Many diseases start with pathological oscillations or vibrations from toxins, moulds, parasites and chemicals.”

Again nonsense. Why is the alternative medicine crowd are so taken with energy and “vibrations”?

If a therapy present testimonials in the place of evidence you should also be suspicious. Does Bioresonance therapy do this? Yes they do.

If you’re still unsure then always check for the obligatory disclaimer. Here they will tell you themselves (to cover their ass from lawyers) that their product does nothing, their website may be wrong, and don’t take advice from them.

DISCLAIMER:

This website is not designed to be used to make any diagnoses, prescribe any form of treatment or medication or order tests. The information contained is provided as an educational service. The website contains articles on many health and wellness topics; however, no warranty is made that any of the articles are accurate. There is absolutely no assurance that any statement contained or cited in an article touching on medical matters is true, correct, precise or up to date.

Quack alert.

The BICOM Bioresonance is another “zapper*” that does nothing except empty your wallet.

*Hulda Clark sells zappers that she claims can treat cancer. She wrote the book “The cure for all cancers”. She died of cancer.


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  • Marilyn Read

    Uuum very interesting comments about Bioresonance….all I can say is that it has healed my Asthma in 3 sessions… I call that a GOOD RESULT!!!

  • http://lifelinkclinic.com Syd Harris

    ..another ‘quacked-up Quack Buster’ as though the public has’nt
    been brainwashed enough with pharmco garbage that has left more
    people disabled & dead than all the traffic ones in the world.
    Drug companies and the insurance crowd have a lock on our health
    care and that there is something that does’nt come with a prescription gives them nightmares & encourages ‘scientists’
    such as the one that authored this article to rant and distort.
    Had the hapless zealot been around when X rays or EKGs were first
    introduced I’m sure he’d of had a supportive audience. I might
    also like to add that the American people are so overly exploited by pharmco – insurance companies and the food industry that
    they’ll go for anything other than blatant failure of what
    now passes for our health care system.

  • Jonathan

    “…it been proven that cells communicate with each other by means of “flashes of light”
    No, it hasn’t. You just made this up. Cells communicate by sending messages via chemicals. Not baby fireworks.”

    Cells do communicate via photons. Biophotonics is a rapidly growing field of research. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15244259

    While there are a lot of flim-flam artists out there who throw around sciency jargon, the words “quantum” “vibration” and “energy” do not a huckster make. Science progresses both incrementally, AND in paradigmatic leaps. The field of energy medicine has unfortunately had its share of quacks, but growing evidence suggests that it may be the next paradigm revolution. Each device, theory, and claim should be evaluated independently and not be prejudicially dismissed.

    I cannot speak to the efficacy of the BIOCOM or of any other energy medicine device, but I do know from my research that electromagnetic fields interact with biological processes in a variety of interesting and medically relevant ways. Electric and magnetic fields have been shown to alter human EEG frequencies, induce LTP in (rat) hippocampal slices, cause the release of intracellular second messengers (such as Ca2+), alter the transport and release of ions across cell membranes, alter neuronal firing patterns, control cell division, induce the growth and recycling of osteoblasts in bone, and much much more. All this has been documented in peer-reviewed publications of randomized and controlled trials. We are not talking about woowoo ‘energy vibrations’ we are talking about a well characterized physical force–electromagnetism–which humanity has a great deal more to learn about.

    Talks about a “cure for everything” do raise my quack alert, but it is a rejection of the principle of parsimony to believe that our patch-work quilt understanding of biology and physics will never be replaced with a unified understanding. The Wright Brothers had to believe in the possibility of human flight in order to undertake the research and experimentation necessary to achieve it. We have to believe in the possibility of a revolutionary understanding of medicine in order to reap the benefits of it. It was easy to laugh at the first awkward creations on Kitty Hawk Airstrip, but pay attention because electro-medicine is about to take off.

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  • http://scepticsbook.com Maggie

    @reasonable hank, That deserves a blog post of it’s own. Hilarious!

  • reasonablehank

    I believe in the BICOM.

    I also believe in this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZVUfLJVSdjg

  • http://machinegunkeyboard.com weez

    If you couple two AC waveforms that are precisely 180 degrees out of phase into a single load, the resultant voltage is ZERO- not the waveform shown over the silhouette of the patient.

    Got that? ZERO.

  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    Off topic (though it’s good to see this article back again), it’s interesting that you haven’t posted one article about the Shorties. Not a plea for votes. Not a whine about your alt-med opponents. Not even a response to the insults hurled your way.
    .
    The others could learn a lot from you.

  • ilijas

    a prong and a stupid meter that does nothing…. god is it really *that* easy to deceive people?

    or, more to the point, are consumers that ill-informed, and so many unscrupulous “practitioners” out there exploiting that?

    i wonder what kind of spin the proponents of this silly and useless gadget would have if properly put to the test…. oh yes, “it’s raining today, so it’ll affect the results”….

  • http://thinkingisreal.blogspot.com AndyD

    Sorry Maggie but you’ve got this one wrong. Maybe as a result of your recent thrashing from Adams and Mercola you’ve jumped the gun without properly assessing the evidence.
    .
    We know that quack treatments usually target either toxins or chemicals. This one says it targets both – in the same sentence.
    .
    Toxins AND Chemicals – it must be the real deal.