Last year, I predicted that Qi Gong and energy medicine therapies would become big business over the next decade, possibly eclipsing both Yoga and the UFC combined. I also predicted an increase in qigong fraud, where inadequately trained therapists operate expensive, ineffectual energy devices on desperate patients.
Sorry to say, I was right. See the front-page article in the November 18, 2007 edition of the Seattle Times:
Miracle Machines | The 21st-century snake oil
The fabled yuan shen helmet?
Photo Credit: Alan Berner/Seattle Times
They can cure cancer, reduce cholesterol, end allergies, treat cavities, kill parasites and even eliminate AIDS.
“Energy medicine” devices can be as small as a television remote control, or as large as a steamer trunk.
Their operators say the devices work by transmitting radio frequencies or electromagnetic waves through the body, identifying problems, then “zapping” them.
Their claims are a fraud — the 21st-century version of snake oil. But a Seattle Times investigation has discovered that thousands of these unproven devices — many of them illegal or dangerous — are found in hundreds of venues nationwide, from the Puyallup Fair, to health-care clinics in Florida, to an 866-bed regional hospital in Missouri.
These are not the devices in wide use by medical doctors, such as electrical stimulators used for sports injuries. Nor are they the biofeedback devices used at respected alternative-medicine centers such as Seattle’s Bastyr University. Rather, these are boxes of wires purported to perform miracles. Their manufacturers and operators capitalize on weak government oversight and the nation’s hunger for alternative therapies to reap millions of dollars in profits while exploiting desperate people…
Over the past year, The Times investigated these machines and the people behind them…
[Continued at the Seattle Times website]
This is the first of a multi-part investigative series to be published by the Times over the next week.