What’s the Alternative

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Alternatives

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Radionics

Radionics is the use of blood, hair, a signature, or other substances unique to the person as a focus to supposedly heal a patient from afar. The concept behind radionics originated in the early 1900s with Albert Abrams (1864–1924), who became a millionaire by leasing radionic machines which he designed himself. Radionics is not based on any scientific evidence, and contradicts the principles of physics and biology and as a result it has been classed as pseudoscience and quackery by most physicians. No radionic device has been found effective in the diagnosis or treatment of any disease, and the United States Food and Drug Administration does not recognize any legitimate medical uses for such devices.


According to radionics practitioners, a healthy person will have certain energy frequencies moving through their body that define health, while an unhealthy person will exhibit other, different energy frequencies that define disorders. Radionic devices purport to diagnose and heal by applying appropriate frequencies to balance the discordant frequencies of sickness. Radionics uses "frequency" not in its standard meaning but to describe an imputed energy type, which does not correspond to any property of energy in the scientific sense.


In one form of radionics popularised by Abrams, some blood on a bit of filter paper is attached to a device Abrams called a dynamizer, which is attached by wires to a string of other devices and then to the forehead of a healthy volunteer, facing west in a dim light. By tapping on on his abdomen and searching for areas of "dullness", disease in the donor of the blood is diagnosed by proxy. Handwriting analysis is also used to diagnose disease under this scheme.


Having done this, the practitioner may use a special device known as an oscilloclast or any of a range of other devices to broadcast vibrations at the patient in order to attempt to heal them.


Albert Abrams claimed to detect such frequencies and/or cure people by matching their frequencies, and claimed them sensitive enough that he could tell someone's religion by looking at a drop of blood. He developed thirteen devices and became a millionaire leasing his devices, and the American Medical Association described him as the "dean of gadget quacks," and his devices were definitively proven useless by an independent investigation commissioned by Scientific American in 1924.


Modern practitioners now conceptualize these devices merely as a focusing aid to the practitioner's proclaimed dowsing abilities, and claim that there is no longer any need for the device to have any demonstrable function. Indeed, Abrams' black boxes had no purpose of their own, being merely obfuscated collections of wires and electronic parts.


Reflexology

Reflexology (zone therapy) is an alternative medicine method involving the practice of massaging, squeezing, or pushing on parts of the feet, or sometimes the hands and ears, with the goal of encouraging a beneficial effect on other parts of the body, or to improve general health.


There is no consensus among reflexologists on how reflexology is supposed to work; a unifying theme is the idea that areas on the foot correspond to areas of the body, and that by manipulating these one can improve health through one's qi.


Concerns have been raised by medical professionals that treating potentially serious illnesses with reflexology, which has no proven efficacy, could delay the seeking appropriate medical treatment There is no conclusive clinical or scientific evidence that reflexology has specific effect, with some exceptions.


Reiki

Reiki is a spiritual practice developed in 1922 by Mikao Usui. After three weeks of fasting and meditating on Mount Kurama, in Japan, Usui claimed to receive the ability of "healing without energy depletion". A portion of the practice, tenohira or palm healing, is used as a form of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM). Tenohira is a technique whereby practitioners believe they are moving "healing energy" (a form of ki) through the palms.


There is no scientific evidence for either the existence of ki or any mechanism for its manipulation, and a systematic review of randomised clinical trials conducted in 2008 did not support the efficacy of reiki or its recommendation for use in the treatment of any condition.