BioCharger’s Claims Are Too Silly to Take Seriously

The BioCharger is a subtle energy device based on fantasy, not science. At $15,000, pretty expensive for a placebo.

Facebook keeps sending me a puzzling picture. It shows clothed adults sitting around (but not touching) a futuristic-looking apparatus: a glass cylinder with tubes and flashing lights visible inside. They apparently believe something is being transmitted to their bodies through the air from the BioCharger. It reminds me of the story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, where the adults are persuaded to “see” beautiful imaginary clothes on the Emperor, and a child has to tell them that he is naked. Is the BioCharger the 21st century equivalent of imaginary clothes? I thought it probably was, but I finally succumbed to curiosity. I wanted to know what on earth those people were thinking. So I went to the BioCharger website to find out what they were selling. The explanation was illuminating, but not surprising.

The BioCharger is a “subtle energy” device that promises to improve performance, recovery, energy, flexibility, sleep, and focus.

The “science”

The question “does it work” can usually answered by controlled scientific testing, but in this case the claims are so nebulous that testing would be difficult. And of course, they haven’t done any such testing. They have lots of impressive testimonials, and that’s all they want. They claim it is backed up by science, and they mention a lot of outdated research by Tesla, Lakhovsky, Royal Rife, Gurwitsch, and others – mostly pseudoscience and obsolete ideas. All that has been covered elsewhere, and I won’t try to go into it here.

The inventor of the BioCharger, Jim Girard, believed those discredited ideas and built on them. He wanted to provide a wide enough bandwidth of frequencies and pulsed harmonics so the cells with very weak vibrations could find their own frequencies and resonate. (Never mind that cells don’t vibrate, don’t resonate, and don’t have frequencies. A tuning fork can vibrate, and a radio station can have a frequency, but a pancreas can’t.) They have developed an extensive, ever-growing library of 600+ energy/frequency recipes. How do you suppose one would go about creating one of those recipes? Perhaps the same way astrologers identified the personality traits associated with different sun signs: it’s easy to just make things up and not bother to test them for validity. The BioCharger is just another in a long list of quack energy medicine devices for diagnosis and treatment. Quackwatch lists 43 brands of these devices based on imaginary frequencies.

BioCharger has the usual FDA disclaimer that it is not intended to diagnose, treat, mitigate, or prevent any diseases. So what is it supposed to do? It allegedly reenergizes weakened cells, revitalizes the body’s natural magnetic energy, aligns mind and body, raises cellular voltage, and restores the body’s natural health and wellness. Its plasma gas spectrum tubes generate bio-photon light, producing a customizable sweep of digitally pulsed electromagnetic fields (PEMF) through a range of frequencies that can include radio, sound, and light. This bathes the whole body in a rich field of bio-compatible frequencies, and each cell in the body selectively absorbs the needed frequencies. They say the voltage of healthy cells is greater than the voltage of sick cells, and the voltage of cancer cells is much lower. They compare the body to a cell phone: our daily lives deplete the voltage of our cells and the BioCharger recharges our batteries. Elsewhere, energy medicine proponents claim you can increase your voltage by walking on the earth barefoot, by releasing negative emotions, by listening to pure sounds, and by drinking alkaline water. They say all disease is due to inadequate cellular voltage. Despite the FDA disclaimer, there are suggestions that the device can benefit patients with cancer, chronic Lyme disease, and other illnesses real and imaginary.

The website has a section about how to get the best results. (How do you suppose they defined results?) The title of that section says for best results, use daily; but the text says for best results, use 5-15 minutes 3 times a week. It says it helps to “relax your mind and think about the situation, issue, or challenge you are experiencing”. How is “mind over matter” supposed to raise cellular voltage?

The device is used on their clients by personal trainers, spas, naturopaths, chiropractors, and others. You can go to them and pay for a session or you can buy your own machine for $15,000. There is a 45-day money-back satisfaction guarantee (minus the $250 shipping charge) and a 2 year warranty on parts and labor.

Conclusion: Too silly to take seriously

This Emperor is naked. Sure, the BioCharger can charge you; but only financially, not energetically or physiologically. If you have money to waste and want to try an expensive placebo, you could buy a BioCharger. If you prefer science and reality to pseudoscience and fantasy, you will have to look elsewhere.

This article was originally published in the Science-Based Medicine blog.

Dr. Hall is a contributing editor to both Skeptic magazine and the Skeptical Inquirer. She is a weekly contributor to the Science-Based Medicine Blog and is one of its editors. She has also contributed to Quackwatch and to a number of other respected journals and publications. She is the author of Women Aren’t Supposed to Fly: The Memoirs of a Female Flight Surgeon and co-author of the textbook, Consumer Health: A Guide to Intelligent Decisions.

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