ZYTO: An Electrodermal Diagnostic Device Is Tested and Fails Miserably

ZYTO is a bogus, illegal electrodermal diagnostic device that claims to evaluate organ function and make dietary recommendations. Repeat testing produced results that were wildly inconsistent. The device produces noise, not meaningful information. Dr. Stephen Barrett, the founder of Quackwatch, had abundant reason to believe the ZYTO electrodermal testing device couldn’t possibly work as claimed,

Magnets Provide Amusement, But Not Health Benefits

Over the years, the claims for health benefits of magnets have provided me with much amusement. Here are just a few examples: A skeptic pointed out that if magnets in health products really attracted red blood cells as claimed, an MRI scan with magnets many orders of magnitude stronger would be deadly: your blood would

Therapeutic Touch Pseudoscience: The Tooth Fairy Strikes Again

When tested, therapeutic touch (TT) practitioners failed to detect the human energy field they thought they could feel. Experimental setup from Rosa et al., from JAMA, 1998, 279 (13) A study out of Iran titled “Therapeutic touch for nausea in breast cancer patients receiving chemotherapy: Composing a treatment” was recently published in the journal Complementary Therapies in

ASEA, ORMUS, and Alchemy

I got an e-mail from a woman who had read my article on ASEA, a multilevel marketing diet supplement that I characterized as an expensive way to buy water.  She had not tried ASEA products but was applying for a position as an accountant with the company, and she chastised me for not doing my due

How To Listen to Chi

You will need flat shoes and a bottle of vitamins, herbal formula, or prescription medicine. Step 1: Hold the bottle with both hands, touching your chest Step 2: Stand up straight and get your balance Step 3: Close your eyes and feel what is happening to your body. Results: If your body moves forward or

The “Healing Codes” of Alex Loyd: Energy Healing with Words and Finger Exercises

Pictured: A book that you should not buy. Alex Loyd’s concept of “Healing Codes” is one of the most bizarre, ridiculous offshoots of so-called energy medicine. Loyd is a naturopath who has been criticized by “Dr. Joe” Schwarcz for recycling old bunk for profit. He claims that illness is due to disturbances in the human energy field

Evidence: “It Worked for My Aunt Tillie” Is Not Enough

Evidence means different things to different people. Even quacks and their victims claim to have evidence that their treatments work. Sometimes that evidence consists only of testimonials from satisfied customers or from personal experience. “I tried X and I got better.” “I know Y works because it cured my Aunt Tillie’s arthritis.” I had a

Cranial Manipulation and Tooth Fairy Science

Tooth Fairy Science is science that studies a phenomenon that doesn’t exist. You can do studies on the Tooth Fairy; for instance, comparing how much money she leaves to kids in different socioeconomic groups. You can do studies on the memory of homeopathic water. You can do studies on the therapeutic effects of smoothing out

Visiting a Victorian Duckpond

click to enlargeEver heard of George Augustus Scott? Probably not. Although he was once touted as “Man of the Century,” he was actually a charlatan who sold electric hairbrushes. (No, an electric hairbrush isn’t a device that will brush your hair for you; it’s a hairbrush that supposedly produces a “permanent electric current” to cure

Bogus Electrodermal Testing Devices and the Failure of Regulators to Act

Electrodermal testing is a bogus procedure where measurements of skin conductance with a biofeedback device are entered into a computer to diagnose nonexistent health problems and “energy imbalances” and to recommend treatments for them, often involving the sale of homeopathic remedies and other useless products. It falls under the general category of EAV (Electro Acupuncture