The Blu Room

Strange messages keep popping up in my email inbox. This one was titled “New Technology Helps Fulfill New Year’s Resolutions”. It said the most popular New Year’s resolutions involved health and invited me to a complimentary session or two in a Blu Room.

Home unit, not cheap

It went on to explain:

The Blu Room features 20-minute sessions of deep relaxation, music and vibrations inside a mirrored 11′ by 11′ octagon bathed in blue and UVB light. There are Blu Rooms near Seattle, St. Louis, Washington DC, and in Phoenix and Medford, Oregon. Thousands of people with PTSD, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and depression have enjoyed the healing properties. Users report a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Deepened focus
  • A faster healing process
  • Greater self-awareness
  • Pain relief
  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Overall improved health

I think readers will quickly understand why I was underwhelmed and did not accept the offer of a complimentary session. This is another of those non-science-based health products that are too silly to write about, like the Bioptron. But in this case, it was too funny not to write about. When I saw who was behind the Blu Rooms, I laughed out loud and wanted to share the laugh with our readers.

Guess who developed Blu Rooms? Would you believe JZ Knight? Yes, that same JZ Knight who claims to be channeling the 35,000-year-old warrior Ramtha from the mythical Lemuria. He supposedly fought and conquered the mythical Atlantis. You can read all about it in the Wikipedia article. Knight runs Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment, whose members produced the disreputable 2004 film What the Bleep Do We Know!?. Her ex-husband characterized Ramtha’s teachings as a farce and a money-making business. Shirley MacLaine claimed to have been the brother of Ramtha in a former life, but scientists and prominent skeptics have ridiculed Ramtha’s claims. Michael Shermer has called Knight’s school a cult, and she has been sued by former students. Carl Sagan pointed out that a person who lived 35,000 years ago could teach us much about human history, but instead Ramtha offers only banal homilies.

The JZ Report on the Blu Room website (under the tab “Health Info”) presents “a systematic review” of JZ Knight’s medical records, allegedly showing that she has manifested numerous medical miracles that “can’t be explained by the current scientific understanding of our time.” She claims to have healed herself from numerous serious illnesses, and DNA samples taken when she is channeling Ramtha were supposedly different from the DNA samples taken when she is not channeling. Ramtha is allegedly able to instantly manipulate DNA at will, even converting JZ’s XX chromosomes to XY. I don’t believe any of this.

Conclusion: Not based on science, but good for a laugh

The Blu Room experience may be very impressive to naïve, gullible patients, but the testimonials are subjective and easily explained by placebo responses. No objective evidence is offered. The treatments are not cheap (around $60 each), and they now offer a Blu Pod for home use that costs thousands of dollars. Not recommended; there are many less expensive ways to get placebo effects. On the other hand, if “laughter is the best medicine”, there is plenty to laugh at here.

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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