MD, PhD, FMedSci, FRSB, FRCP, FRCPEd.

Bioresonance is an alternative therapeutic and diagnostic method employing a device developed in Germany by the scientology member Franz Morell in 1977. The bioresonance machine was further developed and marketed by Morell’s son in law Erich Rasche and is also known as ‘MORA’ therapy (MOrell + RAsche). Bioresonance is based on the notion that one can diagnose and treat illness with electromagnetic waves and that, via resonance, such waves can influence disease on a cellular level. Bioresonance instruments are akin to the scientologists’ ‘E-meter’ which essentially consists of an electronic circuit measuring skin conductivity.

Until recently, just three studies of bioresonance had been published.

  1. The first was from Germany and suggested that it is effective for treating GI symptoms. This trial was, however, tiny and its findings are likely to be false-positive.
  2. The second study is from Turkey and suggested that it works for smoking cessation. It is a ‘pilot study’ that has never been followed by a definitive trial.
  3. The third trial was a double-blind, parallel group study in children with long-lasting atopic dermatitis. Over a period of 1.5 year, 32 children were randomised to receive conventional inpatient therapy and either a putatively active or a sham (placebo) bioresonance treatment. Short- and long-term outcome within 1 year were assessed by skin symptom scores, sleep and itch scores, blood cell activation markers of allergy, and a questionnaire. The results showed that bioresonance had no effect on the outcome.

Now a most ingenious study can be added to this list. Unfortunately, I was published in German, but bear with me, I will explain below. First the original abstract for those who can read German:

Hintergrund

Trotz aller Aufklärungsarbeit wird die Bioresonanz weiter benutzt. Seit einigen Jahren sind modifizierte Geräte auf dem Markt, die auch in Reformhäusern zum Einsatz kamen.

Methoden

Zwei moderne Bioresonanzgeräte, Bioscan-SWA und Vieva Vital-Analyser, wurden untersucht: Neun freiwillige Probanden (vier Frauen, fünf Männer), zwei männliche Patienten, eine Leiche, jeweils frischer Leberkäse (Fleischbrät) und ein feuchtes Tuch nahmen teil. Unter gleichen oder fingierten Angaben von Namen, Geburtsdatum, Geschlecht, Körpergröße und Gewicht der Probanden beziehungsweise Patienten wurden wiederholt Einzelmessungen und Vergleichsuntersuchungen von Proband/Patient, Leberkäse und feuchtem Tuch durchgeführt (nach den Angaben der Hersteller).

Ergebnisse

Bestehende Diagnosen schwer erkrankter Patienten wurden nicht erkannt, der Leiche beste Gesundheit neben einer Fülle potenzieller Gesundheitsrisiken attestiert, ebenso wie allen Probanden. Messungen an frischem Leberkäse sowie an einem feuchten Tuch unter verschiedenen Angaben zu Alter, Geschlecht, Körpergröße, Gewicht und Namen führten zu unterschiedlichsten Befunden mit relativen Standardabweichungen bis über 200 %. Andererseits waren Ergebnisse, die unter gleichen Probanden- beziehungsweise Patientendaten am feuchten Tuch und dem Fleischbrät gewonnen wurden, nahezu identisch mit denen, die von den Probanden beziehungsweise Patienten erzielt wurden.

Schlussfolgerung

Die Gerätschaften waren nicht imstande, die jeweiligen Testmaterialien zu unterscheiden. Es wird vermutet, dass die Überbrückung der beiden Pole der Untersuchungssonde durch schwach leitende Materialien eine Software aktiviert, die gesundheitsrelevante Befunde erzeugt. Wir empfehlen als einfache Tests für die Validität von Bioresonanzergebnissen den Leberkäse- oder verwandte Tests.

And here is my explanation.

The study tested the diagnostic validity of two different bioresonance machines commercially available in Germany. The tests were carried out on:

  • 9 healthy volunteers
  • 2 seriously ill patients
  • 1 human corpse
  • 1 liver pate
  • 1 wet towel

The results show that the bioresonance method

  • failed to diagnose serious diseases in the patients,
  • produced a clean bill of health for the corpse,
  • diagnosed a host of health risks in the volunteers,
  • produced variable results for the liver pate and the wet towel with standard deviations for repeated tests exceeding 200%,
  • generated no real differences between the wet towel and the healthy volunteers.

This study was published in 2019. It would be interesting to monitor whether the sales figures for bioresonance machines will now dwindle. Even though I am an incorrigible optimist, I shall not hold my breath.

14 Responses to Bioresonance: a new and hilariously ingenious study

  • It reminds me of the famous “dead salmon” study of fMRI. As I’m sure you know, there is a huge range of `bioresonance’ machines, which the MHRA declines to regulate effectively. They don’t even maintain a list of licensed devices. They say that any unfounded marketing claims are a matter for the ASA.

  • But was it pate foie gras? I don’t see how the study could make such conclusions without being specific about the subjects.

  • I love this! I always find it difficult to get any data on ‘non-sense’ remedies and machines, for obvious reasons the studies aren’t done or published.

    This is what we need. And hilariously it’s very similar to a few articles on the daily mash about homeopathy.

  • I looked up the article and read that this research was filmed for a tv programme on German broadcaster BR Fernsehen. You can still watch it online: https://bit.ly/34oltJH it’s great!

  • I had bioresonance and found it amazing. After seeing doctors for almost thirty years who couldn’t find the cause this equipment immediately picked up liver detox and mercury. A few months later this diagnosis was backed up by DNA testing. I have two double copies of poor liver detox genes and will always hold on to heavy metals particularly mercury. Diagnosis changed my life. I have an almost normal energy level these days but must take bentonite zeolite and liver tonics daily. I also have friends who have had wonderful experiences with bio resonance too.

    • ” I have two double copies of poor liver detox genes ” … and a quadruple copy of a gullibility gene?

    • So what you’re saying is that a wrong answer delivered with absolute confidence is better than an honest answer of “I don’t know”?

      “Bioresonance” is the thinnest of flim-flam (did you miss the liver pate?) invented by the same people that make a magical meter that measures your sweat. That you report subsequent improvement suggests a psychological mechanism: the comfort of embracing pat certainty and putting your neuroses to bed at last. (Dollars to donuts that a mild antidepressant and daily talk therapy would have worked too.) I know what it’s like to feel your life’s in a hole, not in your control, and the wave of relief when you climb back out; but why credit the dime-store scammers for what you finally did for yourself?

    • @Christine

      this equipment immediately picked up liver detox and mercury

      I am sorry to tell you, but you have fallen for a fraud and a scam. ‘Bioresonance’ is nonsense, and its practitioners are usually medically incompetent laypersons who pretend to have healing skills.
      As an expert in biomedical electronics I can tell you that it is absolutely impossible to assess the state of health of organs or persons via a couple of simple electrodes held in both hands(*). Best case, this equipment can tell if someone has sweaty hands or not – and many of these machines are complete scams, as they don’t measure anything, but just spit out more or less random ‘diagnoses’.
      Bioresonance practitioners nearly always tell their customers that they suffer from ‘toxins’ – and then proceed to sell them completely useless ‘detox’ products(**).

      but must take bentonite zeolite …

      I’m afraid that this actually may achieve the opposite of what you want: yes, bentonite and zeolite are capable of adsorbing heavy metals and other toxic substances. The problem is that these minerals, when mined, already have adsorbed lead, mercury and other naturally occurring but unhealthy substances. Stomach acid and enzymes can turn these heavy metals into salts and other compounds that are subsequently absorbed in the intestine. Which means that there is a certain chance that you are actually poisoning yourself instead of the opposite.
      Furthermore, even if this bentonite would adsorb more toxins than it delivers into your body, it is still quite useless – because it can only remove any substances from the intestinal tract, but not from the rest of your body. The intestinal tract is, after all, designed to extract nutrients and water from whatever passes through, not the other way round. You can’t ‘draw’ toxins from your body this way – and it might even adsorb important nutrients from the food you eat, such as vitamins and minerals. Which of course is also undesirable.

      and liver tonics daily.

      Let me guess: you buy these daily ‘liver tonics’ from the bioresonance practitioner? Or one of his acquaintances? And I’d be most interested in learning what these ‘liver tonics’ actually are, because to my knowledge, there is no substance that can remove any toxic load from the liver when simply ingested (in cases of real systemic poisoning, antidotes and chelating agents are exclusively administered by IV, and need careful monitoring).

      About you feeling better: there are several ways to explain this without pseudoscience and pseudomedicine. There is of course the placebo effect, and this is often amplified by adopting a more health-conscious lifestyle, together with the feeling that you are in control of the process, instead of just following ‘doctor’s orders’. In this regard, one might say that the bioresonance practitioner helped you in a way – but this help still involved deception and nonsense, so there must be a better way to achieve the same effect.

      *: Please think about it: if any uneducated person could reliably assess the state of health of all your organs within a few seconds with a simple box containing perhaps 50 dollars worth of electronics, then why is real medicine still messing around with MRI machines, CT scanners and other radiological equipment costing millions of dollars, requiring highly trained (=expensive) personnel to operate, and even more expensive medical specialists to interpret the results – and still getting it wrong sometimes? Why does it take a professional lab several days to find what ‘toxins’ are really present in your body? One complete serum and urine tox panel already costs more than one such bioresonance device (not to mention the investment of setting up a lab, starting at a million dollars or more) – so why aren’t these machines used instead? The answer is simple: they don’t work.

      **: Some 10 years ago, a couple of Dutch journalists did some research into alternative medicine, consulting several different practitioners with made-up vague complaints, after first having a very thorough medical and toxicological check-up by real doctors. The results were as expected: all quacks they consulted found things wrong, and told them they needed treatment. Quite telling was the fact that their diagnoses and proposed treatments differed wildly, with ‘toxins’ and ‘negative energy’ as most named ‘root causes’.

    • Christine, who did the DNA testing? Has it occurred to you that 30 years of not finding anything might indicate that there is nothing to find?

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