Your Friday Dose of Woo: Acupuncture colorized

It’s been another rather rough week. Grant season is in full swing, and I’m busily writing away. As I get to the end of the week, I wondered: Should I be serious or should I post a bit of fluff? Given the crappy mood I’ve been in on and off (grants added to my usual responsibilities tend to do that to me), I know what I need, and I need it fast. I need it now. I need it bad. I need…some woo. And nothing but the best will do. But what? Over the years I’ve done Your Friday Dose of Woo, I thought I had seen it all. Well, not exactly all. Rather, it thought I had seen most of it, but fortunately for me (and unfortunately for reason, logic, and science), I haven’t, as this week’s installment will show.

One aspect of quackery and woo that I’ve noticed over the years is that, if there’s one thing quacks love, one thing they absolutely can’t resist, one thing that draws them in like the proverbial moth to a flame, it’s the ability to mix two or more different woos and make them into a new superwoo. Perhaps my favorite example is when someone named Karen Rowe decided that acupuncture wasn’t woo enough for her. Her solution? Add homeopathy to produce “acu-point injection therapy.” It was so woo-tastic that one of its practitioners managed to score an appearance on The Dr. Oz. Show. After a “high” point like that, one wonders what new combination woo therapies quacks can dream up next. What else could be combined with acupuncture to make its woo stronger, much the way diluting a homeopathic remedy is said to make it stronger? I think I’ve found just the thing. It combines the joy of acupuncture with…well, something I’ve never heard before.

I hereby introduce to you…Colorpuncture. But not just Colorpuncture, Esogetic Colorpuncture. You don’t know what it means? That’s OK, neither do I. Who cares what it means, anyway? You don’t need to know what it means. All you need to know is this:

Esogetic ColorpunctureTM is a revolutionary evolution in holistic healing and one of Europe’s most popular new alternative healing disciplines. The originator of Colorpuncture is a German scientist and naturopath named Peter Mandel who has conducted over 25 years of intensive empirical research to develop this unique system of healing. Colorpuncture involves focusing colored light on acupuncture (and other) points on the skin in order to energize powerful healing impulses in our physical and energy bodies.

So let me get this straight. Colorpuncture is basically acupuncture without the needles. It doesn’t even qualify as laser acupuncture, which at least could heat the skin, because it doesn’t use laser. All colorpuncturists do, apparently, is to shine colored lights on acupuncture points to do…well, it’s not exactly clear what all this light is supposed to do. Apparently, it’s designed to do this:

It is designed to address the non-physical origins of illness as well as its physical symptoms. Clients report not only changes in their bodies, but improved emotional outlook and a clearer sense of life direction after therapy.

Esogetic Colorpuncture involves colored light, infrared frequencies, ultraviolet frequencies, brain wave frequencies, sound, and crystal treatments as indicated by Kirlian Energy Emission Analysis to gently unlock and release emotional trauma and energetic blocks which often underlie our illnesses.

Of course it does. Alternative medicine is about nothing if not “releasing” the blocks between a mark’s money and the practitioner. Now there’s some energy we could all appreciate. Except that it’s not just the patients being fleeced. Get a load of the stuff that’s being sold to practitioners in the name of “diagnosing” illnesses and abnormalities. At the one end of the spectrum, for a mere $575 (what a bargain!), there’s the Perlux P117 Colorpuncture, which is described as having “a set of 7 glass rods, each infused with natural dyes of different spectral colors (red, orange, yellow, green, turquoise, blue and violet). The rods emit the precise frequencies of colored light that Mandel has deemed most effective for his therapies.” It even has a “patented ‘pyramid tip'” for application to accuports. Nothing like patenting utterly useless devices, eh? If you’re going to be really serious about this, you’re going to need additional attachments and light pens, such as the Soul Spirit Rods or the “shades of gray” set. Not surprisingly, you can get them all as part of a combined package for a mere $470, a steal.

My favorite is the Perlux UV-370 Ultraviolet Light Pen:

Hand-held tool emits ultraviolet light, calibrated precisely at 370 nanometers. UV light is used in Esogetic Colorpuncture to address the information “background” of pain and ill health. It assists the flow of spirit information in the body.

Price? A mere $810.

What I found particularly revealing was how Esogetic Colorpuncture was developed:

Starting in the 1970s, Mandel began integrating theoretical and empirical data on the effects of color, the philosophy of Chinese medicine and the latest findings of modern photon physics. Starting in the 1970s, Mandel began integrating theoretical and empirical data on the effects of color, the philosophy of Chinese medicine and the latest findings of modern photon physics. A lengthy professional association with German biophysicist Fritz Albert Popp provided Mandel with the theoretical basis for his work.

Isn’t this just the typical story of woo? A practitioner of unscientific becomes enamored of a bunch of different modalities and starts looking into them. He then thinks he has a stroke of inspiration to combine them. Inevitably, he will take a cornucopia of woo and dump it into a big pot to stir into a toxic brew of woo. He’ll then season it with a bit of science-y sounding nonsense. In this case, Dr. Mandel obviously used physics and “modern photon physics” to leaven his nonsense. He even has a real physicist to give him the patina of scientific credibility, a guy by the name of Fritz-Albert Popp, who appeared in a quackery-laden movie entitled The Living Matrix. Apparently, Dr. Popp is very much into biophotons, the well-spring of so much woo, including various devices to measure the nonexistent biophotons to biophotonic water. It’s some truly spectacular woo. I doff my cap to Dr. Popp.

We now know who Dr. Popp is, but who is Peter Mandel? First, he’s a naturopath, which should tell you all you need to know about his science. He’s also apparently the person who developed kirlian photography, which is basically aura photography on steroids. Here is how he’s described:

Peter Mandel is an outstanding scientist, a pioneer in the development of new technologies for healing and gifted naturopathic healer. He is the founder of the Mandel Institute for Esogetic Medicine in Germany as well as the International Mandel Institute for Esogetic Medicine in Switzerland. He has developed a complete healing system which incorporates his original assessment system of kirlian photography called Energy Emission Analysis, his system of acu-light therapy called Esogetic Colorpuncture and most recently his new brain wave therapies and holographic crystal therapies. He is also the author of many scientific articles and publications. Over the last 40 years Mandel’s expertise in naturopathy, homeopathy, acupuncture, chiropractic and massage have formed the basis of his research into new diagnostic systems and therapies.

See what I mean? No woo is too woo-ey for Mandel. He’s into just about everything bit of quackery there is; no wonder it all started to blur together. No wonder he felt like combining them. Why not? As I like to say, they are all equally worthless. At least together they are a bit more amusing than they are separately, as we see here in this description of his ultraviolet light therapy:

Since the 1980’s, Dr. Peter Mandel has continued to revise and expand his therapeutic system to find ways to heal illness and pain and to contact our personal information flow. Informing the creation of Mandel’s new ultraviolet therapies is the one of the most momentous discoveries of recent medical research, that the human being has a second brain located in the abdomen. This new area of Neuro- Gastroenterolgy validated for Mandel what had been empirically a fact for quite a while.

Which leads Mandel to conclude:

Based on it’s frequency at the edges of the visible spectrum, ultraviolet light has a higher level of penetration into matter. He has developed a treatment called the “Information Barrier” which uses ultraviolet light to operate as a “door opener” for the head/gut link. This not only activates the flow of information in a person but it is also useful in gut ecology illnesses such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s disease.

Of course, Mandel already has quite a strong head/gut link, given that his head appears to be firmly implanted in his posterior. I wonder if he thinks shining ultraviolet light up his posterior will help.