Friday Woo Humor Medicine

JING ORB: Electric water woo boogaloo

It’s Friday, and, believe it or not, here’s a bit of tasty woo I had never heard of before. It’s from David Avocado Wolfe and it’s an orb, the JING ORB, to be precise. Want to recharge your cells? Well, here you go!

Remember David Avocado Wolfe, who seems these days just to go by the name David Wolfe? He’s basically a poor man’s Mike Adams, an all-around quack and antivaxer peddling unproven supplements and misinformation about health. I first discovered him nearly four years ago, when I characterized him as man who appears to be challenging Deepak Chopra and Bruce Lipton for the title of most annoying mystical quack in the world, but haven’t really paid much attention to him since. The reason, I suspect, is that he’s really not that unusual in terms of the mysticism, pseudoscience, and quackery that he peddles. After all, if he hasn’t produced something that’s caught my attention other than chiming in on Erin Elizabeth’s bizarre conspiracy theory about alternative medicine practitioners being murdered by the nefarious forces of big pharma, he’s just not that noteworthy. He needed to up his game, and now it appears that he might just have done that with some woo worthy of a Friday. Enter the Jing Orb. (Or should I say “JING ORB,” given that Wolfe capitalizes its name everywhere on the website where he’s selling it.

So what is the JING ORB? Well, let’s go straight to the source:

The JING ORB is a breakthrough health technology designed to recharge your body’s “biological batteries” and in so doing, promote overall wellness by allowing the body to heal itself more efficiently by increasing the JING energy in your body.

To understand how the JING ORB works, think of each cell in your body as a miniature battery… and just like batteries, when your cells don’t have enough charge, they don’t function properly.

Which is where the JING ORB comes in.

By using the JING ORB you are increasing the charge on every cell!

In fact, research has shown how this technology has beneficially increased the cellular charge!

More specifically, the JING ORB is designed to create water-mediated bio energy from electromagnetic energy (electricity). It does this by creating a very safe and specific electromagnetic field in water.

The result is a biological jump start to the battery of your cells.

Here’s a video describing the JING ORB:

Jing Orb Mp4 v1 from Michael Stern on Vimeo.

Ah, the whole “cells as little batteries” trope. It’s a trope that has a grain of truth to it in that our cells do maintain an electrical gradient across some of their membranes and use the energy in that gradient to do work. For instance, mitochondria maintain a proton gradient across their membranes generated by a process of oxidative phosphorylation that is used to generate ATP, the main “energy molecule” of cells whose chemical energy is released when one of the phosphate groups is released. (Biochemists: I know this is simplistic, but, come on, I don’t have to do a whole treatise on cellular respiration and oxidative phosphorylation when deconstructing marvelously quacky woo like the JING ORB. Another form of electrochemical energy is generated by a membrane protein called the sodium pump (or, more correctly, the Na+/K+ ATPase), which cleaves ATP to generate energy to pump sodium ions out of and potassium ions into the cell. For every three Na+ ions pumped out, two K+ ions are pumped in, thus producing an electrochemical gradient that leaves a resting potential that the cell can use for various energy-requiring processes, such as active transport of nutrients like glucose and amino acids. This resting potential is used for many other processes, such as signaling , controlling cell volume, and sending signals along nerves, but you don’t need to know all the details to get the idea.

Quacks love the idea of likening cells to a battery, which can sometimes be a useful metaphor to describe some processes, but just because cells convert chemical energy to electrochemical gradients and batteries convert chemical energy to electricity does not mean that cells are batteries and that, like lithium ion battery, for instance, you can just charge them up when their electrochemical energy is low by running electricity through them or that you can just apply magic water treated with electricity by the JING ORB and have it “recharge your cells.” Yes, that’s basically what the JING ORB is. Before I look at the nonsense that is used to justify this device, let’s look at its claims.

First, what is jing? Basically, it means “essence” (specifically kidney essence) and in the quackery that is traditional Chinese medicine. Along with qì and shén, jing is considered one of the Three Treasures of TCM. Jing is said to be stored in the kidneys and to be the carrier of heritage. Supposedly jing circulates through the eight extraordinary vessels and creates marrow, semen, and serves other functions. So, basically, the JING ORB is supposed to enhance your jing, whatever that means.

The device itself consists of a fancy-looking generator with a small screen on it. The box housing the generator is adorned with illustrations of DNA double helices, a TCM illustration, and David Wolfe’s logo. There’s a power switch, a start button, and an output jack for a cable to connect to the second part of the unit, the “orb.” The orb is a plastic sphere that houses electrodes. That’s basically it. You plug the orb into the generator, place the orb in water, turn it on, and voilà You have magic water. Particularly hilarious is this video of an applied kinesiologist testing JING ORB “enhanced” water. Applied kinesiology, of course, is utter quackery that claims you can diagnose problems through the connection of various muscles with specific organs and that specific muscle weakness can signal distant internal problems. For instance, pectoralis muscle weakness is supposedly associated with liver failure. Placing “bad” substances in a patient’s mouth or on one of his limbs will cause specific muscles to become weak. You can get an idea just watching this video (if you can stand it). Early on, she has a man hold water, which supposedly causes his other arm to become stronger. Then he holds a bottle of vodka, and suddenly that arm goes weak.:

Penelope and Sally Jing Orb charged water Kineseology Test from Michael Stern on Vimeo.

Did you also know that the JING ORB can “energize” water specifically to an individual’s “vibrations”? This is hilariously “demonstrated” when the AK quack shows water attuned specifically to an individual caused weakness while water attuned to that individual resulted in strength. (Don’t these quacks even bother to try to blind their “patient” to what the water is?) The way you make magic water attuned to you is to use the JING ORB while you are in contact with the water. However, if you use the JING ORB in water that no one’s in contact with the water, you get magic water that can “energize” anyone!

Yes, it’s amazingly hilariously nonsensical woo! But what is it based on? Wolfe’s website claims there’s actual science (ma-an!) behind it. Two studies are cited, neither particularly persuasive. One study tested cell culture media made using a dilute saline solution to reconstitute the media. In one group, the saline was charged by the magic device compared; in the other group it was untreated saline. I note that the study was unblinded. The authors claim to have found a change in growth and gene expression related to a “dielectrophoretic disassociation of the chloride ion from its chloro-metabolites transforming it into a polymorphic diamagnetically disassociated bio-chloride.” Let’s just say that I’m less than impressed and that, even if the results were as the authors claim, that’s a long way from saying that running a current through water (which, by the way, contains nowhere near amount of sodium that this saline solution used to reconstitute the media contained) “recharges” your cells. The second study was another cell culture study and equally useless for proving any sort of clinical benefit. Both studies are by Marcy Cain Purnell, faculty at the College of Nursing at the University of Memphis, and Terence J. Skrinjar, and appear to be his only two publications indexed in PubMed.

Based on these papers, Wolfe makes these claims:

When proteins are made from DNA, they are initially produced as a string of amino acids…actually the DNA code is translated as instructions to make a series of amino acids that make up the protein. The amino acids are produced similar to a string of beads on a necklace. The function of the protein does not begin until this string of amino acids fold into a three-dimensional structure. This very specific structure is what gives the protein its unique ability.

The process where these chains of amino acids fold into three dimensional proteins occurs in the cell in a place called the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER). This process is like an assembly line. When things go wrong with this folding process the cell detects a problem and tries to fix the problem. This causes stress as it slows or stops the assembly line. This stress is called ER Stress and activates a signalling network called the unfolded protein response (UPR). This could be likened to what would occur at a highway on- ramp. If traffic on the highway backs up, then the on-ramp traffic backs up and actions are taken to try to correct the problem creating the traffic jam.

This UPR is associated with many health challenges. The cell simply cannot function optimally while under ER Stress.

They found a significant reduction in ER Stress in the cells exposed to this technology.

Oh, goody. Quacks have discovered protein folding and ER stress. I predict much woo, just as when autism quacks discovered redox pathways and mitochondrial disease.

Wolfe opines:

The best way to understand this technology is to experience it. Sessions, whether it is as foot bath, only having one hand in the water, or full immersion in a bath tub, last for 35 minutes.

Even though we describe the results as “charging your cell’s battery”, its use is relaxing and revitalizing without any sense of stimulation you would expect from coffee, for example.

We heartily encourage you to enjoy a session and welcome you to feel how restorative having enhanced JING can be.

I wonder if it removes “toxins,” like ionic footbaths. (That’s sarcasm, in case someone who believes in this nonsense is reading.)

So how much does this wonder device cost? $100? $500? Oh, you of such trust! You seriously underestimate the level of David Wolfe’s grift. If you want the JING ORB, it’ll set you back at least $2,495 ($2,995 if you want the JING ORB Professional model). And shipping isn’t even free! So what does an extra $500 get you for the professional version? From what I can tell, you get two JING ORBs to go with your power unit, and you get 40 replacement discs for the electrode. Discs, you ask? Oh, yes. Like any good grift, there are consumables:

And the cost? A mere $129 for a ten-pack! Yes, electrolysis of water is hard on those electrodes; so buy in bulk! After all, you want to be able to troubleshoot:

The JING ORB appears to be just a rebranded version of something called the Body Recharger, or maybe the Body Recharger is a rebranded version of the JING ORB. Who knows?

I also don’t want to claim that the use of electrical current is not beneficial. It might be in some applications. Using the JING ORB to charge water to “recharge” your cells is not one of them. I do thank David Wolfe for giving me a good chuckle on a Friday, though.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

44 replies on “JING ORB: Electric water woo boogaloo”

without any sense of stimulation you would expect from coffee, for example.

The heck with that. Tim Horton’s here I come.

IIRC jing or jieng relates to male sexual energy ( Orac notes as well) so various modes of exercise would enhance it. I have a few bizarre tai chi treatises, like Dr Yang- which I am too lazy to dig for.- that give you the details and the interrelationships between chi, shen and jing- all neatly diagrammed geometrically in hexagrams or octagons.
Because there are no jade eggs for men?

Because there are no jade eggs for men?

Do a GIS for “rectal foreign body”. It’s not for want of trying.

I’m sure once paltrow & goop get hold of this orb they’ll tell you exactly where to stick it.

Orac writes,

Placing “bad” substances in a patient’s mouth or on one of his limbs will cause specific muscles to become weak. Early on, she has a man hold water, which supposedly causes his other arm to become stronger. Then he holds a bottle of vodka, and suddenly that arm goes weak.

MJD says,

In a logical progression, mixing the water/vodka (50:50 ratio by volume) thereafter likely produces a “diluted substance” having a negative effect on muscle strength. In parallel, placing the “diluted substance” in a patient’s mouth, depending on the quantity, could also have a negative effect on muscle strength and make their head spin. Thank goodness for the scientific method in that without it, none of this would make any sense.

I know. So science-y, so much so that, even as a chemistry graduate, someone who studied advanced biochemistry, and a physician, I wasn’t sure what some of it meant. Of course, I haven’t dealt with something like diamagnetism since graduate school, which was something like 25 years ago.

It’s giving me a headache just looking at it. “Dielectrophoretic?” I had to actually look that one up… never mind that is has nothing to do with magnetism. Not sure what a “chloro-metabolite” would be since Chloride ion is already dissociated from everything in aqueous solution anyway. And the diamagnetism… just wow. Are they suggesting this whole thing is in a strong enough external magnetic field to induce diamagnetism? Normal free energy state for all magnetically active objects is to have no magnetism without having some way to force order on the spins, which only happens under very particular circumstances (having zero magnetic energy is a dynamically stable state).

That’s a positively damaging sentence because the obsessive completionist in me is trying to actually put meaning to it. I guess I’m allergic to quacks.

I actually remember positively definite anti algebra adjungate. But just combining words does not make science

…maybe if they took the eigenmetric cross product of the solubility matrix and asymmetrically folded it into the free radical fomites from a Lego block they might catch a cold. (s/o)

Why stop at just selling a product? It must be too complicated for the average person to use, so why not offer training courses for another 5 grand? Oh but you don’t want just anyone selling classes to people, better offer an accreditation course and develop a governing body for the woo… I mean science. Top it all off with a shell company that makes the “brand X” that you can point to saying it works, but isnt as good as the “real thing”. I mean if you’re going to be a grifter, why not just go all in on it?

The JING ORB: a bunch of crap in a hamster ball that isn’t actually just hamster crap. All yours for only 25 benjamins.

I thought no one could come up with something stupider than the “human race kept in virtual reality while while really serving as a rechargeable batter pack for aliens” schtick used in the movie “The Matrix”, but Wolfe and his pack have truly exceeded in their claims. Human cells are very low voltage batteries that most often, when they lose their charge, DIE. And if you make the voltage too great, they stop functioning as well.

“hamster ball”

Looks a bit like a tea ball. Spoon in tea leaves, soak for two minutes in your newly made electric water, and enjoy your supercharged (and super-expensive) tea.

However, I’m confused. Not long ago at a gathering of…friends…someone plunked the following device into my hand:

Whose it was, why he bought it and why it was being passed around the table isn’t known. The enclosed user manual was quite interesting. Among the harms of EM radiation it lists include: “cancer”, “human genital system”, “diminution of hematopoietic function of livers”, “cardiovascular disease and diabetes”, etc. “Moreover, strong electromagnetic radiation may influence and destroy original bioelectric current and biomagnetic field in human body and cause abnormality of the original electromagnetic field in human body. The elderly, children and the pregnant are susceptible to electromagnetic radiation…” There’s more of this sort of thing in there.

I turned it on and held it over my half-eaten pizza. Within a few seconds the red danger LED began flashing.

So…if I were to test the JING ORB with this device what would happen? Can it distinguish between good EM and bad EM? Would they mutually self destruct due to a logic implosion? Maybe we can get these folks together for a debate. I’ll buy the popcorn.

Oh man, you got both of my jokes!

After watching a high-voltage power line pump electricity through a tree (and the street) for several hours last week I just really don’t understand the woo-people’s thing with electricity and water. Electricity is scary.

(There was so much energy being discharged that the whole house vibrated and even with the windows closed it reeked of ozone. Oh, and it was bright like an arc-welder and incredibly loud. And creepy. Do not recommend.)

If this is even half as effective as IonCleans footbaths in treating autism it could merit a banner ad at ThinkingMomsRevolution.

I wonder if it thing has safety agency certifications.

I salt added to the water? The thing looks to me like a grossly overpriced in-situ sodium hypochlorite generator where sodium hydroxide is produced at one elect4rode, chlorine at the other and they react because of close proximity of the electrodes. This is the method used for chlorination of “salt water” swimming pools, spas, and the like.The balance among free chlorine, hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite is very sensitive to pH.

Regardless of what ions might be produced, I gotta wonder how they are supposed to find their way out of the magic orb and into cells without finding each other and hooking up on the way.

The price of the thing is, I think, somewhere around that of a portable defibrillator. >b>That’ll put some charge inta ya.

Sheesh. I have to quit trying to type comments into a box that I can’t read. The extra tiny font is not helpful.

I wonder if the thing …

IS salt added …

That’ll …

Although I’ll bow to the efforts of the chemists and physicists here:
doesn’t the entire assemblage of verbiage actually resemble a Rube Goldberg construction for cargo cultic woo?
They just string concepts and big words together nearly randomly to impress the marks; I usually find alties using terms from physiology and biochemistry but recently there has been more from the liberal arts, philosophy and depth psychology. I swear.
No wonder my head hurts.

Come to think of it,
perhaps sceptics can better comprehend woo if we perceive it as a form of artwork- collage, found art, free verse, performance art- where the perpetrator designs a collection of items placed together in a unique manner in order to create an emotionally meaningful experience for the viewer.
Needless to say, art can be bad.

“I just really don’t understand the woo-people’s thing with electricity and water. Electricity is scary.”

There are plenty of woo-sters who think it’s a great idea to use Rife-style “beam ray” machines to administer a “mortal oscillation” to whatever ails them, but are scared to death of 5G cellphones and overhead power lines.

Go figure.

There are plenty of woo-sters who think it’s a great idea to use Rife-style “beam ray” machines to administer a “mortal oscillation” to whatever ails them, but are scared to death of 5G cellphones and overhead power lines.

The QuWave Defender site is like the Sears Wish Book of anti–danger waves toys.

In the JING ORB manual it states, “Please note that the JING ORB or any variant offered by us is not offered, nor intended
to diagnose, cure, mitigate, prevent or treat any disease or health condition and is not a
medical device.”

Orac pointed out the following statement from the JING ORB manufacturer, “The JING ORB is a breakthrough health technology designed to recharge your body’s “biological batteries” and in so doing, promote overall wellness by allowing the body to heal itself more efficiently by increasing the JING energy in your body.”

Q. Don’t these two statements contradict each other.

When the JING ORB fails to mitigate any health condition as disclosed, it can’t allow the body to heal itself more efficiently by increasing the JING energy in your body.

@ JustaTech,

What do you think?

I had a look at the manual. The claim is that it has been “designed” to meet regulations, but there is no indication that it has actually been tested and certified to be in compliance. That probably makes it illegal to sell it in the United States and Canada simply on the basis of lack of certification as a general mains-powered electrical device, much less something that deliberately exposes people to shock risk and is, claims not withstanding, sold as a medical device.

The weight of the thing suggests it is just an ordinary iron-core transformer with some bits added on to make it seem “smart.” The DC output is listed as 24 volts and 5 amperes. You need a pretty concentrated electrolyte to bash that much current through it at only 24 volts. Depending on what the electrolyte actually is, it is likely to produce free hydrogen and oxygen in an optimized-for-explosion ratio

Penelope, “…this water has been in the bathtub with me…”

Is she suggesting people drink their own bathtub water?

specifically kidney essence

Cripes, my kidneys and retinas (both in lovely shape) are going to be the only salvageable parts when I’m gone. I’m not toying around with my already primo essence.

No, no, you have to have a helper to throw it in at the correct point while blasting “White Rabbit.”

Kao Valin
Yes, that’s one of the ways quackery gets its legs. You get a body of people who’ve spent real money on acquiring “qualifications” in it, and who want some return on it, so have to preach the gospel. It’s a bit like pyramid selling. Plus the fact that there’s people out there who see themselves as doctors manqués, and get a kick out of play-acting at it for the price of a few weekend courses.
In Germany it’s big business with homeopathy. Not helped by the widespread sanction of it in society.

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