CB writes: “I was wondering if you have ever heard of Bio-Meridian (testing), our chiropractor has recently offered it in his office. I reminded me of Bio-Feedback that I heard about many years ago. I am trying to dissuade my husband from having it done.”
Your husband should absolutely refuse to submit to this test, and I would recommend that you find another chiropractor because the only practitioners who use bio-meridian testing are those who believe in a form of energy which is not recognized by science (which calls into question their professional qualifications). Bio-meridian testing is a New Age pseudo-science that has never been clinically proven to do anything other than bilk people out of their hard-earned money.
For those who are not aware of bio-meridian testing, this is a method used to assess the “energy meridians” of the body (known to New Agers as “energy channels” or “energy centers”) to determine where there might be an imbalance that is causing illness. Practitioners use an electrodiagnostic device consisting of a probe or stylus that is touched to each of 60 “meridian” points on the body. The stylus is attached to a machine that measures the alleged energy at these different points, which tells the practitioner where the imbalance is and what steps need to be taken to correct it. Depending on the practitioners background, these steps might involve acupuncture, chiropractics, dietary changes, the use of vitamin supplements and/or homeopathic remedies, etc.
The concept of bio-meridian testing evolved out of the work of a German physician and acupuncturist named Reinhold Voll. In the early 1950s, Voll developed an electronic device that could be used to find acupuncture points electrically. He allegedly discovered that tissue found at acupuncture points exhibits a different kind of resistance to a tiny electric current than does adjacent tissue. This led to a lifelong quest to identify correlations between disease states and changes in the electrical resistance of the various acupuncture points. Voll believed that if he could identify electrical changes in certain acupuncture points associated with certain diseases, then he might be able to identify those diseases more easily, or earlier, when treatment intervention was likely to be more effective.
There is much more to how bio -meridian testing supposedly works, but none of it matters because it’s basic premise – that there is a kind of putative energy force found in the universe and the human body that can be measured and manipulated – is flawed. (See What you Should Know about Energy Medicine )
Studies of bio-meridian testing conducted in England and Austria have determined no scientific validity to the method.
Other forms of bio-meridian testing include electroacupuncture (EAV) or electrodermal screening (EDS), which is sometimes referred to as bioelectric functions diagnosis (BFD), bio resonance therapy (BRT), bio-energy regulatory technique (BER), biocybernetic medicine (BM), computerized electrodermal screening (CEDS), electrodermal testng (EDT), limbic stress assessment (LSA), meridian energy analysis (MEA), or point testing.
It is also important to note that the FDA classifies “devices that use resistance measurements to diagnose and treat various diseases” as Class III devices, which require FDA approval prior to marketing. Certain devices used in bio-meridian testing were found by the FDA to pose a “significant risk” which led to the ban of all such devices from being legally marketed in the United States for diagnostic or treatment purposes.
However, according to Stephen Barrett, M.D. of Quackwatch, no systematic effort has been made to drive these devices from the marketplace, which has resulted in these machines being found in the offices of chiropractors, acupuncturists, and any number of New Age practitioners.
Dr. Barrett goes so far as to warn that anyone who sees one of these machines in a doctor’s office should report it to the “state attorney general, any relevant licensing board, the FDA, the FTC, the FBI, the Better Business Bureau, and any insurance company to which the practitioner submits claims that involve use of the device.”
Needless to say, your hubby will be much better off avoiding this quackery – and anyone who is promoting it – no matter how well-intentioned that practitioner may be.
Send your New Age question to firstname.lastname@example.org