It's very difficult to produce a set of definitive guidelines for anyone considering trying electrotherapy, but what I will try to do here is to present some logical points which I believe everyone should take into account. And it is worth mentioning that these guidelines should be applied equally to both the people who advocate electrotherapy as well as the ones who deride it.
1. Check out the person (if any) who suggests that any electrotherapy would be good (or bad) for you.
a) Always beware of vendors. If somebody is trying to sell you something then they are usually making some sort of financial profit from it, so they have an incentive to get you to buy that has nothing to do with YOUR welfare! Now of course, not all vendors are bad, there are many good ones that do put their customer's interests above their profits, but unfortunately they are always in the minority. And it must be said that there is no ethical reason why some people should NOT profit from something they have genuinely worked on. Of course the "tricky" vendor will always have a good excuse to explain how THEY are not really profitting from selling you something - again, unfortunately it's very difficult to separate the tricks from the real thing. Some common "excuses" are:
"I'm selling it to you at cost - I make no profit from it"
"It normally costs $10,000 but I'll let you have it for $5,000 because you're really ill and I want to help"
"My profit isn't really a profit, it's just to cover my expenses in bringing this fine product to you"
"All profits I make go to this charity (name some charity), and I don't keep a penny of it for myself"
Just be careful. Demand proof of any claims such as these.
b) Beware of "covert" vendors. These are people who superficially appear to have no financial interest in selling you on something but who MAY profit indirectly (that's not to say that they do). Here are some examples:A "free" machine that just happens to require some sort of "refill" - which is of course offered at a very reasonable price...!
A "free" machine that requires software updates - which are only available from their secure web site which takes all credit cards....!
A machine which is sold at cost, but which requires you to read a book to actually operate it - the vendor is only selling you the book, not the machine.
"You can build this machine yourself, but I'll sell you a kit of all the parts you need at a very reasonable price..."
"Call this number, give them my name (or my unique serial number) and they'll give you a discount"
It must be said that many professional healthcare providers fall into this category. In some countries doctors charge for medical consultations and can either charge a fee for each return visit you make, or may be able to claim from some separate agency a fee for keeping you on their books. Some doctors receive commissions from drug companies to promote their particular products. Others receive "perks" from drug companies. Next time you go to your doctor's office take a look at the office equipment, the chances are that your doctor will be writing your prescription with a pen that says "Acme Pharmaceuticals" on it. Their desk planner is provided by "Acme Pharmaceuticals", their wall calendar is provided by "Acme Pharmaceuticals", their computer may have "Acme Pharmaceuticals" written on it. In extreme cases check out their car licence plates for the tell tale "Acme Pharmaceuticals"! Oh, and that prescription they were writing for you just happens to be the latest patented drug manufactured by "Acme Pharmaceuticals"! :-) As always, the majority of doctors are decent, caring professionals who really do want to help. They will naturally accept "Acme Pharmaceuticals" gifts of things like pens etc., without committing themselves to promoting Acme's products. But as usual, use common sense. If your doctor is not prepared to discuss the therapy with you or weigh alternatives, and just insists that you MUST take the Acme drug, watch out!
c) Beware of fanatics. There are some people who don't make a penny from any aspect of providing an electrotherapy device, but some may well be fanatics of one sort or another, or just plain crazy! To some it may be a religion - "I belong to the Church of Universal Electrotherapy which is the one vehicle ordained by God for the benefit of all mankind...." etc etc. Unfortunately they're not always so obvious! Some may be people who have genuinely benefitted from some sort of electrotherapy themselves and are just overly enthusiastic because they think it will help everyone.
"Don't go see a doctor, they're all butchers! I cured myself of cancer with this machine and I know it will cure you too!"
"I know this machine will work because an alien called Zurg from the ninth dimension told me it would!"
"The mechanism of this machine was revealed exclusively to me by a manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ!"
As usual, demand proof of any claim which is not too ridiculous - such as the one about the person who cured himself of cancer - ask to see all the medical reports and records, take into account what other therapies may have been used in combination with the proposed one, etc etc. And then go check that the doctors who wrote the medical reports actually exist and actually did write them!
d) Beware of "experts". So little is known about the true and complex effects of electrotherapy that it's safe to say that there are very few real experts who know everything (anything!) about it. There are two aspects to "expertise" that need to be examined with some caution. The first is the qualifications of the person making the claim. Just because someone has lots of letters after their name doesn't mean they know anything about the subject. Someone who has a professorship in applied astrophysics probably knows very little about medicine and certainly isn't qualified in it just because he's an expert in astrophysics. Conversely, doctors are not always the best people to assess the bioeffects of electrotherapeutic devices, some of the required expertise falls firmly into the field of electronics and other related fields such as biochemistry. Ordinary MD's or GP's are not usually qualified in things like biochemistry or electronics.
Secondly, the letters after their name may not mean anything. They could have bought a mail order doctorate from some dubious and unofficial organisation, or they may be members of some official sounding but nonetheless bogus organisation.
And finally, even if the letters after the name are genuine - the person may be wrong. Having letters after your name is no guarantee that the person in question is always (or indeed, EVER) right.
Many people are taken in by official sounding names. It's quite possible to create a private company with almost any name you want. You probably won't take very seriously someone who claims to be a member of "Joe Bloggs Medical Club" (inc)! But if they tell you that they are members of, "The National Institute of Advanced Medicine" (inc), then they sound a lot more qualified. But the name is meaningless (remember to look for the "inc" at the end!). The "National Institute of Advanced Medicine" may be two guys operating out of their garage somewhere!
e) Beware of pseudoscience. The majority of people are not scientifically trained and so tend to be inpressed by scientific sounding words. Some people will cash in on this by calling the thing they want to promote by some impressive sounding name. Usually these names are completely meaningless and the quoted "scientific principle" they operate on has nothing whatsoever to do with the device in question - assuming such a principle exists. The best ones will actually have a credible sounding explanation that appears to be borne out by scientific papers etc. Don't be fooled. If you don't understand the thing for yourself, take it to someone who does and get a second opinion.
"My machine works on the principle of Quantum Molecular Dimensional Enhancement"
"It kills all known germs by using Hyperosmotic Tensional Imbalance"
"It's guaranteed to transmit Scalar Waves that disrupt the disease state of your consciousness infolded metabolic subsystems".
Even the simple ones can be suspect:
"It electrocutes viruses"
Always invoke rule no 1 - DEMAND PROOF!
f) Beware of unorthodox "proofs" and irrelevant scientific references. One thing that fools many people is a claim by people who sound scientific yet base their "proofs" on some hightly suspect method. For example someone may tell you that they conducted 25 double blind scientific clinical trials and all results were verified by Dr Samedi's method. What they're not telling you is that Dr Samedi just happens to be a Voodoo priest who "verifies" things by throwing bones and looking at chicken entrails!
On the other hand also watch out for quoted scientific references. Somone may quote a dozen legitimate scientific references in support of what they're selling. However, firstly they know that only one person in 1000 will actually go out, find and read that reference (many references are hard to find). And of the ones who do, many will not understand what they're reading, and so will not actually realise that the reference in question has no relevance whatsoever to whatever the person is selling.
Whilst on the question of selling, remember that some people will be trying not only to sell you devices, but ideas as well.
g) Finally - use your common sense! Many people fall blindly for things that sound scientific but which fly in the face of common sense. If your experience tells you one thing but someone claims to have scientific proof of the opposite then ask them to explain it to you in detail. Because, if the person in question really DOES understand what they're claiming they should be able to explain it to you in non-technical plain English (or other language of your choice!). If they can't - if they tell you it's too complicated to explain - watch out! If they tell you that they don't have time and refer you to a research paper full of scientific gobbledegook then demand an explanation. No matter how complicated anything is, someone who truly understands it should be able to convery (if only by simple analogy) at least a rough idea of what they're claiming. And if the answer is "I'm too busy, I don't have time to explain", then take that exactly as what it is - a refusal to explain. Some people really MAY be too busy etc., however you have to ask yourself, if this person wasn't too busy to take time out to try to sell you on something then how can it be that they are too busy to explain it?
And on a related subject always ask straight questions and demand straight answers. Watch out for evasive answers - particularly ones where someone goes to great lengths to explain something that has no relevance whatsoever to whatever they're trying to get you to believe. For example:
YOU: "Do you claim that your machine cures cancer - yes or no?"
THEM: "That's a very good question! Did you know that many scientists are addressing the question of whether malignant tumours arise solely in anaerobic conditions or ......" (and so on).
This is obviously not a straight answer to the question!
2. Check out any device and its claimed effects
a) Beware of generalisations. Many devices are sold "as seen", some make medical claims which must always be treated with suspicion in the absence of proof. A claim that a device was "proven to be of benefit in 99 out of 100 cases of cancer" is inherently unproveable. It could mean almost anything. It could mean that 99 out of 100 cancer patients were cured when they used it - which is what the vendor probably wants you think! But it could also mean that 99 out of 100 cancer patients THOUGHT it may help them and felt happier for having it (but then subsequently died of cancer!).
"It meets all the requirements of the appropriate regulatory agencies" (Which requirements and which agencies? They could be telling you that the plastic case the thing is in, was approved by the Environmental Protection Agency because the plastic doesn't contain any noxious chemical by-products).
"It has EMC approval" (Translation: it has been approved by an electrical standards agency not to cause radio interference, but does not in any way guarantee therapeutic effectiveness).
"It's used widely by the orthodox medical establishment". (Translation: many doctors find it makes a great doorstop!)
"It's proven to be harmless" (Translation: none of the people it's killed were able to report back that it killed them!).
b) Beware of logical but unproven associations. This is a tricky area. There are many cases where it's known with some scientific certainty that a particular disease has a particular cause. For example if you get flu you must have flu virus. Some devices may claim to cure flu because they are proven to kill the flu virus in a Petri dish in a lab. This sounds logical and reasonable but is not necessarily true. Even if the device can be proved to have killed flu virus in some properly conducted lab experiment it doesn't follow absolutely that it would cure the DISEASE of flu in a real person.
c) Beware of unverifiable historic events. A device may claim that some scientist proved absolutely that it cured dozens of diseases 100 years ago. Unfortunately none of the people it cured are alive today to back up that claim, but there are hundreds of pages of old documents that prove it was true. Basically, anyone can forge anything. It may be true. But equally it may not, the old documents don't prove anything at all. And even if it did, the diseases it cured 100 years ago may not be the same diseases as they are today due to mutation, drug resistance etc. And of course the standard of "proof" must be questioned.
d) Beware of convenient excuses as to why the data is not available. For example, "All the records were seized and destroyed by such and such an agency in an attempt to suppress the technology". This is difficult to determine either way. Such things HAVE happened in the past and are a matter of historical record. But at the same time it makes a great excuse for anyone who can't back up their claims. Once again, use your own judgment and common sense.
e) Beware of other convenient excuses to avoid giving any proof that can be independently verified by ordinary people.
"I can't offer proof because it works on a new principle that has not been discovered by modern science"
"I don't have the proof with me but give me your address and I'll send it to you later"
"It's a matter of national security and I'm not allowed to talk about how it operates for defence reasons, but believe me, it works!"
"The US military uses dozens of them on their soldiers, but of course they won't admit it"
"I've got the proof but unfortunately it's written in a Mongolian sub-dialect - you're welcome to a copy but I can't translate it for you"
"It's proprietary information, a trade secret, I can't reveal to you how it works"
"I can't give you proof because the FDA (or other organisation) will get me"
3. Check if the device is available on a money back approval basis.
Even if the device that is offered does work in some cases, there is no guarantee it will work in yours, or that it won't have some undesirable side effect because no two people are alike. Most ethical vendors will have some scheme by which you can try the thing for yourself first to see if it's of any benefit and return it without paying the full price if you're not happy with it.
4. Speak to real people about their experiences.
If possible try to get in touch with real people who have real experience with any device. Be careful with purely remote contacts by telephone or internet, because you have no way of knowing who is really at the other end or what their association is with the vendor, if any.
5. Research thoroughly the nature of your disease if you have one and understand fully what is known to work and what isn't.
Unfortunately you can't always believe claims about what works and what doesn't. There are organisations of fanatical individuals who want to discredit electrotherapy as much as the fanatics who want you to try it. The good thing about researching a disease state is that you can often see logically when someone is trying to mislead you because the fanatics on either side often resort to disinformation that can be easily seen through with some knowledge of the condition at hand. One key to seeing the truth of these matters is to see to what extent advocates try to limit your options. If someone tells you, "This disease can ONLY be cured by such and such a therapy", they are lying, pure and simple. Because new methods and therapies are being discovered all the time and nobody knows for certain that there are only one or two effective methods of treating a disease.
That's all for now. I hope this will be an impartial and sensible guide to what pitfalls to watch out for in the electrotherapy game. Many of these guidelines are equally effective in general life and many other areas as well.
Please note that where I have used particular names above, these are not intended to refer to any real individual or organisation and that any such use is purely coincidental. I've tried to use names that are generally publically associated with generalities or fictional organisations.
(c) Copyright Aubrey Scoon 2002-2009 - Mirror of information from www.scoon.co.uk
The opinions stated on this page are those of Aubrey Scoon (1960-2009). They do not necessarily reflect the opinions of anyone else assocaited with www.rife.de.