Biophysics is an alternative health system which views the human body and its ailments in terms of its energy, and what might have gone wrong with that energy. A varied and alarming sounding range of new treatments - Gas Discharge Visualisation, Colourpuncture, Electronic Gem Lamp Therapy - is now available in this growing and surprisingly hi-tech field.
For those already into the likes of feng shui, acupuncture and the balancing of chakras, the basic biophysics proposition will make some sense. But somehow the leap from ancient wisdoms to what sounds like evolving, up- to-the-minute science and physics can be tough mentally.
"The key issue is that humans have a finite biological energy reserve which lasts on average about 70 years," argues independent medical scientist Dr Jon Whale, author of The Catalyst of Power (Findhorn Press). "Health cells, organs and glands have an optimum vibration rate, both at the cellular, atomic and electron level. When the vibrational rate of cells, blood, organs and glands depart from the optimum level, then we become sick. The alignment of our energy field is critical for our mental and physical health."
The modern practice of biophysics has many links with the older alternative therapies. Guru Dharam is an acupuncturist, Chinese herbalist and yoga therapist who runs Lotus Healing, a collective of practitioners in London which specialises in the latest "scientific" treatments. "Science and ancient medicine are like half siblings," claims Dharam, "and `energy medicine' unites the two through cutting- edge modern technology."
One of Lotus Healing's practitioners is Elena O'Keeffe, who specialises in two modern systems from her native Russia (the diagnostic Gas Discharge Visualisation, and the healing Kosmed technology, see below). "The British public are enormously suspicious of new treatments," she says. "Russians are great believers in technology, and hi-tech diagnostic devices and treatments are widespread. It's not unusual to go to your GP and be referred to an entire clinic with electromagnetic devices."
The British may be right to be wary, however. As surgeon, homeopath and British Kosmed pioneer Dr James Colthurst admits, there is simply not enough clinical evidence to substantiate some of these new hi-tech treatments. Colthurst introduced Kosmed to this country after visiting Russia himself and testing the system extensively. "There is certainly greater openness in Russia," he says, "and a great deal more research, and many more treatments. However, mostly these are not to a standard that is acceptable here."
Clinical trials in this country not only follow stringent regulations, but they can also be prohibitively expensive, with an average trial costing several thousand pounds per patient, and most trials based on at least 100 patients.
Colthurst, formerly a surgeon at St Thomas's Hospital in London, now runs a private clinic in Hungerford, Berkshire. His advice to anybody considering a new treatment is to consider the practitioner rather than be swayed by scientific claims. "Whatever treatment you have is dependent on the practitioner whose hands you are in," he says. "In the hands of somebody who lacks sufficient training you are putting yourself at risk. A few weekend courses here and there do not make a practitioner of any kind. There is an enormous difference between the wacky circuit and sound practitioners."
Electronic Gem Lamp Therapy
The lamp, developed privately by Dr Jon Whale, is similar in some ways to the surgical lasers and ultrasonic scanners used in orthodox medicine, which also use crystals. …