The advertising which was published in Regional Press referred to the following:
“Regain health and fitness with Bio-Energy
After the Christmas period our digestive systems are overloaded due to over indulging and we feel sluggish and fatigued. Plexus Bio-Energy, which is based in …, works on clearing the digestive area and the bowel. Our digestive system is the core of our body and mind and if not working properly can cause many issues, e.g., tiredness, bloatedness and feeling down with no energy. Plexus Bio-Energy activates the body wellbeing by clearing and balancing energy disturbances, which will allow the body back to full health on a physical, mental and emotional level. It will give focus to people to take care of their health and maintain fitness as part of their daily lives.
Plexus Bio-Energy involves the rebalancing and locating of energy blockages around the body. These energy are like electrical currents going through the body (in other words the electricity of the body). Bio-energy therapists are able to feel those energies and can locate and diagnose blockages in the body which can cause physical, mental and emotional problems.
Over a four day treatment the therapists work on rebalancing these blockages. While this is being done people feel sensations like tingling, coolness and heat and a drawing back sensation. Plexus bio-energy works for people of all ages with all types of illness, including asthma, arthritis, depression, sport injuries, colic, blood pressure, back and stomach problems, etc. People are advised by the therapists to have three four day sessions of treatment over a period of six weeks between sessions to bring them back to full health…
The complainant queried the existence of "energy blockages" in the body and asked if there was any evidence to substantiate their existence. Without relevant substantiation that energy blockages in fact exist, the complainant queried how Bio-Energy therapists could locate and diagnose such blockages which they purport to cause physical, mental and emotional problems.
The advertisers said that their advertising had been based on their work with energy which they had been practicing for the last 25 years. They said that anybody who had not been trained in this field would find it difficult to understand how it works. They said that if the complainant wished to contact them they would talk them through their work.
The Executive advised the advertisers that the onus was on them to substantiate the claims made in their advertising. In response the advertisers forwarded a paper to the Executive entitled “Research and Scientific Proof”. This paper referred to research carried out by others working in the area of Bio-Energy and their observations on how energy healing worked and the effects which it had on healing the body.
The above paper also made reference to three books published in the area of Bio-Energy. The first book referenced was by Dr Bjorn Nordenstrom, whom the advertisers identified as a Specialist in radiology and a pioneer of the needle biopsy. This book was entitled "Biologically Closed Electrical Circuits, Clinical, Experimental and Theoretical Evidence for an Additional Circulatory System". The advertisers said that the thesis contained within the book was that the body contained a complex electrical system that regulated the activity of the internal organs and was therefore the foundation of health. The advertisers said that Dr. Nordenstrom applied his theories in practice and had treated tumours with specially devised electrical probes.
The second book referenced by the advertisers in their paper was a book by Dr Becker, an Orthopaedic Surgeon, who they said conducted research into the bio-electrical properties of the body – the results of which he published in his book "The Body Electric". They said that Dr. Becker’s interest in the process of regeneration, which had not been explained by modern science, led him to conclude that the secret lay in the unifying bio-electrical properties of the body.
The third book referenced by the advertisers, in their paper, was a book by Professor Valerie Hunt of the University of California, Los Angeles (U.C.L.A). In her book “Infinite Mind” the advertisers said Professor Hunt used a telemetry instrument which helped her to carry out research on the electrical activity of the body, the results of which she published in her book.
The Complaints Committee considered the details of the complaint and the advertisers’ response. The Committee acknowledged the publications referenced by the advertisers but reminded them that claims about health treatments should be backed by substantiation including the results of practical trials on human subjects of sufficient rigour, design and execution as to warrant general acceptance of the results.
As relevant substantiation had not been forwarded, the Committee considered that the advertising was in breach of Sections 8.1 and 8.4 of the Code.
The advertising should not be used in the same format again.