Leaving the Land of Woo

A rational, sceptical look at the ideas of alternative medicine, food, religion, and the paranormal

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Wacky Woo Contest

Take a deep breath!

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Tags: Conscious Connected Breathing | Leonard Orr | Rebirthing

Calm, regular deep breathing for a minute or two can help us collect our thoughts, control our anger or fear, help us relax and reduce stress.  We all know this, and sometimes we remember to give it a try.  It does work.

Leonard Orr has made this simple piece of self-therapy into a prize example of Woo, by renaming it the Rebirthing Process, or Conscious Connected Breathing, running seminars, training a worldwide network of "Breathworkers", selling books and CDs advising people how to breathe.

Surely we all know how to breathe?  If we didn't, we'd die!   But no, there's more to it than just inhaling oxygen and exhaling CO2.  You don't just breathe air, you need to breathe Energy as well.  What sort of energy?  Fresh Life Energy of course!  This will help you overcome the trauma of - wait for it - being born.

Learning to do this will take at least ten 2-hour one-to-one sessions (it doesn't work in groups) with a qualified Breathworker, but it has the following benefits:

- You will be less likely to catch a cold (cold cold symptoms are caused by birth trauma built into the breathing mechanism);
- you will be able to control asthma and epilepsy symptoms;
- you will be able to contact God more efficiently (since God is the source of the Breath);
- toxins will be released from the muscles and cells, and exhaled.

Absolutely breath-taking ... or should I say piss-taking?

Claire Lloyd
Deputy Woo-watcher

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2010 14:11

Candles in ears...

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Tags: candles | Hopi ear candles

You can now buy an impressive range of candles, not for providing light, but for putting in your ears.

This bizarre therapy involves inserting the candle in the ear (wick end out...) and lighting it.  So the theory goes, this will draw out toxins from your body.  It seems to have escaped the sellers of this remarkable invention that nothing can be drawn out by this process, and in any case there are no toxin accumulating in your ears.  Ear wax is not a toxin. In fact, it provides an important function of cleaning and protecting the skin of the ear canal, also providing some protection against bacteria and fungi.  But hey, that's biology and these guys are only interested in a sale.  For that, they need a bizarre theory.  Er, let's see.  Here's one, courtesy of Hopi Ear Candles:

The way in which the Biosun ear candles work to remove ear wax or mucus in the sinuses is through the sound frequency vibration. The sound of the flame creates a vibration that travels through the ear candle penetrating the eardrum which in turn vibrates the inner ear bones at such a frequency it is like an inner ear massage. This then pushes further into the eustachian tubes and the sinuses helping to push out any blocked pressure.


Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2010 14:12

Let's hear it for the crystals

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Tags: crystals | healing crystals

Crystals are very big business and a major magnet for Woo merchants.  So are magnets by the way, but this is about crystals.  This selection of quotes comes from the site:


Crystals of course have a resonant frequency, as in fact does every object, literally every object, including tables and chairs. But from having a piece of quartz in a watch to act as a timer, our author (who admits to a BSc in Biological Sciences) has a much grander theory, in fact so grand that modern physics would be revolutionised if it were true...

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2010 14:12

Reiki for Pets

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Tags: pets | Reiki

I'm going to list some of the weirdest cases of Woo I've come across but I'm also inviting nominations. Here's my current favourite quote from Reiki for Pets:

"In my personal opinion, distant healing treatments work very well on animals. I was working with a golden retriever who lives up in Washington that had Horner's Syndrome and I live in California. I gave him Reiki to the day he passed away."

The wonderful site this comes from is at:

I'm surprised they didn't also list a testimonial from the dog.

Last Updated on Sunday, 25 July 2010 14:13