Ah, yes, Washington, DC.

That’s where I am right now, deep in the belly of the government beast, attending the meeting of The Society of Surgical Oncology. It’s usually a great meeting, except for the distressing tendency of surgeons here to act, well, too much like surgeons. For example, consider when the very first session today, which happened to be about my area of interest breast cancer, started. Was it 8 AM? No. 7 AM? No.

It was 6 AM.

I kid you not. 6 AM in the freakin’ morning! The week after the switchover to Daylight Savings Time, yet! There was a time when I used to actually get up to attend this particular session, because it’s usually quite good, but, with age and experience, I’ve decided that Homey don’t play that no more. Even providing a hearty breakfast is no longer enough to get me up for these things anymore. I just feel sorry for anyone who came here from the West Coast or the few who showed up from Hawaii. I’m guessing few, if any, of them were there, and I notice that none of the speakers came from any further west than the Central time zone. Even so, that’s bad enough.

Thus, given all the activity going on, I’m going to try to keep this briefer than usual. I’ll probably fail, but at least I tried. I’ve written about the sound of woo before. I’ve even written about the color of woo before. You might think that the next logical step would be to write about the scent or the feel of woo, just to go through the five senses. And, yes, that would make sense.

But that’s not what I’m going to do this time. Instead, I’m going to revisit the color of woo one more time. The reason is that, when last I joked about the color of woo, I did it almost entirely as a joke about the color of money, with the color of the particular woo I “treated” being green. It really had little or nothing to do with using color as a primary component of the woo at hand.

This week’s woo does.

So, let’s consider a very bright form of woo, a form of woo known as Colour Energy.


So, what is “colour energy”? It’s this:

Our most important energy source is light, and the entire spectrum of colours is derived from light. Sunlight, which contains all the wavelengths, consists of the entire electromagnetic spectrum that we depend on to exist on this planet.

Light flows through our eyes and triggers hormone production, which influences our entire complex biochemical system. This biochemical system then affects our being. And light does not travel alone. Light travels with other energies as illustrated..

We know that each colour found in the visible light spectrum has its own wavelength and its own frequency, which produces a specific energy and has a nutritive effect. We know some rays can be dangerous if we are exposed to them. But the visible light, the rainbow, has a soothing effect on us.

Look, there’s no doubt that different colors can have different effects on people’s moods. There’s extensive research to demonstrate that. But where this descends into woo is through the extensive claims it makes for the power of color. It goes far beyond “blue has a soothing effect” and “red and bright colors tend to be energetic.” For example, you can bathe in color:

Water is the giver of life and energy flows from colour. Restore the balance… Indulge yourself in a Colour Bath. Take yourself to a new level of wellbeing!

Why Bathe in Colour?
Each colour of the spectrum of light vibrates at a different frequency thereby giving you its own special qualities and influence. Colour has its own powerful language. Since our human development begins in a water environment (the womb and giver of life), imagine the strength and power when colour and water are combined!

Each colour helps us to balance our body’s energy with its own special attributes and power, which are known to affect our mood, energy level and general health. A Colour Bath is one easy way to help attain harmony and equilibrium in our lives.

That’s right. If you bathe in colored water, it’ll balance your energy and improve your health? How much, I wonder, do these bath soaps and oils actually change the color of the water? For example, how blue is the blue bathwater? For example, it is said on the website that yellow “helps to release mental stress, energizes the digestive system and brings any imbalances back into harmony.” So, let’s say you want to have that effect in your bath; so you buy the Colour Bath. Wouldn’t it end up looking as though you’re bathing in urine? Just a thought. I’m not sure that would do much to energize my digestive system or bring my imbalances back into harmony.

These guys seem to be heavily into combining woo. For example, you can take a Colour Bath combined with using aromatherapy with Colour Energy 100% pure essential oil. But if you want real power, you just have to try Chakra Light Essences:

CHAKRA LIGHT ESSENCES have been designed to open your energy centres to that they are functioning actively, radiantly and strongly.

The unity of one’s entirety is resultant of connecting the body and mind to other levels of consciousness–one’s chakras. Bringing the chakras into harmony requires some centres to be energized and this can be simply achieved by using the incredible CHAKRA LIGHT ESSENCES!

For example, we have the Guardian Angel:

GUARDIAN ANGEL is a powerful vibrational preparation that has been formulated to strengthen the auric protective grid through its influence on all of your subtle bodies. This deeper multidimensional patterning encourages positive energetic response to any intrusive energies. Thus helping to release your consciousness from any negative programmed responses that could be restricting your progress.

What is it with woo-meisters and “vibrational” energy anyway? They seem to invoke it just as fallaciously as they like to invoke the ultimate fallback for woo explanation, quantum theory, and with just as much scientific validity (i.e., none).

But my favorite bit of woo from this site is yet to come. Have you ever felt that your aura was getting all dirty and dingy? Ever feel as though it’s not as spiffy and clean as it might be? Ever wonder if you could do something about it? Well, wonder no more. All you need is the super-duper Colour Energy Aura Cleanser:

This powerful Aura Cleanser Essence encourages energetic responses from multi-levels of consciousness, clearing any negative threat, psychic or otherwise. It also helps to heal damaged human electromagnetic energy fields (auras that have holes) resultant from destructive lower frequencies (cell phones, computers, etc.) and assists in healing, preventing or alleviating serious imbalances.


Holy electromagnetic radiation, Batman! I had no idea that cell phones and computers could poke holes in my aura. I’d better start spritzing this stuff on myself right away. But which color Aura Cleanser? I’m stuck here. Should I choose Indigo (“helps to unite your outer and inner being and opens your inner consciousness and intuitive knowledge”)? Or maybe Red (“grounds and focuses daily activity and helps to release past issues and blockages by building up your root”)? Or maybe Gold (“makes it easier for you to use your own masculine energy and to understand the law of duality”)?

Yeah, Gold. That’s the ticket. I’ve always wondered what the law of duality was, and what guy wouldn’t want to improve his use of his own masculine energy. I just hope that Mark and David Geier don’t hear about this and try to recommend Lupron.

Of course, the fine woo above is not all the woo that’s on this site. To see it all, you’ll have to peruse it for yourself to enjoy woo such as Colour Energy Jewelry, including Chakra Necklaces, Full Spectrum lightbulbs, Color-Coded Aromatherapy, or books and music. And, if you’re worried that you’re too unknowledgeable about the power of color, you can always go to Colour School. I’m sure you’ll agree after a complete browsing of the site, I’ve concluded that the woo’s so bright I gotta wear shades.

Fortunately, they have you covered there, too.


  1. #1 Amenhotep
    March 16, 2007

    Funny, but I could have sworn that it was ALL brown…

  2. #2 Chris
    March 16, 2007

    If I didn’t know better, I would’ve been sure that the “Aura Cleanser” was a joke

  3. #3 Ruth
    March 16, 2007

    When my kids were younger, they had bath crayon soap and bath fingerpaints. The water turned many interesting colors, but I never looked for the resulting change in mood or aura. (These products were also fun for us after the kids were in bed.) I believe the Crayola brand was cheaper than this, but didn’t promise to affect those Chakras.

  4. #4 Christophe Thill
    March 16, 2007

    “I had no idea that cell phones and computers could poke holes in my aura.”

    It’s not the cell phones and computers in themselves.

    It’s what you hear/read from them…

  5. #5 Reinder
    March 16, 2007

    Yellow bathwater could also be made to look like you’re bathing in beer. Add some foaming agent for vibrational froth energy and you’re all set.

  6. #6 Alison
    March 16, 2007

    As a mother, if I saw yellow bathwater, beer is not the first thing I’d think of. (It wouldn’t be the first time I’d seen yellow bathwater, dontchaknow.) The thought of bathing in that would poke waaaay too many holes in my aura.

  7. #7 Joe
    March 16, 2007

    If color on the outside is good, wouldn’t color on the inside be better; especially if the color is homeopathically potentized? All you have to do is put colored, plastic wrap around bottles of water and expose them to the sun at solstice. (By dowsing, it was determined that warmer colors were best when exposed to the winter solstice, and vice versa.) Then succuss it.

    I read about this in a book, so you know it’s true; the author, and inventor of this marvelous treatment, is Ambyka Wauters.

  8. #8 anonimouse
    March 16, 2007

    This is totally woo. Everyone knows that your aura has holes in it. This is a good thing!

    Holes in your aura not only provide ventilation for your inner being (allowing harmful toxins to escape), but allow the healing energy of the Moon and Sun Goddesses to permeate your core. Closing up those holes would trap all of your festering, poison-riden energy and could lead to multiple sclerosis, diabetes, cancer, lupus, autism, SIDS, asthma, allergies, hangnails, athlete’s foot, cat scratch fever, alcoholism, botulism, and chronic constipation alternating with diarrhea.

    Close your aura…ridiculous.

  9. #9 Blake Stacey
    March 16, 2007

    Look, I gotta gripe about that picture. The electromagnetic spectrum runs from radio waves to gamma rays, with the boundaries between the sections determined by arbitrary human convention (based on the instruments first used to detect a particular range of wavelengths and stuff like that). Cosmic rays do not properly fall into this spectrum. They consist of charged particles, whereas the photons which make up light are electrically neutral. About nine-tenths of cosmic rays are speeding protons, and most of the rest are alpha particles (helium nuclei).

  10. #10 KeithB
    March 16, 2007

    “If color on the outside is good, wouldn’t color on the inside be better”

    I had an interesting experience putting a *lot* of food coloring in my drink. I am sure at least part of my insides were colored.

  11. #11 Matt the heathen
    March 16, 2007

    Orac et al,
    I’ve included as my URL a link to a story posted in today’s Edmonton Journal about patients using DCA. I figured this would be of interest to a few people here.


  12. #12 JMG3Y
    March 16, 2007

    A business management blogger commenting on physicians’ knowledge management failures, including some buried woo.

    Reducing Knowledge Management Failures

  13. #13 Martín Pereyra
    March 16, 2007

    Did anyone else note that the color blocks for “Yellow” and “Gold” are the same?

  14. #14 Sastra
    March 16, 2007

    I have a marvelous book by Paul Collins called “Banvard’s Folly: Thirteen Tales of People Who Didn’t Change the World.” It tells the stories of assorted crackpots and eccentric inventors who once received a surprising amount of publicity and promise. One of the chapters is titled “A.J. Pleasonton’s Blue Light Special,” and it sounds suspiciously like today’s dose of woo — back in the mid 19th century.

    The author writes:
    “A.J. Pleasonton’s 1876 volume ‘The Influence of the Blue Ray of the Sunlight and of the Blue Color of the Sky’ is one of the most striking medical texts ever written — it is visually arresting, with an appropriate powder blue binding… It is the most remarkable assemblage of hypotheses to ever make it past a copy editor.” Strong praise, considering some of the other people in the book.

    Pleasonton evidently set off what was even then called a “blue glass mania” in both the US and Europe, the result of his promoting the belief that bathing oneself in blue light every day pretty much did … pretty much whatever you hoped it might do. Some old houses of the period still have their blue glass, which wasn’t for decoration, but for health.

    Though the specific craze was pretty much over by 1878, enthusiastic followers had quickly taken up his theory about the healing, mystical, scientific power of light and ran with it, expanding out to the entire spectrum, stuffing it into various forms and guises and, quite possibly, gradually morphing it into the honorable position it finds itself today, as our Friday Dose.

  15. #15 Joe
    March 16, 2007

    @Blake Stacey, I overlooked the “cosmic” rays on the spectrum. Isn’t that where the “orgone” rays belong; i.e., it is just mis-labeled.

  16. #16 Ginger Yellow
    March 16, 2007

    Do people actually turn up to these six o’clock sessions? Admittedly I’m a journalist in a non-medical field, but at most conferences I go to people’s hangovers don’t wear off until 11.

  17. #17 Cain
    March 16, 2007

    Need any suggestions for places to eat/go out, Orac?

  18. #18 Coin
    March 16, 2007

    The water turned many interesting colors, but I never looked for the resulting change in mood or aura. (These products were also fun for us after the kids were in bed.)

    There actually is a Chakra for that, you know.

  19. #19 Melissa G
    March 16, 2007

    I am totally going to steal their “color bath” idea for my own home use, except I’ll use colored cellophane and an scuba flashlight. Wacky color fun! My child will love it. (Most gratuitous use of diving equipment ever? Possibly!)

  20. #20 Jamie
    March 16, 2007

    Rather than using the yellow/gold blocks, why not just pee in the water? After all, we all know that the health properties of urine are off the charts!

    Combine your woo!

  21. #21 Alison
    March 16, 2007

    Don’t forget, you could change the color of your pee pretty easily, and then you’d be enhancing a different aura color every time you peed in the bath. Peeing in the shower would not work except for the aura around your feet. I’ll let someone else experiment with this one.

  22. #22 Inquisitive Raven
    March 17, 2007

    As long as we’re talkling about color woo, check out this gadget from the Museum of Questionable Medical Devices. I remember visiting this museum as a fledgling raven in St. Louis where it shared space with a museum of medical history.

    Some woo never dies.

    BTW, as the owner of a New Age store,I’ve gotten catalogs from the Colour Energy people.

  23. #23 epador
    March 19, 2007

    I’m at at DC meeting this week, and they couldn’t get the CEO’s and Med DIrectors to even make it in time to start an 8 AM meeting. Obviously none of them surgeons.

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