Respectful Insolence

In retrospect, I feel a little guilty about last week’s edition of Your Friday Dose of Woo. As a couple of commenters pointed out, the guy responsible for the woo seems as though he’s a bit disturbed, as evidenced by the ransom note-style literature on his website and the news story that mentioned how his family didn’t take him seriously and he was divorced. On the other hand, the woo was truly top notch. As I pointed out, it also illustrated how a woo-meister can take a single erroneous idea about human physiology and run with it far beyond what anyone would think possible. Such woo can be very potent in the hands of one crank. Now, think what is possible when such simple woo is placed in the hands of a company. Once again, the basis is a single idea, but a company can rarely survive if it just sells one product. Thus, the demands of the business world almost inevitably result in a–shall we say?–selective pressure pushing for diversification of woo. Even so, the woo usually remains based on the single idea that began it.

Oxygen woo is just such a form of woo, and a good example is a company called OxyBliss. The idea, of course, is that oxygen can be used to treat all manner of problems.

OxyBliss has a very impressive-looking website, as is the case with many woo-meisters, proudly announcing itself as:

OxyBliss
A Division of Oxygen Research Institute, LLC
Technology for Higher Consciousness
Far Infrared Technologies

Yes! Oxygen woo combined with “higher consciousness” (whatever that means)! Of course, if the Oxygen Research Institute has one division, presumably it has others, and it does, also proudly trumpeting High Chi LLC, touted as providing:

advanced tools for amplifying life force to help your body heal itself naturally
• EMF protection • meditation systems • oxygen supplements • advanced photo rejuvenation skin care •

Designed to release stress, increase vitality, & raise consciousness so you’re operating at a higher state of being. You’re in the flow!

Yes, this could be good. But what are these “advanced tools” of which the woomeisters speak? First, let’s look at OxyVital Skin Therapy. So far, it doesn’t sound particularly promising. However, when you look at how it’s advertised, you’ll realize just how much this company deserves to be featured on a Friday on this blog:

OxyVital™ Skin Therapy is the only skin care therapy that is organic, vitally alive, and potentized with Life Energy Amplification and activated oxygen. OxyVital™ Therapy super-oxygenates and vitalizes your skin using a proprietary blend of the finest therapeutic grade essential oils, which are specially selected for their proven and powerful healing properties.

Wow! That’s a lot of mojo for any one lotion to carry within it. How, I wonder, does one make a lotion “vitally alive”? How does one “potentize” it with Life Energy Amplification? I can guess how one “superoxygenates,” though. Just bubble a oxygen through it under high pressure. Of course, if the bottle isn’t well-sealed, it won’t take long for all that extra oxygen to diffuse out of the solution. Looking at the bottle, my guess is that, at the very latest, after the first time the bottle is opened, the oxygen will go bye-bye. I do, however, wonder if OxyBliss “activates” its oxygen with this particular device.

But revitalizing your skin with life energy and oxygen just isn’t enough:

Our vitalized oxygen expels toxins before they lead to cellular damage and removes the cellular debris that clogs pores. With OxyVital™ you will experience the miraculous and immediate rejuvenation of skin that has been exposed to sun, wind, chemical peels, and air-borne pollutants.

Of course! It’s not real woo if it doesn’t detoxify, is it? And, of course, the “detoxification” must immediately rejuvenate your skin. Want to buy this woo yet? Wait, there’s more:

OxyVital™’s anti viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal properties are excellent for infections and support optimal functioning by improving skin tone and texture. OxyVital™ Skin Therapy is the only skin care product that contains Life Energy Amplification and subtle energy blends specifically formulated for anti-aging.

Awesome! Not only does it have “potentized” Life Energy and activated oxygen, but it’s an antibiotic as well. What more could you ask for, other than perhaps a product for dogs? But what on earth is the rationale for this woo? Glad you asked! Did you know that there’s an “oxygen crisis“? I sure didn’t, but OxyBliss tells me that this is so:

Deficient brain oxygenation causes hypoxia, which accelerates brain aging, memory loss, disorientation and depression. When supplemented with OxyVital™, the brain is properly nourished so that the mind actually becomes more lucid and supple. OxyVital™ can effectively neutralize the deleterious effects of drug use. Ingesting alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs creates significant oxygen deficiency, which contributes to a decline in mental function, including:

  • Short-term memory loss
  • Impaired concentration
  • Inability to think clearly
  • Recurring depression

Drugs deplete oxygen from the brain making it essential to quickly replace oxygen and minimize permanent damage. When inhaled nasally or taken orally, OxyVital™ is a super brain nutrient, providing the brain with Organic Olive Oil, rich in Omega fatty acids and concentrated oxygen – all essential for higher cognitive functioning. Oxygen is nature’s way of elevating the spirit. Oxygen plays a key role in stimulating and regulating endorphins, the opiate-like brain chemicals that promote a sense of euphoria. As athletes know, full oxygenation activates “runners high” – a profoundly altered and amplified being state. When the brain is properly oxygenated, the mind opens and expands, allowing negative thought forms to be released, and more positive, constructive thoughts to arise spontaneously.

What makes OxyVital™ uniquely special? Skin is the body’s largest organ so it is important to nourish it with the most organic, vitalizing and detoxifying skin care available. OxyVital™ is the only skin therapy that contains Life Energy Amplified-activated oxygen. It also contains Omega fatty acids, which are patently recognized for their longevity and anti-aging benefits.

All of this sounds sort of convincing. Sort of. That is, until you realize that your skin is not your lungs. It doesn’t absorb oxygen and slathering “oxygenated” oils or lotions all over your skin won’t do one whit to “oxygenate” your brain. Not that this stops OxyBliss. Not in the least. Not satisfied with trying to convince you to oxygenate through the skin, the luminaries there don’t seem capable of realizing that not only is the skin not a set of lungs, but neither is the digestive tract. Yes, indeed, OxyBliss sells lots of “Energized Oxygen Supplements,” too, such as OxyBliss Powder (which, conveniently enough, can be used as a colon cleanser, too). Those of you with some knowledge of medicine and/or chemistry will be particularly amused by the ingredients of the powder:

OxyBliss contains magnesium oxide, calcium carbonate(from vegetarian sources) and concentrated oxygen. Oxygen is naturally bonded to these minerals making them easier to assimilate. In addition, this formulation contains the 12 homeopathic type cell salts, which assist in nutrient absorption and assimilation. 250 grams, 1 to 3 months supply OxyBliss and OxyVital Nasal Therapy are designed to work synergistically for a great oxygen high!

So, not only is the powder oxygenated, but the oxygen is tied up bound to minerals. Here’s a hint: We usually call such things “oxides.” In the case of iron oxides, it’s known as rust. Of course, I could be wrong. After all, it also contains homeopathic salts. I know, I know. If they’re homeopathic, it does not actually contain any detectable amount of them, but that never stopped a homeopath before.

Perhaps my favorite OxyBliss product actually doesn’t have much, if anything to do with oxygen, though. Music-lover that I am, I’d be very much interested in knowing what HighChi Energized 5D Sound CDs sound like. Now, I have no idea what “5D” sound could possibly sound like, but it sure sounds impressive. Certainly it must be much more powerful than 3D or 4D sound. Or perhaps 5D just refers to the usual five or so speakers that typical 5.1 surround sound systems have these days. (A mere physical explanation like that would be very disappointing.) Particularly amusing, though, is the way that messages on the main page about the CDs mention flashing back to the 1960s and fine memories of Golden Gate Park and listening to Jefferson Airplane.

Ya think?

At least we know that acid was probably involved in coming up with this “5D” sound. Of course, given that I have a fondness for some seriously weird psychedelic rock from the 1960s, I might actually like these CDs. But, I wonder, what can these CDs do for me? This:

5D Sound CDs are generated from a very advanced, one of a kind, subtle energy computer. Designed in Germany to analyze and develop energy remedies or vibratory medicines, it holds in memory, the energy field of any substance. On a quantum or vibratory level, the energetic blueprint is more active than the “solid” substance. When the vitality of the energetic blueprint is fed back upon itself (energy amplified) (potentized) – the vitality level and effectiveness of the substance soars!

[...]

Experiencing 5D Sound becomes a process of deep clearing over a long interactive listening period. Now altered states do not have to be just escapes or reality lapses that can culminate in immune system suppression. They can transform from sometimes dysfunctional or disturbing episodes into an improved cognitive functioning, with definite smart pill like energetic boosts. 5D Sound can transform unwanted behaviors and habits, into greater ability and higher levels of functionality on the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual levels. The opportunity here is to open doors to higher states of consciousness. Past-altered state practices can now blissfully transform into healing journeys into the dimension of energetic wholeness, experiencing the freedom of multidimensional well-being.

My first thought was to ask where I could get one of these subtle energy computers. Then I remembered that OxyBliss’ computer is one-of-a-kind.

Of course it is.

Even so, I am interested in energetic wholeness and multidimensional well-being. Who wouldn’t be? Besides, I know these CDs must be great. They’re $29.95 apiece, and regular single music CDs rarely cost more than $16 or $17. (Personally, other than imports, I never pay more than $13.99 for a single CD and can usually find them on sale at Best Buy or Amazon.com for $11.99 or less.) Given that, I figure that woomeisters would never charge such a premium if these CDs aren’t worth every penny. I mean, even if you buy them, all, the bulk discount only brings the price per CD down to $20. On the other hand, if CD #10 can do what OxyBliss claims it can do, $20 or even $29.95 would indeed be a bargain.

Sadly, though, although there are testimonials for the other projects, I don’t see any for this particular CD. Maybe its customers are too busy gettin’ busy, if you know what I mean.

Comments

  1. #1 longsmith
    November 2, 2007

    This is hysterical.
    There is a rumor here in Sudbury MA that an “oxygen bar” is opening soon. Is that similar in it’s claims?
    If it does open I will send a full report.
    Woo, happy Friday.

  2. #2 sudders
    November 2, 2007

    Do these guys actually believe this stuff, or are the just fraudsters? I can’t think that anyone with enough brains to believe this would be capable of running a company.

    longsmith: Oxygen bars are slightly different, or at least the ones i’ve seen are. The idea is that you put on a mask supplying gas which has a higher oxygen content than air. Some might claim a health benefit I suppose, but I think most people do it because it makes them feel light-headed and giddy – bit like being drunk.

  3. #3 Chemgeek
    November 2, 2007

    I think CD#10 is just some Barry White. Works for me.

  4. #4 Bronze Dog
    November 2, 2007

    I was curious if there was going to be more on the far infrared stuff. What do they do? Activate latent oxygen in your body by putting you next to a radiator?

  5. #5 Joe Fredette
    November 2, 2007

    Damnit, the Woo-meisters are invading my home-state. Oxygen Bar, ridiculous.

    Good post, as always.

    ~~Joe

  6. #6 ozzy
    November 2, 2007

    O2 bars? Nothing like high dose oxygen exposure to up your reactive oxygen species exposure leading to enhanced protein, lipid and DNA oxidation. That ought to really stave off disease…

  7. #7 viggen
    November 2, 2007

    When inhaled nasally or taken orally, OxyVital™ is a super brain nutrient, providing the brain with Organic Olive Oil, rich in Omega fatty acids and concentrated oxygen – all essential for higher cognitive functioning.

    Am I imagining things, or does this passage actually say that this snake oil should be injected up the nose? Aspirate this oil, it’ll make your brain work better! I’m sure drowning yourself on such a substance really would make you see pretty colors–though from oxygen deprivation rather than super-saturation.

  8. #8 Texas Reader
    November 2, 2007

    I’m not sure but I think “Oxygen bars” started in some city in the far east with serious air pollution as a way to stop and breath some clean air. Now, I’m not saying that this means there is any value in taking some breaths of oxygen intermittently with breathing polluted air, just trying to share what I know about how they got started.

  9. #9 jen_m
    November 2, 2007

    Oh, that is the good stuff, that oxygen woo! That started my Friday off right.

    There are several oxygen bars spang in the middle of Las Vegas’ Strip, and they market themselves mainly to the hung-over. (Anything that might the recovery from the monster hangover obtained by wandering smoky, bright, chingalinging casinos while slugging back 3-foot-tall margaritas all night long is likely pretty tempting.) Never let it be said that Vegas skipped an opportunity to part a fool from his money.

    What I noticed about those bars is that they moisten their oxygen by running it through canisters of colored (and possibly scented, the better for aromatherapy) water. The water is often a bit cloudy, suggesting perhaps non-optimal change intervals, and I wonder how long it will be until there’s an outbreak of some nasty bacterial pneumonia.

  10. #10 Narc
    November 2, 2007

    Your comment about last week’s Wooster made me wonder: how many of these crank conspiracy theories and woo-ness are born out of an undiagnosed mental illness?

  11. #11 Sastra
    November 2, 2007

    viggen already took my favorite passage, though I was less intrigued by that part about the nose than the idea that somehow basting the brain with Organic Olive Oil rich in Omega fatty acids would help it function at that all-important higher cognitive level.

    This site manages to hit all the bases. It even has something for fans of the Food Network. Mmmm…

  12. #12 tourettist
    November 2, 2007

    If they offer a powerful superoxygenation/anti-oxidant combo, I’m sold.

  13. #13 lb
    November 2, 2007

    Cute, very cute.

    Texas Reader, your right, oxygen bars did start in Tokyo. And they kind of work, you pump a lot of straight oxygen into your system you get a buzz going.

    But this stuff 1oz at $29.95, I’m assuming that for it to work you have to make sure you cover every inch of your body so that those evil toxins don’t get in. So that probably means you use one bottle a day (they probably explain that all the oxygen goodness runs away after the bottles been opened). And how exactly do they get the olive oil directly into your brain?

    And the music, who knows…. Buddhist chanting? maybe hippie stuff. Not going to waste the money to find out though.

  14. #14 tourettist
    November 2, 2007

    Congrats btw to Orac on Respectful Insolence being nominated for a 2007 Weblog Award in Best Medical/Health Issues Blog.

  15. #15 Brendan S
    November 2, 2007

    Does anyone else think they talk about getting high a bit much in this article?

  16. #16 Jack
    November 2, 2007

    I simply can’t believe the woo-stress Deborah Stuart could possibly be misleading me. Just look at how vital and pneumatic she is (http://www.oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/contact.html).

    I must also thank her for leading me to the remarkable H2X™ SCALAR WAVE ACTIVATED WATER (http://www.lifetechnology.org/h2x.htm). At $180/oz. it seems like a bargain. (May I respectfully suggest Orac that the woo at this site deserves some recognition).

    Thanks for the great post!

  17. #17 Rjaye
    November 2, 2007

    Well, oxygen does help my consciousness…

    While this “product” is more complicated in its presentation, it does remind me of the “breathing diet,” where, the originators claim, one could lose weight by breathing.

    Hm. I’d lose more weight by not breathing.

    Happy WooDay!

  18. #18 Dr Aust
    November 2, 2007

    I think from a Darwinian perspective we should be encouraging these Oxygen Bars. These should also serve vegetarian cuisine, esp. chili, with lots of beans and root veggies.

    The point?

    Methane + oxygen + flame of scented meditation candle = *Ka-Boom*

    ..and the gene pool would be the winner.

  19. #19 ebohlman
    November 2, 2007

    vitally alive

    As opposed, presumably, to “mortally alive” or “vitally dead.”

    When inhaled nasally or taken orally, OxyVital™ is a super brain nutrient, providing the brain with Organic Olive Oil

    While I had never before conceived of snorting olive oil, now that I think about it snorting Olive Oil makes sense. It’s the capitalization that makes all the difference.

    The whole bit about the CDs makes me want to brag about the 50 touchdowns I once batted in a high-school basketball game (and wish my car got 30 strawberries to the gallon like Jim Laidler’s). I can’t see why the forgot to mention the flux capacitors.

    Am I the only one who’s noticed that woo promotions inspire potential band names?

    Vitally Alive
    Mortally Alive
    Vitally Dead
    Snorting Olive Oil

  20. #20 lb
    November 2, 2007

    Why is it that these “healthy” alternatives are always so expensive?

    Wouldn’t it be cheaper to get something from nature rather than construct it in a laboratory (just ignore the fact that most drugs are processed from plants – it hurts their argument).

    And if I sold you the cure at a reasonable rate, wouldn’t I be more likely to be on your side? Take the $1/day antidepressant that is probably covered by my drug plan, or rub myself all-over with the $30/day(all out of pocket) oil to vitalize my body/mind/soul.

  21. #21 jen_m
    November 2, 2007

    Have we talked about the waiver and informed consent forms yet? The ones that indemnify OxyBliss and Oxygen Research if somehow their Life Energy Amplifier hurts you or your property or kills you, and explain the risks and benefits of the “research” in which you are participating if you buy their products? Plus the one that gives informed consent for your recalled and reconstructed memories?

    They’re at the bottom of the page mentioned above, about Deborah Stewart:
    http://www.oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/contact.html

    Or you can go straight there:
    http://www.oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/lea_iconsentform.html
    http://www.oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/lea_waiver.html
    http://www.oxygenresearch.com/oxybliss/memories_consent.html

    Until I saw the waivers, I had not thought to wonder exactly where one puts the 11″ electrode. The pictures suggest one wears it at one’s hip, but the language in the consent form makes me curious whethre that’s akin to advertisements with ladies moved to bliss by holding their portable massage devices to their faces.

  22. #22 dzd
    November 2, 2007

    Heck, you could even get the audiophile woo in on this. Of course you aren’t going to get the full benefit of your 5D chi-activated CDs on a crappy Sony boombox. Oh no. You need some Stereophile Class A equipment connected with ultra-high-purity oxygen-free copper wiring that’s been washed in the blood of the Lamb.

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