Contrary to what you might think, the longer I do this blogging thing, it doesn’t necessarily get easier. The reason, of course, is that after more than nine years of near daily posts there are days when it’s really hard to come up with something that really gets me fired up to do the hard work it takes to write. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t days when the thought going through my head goes something like, “Another bit of idiocy by antivaccinationists? How many times have I seen this before.” But sometimes, as much as I sometimes think I’ve seen it all with respect to quackery, there will float across my radar screen something I’ve never heard of before (or, occasionally, something I have heard of—and maybe even blogged about—but had forgotten about). This is just one of those moments. I thought I had heard of pretty much every major form of quackery devised by the credulous and warmed minds of human beings, but this is a new one on me. It’s also a new on on me that practitioners of “alternative medicine” release press releases like this, to announce that they have been “certified” in a new form of quackery, but apparently they do. Actually, this press release doesn’t even announce that. Rather, it announces that a physician who apparently threw away reason to become a homeopath, is going to do the studies that will result in his becoming certified in a new form of quackery that I don’t recall having heard of before.
Witness Dr. Edward Kondrot announcing in a press release that he will become the First American Doctor to Become Certified in Chromatotherapy:
Adding to his long list of certifications, Dr. Edward Kondrot is taking on a new certification process to become the first American to become certified in chromatotherapy. Beginning February 8, 2014, he will be traveling to Paris one weekend every other month for two years in order to study to become certified in chromatotherapy. Dr. Kondrot will study under the direction of Dr. Christian Agrapart. The new therapy techniques will be used to further assist in treating chronic eye diseases.
“I’m very excited about this new venture and in having the opportunity to study with Dr. Agrapart,” explains Dr. Edward Kondrot, founder of the Healing The Eye & Wellness Center. He is also the president of the Arizona Homeopathic and Integrative Medical Association, and the clinic director of Integrative Medicine of the American Medical College of Homeopathy. “The treatments have been successfully used in France for quite some time. Now it’s time that they are made available to the people in America who need them.”
My first thought was, again: Why on earth would you issue a press release to announce that you’re about to embark on a course of study that involves going to Paris six times a year for two years, other than to rub your competitors’ faces in the fact that you are going to Paris six times a year? My second thought was: what the hell is chromatotherapy and who the hell is Dr. Christian Agrapart? Wonder no more! When I learn about a new form of quackery with which I’m not familiar, I teach myself what it is, and after I teach myself what it is, I share that new knowledge with you. Don’t thank me. It’s what I live for.
First off, it didn’t take me much Googling at all to find out who Dr. Christian Agrapart is. He’s apparently the president of something called the International Light Association. From that it didn’t take me long to find that chromatotherapy (or chromatothérapie in French) is a “herapeutic method using references wavelength units called « colors ».” I further learned that There are two types of chromatotherapy:
- Luminous Chromatotherapy: it is achieved by sending colored luminous rays, obtained by a white light going through filters selecting in the visible part specific wavelengths, perceived by the naked eye as « colors ».
- Molecular Chromatotherapy: it uses the same wavelengths that the « colored » luminous Chromatotherapy but coming not from the light but from the matter.
Talk about your proverbial distinction without a difference. Where do they get the white light from? Probably “matter,” as in various filaments (like tungsten) with an electrical current run through them. Be that as it may, chromatotherapy appears to be a very French form of woo. At least, its founder is French, and it seems not to be particularly popular in the US. The major practitioners of this particular quackery appear to be mainly French, which is perhaps why Dr. Kondrot is so proud of being the first American to be trained in this particular bit of nonsense. He shouldn’t be, but he is. But, then, he is a homeopath. In any case, there’s a woo-tastic description of chromatotherapy After having read the various articles that make up the description, I’ve come to the conclusion that the entire rationale for shining various colors of light into the eyes to “heal” boils down to two things;
- Life can emit bioluminescence.
- All life depends upon light
- The eyes are the window to the soul.
Therefore, Dr. Agrapart and his fellow chromatotherapists seem to conclude, shining colored light into the eyes can improve health and cure all manner of diseases up to and including cancer. Think I’m exaggerating? Well, then, let’s take a look at some key passages:
Health and well being are commonly thought of as a form or emanation of light — or “glow.” Walt Whitman, for instance, defined health as a “radiance that cannot be described.” “Glowing” physical health is primarily a function of the power of our “inner sun” and our glow seems to increase as our awareness expands. At full illumination, this radiance becomes visible to the naked eye, which is why great artists are often likened to “stars,” and saints are traditionally depicted as being surrounded by brilliant halos, and described as “illumined.”
And then this one, which will be offensive to blind people and their families:
All biological life is composed of, and dependent on, light. That is why “solar system” means, “derived from light.” When Nobel Laureate Albert Szent- Gyorgyi said, “All the energy we take into our bodies is derived from the sun,” he literally meant that light is the nourishment for life. The human body is a biological light receptor, the eyes are transparent biological windows designed to receive and emit light, and all physiological functions are light dependent. This becomes evident when observing individuals deprived of sight. In 1856, Wimmer, an ophthalmologist at Munich’s Royal Institution for the Blind wrote, “The whole appearance of a blind person…bears the markings of…retarded growth…and…pallor… But this underdeveloped…state disappears…and the organism seems to grow younger when vision is restored…”
One wonders what scientific evidence was used to come to these conclusions, one does. I’m unaware of evidence showing that the whole appearance of a blind person shows evidence of retarded growth. Be that as it may, the “reasoning” for this therapy of shining light in the eyes appears to derive from this:
The transformative power of light is founded on a simple principle: life and light are the same energy, in two states of existence — form and formlessness. In its formed, or “frozen” state, light energy composes all the matter in the universe — everything that we can see, touch, or measure. Yet, from a scientific perspective, this fundamental building block of what we call reality is invisible, formless and without attributes. It cannot be directly perceived or measured.
Added to this are lots of blathering concepts about how Eastern mystics believed that the colors of the rainbow corresponded the “body’s energy centers” or to the chakras and are thus “directly related to the attainment of optimal health and consciousness. In other words, it’s a chain of “reasoning” that leads to the idea that specific colors can be used to treat specific conditions. Frequently there’s a bunch of science-y sounding gobbledygook about how colors vibrate at different frequencies and therefore these different frequencies can therefore treat disease, with each color having specific properties with respect to promoting health and treating disease. For instance, it is claimed that violet can “treat melancholy, hysteria, delusions and alcohol addiction” and that blue can “cool down” fever, high blood pressure, headaches, aggression, and hysteria. Amusing is the warning never to treat cancer with red “because this color will stimulate cell growth!” Good to know, I guess, if you’re a quack.
It gets worse than that, however. According to Agrapart, chromatotherapy can be used to treat various eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, which, even though it’s completely wrong, at least makes a superficial sort of sense. However, apparently he also believes that chromatotherapy can also be used to treat autoimmune diseases, which makes no sense at all. Particularly amusing are all the ways that chromatotherapy, more commonly referred to, at least in this country, as light therapy, can be coupled to acupuncture points.
But what about Kondrot? I’ve already said he’s a homeopath, which means that by definition he is susceptible to at best dubious treatments and is not into what we like to refer to as science-based medicine. If he were, he wouldn’t be a “homeopathic ophthalmologist.” His website doesn’t provide any reasons to make me doubt that assessment, either. There’s an article claiming that an intranasal laser can reverse the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, because, apparently, shining light in up the nose has so much to do with how the brain as a hole works and impacts a person’s higher cognitive functions. What evidence is presented for this claim? Anecdotes are there, of course, as well as preliminary studies that are high. And you can begin this treatment today, all for the low, low price of $449, which is $50 off the regular price of $499!
No wonder Dr. Kondrot bills himself as the “world’s leading Homeopathic Ophthalmologist who devotes his practice to traditional and alternative therapies for the treatment of eye disease.” First of all, I didn’t know there was such a specialty as homeopathic ophthalmology. But how does that jibe with his attending the IV World Oxygen and Ozone Congress last September, where:
Topics on ozone’s positive effect on Cancer, Heart disease, Obesity and metabolic disease, Chronic fatigue, Non healing ulcers, Disc pain, Infections, Ulcer stomach disease, Dentistry and more.
Dr. Robert Rowen was not able to attend and I was honored when he asked me to give his presentation called Triple oxidation in the treatment of cancer. The triad of triple oxidation are: Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation, Major Autohemotherapy (Mixing Blood with Ozone and re-infusing back into the body), Minor AutoHemotherapy (Injecting small amounts of blood mixed with ozone into specific tissues of the body, and Direct Intravenous Gas ( Injecting small amounts of ozone gas directly into the veins)
Wow. Ozone therapy is quackery, pure and simple, particularly the variety in which the blood is removed and then oxygenated with ozone before being reinfused. And, assuming that Dr. Kondrot went to medical school, he should know that (1) the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood is very little compared to the amount carried bound to hemoglobin in red blood cells and (2) injecting gas, even small amounts, directly into veins puts the patient at risk for air embolism, depending on how much is injected. What I can’t figure out is what ozone therapy has to do with either homeopathy or ophthalmology.
On the other hand, Dr. Kendrot believes that the cause of most eye disease isn’t aging, trauma, diabetes, hypertension, or all the other usual suspects that result in chronic eye problems and sometimes even blindness. Of course not! He believes the biggest contributor to eye disease is….drum roll please….big pharma and “suppression” caused by modern medicines, including:
- Antibiotics for conjunctivitis
- Treatment of chronic blepharitis
- Steroid eye drops
- Cataract surgery
- Laser surgery and injections for retinal disease
To which he adds:
Why? The disease is being treated with opposites and this causes the disease to be pushed deeper in the body. This will result in a more serious eye problem
Earlier on in his essay, Dr. Kendrot lays down this howler:
Homeopathic treatment is based on true laws of healing. True laws do not change over time. When I studied homeopathy I used the same text books that were used over 250 years ago. These homeopathic laws of healing have not changed unlike modern medicine which changes treatment methods every year. Are we benefiting from these modern approaches? I do not think so, in fact as a whole, eye disease, especially macular degeneration and glaucoma are increasing.
The laws of homeopathy haven’t changed in 250 years? You say that as though it were a good thing. Also, Samuel Hahnemann didn’t come up with his laws of homeopathy 250 years ago. He was first known to practice his method in the 1790s and didn’t actually use the term “homeopathy” until his essay his essay Indications of the Homeopathic Employment of Medicines in Ordinary Practice, published in Hufeland’s Journal in 1807. But, hey, what’s a decade or two (or three) among friends?
In any case, to Dr. Kendrot the reason that the number of patients with age-related eye disease including cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and age-related macular degeneration is increasing is because “modern medicine” is not because the population is aging, meaning that more people are at risk for such diseases, or because more people have conditions that predispose to such diseases of the eye, like diabetes or hypertension. Oh, no! It’s big pharma pushing its evil non-homeopathic drugs on people.
Dr. Kendrot’s website is a fairly “target-rich” environment; so I think I’ll say no more, other than to point out that there is one homeopathic product there that might work for its stated indication. Shocking? Not at all! It’s homeopathic eye drops for dry eye. Of course, it won’t work because of the homeopathy or all the vitamins and other stuff. It’ll work because it’s water, particularly if it’s saline. At least, it’ll work for a little while.
As for the rest of Kendrot’s stuff, well, it’s a mixture of homeopathy, which as we all know is pseudoscience, and a lot of other nonsense. It’s always sad to see a real MD fall to such lows.