Note: This advice is given by the CAP Executive about non-broadcast advertising. It does not constitute legal advice. It does not bind CAP, CAP advisory panels or the Advertising Standards Authority.
What is Bioresonance Therapy?
Bioresonance is a form of holistic diagnosis and therapy. It is claimed that the bioresonance devices used in the therapy can read the energy wavelengths coming from cells within the body and that the frequencies of these wavelengths provide information about the health of the body.
Practitioners believe they can interpret the results obtained from the devices which can then be used to diagnose diseases or adverse medical conditions. Some practitioners also claim to use the results to treat the diagnosed conditions by using the same electromagnetic frequencies to create a “resonance” within the body’s cells.
Is the treatment device CE Marked?
Medical devices, like those used for diagnostic and treatment purposes in bioresonance therapy need to be appropriately CE Marked before the therapy is marketed. Marketers are encouraged to follow this MHRA guidance for medical devices.
What claims are likely to be considered problematic?
All objective claims about diagnosing and treating adverse medical conditions need to be supported by robust clinical evidence. The ASA and CAP have yet to see any evidence that the devices used in bio-resonance therapy can be used to diagnose existing or future medical conditions nor prevent or treat disease or illness.
In 2018, the ASA considered complaints about a clinic that claimed their bioresonance therapy had been used to diagnose conditions such as “Weight and digestive problems, bloating; Heart conditions; Arthritis, joint pains; Back pain; Diabetes; Skin problems, rashes; Psoriasis, eczema, acne; Rhinitis, sinus; Headaches, migraine, depression, anxiety, fatigue; Sleeping problems etc.”. Despite demonstrating that the device used for making the diagnoses had been appropriately CE Marked, the ASA considered that this alone did not constitute evidence of efficacy. In the absence of clinical evidence to support the diagnosis claims, the complaint was upheld (Y&M Holistic Clinic, 18 April 2018).
In 2019 the ASA considered a complaint about advertising claims that bioresonance could be used to treat various medical issues ranging from skin conditions and allergies to digestive disorders including Crohn’s disease. In that case, one of the clinical papers that was submitted in evidence was found not to have been peer-reviewed and lacked sufficient detail regarding the methodology, statistical significance or analysis of results. Many of the studies in the document were also unrelated to conditions listed in the ad. The second paper submitted included five studies about Bioresonance. However, four of the studies were non-human studies and the one human study that remained did not address any of the conditions referenced in the ads. The ASA subsequently ruled that none of efficacy claims for bioresonance therapy had been supported by evidence and were therefore considered misleading (Wayne Hardwick, 13 March 2019).
This CAP Guidance on Substantiation for health, beauty and slimming claims provides more information about the types and levels of evidence the ASA and CAP would expect to see to support the type of diagnosis and treatment claims we have seen for bioresonance therapy.
What about conditions that should be treated by a suitably qualified health professional?
Marketers must not discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought. Claims to diagnose or treat such conditions are likely to be considered by the ASA and CAP to be problematic unless that treatment is carried out under the supervision of a suitably qualified health professional.
In 2015, the ASA upheld complaints about a practitioner of bioresonance therapy who claimed to provide treatments for adverse medical conditions including “alcohol addictions”, “insomnia” and “depression”. Due to their experience, training and holistic/alternative therapy qualifications, the practitioner believed they were suitably qualified to treat the specific conditions referenced in the ad and believed that a general medical qualification was unnecessary. However, the ASA disagreed and considered that it had not seen sufficient documentary evidence to demonstrate that practitioners at the clinic were suitably qualified to offer these treatments or that the treatments for these conditions were conducted under the direct supervision of a medical professional (Life Principles, 5 August 2015).
This CAP Guidance on references to Medical Conditions in ads for health products and services provides further information and advice.
Advice created: 16 April 2019