Complementary and alternative medicine Medicine Quackery

Just what I need: Cellular Feng Shui!

i-e7a12c3d2598161273c9ed31d61fe694-ClassicInsolence.jpgEvery so often, real life intrudes on blogging, preventing the creation of fresh Insolence, at least Insolence of the quality that you’ve come to expect. This is one of those times. (Yes, it’s grant season.) So enjoy this bit of Classic Insolence from 2008 and be assured that I’ll be back tomorrow. Remember, if you’ve been reading less than four or five years, it’s almost certainly new to you, and, even if you have been reading that long or longer, it’s fun to see how posts like this have aged.


It’s what the woo-meisters who believe in “Feng Shui” tell us that it will bring to those who use its principles to arrange the objects in their life, be they furniture, homes, the design of buildings, or even the layouts of whole cities. Indeed, Feng Shui tells us that the way we arrange objects in our environment, choose a place to live, or even choose burial plots can allow us to achieve “harmony” with our environment. Obviously, this is true in a trivial sense. If your house is full of crap piled everywhere in seemingly random distributions, it is going to have a negative impact on “harmony” and quality of life. But that’s not what advocates of Feng Shui claim for its powers. Rather, they claim that applying the principles of Feng Shui can result in wealth and even cure disease:

Whatever you desire in life: bags of money, the love of your life, the honor and respect of people who now doubt you, connection with friends, family and spouse, a crowd of new customers, a new home, a fresh start, almost anything you can think of, you can attain with Feng Shui.

Every day you create your life, be it at a job, business or caring for your family. You try to enter each day with the attitude of accomplishment and achievement. But in most cases the situations of life overcome it. A bounced check might send you into crisis mode to cover your obligations, where with Feng Shui your problems are solved with grace and ease.

So where do the principles that supposedly let you, the user of Feng Shui, to do all these fantastic things come from? As with only the finest woo, it’s a massive appeal to ancient knowledge of course. Even better than that, it’s an appeal to nature’s “balance” and somehow applying it to your life:

Feng Shui is an ancient oriental term that means “the way of wind and water”. It’s all about energy, the flow of energy and how it enhances or detracts from your life.

Feng Shui developed thousands of years ago in little villages of the Orient. It was called Folk Feng Shui because each village had there own guidelines on how to use it. Their livelihoods were dependent on it. They studied the formations of the land and ways of the wind & water to determine the best sitting for their survival. Over time Feng Shui developed and was used by emperors to ensure their success.


Feng Shui and associated disciplines comprise the study of these energy flows. It also deals with how you should arrange your environment to gain the best possible advantages in your life.

For example, the direction your house faces. If you are building a new house, and you can decide which direction it faces, it would be good to know which direction will benefit your life the most. And you can find out by using Feng Shui. If you were buying an existing house and find out the direction was not set in your best interest, you would need to know how to use Feng Shui techniques to counter the ailment.

How convenient. If you screw up the Feng Shui of your house, you need to use Feng Shui to fix the bad mojo. In any case, Feng Shui seems to be some unholy combination of various forms of “energy medicine” invoking qi and claiming to be based not only on the “forms” of nature but on the stars and the magnetic compass. Of course, you might wonder why I’m featuring woo as mundane and uninteresting as Feng Shui. Patience, my dear readers. Do you think I would choose something as pedestrian as this if there weren’t a twist that makes it worthy of an installment of Your Friday Dose of Woo?

Of course I wouldn’t.

You see, it’s not enough just to arrange the macroscopic objects in your life, the objects you can see with your own two eyes. Why on earth would you restrict yourself to just that? If I were into woo, I sure wouldn’t. Fortunately, Feng Shui expert Candace Czarny has my back (and yours). Even better, you don’t even have to do anything yourself, other than to lay down some cash, of course. But if you do you’ll be able to do something that was never before possible.

You’ll be able to apply the principles of Feng Shui to your cells using the Cell Balancers:

The Cell Balancers will help you:

  • Clear blocked energy patterns from your body and mind
  • Activate greater focus and clarity
  • Enhance your energy flow
  • Activate your Higher Potential
  • Activate deeper wisdom and bypass years of learning
  • Cultivate a felt-sense of peace, aliveness, spiritual awareness, well-being and integration
  • Gently and effectively align your cells with your Future Self’s Positive blueprint

Not only that, but there are multiple versions of the Cell Balancer, including the Gentle Model and the Power Model. Both claim to provide you with:

Inner transformation you can feel…Use this precision-tuned miracle of cosmic technology to:

  • Restore the true unique blueprint of your divine nature,
  • Release layers of toxic and distorted energy vibrations,
  • Remember your timeless wisdom, waiting within for its activation,
  • Experience the joy of living that is your birthright.

Place your fingertips on the Cell-Balancer, as shown n the finger-position diagrams, to experience a Felt Sense of Cellular balance. You’re an “in circuit” with the transformational energies. Spiritual healing patterns of transformation flow through your energy pathways, directly into the spiritual cells of the body. The Cell-Balancer transmutes negative energy-patterns trapped in your energy-body that confine, limit or distort your true self. As you release the energy distortions, you are freed to access your true essence.

That’s not all, though. There are also other disks, including the the Activator Disk, the Neutral Space Plate, and the Portal. All of them are claimed to work this way:

These disks “speak” the language of vibration, via the disk’s intricately tuned copper energy antennas, and its special materials and layering. Vibration is also called sympathetic resonance, because one vibration encourages other vibrations to resonate “in sympathy”. They work like a tuning fork, spontaneously encouraging another tuning fork (you) to resonate with the divine source (Universe, God, Creator).


The Powerform products were created by Joel Bruce Wallach. Explorations in healing and consciousness found Joel practicing hypnotherapy in 1982, yet still seeking a more direct approach to spiritual awakening. By 1985, his energy balancing practice replaced the hypnotherapy. His first subtle energy healing tools were also developed in 1985, utilizing his aura-sensing skills, combined with his ability to hear, see, and sense subtle energy.

Joel’s newest energy-balancing methods using the Powerforms promise practical levels of transformation for novices and practitioners alike. They help us activate our potential, and bring our world into balance. He emphasizes that this is our lifetime of infinite opportunity to embody heaven on earth.

And let’s not forget:

The neutral space plate helps you have direct experiences that activate deeper wisdom. bypass years of conventional learning with the precision-tuned miracle of cosmic technology. The Neutral Space Plate helps you access essential qualities in these vibrantly evolving modern times: Wise Neutrality ~ Present Moment Awareness ~ Personal Truth ~ Universal Truth ~ Clarity ~ Divine Peace ~ & Spiritual Attunement~

The Neutral Space Plate transmutes negative energy-patterns trapped in you energy-body that confine, limit or distort your true self. As you release the energy distortions, you are freed to align with your essential truth. You can use the alignment to deepen your meditation, to enhance creativity or as a relaxing way to nurture yourself.

Wow, all that from a mere disk!. I wonder if any of these disks have ever been subjected to randomized, double-blinded studies to assess whether they can actually do what their makers claim the can do for them. Such powers ought to be obvious under controlled conditions, wouldn’t you think?

Yes, Orac made a joke, lame as it was. Of course, the beauty of the gobbledy-gook above is that it means nothing. Really. Try to derive a concrete claim that can be tested for success out of the deluge of verbiage on that webpage. It ain’t there. It ain’t meant to be there. If they made actual specific health claims, the FDA or FTC might become interested in just what it is these disks are, and we can’t have that. What we actually can have however, are testimonials:

  • “I had my golfing partners put the Activator in their left shoe. They found, to their surprise, that they could drive the ball farther. Also, I found that when I put the Activator on the floor under my left shoe at work, I felt more alert and energized.” Tony C., Feng Shui Master.
  • “I use my Powerforms at my office. I am surrounded by computers and laser printers. I sit within the beam of several Powerforms (place the Powerforms on small easels facing you to accomplish this). I find that I am less tired by the end of the day as well as more creative throughout the day. Since I have set up the Powerforms here, co-workers have mentioned that my office feels calmer and more peaceful. They sensed the change without knowing about the energy devices.” Michelle, Facilities Coordinator.
  • “I was taking a nap and as an experiment I put the Portal on my forehead, with the Balancer behind my head. I had the most wonderful and beautiful energy flow through my body and I felt so good. I felt it pass through my body several times. I have come to think of the disks as some of my most prized possessions and value them very highly.” Barbara L., Designer.

I’m convinced. How about you?

So how much will this woo set me back if I want to balance my cells according to the principles of Feng Shui? Well, I could buy some of this stuff individually, but if I really want to go whole hog, I’d definitely have to buy the whole kit. It’s a bargain, too, at a mere $235.38 a whopping $77.97 off the price of all these separate items. Not only that, but they will even throw in the two DVD set of “Putting the Powerforms to Use.”

Man, I’d love to see the woo on those DVDs. It would be at least three or four hours of pure entertainment.

So what makes Feng Shui woo? After all, interior and exterior design can indeed make for a more “harmonious” environment in that good design is more visually pleasing and functional. If that’s all Feng Shui said, I wouldn’t consider it woo, but Feng Shui goes far, far beyond that. We have all this blather about alignment with magnetic fields, harmonizing energy fields, and even returning cellular “balance” through the various disks above. (As an aside, I wonder what those disks are made of. At least previous installments of YFDoW in which some sort of super-powered disks were lovingly “discussed” how they supposedly worked, whether it was through holograms or “energizing” your water à la Dr. Emoto.) After all, we’re looking at claims like these:

  • Enhance the energy of water, remedies & Crystals: The disk re-patterns the liquid’s atoms into higher degree of coherence, so that the liquid transmits positive activation when you drink it.
  • Spiritual Rejuvenation Chamber: Create a spiritually vibrant and protected energy chamber – a true sacred space.
  • Deep Knowingness: The Activator Disk transcends liner verbal communication. It helps you experience a felt-sense of vitality, aliveness, higher potential and well-being. You learn to “wake yourself up”
  • Re-Create Yourself: Affirmations enhance your Activator disk results. As you work with the Activator disk your negative patters transform gradually into positive energies.
  • Help your life energy remember its essential nature.
  • Unite your body, mind and soul.

If that ain’t woo, then I’ve learned nothing in the year and a half that I’ve been doing this little weekly foray into silliness. In fact, I’m impressed. These woo-meisters have seem to have gone beyond dualism and postulate not just the body and the mind, but the soul. Although the claims above are the usual New Age-sounding drivel, one of these claims actually did catch my attention: “Re-Create Yourself.” I wonder if the Activator Disk is like the transporter on Star Trek. I can see it now, it takes you apart, molecule by molecule, purges the “negative” energy patterns and then transforms them in to “positive energies.”

Now that’s something I’d pay money for…

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

44 replies on “Just what I need: Cellular Feng Shui!”

The Powerform products were created by Joel Bruce Wallach.

As an illustration of the power of Poe’s Law: if I wanted to write a parody of this sort of woo, about the only improvement I could make would be to change Mr. Wallach’s name to Hu Flungdung.

At first glance I took “Cellular Feng Shui” to be some sort of New Age way of blinging out smartphones. After reading the article, I wish I’d been right.

— Steve

Anton: I can just see it. Scene: A very expensive restaurant in Pareidolius’ neck of the woods or a similar MeVille. The waiter is seating a couple with far more money than sense (and he’s fully aware that he can pay the rent with tips made of money but not ones made of sense).

Brianna: I don’t know if this table is good for us. Let me check it out on my Feng Shui app. (whips out smartphone and starts fondling the screen).

Braden: (works hard to prevent himself from sighing)

Brianna: This table is blocking the flow of positive energy. (turns to waiter) I can’t eat at this table because it will expose me to toxic energy vibrations.

Braden: (thinks to himself “or in other words, she thinks she’ll gain half a pound if she eats at the wrong table”)

Waiter (who’s a telepath) (speaks to Braden telepathically) No, she’s really afraid the meal will make her have to poop

Braden (also telepathically): Yeah, nothing is ever straightforward with her.

Waiter: I’m afraid we’re not going to have any other tables open for at least two hours

Brianna: I see Jaden and Jason over there. They put down my knowledge of the spirit world and their table is perfect. Can you have them move?

Braden: (shows small sign of visible cringe)

The reader may continue this story if he/she so desires.:

Dear Ms. Czarny,
Ever since I used your techniques to rearrange my intracellular organelles, I haven’t felt very well. Are you sure that moving all my mitochondria into of the nucleus (to realign the wood and wind energies) is a good idea? Please advise.

To quote Dave Barry:

You should do this in accordance with the principles of feng shui, an ancient Chinese philosophy whose name means, literally, “new fad.”

My sister worked in a law office where one of the partners insisted that furniture and accessories be arranged according to Feng Shui. Caused no end of havoc. Of course, he was not Chinese.

So those little sticker antennas would actually have worked if they looked like little sofas instead of placemats from a Greek diner?

Doesn’t that sound a little… risque?

Well, in a classy sense. My neighbors are apparently unaware of how public Bittorrent is. The popular titles don’t show a great deal of creativity.

re feng shui:

When I go out to eat with my cohorts, there is frequently discussion about seating arrangements, changing places, etc.
one likes to sit facing me, another next to me, another person doesn’t like seating w/o moveable chairs, another likes to look towards the outdoors, another wants to see the televison ( if any) reardless of what’s on, one hates outdoor light shining towards him…

Perhaps I’ll start telling them about feng shui rules ( which I’ll invent ) so illustrating my mad skilz:
the tallest person should always face east
boy-girl-boy-girl except on Mondays
if you’re near a river, whoever sits closest to it, pays
if the table has a central turntable on it ( Asian style), left handed people shoukd conform to the predominant direction rather than going their own way.

I can probably always think up a few random ones on the spot to suit the occasion.

My sister worked in a law office where one of the partners insisted that furniture and accessories be arranged according to Feng Shui. Caused no end of havoc. Of course, he was not Chinese.

Maybe somebody misunderstood, and arranged the room according to the principles of Flung Shui. The latter is a decorating technique I have been known to use. I suspect that most non-Chinese would find it hard to distinguish the two if pressed (and I do not claim to be among those who could).

Are you sure that moving all my mitochondria into of the nucleus (to realign the wood and wind energies) is a good idea?

You should be okay as long as you stay away from the tympanies.

Maybe somebody misunderstood, and arranged the room according to the principles of Flung Shui

Hey, that’s MY office.


Magic is a way of making yourself feel better about the uncertain future- you re-arrange objects around in order to re-arrange your future/ fortune around ( by contagion, I suppose):

you can easily move furniture so it looks better aethetically and wish that -by some transcendental trans-substantiation- events will be now as orderly in your life.

Rituals may be a way of focusing your attention and preparing yourself to actually do something in reality.
Perhaps being a powerful sorceror/ess or geomancer is merely powerfully manipulating people/ clients ( and their emotions) or your own self, rather than objects in space or the future. If all is arranged correctly, the subject of the ‘fix’ develops confidence and is slightly less afraid of reality.

In effect, we can put a ‘spell’ on ourselves to do better via self-talk and rituals that give us confidence.

OT- no joking today-

@ AoA:
Alex, the 14 year old whose cause was championed by AJW amongst others, was found stabbed to death at home. His mother and another were hospitalised.

My sister worked in a law office where one of the partners insisted that furniture and accessories be arranged according to Feng Shui. Caused no end of havoc. Of course, he was not Chinese.

Oh FFS. If this happened in my workplace I would be sorely tempted to re-arrange the instigator’s office according to my own sense of rightness and harmony – desk turned upside down, chair hung on the wall, computer on the windowsill, potted plant in his office doorway, etc.

if the table has a central turntable on it ( Asian style),

Ah yes, a Lei Zi Su Sin. I hate those things (poor chopstick coordination, always end up hungry).

You’d think a person who calls her website Art of Placement would spend a few bucks for a decent site design instead of going with the godawful Basic Scam Site template.

@ Kreb:

There are solutions for you:
if they do that “each person chooses one entree” routine, choose something gigantic ( e.g. noodles)
ask for/ bring a fork
inaugerate a new “ancient tradition” – add an additional entree in remembrance of departed ancestor- tell them, ” As they do in Hong Kong”. They’ll never know otherwise.

I’d better get ready to leave myself as I haven’t eaten since last night..

Hey guys when you are buying a home it’s all about location, location, location…right? Not quite.

I learned about Feng Shui by viewing “The Sopranos” and “Goodfellas” that you don’t sit with your back facing the entrance door of a restaurant.

@ Denice Walter: I’m going over to AoA to check out that stabbing of Alex and will post back at you shortly.
you never sit in a restaurant with your back t

OT- no joking today-

This is not going to redound to the credit of Wakefield or Lisa Goes.

Magic is a way of making yourself feel better about the uncertain future</blockquoteEvery day when I go to the mailbox I wish for a million dollars* for this very reason. However, it has yet to appear. Occasionally I receive a small fraction of that in the form of an unexpected check of some sort or another** and feel that I'm just not wishing hard enough.

* If I were smart I''d wish for pounds, but I'm concerned that would be interpreted ambiguously. While a million pounds weight of gold would be extraordinarily nice, an equal weight of offal would be just something to clean up and a million pounds of plutonium would be downright hazardous. Also, I don't think the mailbox post would withstand a million pounds weight, so I find myself unable to believe that it's there if the box is standing.

** Natural gas royalty, class action lawsuit, rebate, or what have you.

you don’t sit with your back facing the entrance door of a restaurant.

“Wild Bill” Hickok could have told you that.

@ Narad:
Goes presents her “Confessions of a Martyr” at both AoA and TMR ( as the Rev). Six weeks or so ago, she ‘retired’ from her career as a self-indulgent chronicler of her trials and tribulations because her child with ASD broke her computer. However, she’s back ( see her posts at TMR for sequence- including those about Alex).

Goes and Jameson ( a/k/a Mamacita @ TMR) are amongst the most prolific writers at these two cesspits of prosaic misinformation.

@ Mephistopheles O’Brien:
Wish for GBP.

Personally, I prefer the Jewish energy balancing of “fong shai nun” (“Alright for him”, in the sense of “Now he’s done it” or “You can cross him off.”).
One of my first wife’s pretentious friends (“my first wife’s friend’ actually makes “pretentious” redundant) confused my autistic need to have things organized a certain way with an intuitive sense of feng shui. I never bothered to correct her, since she was “psychic” and “I know these things about people”.

*”Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grill has the best matzo ball soup in the galaxy. Lots of garlic, matzo balls with just the right consistency to absorb the flavor, big chunks of chicken, and the whole of it seasoned to a biting perfection. One bowl, along with maybe a couple of tamales, will usually do for a meal. As for entertainment, Feng gets some of the best Irish musicians you’ll ever hear — good instrumental backing, fine singing, some stupendous fiddle playing, and driving energy. Hell, some of the songs are actually Irish.”

“Use this precision-tuned miracle of cosmic technology to:”

Wow man, it’s, like, cosmic.

After we built our house, I was pretty unhappy to discover that the correct Feng Shui placement placement for the master bedroom (optimal romantic love qi), is where we put the laundry room.

@ Old Rocking Dave

Cowboy Feng’s Space Bar and Grill

Steven Brust is a true connoisseur of good food and ambiance. I personally prefer Valabar and Sons (as in the novel Dzur), but Cowboy Feng’s has its own charm. If only because there is always someone ready to play the fiddle.

Mephisto: What about it, indeed? Actually never knew about this or them, kind of Pythonesque. Thanks.
Few people can write about music or food well enough that you can understand without hearing or tasting for yourself. Brust can. The best at putting the music into the prose was Thomas Hardy. I had read most of his fiction before I learned he had been a working fiddler, but I knew it had to be true just from his writing.*

  • Dave Swarbrick as the fiddler in the movie of “Far from the Madding Crowd” was a brilliant choice in an excellent movie.

ORD. I never knew that Swarb was in that film! Thanks. (Breaks out “Liege and Lief” CD…)

Old Rockin’ Dave:

Thomas Hardy- my fave forever. But you already knew that.

Old Rockin’ Dave – The Goodies (Tim Brooke-Taylor, Graeme Garden, and Bill Oddie) performed in radio, along with Jo Kendall, John Cleese, and David Hatch, in the show “I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again” before going to television. You can find I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again on BBC radio 4 Extra, and it’s quite entertaining in a music hall kind of way. The Monty Python connection is an honest one.

I’m not quite sure what reminded me of the ancient Lancastrian art.

That’s Bill Oddie OBE to you, pardner. (I only looked into the later story after starting The Goodies from the beginning; the televised version of “Show Me the Way” set it all rolling.) Aren’t Graeme and Tim still on “I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue”?

it’s quite entertaining in a music hall kind of way
Episodes of ISIRTA are one of my most reliable sources of dismal puns.

Say what you will about cellular feng shui, the way it is advertised is brilliant. Take this little snippet (and few similar ones to be found in the quoted text):

Activate deeper wisdom and bypass years of learning

We have excellent example of emperor’s new clothes here! Once some poor, unfortunate soul buys the woo, they won’t be dissuaded from belief in it. After all, once you unlocked your cellular, deep wisdom, who the scientists are to tell you otherwise? They are ignorant non belivers, who lack the wisdom and clarity of reasoning to admit the greatness of Cellular Woo Shui!

Even better if some new products down the line reinforced that by claims that they are only suited for enlightened and deeply konwledgable individuals… And so on, and so forth. And people say you can’t learn from the woo.

Feng Shui is an ancient oriental term that means “the way of wind and water”.

That seems a suspicious amount of meaning to squeeze into just two syllables.

(Wikipedia, FWIW, says it just means “wind-water”.)

“When I go out to eat with my cohorts, there is frequently discussion about seating arrangements, changing places, etc.”

Once one gets to a certain age, the seating arrangement is based on hearing ability. 🙂

(Wikipedia, FWIW, says it just means “wind-water”.)

So Feng Shui cans cranberry products. Hoo gnu?

I found an old book on Feng Shui and the diagrams made wonderful sense if you were looking for a good spot to settle in a land plagued by earthquakes and floods.

The wording was cloaked in high-faluting metaphorical language, but that’s just Chinese writing style.

As cities grew, the practice extended itself to more than just pikcing a spor for a farm and apparently now has extended itself into the intersction of Woo Avenue and Quackery Court.

wonder what the feng shui manual says about negative energy disposal procedures?

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