IQS Testing Is Preposterous

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Are you looking for answers about weight control, anxiety, fatigue, depression, pain, sleep disorders, allergies, ADD/ADHD, digestion problems, hormone imbalance, stress, cardiovascular problems, menopause, general nutrition, infertility, heavy metals, chronic infections, immune deficiency, arthritis, or asthma? Promoters of the Interactive Query System (IQS™) would like you to believe that their devices will provide them. IQS equipment is distributed by I2I Network, of American Fork Utah, whose founder, Roy Curtin, Ph.D., invented the system. The company also offers training seminars at which Curtin speaks. According to an IQS brochure:

Your brain carries out thousands of non-verbal, interactive “conversations” with your muscles, glands, organs, nerves, immune system, etc., every second. Your body is internally “self-aware” of all of these systems from the moment of your birth. No instrument, medical laboratory, or computer is as sensitive, powerful, and comprehensive as your “Innate Intelligence” (in-born intelligence). When it comes to knowing what is happening inside your body, you are the expert.

IQS™(Interactive Query System) combines a computer database and a transducer which is touched to the skin (usually the hands or feet) in a way that allows our bodies to answer up to 20 health related questions per minute. This technology permits you and your health practitioner to explore hundreds of specific health issues in a single session. Many other technologies and testing methods take much more time and provide fewer detailed insights. Many important health related problems and solutions would very likely not be discovered with any other approach.

The IQS is one the seemingly endless parade of quack "electrodiagnostic" systems that generate health advice based on measurement of skin resistance at various points on the hands or feet. Proponents, claim their devices measure disturbances in the body's flow of "electro-magnetic energy" along "acupuncture meridians." Actually, these devices are little more than fancy galvanometers that measure electrical resistance of the patient's skin when touched by a probe. They emit a tiny direct electric current that flows through a wire from the device to a brass cylinder covered by moist gauze, which the patient holds in one hand.

A second wire is connected from the device to a probe, which the operator touches to "acupuncture points" on the patient's other hand or a foot that are claimed to "represent" organs throughout the body. This completes a low-voltage circuit and the device registers the flow of current.

The information is then relayed to a gauge or computer screen that provides a numerical readout on a scale of 0  to 100. Readings from 45 to 55 are normal ("balanced"); readings above 55 indicate inflammation of the organ "associated" with the "meridian" being tested; and readings below 45 suggest "organ stagnation and degeneration." Promoters typically claim that the process measures "strengths" and "weaknesses" throughout the body. However, the size of the number actually depends on how hard the probe is pressed against the patient's skin.

 

The IQS adds another layer of preposterousness to this by claiming that its equipment enables the body to "discover the root cause of health challenges" and "detect which pathogens and toxins are attacking it, which vertebrae are out of alignment, and which physiological and emotional functions are out of balance." Proponents further claim that their testing determines how the patient will respond to "remedies" and which remedy is best for the patient's particular health problem. The recommended products can include dietary supplements, herbs, and homeopathic products.

Devices of this type cannot be legally marketed for the diagnosis or treatment of disease. Some manufacturers try to skirt the law by claiming that they are biofeedback devices. If you encounter any pracitioner using such a device, please ask the FDA and the state attorney general to investigate.

This article was posted on March 26, 2006.

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