QuantumPulse (V.I.B.E.) Device
Marketed with Far-Fetched Claims

Stephen Barrett, M.D.

Vibe Technologies, of Greeley, Colorado claims that its QuantumPulse Device can greatly benefit health. Its mission has been to "raise the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual vibrations of each living individual on the planet." [1] Its QuantumPulse device, which until recently was called the Vibrational Integrated Bio-photonic Energizer (VIBE) Machine, is claimed to improve "vibrations" of the body's cells. A company brochure states:

The VIBE Machine consists of technologies based on the theories of Lakhovsky, Tesla, Rife and Clark. Using these pioneering techniques, the device increases the cellular frequency amplitude back to its “original” healthy state. There are four general ways imbalance in the body is created. They include toxic substances we eat, pollutions we breathe, exposures to negative energetic environments, and how we process information in our thinking and feeling. Our body has a higher frequency or vibration when it is healthy and a lower vibration when sick. The device has many long-term positive effects on the body, as it automatically eliminates the "unwanted vibrations" inside your body [2].

The brochure further claims that "The Bio-Photonic Light produced by the VIBE Machine increases your inner-connectively to your DNA, giving it what it needs to balance itself" so that the body reaches its "optimum vibrational energy level." [3] Sitting in front of the device for up to 5 minutes per session is said to do the job. Some people buy it for personal use. Other buyers offer it to clients, typically for for $10 to $20 per session.

The company's Web site states:

This device contains a Multi-wave Oscillator (MWO), invented by Georges Lakhovsky, which is used to create frequencies in the infra-red and ultra-violet spectrum range. It also uses a Tesla coil to create high voltage and an electromagnetic field. Spectrum tubes containing noble gases are charged within this electromagnetic field. This produces biophotonic light. Biophotonic light is the pathway of inner cellular communication. The electromagnetic field is used as a carrier to transmit frequencies in a radius of approximately 6-8 feet around the machine. The tuning capacitor that sits on top of the machine produces Alpha Waves. The brain uses Apha, Beta and Theta waves (1-30 cycles) to open the pathways of communication from the brain to the body. The device produces a 90º phase shift between electrical and electromagnetic fields. The base of the QuantumPulse is constructed of materials which block electrical fields but allow electromagnetic fields to flow [3].

Vibe Technologies was founded in 2002 by Gene Koonce, who has operated an electronics repair business for many years [4]. In 2005, Koonce obtained a patent for a "multifrequency electro-magnetic field generator" by claiming that his device generates electromagnetic fields that can affect the user because they project further than those of previous devices [5]. The V.I.B.E. machine is approximately 2' x2' x4' and weighs 85 pounds. The price for a new one has been $17,800.

Regulatory Status

There is no scientific evidence that cells vibrate as Koonce claims or that the body's health can be improved by exposure to weak electromagnetic fields. Federal law requires that devices marketed with therapeutic claims be FDA-approved and carry adequate directions for use. To gain approval, a device manufacturer must prove to the FDA that it product can provide a health benefit. Koonce has not and cannot do this, which means that it is illegal for him to market his devices with claims that they can prevent, treat, mitigate, or cure any disease. In what appears to be an attempt to ward off regulation, Vibe Technology's sites have carried a disclaimer:

Nothing on this website is intended to diagnose, treat or cure any physical problems or medical conditions. Information on this site is intended to be used for educational purposes only. The statements on this site have not been evaluated by the FDA, and as such, shall not be construed as medical advice, implied or otherwise. This machine is for investigational use only.

Despite the disclaimer, however, the company has made many therapeutic claims. Its brochure, for example, contains testimonial statements claiming that the device helped users feel more energetic, go to the bathroom less frequently, sleep better, stop joint pain, pass a 4-inch parasite, and experience less coughing and fluid buildup in the lungs. In 2002, the V.I.B.E. site had testimonials claiming success with goiter, leukemia, migraine headaches, chronic back pain, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), diabetes, arthritis, fibroid tumors, constipation, insomnia, and several types of cancer. During a 2007 television program, Koonce said that the device is also useful for healthy people (such as athletes) as well as for pets and plants. He also said he has sold about 900 of them [6]. I have found no indication that the device is actually used for legitimate research.

In 2006, the State of Washington's Unlicensed Practice Program ordered Donald Brand stop treating patients. At that time, the authorities had noted that he referred to himself as a doctor, offered to cure a prospective patient of lung cancer, and treated many other patients for health problems. When he persisted, he and his wife were charged with violating federal device laws [7]. In 2008, they settled the charges by pleading guilty to a misdemeanor charge of "causing the introduction into interstate commerce of an adulterated medical device" (a V.I.B.E. Machine). They also agreed to forfeit the device and six others [8,9]. Sentencing in the criminal case is scheduled for September 2008.

In April 2008, the FDA notified Koonce that the V.I.B.E. Machine could not be legally marketed in interstate commerce [10]. Not long afterward, he changed its name to QuantumPulse. In July 2008, the QuantumPulse Web site listed 157 "QuantumPulse Centers" in the United States and 15 in other countries. Some of the proprietors are licensed as health professionals; others are not. Some operate salons where the device is used to "mobilize toxins" and an "ionic foot bath" device is claimed to take the toxins out of the body. Koonce claimed that he is in the process of seeking FDA approval. However, he cannot possibly get it because he cannot provide adequate evidence of effectiveness.

In October 2008, the FDAWeb site announced that Vibe Technologies had issued a Class 1 Recall of the VIBE Machine. The recall included a certified letter to each customer who had purchased the device to stop using it as a medical device, to stop promoting or claiming that the VIBE Machine is a medical device, and to destroy any VIBE literature making medical claims.

The Bottom Line

The QuantumPulse (formerly called V.I.B.E. Machine) is widely marketed with far-fetched claims and that it can improve health by correcting alleged problems with cell vibration. There is no scientific evidence or sensible reason to believe that cells vibrate as the device's promoters claim or that the body's health can be improved by exposure to weak electromagnetic fields. The recall notice also stated that "Class I recalls are the most serious type of recall and involve situations in which there is a reasonable probability that use of the product will cause injury or death." [11]. This is the only time in the past 20 years that I know of a Class 1 recall of a quack device. Unfortunately, it is not clear whether the recall will actually benefit consumers because the device can still be marketed and used as long as claims are kept vague and do not explicitly promise to prevent or cure diseases.

References

  1. Mission statement. Vibe Technologies home page, Oct 2002 through June 2007.
  2. V.I.B.E.: VIBRATIONAL INTEGRATION BIO-PHOTONIC ENERGIZER. Brochure, Vibe Technologies, March 2004.
  3. How does the QuantumPulse work? Vibe Technologies Web site, accessed July 24, 2008.
  4. About the inventor. QuantumPulse Web site, accessed July 24, 2008.
  5. Koonce G. Multifrequency electro-magnetic field generator. Patent No. 6,933,819, Aug 23, 2005.
  6. General Norman Schwartzkopf interviews Geene Koonce, inventor of the VIBE Machine. WBR Health Journal Television, Aug 22, 2007. (Not available on 11/4/08.)
  7. Superseding indictment. United States of America v Donald Brandt and Sharon Brandt. U.S. District Court, Western District of Seattle, Jan 16, 2008.
  8. Plea agreement. USA v. Donald Brandt. U.S. District Court, Western District of Seattle, filed May 23, 2008.
  9. Plea agreement. USA v. Sharon Brandt. U.S. District Court, Western District of Seattle, filed May 23, 2008
  10. Warwick HT. Warning letter to Gene E. Koonce, April 11, 2008.
  11. Class 1 Recall: VIBE Technologies, Vibrational Integrated Bio-photonic Energizer (VIBE) Machine Multi-Frequency Field Generator. Oct 1, 2008.

This article was revised on November 7, 2008.

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