Dr Menahem Alcalay in his surgery in Haifa
So there I sit with the good doctor, two small but heavy metal cylinders in hand, attached to output wires emanating from a small machine with an even smaller scientific biophysics display panel.
A not unpleasant, gently buzzing sensation tingles up my arms as I scrutinize his idiosyncratic study-clinic in Haifa and receive a very modern type of complementary therapy called bioresonance.
Both bioresonance and Dr Menahem Alcalay are neither your typical complementary therapy nor therapist.
For the ‘therapist’ is also a fully qualified and practising medical doctor who used to run three Clalit Health Fund clinics and is now involved in general medicine with a young population.
His technique, offered to one patient a day after work plus several on Friday, is based on electromagnetic physics with accretions from other complementary therapy disciplines.
I had always been something of a complementary medicine sceptic until our elder daughter benefited greatly from acupuncture. And indeed, Dr Alcalay incorporates the concept of the acupuncturist’s “meridians” too.
So, after hearing from a cousin how much improved she felt from the treatment, my husband and I thought we should give it a go for a variety of niggling ailments.
The doctor is particularly keen on treating auto-immune problems such as psoriasis, eczema, asthma, multiple sclerosis and even cancer.
He was drawn to the technique while working in South Africa a number of years ago. His mother came to visit from Haifa and needed some blood tests which he carried out for her. They came back clear. A short time later, though, he was shocked when she was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer and passed away soon afterwards.
After this painful period, Dr Alcalay tells me that he then thought to himself, “What use is all the medicine I have learnt?” and started to delve into various types of complementary therapies and alternative medicine. It was while at a conference in Germany on disciplines and techniques that he came across bioresonance. There then followed a series of ongoing, intensive training sessions in Germany
Dr Alcalay has thus become possibly the only medically qualified bioresonance practitioner in Israel who combines an eclectic selection of complementary therapies with bioresonance and a solid background in conventional medicine.
What is the scientific foundation underlying the diagnosis and treatment involved in bioresonance?
A perusal of the www.regumed.de website advises that the underlying scientific principles are confirmed by the latest findings in biophysics and quantum mechanics – areas until recently disregarded by conventional medicine. It states that every cell emits an energy frequency made up of particles of light.
However, it does acknowledge that its bioresonance diagnosis and treatment system has not been subject to scientific research so is not promoted by conventional medicine. This caveat is also mentioned on other websites that discuss this and other complementary medicine methods.
Dr Alcalay further explains that the body has its own regulatory processes for combatting stress to the body from disease and contaminants but, if that stress is too much, the body cannot cope. If there is also a genetic weakness the damaging effect is compounded.
The machine used (a BICOM machine) offers a non-invasive, painless method
that, by the placing of electrodes on the body or the holding of metal bars, claims to detect whether intolerances are present, organs are weakened or toxic substances are having a bad effect on the body.
The machine has satellite containers with small cylindrical slots for taking miniature glass phials filled with a variety of potentially stress-inducing substances in solution and can record their effect on the body by measuring the frequency given off by the body when these substances are used.
In this way it claims to be able to determine which substances are causing problems to the individual – such as bacteria and viruses, allergens, electro-smog, and dental material.
The treatment to the parts of the body found to be out of balance involves feeding back the correct, healthy frequencies to the body in an individualized, tailored manner using the appropriate phials again. Plenty of low mineral content water is drunk during the therapy to allow the cells to expel toxins into the intra-cellular fluid.
The doctor claims many successes, some taking more treatments than others. My husband, he says, is relatively simple and will only need four sessions. I, naturally, appear more complex. Oh well!
Each session with the doctor lasts two hours. I bombard him with questions throughout, although sometimes he signaled for me to be quiet! He is a personality whose individuality and very surroundings invite curiosity.
The first impression gained on panning around his study-clinic is that it feels like stepping into a time warp. The second is that it is an Aladdin’s cave of sorts. Living with his wife and the longed for blessing of their three-year-old son born in their middle age in an apartment previously owned by his parents, his room is replete with vintage wooden furniture. Every nook and cranny around the walls from floor to ceiling is filled with collector’s items.
One category, that makes itself known through their slightly uncoordinated chimes, is that of old clocks and watches hanging from plate display hooks in front of which are set fine china plates.
The walls are resplendent in shelves of fine china tea sets while the desk supports miniature ornaments jostling for space with his hi-tech machinery. Stamp albums fill bookcases adorned with china milk jugs. He has some fascinating stamps documenting the early days of British mandate Palestine, early Israel and the transition period.
But most of all he has trays upon trays upon trays of his phials filled with the aforementioned esoteric substances in solution. I watched, mesmerized, as he selected phial after phial and placed them in the slots in the metal cylinders attached to the machines. The knowledge of what each of these represents must constitute to be a large part of his training.
The bioresonance method is popular in Holland and in the German-speaking countries of Europe. However, despite his obvious admiration for the scientific rigor and methodology developed in Germany, he is also somewhat uncomfortable with attending courses there.
Dr Alcalay attended the prestigious, private Reali School in Haifa and qualified in medicine at the Haifa Technion. He continues to live and work in Haifa.
With regards to alternative medicine in general, there has been a push in recent years to subject these treatments to effectiveness studies to assess both their ability to promote health and to assess for possible harmful effects. Reviews of the scientific literature including Pubmed, Cochrane Reviews, and PDQ (Topics in Complementary and Alternative Therapies), did not reveal any scientific studies of Bioresonance.
I quote the following paragraph from the present article:
“A perusal of the www.regumed.de website advises that the underlying scientific principles are confirmed by the latest findings in biophysics and quantum mechanics – areas until recently disregarded by conventional medicine. It states that every cell emits an energy frequency made up of particles of light.
However, it (www.regumed.de) does acknowledge that its bioresonance diagnosis and treatment system has not been subject to scientific research so is not promoted by conventional medicine. This caveat is also mentioned on other websites that discuss this and other complementary medicine methods.”
It is, therefore, important to emphasize that there is no scientific underpinning for either the effectiveness or safety of Bioresonance.
The article is certainly of interest as a description of the author’s personal experience with both Dr. Alcalay and Bioresonance.