Health Guide

Energy medicine

What is it?

Energy medicine uses electronic devices to measure the electrical resistance at numerous points on your body. This technology is widely used in other countries for diagnosing diseases. It is not approved by the United States (U.S.) Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a medical device.

In the 1950's, Dr. Reinold Voll, a German doctor, observed that traditional acupuncture points had a lower electrical resistance than other skin points. He developed a device to measure the skin's resistance at these points and found that each point had a standard measurement for all healthy people. He thought that increases from this normal reading meant there was tissue inflammation associated with that point. Decreases from the normal reading indicated there was fatigue or tissue degeneration associated with that point.

The methods and technologies developed by Dr. Voll became known as "Electro-acupuncture According to Voll" or EAV. This technology is also known as electrodermal screening or EDS. The acupuncture points that are measured are usually on the hands and feet. Specific points known as control measurement points are used to indicate the general health of an organ or tissue. There are currently over two thousand points that have been discovered.

Dr. Voll made an interesting discovery when evaluating a fellow doctor who had a history of prostate problems. Dr. Voll measured the doctor's "prostate point" and found it lower than the expected normal reading. Later that day, he measured the point again and found it to be in the normal range. At the second evaluation, the doctor had a natural prostate supplement in his pocket. Dr. Voll discovered that abnormal readings could be corrected when a "healing" medicine was held by the person he was measuring. This allowed Dr. Voll not only to find what organs were unhealthy but also what medicine would correct the problem.

Current EDS machines vary from simple machines to fully computerized devices. Some machines can automatically test nutrients, bacteria, viruses, and chemicals and record the effects they have on the body.

Various theories exist about how these machines work and what they measure. Some claim that the energy testing devices measure the amount of the qi or "life energy" that flows through the Chinese acupuncture channels. Others feel that the devices measure the amount of stress on each channel. An increase in stress will reduce the amount of electricity flowing through the channel. A medicine that helps resolve the stress will restore the normal flow of electricity and return the measurement to normal.

During the first visit to the care giver, an electrode will be put in one of your hands. The care giver will place a pen-like stylus on a specific acupuncture point on your other hand or your feet. A small current is sent from the stylus into the acupuncture point and through your body. The current leaves your body through the electrode into a machine that measures the amount of current. You cannot feel the current because a small amount is used.

Electrodermal screening can be very helpful with many health problems. In the U.S., EDS cannot be used for diagnosing illnesses. It must be used as an experimental device for screening purposes. A skilled EDS technician is able to detect almost any known disease, chemical toxin, food allergy, and organ "weakness" in the body. EDS can also screen potential medicines to determine which will help restore the body's balance before actually taking the medicine. Any serious illness, such as cancer, diabetes, or heart disease should also be monitored with conventional blood testing and other diagnostic tests.

Electrodermal screening and energy medicine may be done by medical doctors, osteopaths, naturopaths, acupuncturists, chiropractors, dentists, and lay people. These techniques are not currently taught in medical school. Training is available from further education or the machine manufacturer. The accuracy of the screening is not 100% objective and is highly dependent upon the skill and experience of the practitioner.

For more information:

  • International Academy for Bioenergetic Practitioners.
  • M.E.D. Servi-Systems (800) 267-6868.
  • Occidental Institute (800) 663-8342.


1. Burton Goldberg Group: Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Future Medicine Publishing, Puyallup, WA; 1994.

2. Shimmel H & Penzer V: Functional Medicine. Karl F. Haug Verlag GmbH, Heidelberg, Germany; 1996.

3. Woodham A & Peters D: Encyclopedia of Healing Therapies, 1st ed. Dorling Kindersley, NY, NY; 1997.

Last Updated: 7/4/2018
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