The Universal Medicine cult specializes in bogus therapies with perversely exaggerated claims to efficacy. Esoteric Chakra-Puncture, Serge Benhayon’s bastardized form of acupuncture, is both a workshop scam and another of the cult’s treatment room abuses, encouraging practitioners with inadequate training to target vulnerable patients, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, or suffering from Crohn’s disease. Not only does this sham therapy have zero clinical basis, but we’ve found no evidence Universal Medicine provides certified training in infection control. UPDATE MARCH 2015: Scam Chakra-puncture at Evolve College
The Alternative Therapies Training Racket
Anyone in the complementary medicine game knows there isn’t a lot of money in treating patients. You have to charge a lot or convince them into returning for repeat treatments. Because alternative therapies have variable results, with many practitioners charging too much for very little, that’s a tough ask, and what is more, practitioners are limited to being able to treat a relatively small number of patients per day. The real money in alternative medicine is in selling products and running courses. Courses are more lucrative again if the facilitator can persuade ‘students’ they need to attain certain levels of competence by attending multiple courses. Universal Medicine has perfected that racket by running workshops in Serge Benhayon’s invented, untested modalities, and deceiving students that by completing numerous levels, they can become ‘accredited’ Esoteric Practitioners. They get more money again out of students through the cult’s accrediting body, the Esoteric Practitioners Association via the misleading claim that membership of the Association will enable them to gain insurance. Insurance, mind you, that doesn’t indemnify abuse.
In his quest for modalities to be able to sell as courses, Serge Benhayon discovered he could offer acupuncture. However, in order to give UniMed acupuncture the Esoteric touch of ‘energetic integrity’, Benhayon has stripped it of more than two thousand years of traditional practice, a canon of scholarly literature dating from the second century BCE, it’s theoretical basis, its diagnostic and practical skills, its public health accountability and its name.
He’s also managed to convince his entranced followers that it was invented by some sort of ancient hierarchy, of which only he has knowledge.
Esoteric Chakra-puncture: the Ancient knowledge of the flow of ‘fiery energy’ is older than any other form of healing. Universal Medicine Website
Chakra-puncture is based on the oldest form of medicine, pre-dating both the Chinese and Japanese forms of acupuncture. Harmony Throughout Website – practitioner, Valquiria Oliveira
Except no one had ever heard of it before Serge, and the total lack of evidence for his claims places them strictly within the realms of pseudo-archaeology, or what I prefer to call wackjobbery.
Furthermore, Benhayon’s attempt at co-opting an entire medical tradition for his own sadistic purposes and profit is plain contemptuous, not only to patients and students but to the Chinese Medicine tradition. For example, to become a registered acupuncturist in Australia, practitioners are required to complete a four or five year Bachelor of Health Sciences degree at an approved institution. Practitioners study health sciences, such as anatomy, physiology, biochemistry and clinical medicine subjects, as well as traditional Chinese Medicine theory developed over thousands of years. An example of Benhayon’s derision of students and patients is evident in his Chakrapuncture point charts where points are imprecisely located on rudimentary drawings with no reference to anatomical features.
Chakra-Puncture point location, needling technique, a set of treatment protocols for various disorders and a bit of slap dash infection control are all taught in a single weekend course before students are let loose to practice on their friends and families – including children.
In comparison, acupuncture point location is usually taught over two semester units and students are required to memorize the precise anatomical locations, within millimetres, of several hundred points. Point location exams involve finding them on a model patient and written tests, where students must describe the exact measurements and their position on or near anatomical landmarks (bones, skin, muscle, tendons). Any acupuncturist who claps eyes on the charts can immediately see they are a sick joke, compared with the real thing, below.
To practice acupuncture in Australia, practitioners must be registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulatory Authority (AHPRA), and to qualify for registration, practitioners have to complete a Bachelor of Health Sciences Degree approved by the Chinese Medicine Board of Australia (CMBA), and then complete annual continuing professional education, and adhere to a detailed code of conduct, including guidelines on advertising and infection control.
Unregistered practitioners who use the title ‘acupuncturist’ are liable for prosecution. Up until Chinese Medicine practitioner registration was introduced in 2012, Benhayon’s small legion of Esoteric Chakra-Puncturists, including the unexceptional Chakra-puncture trainer, Michael Benhayon, were calling themselves acupuncturists, presumably so their patients were entitled to private health fund rebates. It seems Michael Benhayon was trained in acupuncture at some stage, but clearly it wasn’t a course approved by the CMBA. If he or any of the other ex acupuncturists wanted to be registered, they could have applied to the board and undergone a test of their competence, but seeing they’d thoroughly mutilated the hand that fed them, competence was something they could no longer prove.
Anyway, since the registration requirements took effect in July 2012, the under-skilled Esoteric Chakra-Puncturists have been avoiding prosecution by avoiding calling themselves acupuncturists. The fact they use acupuncture needles, make claims to be able to assist symptoms, and Serge (and the hierarchy that exists in his addled head) could never have invented it without borrowing from the Chinese Medicine tradition, hasn’t been sufficient for AHPRA to prosecute them. Yet.
To make sure they get around regulators, they try to tell us Chakra-Puncture isn’t acupuncture.
It is easier to liken this modality to the use of needles just like in acupuncture. That said, this is not acupuncture and there are no traditional acu-points used.
Firstly, and in clear distinction, Esoteric Chakra-puncture uses very soft Japanese style needles that are tube delivered (too soft to insert without a protective safety sheath) and secondly, the needles are only inserted at a depth of about 0.2 to 0.5mm. Yes, the depth of insertion is very, very slight and the manner of insertion is very gentle with only a light touch needed.
Note: the points used are those that are based on the Science of the Nadis. And therefore, in this modality, there are no acu-points and there is no adherence or following whatsoever to any ‘meridian’ lines or the like. Universal Medicine Website
I’m not seeing a ‘clear distinction’ when they’re using Japanese acupuncture needles, in a shallow insertion style similar to Japanese acupuncture. Serge then reckons he invented the ‘Science of the Nadis‘ (energy centres thought to carry prana – life energy – the stuff Serge is urging his followers to ‘dump’), but if there’s no points and no meridians and 45,000 nadis, Esoteric Chakra-Puncturists spend two days learning to jab patients with sharp metal objects pretty arbitrarily.
Acupuncture it aint.
Yet, when it was convenient for marketing, and before Serge decided Australian practitioners need to dodge the regulators, Chakra-Puncturists like EPA chairman, Neil Ringe, were calling it Esoteric Acupuncture. The screenshot below was taken late last year from naturopath, Sue Kira’s website. Sue Kira has no acupuncture training, and has since removed all reference to Chakra-Puncture from her site. Perhaps she was overwhelmed by all the energetic integrity.
Currently, in the UK, where there is less regulation, Sara Williams is quite happy to call Chakra-Puncture Esoteric Acupuncture.
Regardless of what the cult chooses to call this abuse, the point is, it’s not regulated. No one is overseeing Chakra-Puncturists’ adherence to infection control guidelines, no one is checking that standardized infection control is taught in Chakra-Puncture courses, and if a patient experiences adverse events, such as catching HIV or any form of hepatitis via Chakra-Puncture, the practitioners are not accountable to anyone. Except perhaps the police, and if any patient does contract an infectious disease from this bogus therapy, they ought to make a police complaint of assault or grievous bodily harm. In the meantime, I’ll be putting this scourge to the regulators and legislators and asking who is policing Chakra-Puncture hygiene practices, and making a bid to have it stopped, or at the very least regulated. If this rubbish needs to exist at all, a qualified clinician needs to justify its clinical basis, and then if they can do that, its practice needs to be limited to registered acupuncturists or registered physiotherapists accountable to AHPRA or their professional boards.
If it’s not bad enough that no one is policing hygiene procedures by Esoteric Chakra-Puncturists, patients are deceived into thinking that Chakra-Puncture, the invention of an unqualified, self styled ‘healer’ and ex bankrupt, is able to relieve symptoms, and they’re charged money for it.
Chakra-puncture is based on the oldest form of medicine, pre-dating both the Chinese and Japanese forms of acupuncture. It uses very fine Japanese needles for a light, gentle needling technique on the surface of the skin, without any deep needling. Sessions can be undertaken as a stand-alone session or in a program format such as the Chemo Wash Program (to support those undertaking chemotherapy) a cold and flu preventative treatment course, or a 12 week Detoxification Program to clear toxins, chemical loading and heavy metals from the body. The Detox program offers great support for those clients who are choosing a way of life that reduces the need for stimulants and or numbing products such as coffee, cigarettes, alcohol, drugs, gluten, dairy and sugar. It is very supportive for weight loss too. Chakra-puncture can assist with a range of acute/chronic conditions such as:
•diabetes •anxiety •sleeplessness •arthritis •digestive disorders •cancer support •sciatica •tinnitus •bladder conditions •vascular conditions •restless legs •allergy •depression •knee problem •weight management •back/neck pain •sinusitis •eczma •detoxification •hormonal conditions •fibromyalgia •chronic fatigue •hayfever •prostate disorders •menstrual disorders •fertility •emotional states •kidney disorders •migranes/headaches •racy head to name but a few. Harmony Throughout – ex acupuncturist Valquiria Oliveira
Acupuncture has proven its clinical efficacy over more than two thousand years of practice on billions of patients. Research and clinical trials are ongoing, and it is currently used in private and publicly funded hospitals alongside Western allopathic medicine throughout Asia. Serge’s invented Chakra-Puncture has been tested on whom? When? Where are the studies? The data? How does it perform detox or prevent colds and flu or support weight loss? Where is the evidence? Particularly when Serge himself states that relieving symptoms is not the aim of Esoteric healing.
A true healing is one that arrests the prana and not one that improves the wellbeing of the client by allowing them to exist better in the pranic form. (Benhayon, 2011, p.592)
In as far as using prana for healing or anything else (acupuncture, shiatsu, tai qi, qi gong, homeopathy, kinesiology etc.) note the following very well…in many cases the symptoms appear to have been alleviated or removed and, in some cases, a complete cure may present itself but, this is in fact not the case, for prana cannot arrest prana, and or, prana cannot discard prana – it can only shift an ill and or disguise it in finer and or more sophisticated forms of it. Forget not that all illness and disease are forms of excessive prana. (Benhayon, 2009, p.412)
Worst of all, these practitioners are targeting some of the most vulnerable patients with this untested balderdash. Cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, diabetics, patients with Crohn’s disease, in other words, seriously ill people whose immune systems are compromised are being needled by self entitled, arrogant, unqualified fools with inadequate training in sterile procedure.
Patients are also being financially abused – paying good money, which could be used for decent, safe, effective treatment. Furthermore, knowing the Universal Medicine cult, Chakra-Puncture treatment is bound to come with indoctrination and recruitment, gratis. So a cancer patient forks out for ‘Chemo-wash’ and next thing they’re paid up to the Livingness death drive and making a bequest to Serge’s ‘College’ of property investment.
Alarmingly, it doesn’t stop there. Chakra-Puncturists are stabbing at children, which an ex senior police officer I’ve spoken with regards as assault. All endorsed by the retinue of Universal Medicine affiliated doctors and allied health professionals, who, astoundingly, know better.
If you’ve suffered adverse effects from Esoteric Chakra-Puncture, please report it to the NSW HCCC.
Benhayon, S. The Living Sutras of the Hierarchy, UniMed Publishing, Goonellabah, 2009
Benhayon, S. Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, UniMed Publishing, Goonellabah 2011
See also: Scam Chakra-puncture at Evolve College