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What's Between Royal Raymond Rife and Cancer

We're surrounded by frequency everywhere we go. It's in the invisible radio waves all around us, in the light waves from the sun, in the cycle of the moon around the earth, and in our every cell. Spiritual people are always talking about frequencies and vibrations, and how each object in life has a frequency of its own. While they may not understand the scientific magnitude of it, they're actually not wrong: according to Physics Classroom, "All objects have a natural frequency or set of frequencies at which they vibrate." 
It's this very same frequency that scientist Royal Raymond Rife took advantage of, to invent his cancer-curing Rife machine in the 1920s. This machine produces low-energy electromagnetic waves, made to target cancer cells specifically. These waves are delivered through handheld plasma tubes or electrical pads on the limbs, over short sessions, several times a week. The machine detects low vibrations emitted by cancer cells, and simply explodes them. Then how come we've never heard of it? 

What is the Rife Machine?

cancer association words on a whiteboard
Rife based his machine on another scientist's work. Dr. Albert Abrams believed diseases have an electromagnetic frequency. If they do, we can tap into it and control it, can't we? The answer is a bit complicated. When Rife first introduced his machine 100 years ago, he was ridiculed and written off by the media. This may explain why: among his other inventions was a specialty microscope that could detect a virus' aura. The color of the aura, naturally, would tell us about the virus' frequency, thus allowing us to eliminate it with the Rife machine. 
In the public eye, Rife was an opportunist doctor, trying to ride the stream of new scientific discoveries between the World Wars. The problem with his theory was that he believed cancer is caused by bacteria, and all we had to do was target and kill the bacteria. This is only partly right- not all cancers are caused by viral or bacterial agents. But later scientific discoveries did reveal that certain parts of the body do react to electromagnetic waves.

The Faults of the Machine

Rife in his lab, 1929. 
Source/ Rife in his lab, 1929. 

However, the wavelengths tested in these later experiments are way out of the Rife machine range. It is important to note that there isn't still enough scientific research to support Rife therapy as an official treatment for cancer, and that it is still considered an experimental alternative cancer therapy. There is some evidence, however, to support low-frequency waves as a viable cancer treatment, but the frequencies tested are outside the range of the Rife machine, and were not tested on humans. It was found that these frequencies can inhibit cancer cell growth, and have no effect on non-cancerous cells. Most of the studies in the field, however, were done wither on animals or in test tubes- not on humans yet.

The plot thickens as we dive deeper into the storyline. Numeral reliable sources state that Rife machines never went through the formal procedure of testing and approving a cancer therapy method. There is not enough research to suggest it works effectively. And yet, we saw a surge in Rife machine sales in the 1990s. Why is that? The appeal of the Rife machines is in their no-side effect promise. Chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery all take a big toll on the body. What wouldn't a patient give to enjoy his healing journey, pain-free? Sadly, there is no big conspiracy here hiding a convenient cancer treatment from us. This was simply a multilevel marketing scheme, based on anecdotal positive testimonials. 

The Debate For and Against

Rife Therapy machine

There are solid claims both for and against the machine. Some say there are no side effects, while others state from experience that side effects include electrical shocks and rashes. But that may be because there is no regulation on the manufacturing of Rife machines- those rashes could have been caused by counterfeit, low-quality, fraud machines.

Rife therapy supporters claim that "in 1942 the U.S. Court of Appeals found the American Medical Association guilty of suppressing new medical technologies in favor of drug companies". (source) We didn't have the resources to confirm or deny this. Rife machine clinics mainly rely on positive testimonials rather than scientific experiments. They speak of an experiment held by Rife himself in 1934, in which he cured 16 patients of their cancer, but other voices speak of counter research that tried to repeat Rife's results and failed categorically.


The fact is, Rife machines emit a frequency lower than that of our cell phones. This isn't good or bad- it's just a fact. The problem starts when people decide to ditch their prescribed cancer therapy in favor of the Rife machine. Sometimes, they are victims of fraudulent health clinics, and sometimes, this can cost a life. This is not to deter you from showing interest in the Rife machine- only to clarify that this machine is to be seen as a complementary therapy to the prescribed common procedures. Just as you wouldn't abandon chemo for acupuncture, we wouldn't advise abandoning surgery in favor of frequency therapy. 


Bottom Line

There are endless alternative and complementary therapies. Some, like meditation, herbal medicine, and yoga, may not be fully backed by science, but are widely accepted as helpful and beneficial. Others, such as healing crystals and aromatherapy, usually split the crowd's opinion between eager positive believers, and skeptics. You can also throw the Placebo effect into this discussion to make the lines between science and pseudoscience even more blurred.

It's hard to tell into which category Rife machines fall. If Rife machines piqued your curiosity, our best advice is to stay well informed, gather as much information as possible and take everything with a grain of salt. 

Additional sources: Healthline, JuicingforHealth

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