Some Notes on the Bi-Digital O-Ring Test and Quantum Reflex Analysis

Stephen Barrett, M.D.
September 10, 2017
The bi-digital O-ring test (BDORT)—a variant of applied kinesiology—is claimed to provide information about health of internal organs by testing finger strength under various conditions. It was developed in the early 1980s and patented in 1993 by Yoshiaki Omura, M.D., Sc.D., a physician/acupuncturist who worked in New York City during most of his professional career. The patent document describes BDORT this way:

A method of imaging an internal organ of a patient for purposes of medical diagnosis, where a patient forms an O-ring shape with one of hands by placing the fingertips of his thumb and one of his remaining fingers together and a sample of tissue of an internal organ is placed on the patient’s other hand and the patient’s internal organ is non-invasively externally probed with a probing instrument. The internal organ is the same type of organ as that of the sample. Simultaneously a tester attempts to pull apart the O-ring shape by means of the tester placing his thumb and one of the remaining fingers of each of his hands within the O-ring shape of the patient to form interlocking O-rings and pulling the thumb and the finger of the patient apart due to an electromagnetic field of the tissue of the sample interacting with an electromagnetic field of the internal organ being probed and this interaction is detected by the ability to pull apart the O-ring shape thereby permitting imaging of the boundaries of the internal organ being probed [1].

The top picture shows the finger positions when the test begins. The middle picture shows the patient’s fingers being pulled apart while his other hand holds a sample that supposedly corresponds to the organ being tested. The bottom picture shows the fingers being pulled apart while a “stimulus” is applied to the skin above the organ supposedly being tested.

Based on the above notions, practitioners use the O-ring test to diagnose organ dysfunction and recommend products such as dietary supplements to correct them.

Omura’s Background

Omura’s 1982 book, Acupuncture Medicine: Its Historical and Clinical Background, if accurate, indicates that despite the strangeness of many of his ideas, his credentials and academic activities included many that were respectable:

Yoshiaki Omura is a physician, educator, electrical engineer and experimental physicist. He was born in 1934 in Japan and came to the United States in I 959, after finishing his B.Sc., M.D. and internship, and beginning his surgical residence at Tokyo University Hospital. He has been an American citizen since 1979.

In 1958, Professor Omura received his M.D. from the School of Medicine, Yokohama City University (1954-58). While serving as a research fellow in cardiovascular surgery and later as a surgical resident physician at the Cancer Institute of Columbia University, he also did his postgraduate study of experimental physics at Pupin Laboratory, Columbia University (1960-63). In 1960, Professor Omura introduced the first course in the United States on biomedical electronics at the Electrical Engineering Department of Manhattan College as a Visiting Research Professor, and continued teaching and research until 1999. In 1965, he received his Sc.D. (Medicine), from the Department of Pharmacology at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, on the pharmacoelectrophysiology of single cardiac cells. . . . He was a member of the New York State Board of Medicine from 1986 to 1996. . . .

His academic affiliations include Adjunct Professor, Department of Pharmacology, Chicago Medical School, 1982-1993; Adjunct Professor, Department of Community and Preventive Medicine, New York Medical College,. . . . His current associations with professional organizations include Diplomate of the American Academy of Pain Management . . . and Life Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine of England [2].

The full biography as well as considerable information about Omura’s beliefs about acupuncture, can be seen online by clicking on the book title in the references below. I have not been able to check the accuracy of the reports about his credentials.

Quantum Reflex Analysis

Quantum Reflex Analysis (QRA) is a similar method in which the O-ring test is conducted while the patient places his other hand on supposed “key organ and gland control points” on the surface of the body. Once the practitioner has determined which control points need help, he will then test nutrients or formulas to find the “exact” match — the one that makes a point that tested “off” to test “on” again. The picture to the right shows “key points” identified in a QRA brochure [3].

QRA was developed by “Dr.” Bob Marshall who also founded Quantum Nutrition Labs, which sells “QNL formulas with specific nutrients that could elegantly support various organs and glands of the body.” The site that sells the products says that Marshall received a “Ph.D.” degree from Columbia Pacific University and served as president of the International and American Association of Clinical Nutritionists from 1998 to 2000. The site also claims that “he is one of the most effective Clinical Nutritionists in the U.S. today, having one of the largest Nutritional Practices in the world.” [4] Columbia Pacific University was a nonaccredited correspondence school that, in 2001, was shut down after California’s educational authorities determined that it could not meet the current standards for approval [5].

Neural Therapy

Neural therapy involves the injection of procaine (a local anesthetic) or other substances into various body tissues. It is based on the notion that trauma can produce long-standing disturbances in the electrochemical function of tissues. Proponents claim that a neural therapy injection often can relieve chronic pain and many types of long-standing illnesses. Later they decided that the injections worked by removing interferences that block or short-circuit the flow of “information” through the autonomic system. In addition to procaine, current practitioners may inject vitamins, minerals, homeopathic medications, and/or herbal extracts. The injections are placed into scars, nerves, ganglions (nerve clusters), and/or “acupuncture meridians” claimed to be responsible for the “blockages.” Some practitioners use O-ring testing to determine where to inject [6].

Regulatory Action

In 2003, Richard Warwick Gorringe, MB, ChB, of Hamilton, New Zealand, was ordered to pay NZ$104,096 and was struck off the medical practitioner’s register, which means that he can no longer legally practice medicine. The action came after the New Zealand’s Medical Practitioners’ Disciplinary Tribunal found Gorringe guilty of professional misconduct and disgraceful conduct in relation to his care of two patients he treated in 1998. Gorringe was a general practitioner who used homeopathy and other methods that he referred to as “complementary.” Documents in the case indicate that Gorringe based his diagnoses on a version of BDORT that he called “peak muscle resistance testing (PMRT).” [7] Gorringe now practices as a “practitioner of bio-energy and complementary therapies” under the name Ricky Gorringe [8].

The Bottom Line

The idea that muscle-testing can determine the status of the body’s organs or provide a basis for treating health problems is preposterous.

  1. Omura, Y. Bi-digital O-ring test for imaging and diagnosis of internal organs of a patient. Patent #5,188,107, Feb 23, 1993.
  2. About the author. In: Omura Y. Acupuncture Medicine: Its Historical and Clinical Background. Dover Publications, Mineola, N.Y., 1982.
  3. Quantum Reflex Analysis: The 21st century technique to promote quantum health. Undated flier.
  4. Dr. Bob Marshall: Our gratitude goes out to Dr. Marshall for his life enhancing work. Quality Natural Health Web site, accessed Aug 24, 2017.
  5. Barrett S. Court orders Columbia Pacific University  to cease operating illegally in California. Quackwatch, Nov 5, 2013.
  6. Barrett S. Stay away from neural therapy. Quackwatch, March 13, 2015.
  7. Barrett S. Disciplinary actions against Dr. Richard Gorringe. Quackwatch, July 9, 2004.
  8. Ricky Gorringe. Waikato Health Clinic LTD Web site, accessed Aug 24, 2017.

This article was revised on September 10, 2017.