Third time unlucky for Steps to Perfect Health

The Advertising Standards Authority have upheld my third complaint against live blood analyst and general all round quack, David Parker (t/a Steps To Perfect Health). The last two complaints against Parker had been informally resolved but despite assurances, he failed to remove the problematic claims from his website.

These claims related to Dried Layered Blood Analysis by Light Field Microscopy, Live Blood Analysis by Dark Field and Phase Contrast Microscopy, Full Body Scans using the BEST body scanning system, Sensitivity Allergy Testing using the Electro Dermal screening technique, as well as more general claims about David’s abilities to successfully treat a range of named conditions including arthritis, osteoporosis, bacterial and parasitic infections and cardiovascular disorders.

According to his Practitioner Profile page, David is a graduate of a pair of dubious and nonaccredited quack colleges: the Institute for Optimum Nutrition and the Pan American Institute of Bio Energetic Medicine. He is not a suitably qualified medical professional.

Parker was told to remove all claims from his advertising which stated or implied that his various tests were effective in diagnosing health and medical conditions. He was also told to remove all claims which stated or implied that he could alleviate, treat or cure any health and medical conditions. He was told to remove all claims which could discourage essential treatment for conditions for which medical supervision should be sought and advised to seek Copy Advice from CAP.

I am pleased to note that David has removed the list of conditions he thinks he can treat but disappointed that the majority of the problematic claims remain.

Blood Analysis

Parker still makes the following claims regarding Dried Layered Blood Analysis by Light Field Microscopy:

Used to identify abnormalities in the blood, e.g. toxic metals, parasites, inflammation, anti-oxidant deficiencies, amino acid profile.

This is an invaluable test to establish both the short and the long term nature of any health problem, as well as generally to give an overall picture of your health. This test gives some of the clinical information required to specifically tailor any health and rejuvenation programme.

He makes the following claims for Live Blood Analysis by Dark Field and Phase Contrast Microscopy:

Used to identify yeast infections, nutrient deficiencies, Qualitative and Quantitative anaemia’s, Acid/Alkaline imbalances, Electro-magnetic deficiency and Pleo-morphic bacteria.

Provides an essential foundational view of the current condition and quality of your blood
i.e. Your river of life!

This is of course utter nonsense, based on the ludicrous belief that blood cells transform into bacteria and fungi, together with the equally ludicrous belief that by looking at the blood, you can diagnose and treat any health condition imaginable.

Full Body Scan

The following claims also remain:

Comprehensive scientific research has shown that the meridians of the body, first mapped by the chinese, have a different electrical resistance to the rest of the body. Much work has been done to build on these maps and a database of information built up with research done on healthy individuals and those with specific health problems.

All this detailed research has created an advanced database of electrical skin restistance data along the meridian pathways. This data corresponds with the correct or incorrect functioning of the bodys organs and systems. Using up to date computer software and digital images, one is able to get an on-screen dynamic reading for an on the spot assessment.

The BEST system is capable of very complex screening techniques. In addition to the full body testing, the BEST system can screen for hormone imbalances, enzyme deficiencies, heavy metal toxicity, bacteria and viral infections, environmental allergies, pesticides and other nasty chemicals.

Once we have established any current sensitivities, a diet designed to support and balance the system can be determined. This would change over time as your health begins to improve! As nutrient deficiencies are corrected and toxins eliminated the recuperative powers of the body improve and adaptation to stress and recovery from illness are maximised. A stronger ability to adapt to changing conditions and environment is a sure sign that your health is improving.

The full body scan readings will begin to normalise and previously weak points will once again show strong.

More imaginative pseudoscientific drivel, alongside the implication that this test can also diagnose pretty much anything.

But although Parker claims that the technique is used by health professionals the world over, including doctors, dentists and homeopaths, he also contradicts himself by noting:

The BEST system does not diagnose, treat or cure any disease, it can however identify energy imbalances, which when corrected should alleviate one’s current symptoms or prevent the physical symptom from manifesting.

Sensitivity Allergy Testing

The following claims are also still there:

Sensitivity Allergy Testing uses the Electro Dermal screening technique to pinpoint an individuals susecptibilities to allergens in their environment. With the knowledge that this testing gives, the individual is empowered to be able to avoid or ideally completely remove the offending allergens from their life.

When using common household cleaners in the shower, on mirrors, toilet, etc., you inhale and absorb a whole new range of poisonous chemicals that can damage the organs, eyes, central nervous and respiratory systems.

As described in the ASA ruling, there is still a table indicating which of eight unnamed “known poisonous ingredients” are included in everyday products such as shampoo, hair spray, fabric softener and cosmetics. There is still a second table listing a large number of “Negative Health Effects” associated with those ingredients, such as skin problems, eye problems including cataract formation, insomnia, respiratory problems including asthma, diabetes, damage to genes, muscle, joint and bone pain, gastrointestinal problems, anaemia, heart problems including heart disease, reproductive problems, headaches, dizziness, hyperactivity and ADD (also known as ADHD), memory loss, immune disorders and allergic reactions.

Summary

In short, Steps to Perfect Health have not complied with the adjudication and whether they will do so over the coming weeks remains to be seen.

There are already three live blood analysts on the ASA list of non-compliant advertisers. David Parker seems eager to join them.*

Related articles

A new era of scientific discovery? Edzard Ernst, The Guardian, 12/07/05

Live Blood Analysis: The Modern Auguries Mark Crislip, Science-Based Medicine, 13/02/09

Live Blood Analysis and the ASA: a catalogue of complaints Josephine Jones, 14/01/13

__________________________________________

*UPDATE 25/03/13 Steps To Perfect Health have now been added to the ASA list of non-compliant online advertisers for failure to amend their website following the adjudication. Details are here.

22 responses to “Third time unlucky for Steps to Perfect Health

  1. Pingback: Live Blood Analysis and the ASA: a catalogue of complaints | Josephine Jones

  2. Absolutely correct. David Parker is a rampant egomaniac after as much money as he can fleece from patients. A quack!
    I consulted David on three occasions and quickly began to realise that he was lacking in care, making up some health information, out of ignorance, and making recommendations which could cause death. He was irresponsible and absolutely negligent. He left me dangling and flew off to Portugal, but not before making a tidy sum out of me.
    He is giving EBOO treatment in London and in Portugal, and I do not believe he is qualified to do this!

  3. It’s George again. I feel I should qualify that David Parker claimed he could get me off Warfarin (which Dr Hannah Cohen at UCH said I would have to take for life) by replacing this with ‘NOW’ Vit E 200 IU with mixed tocopherols for two weeks, halve the Warfarin, then 400 IU for a further two weeks and stop the Warfarin! There was no medically trained person (i.e. doctor) present!

    Several days later, on my informing David that ‘NOW’ did not make 200 IU with mixed tocopherols, he said take the 200 IU for a week, 400 IU the next week and stop the Warfarin. I asked, why this shrinkage in time? He answered because you are not now taking the mixed tocopherols! Yet I have discovered that mixed tocopherols are what make Vit E. He refuses, from Portugal, to resolve this simple question!
    Throughout our 3 consultations there was no doctor present.
    I did not take David’s advice, obviously. I could be in danger of having a Pulmonary Embolism.

    • ‘Throughout our 3 consultations there was no doctor present.’
      I presume you mean a Medical Doctor? Doctor can just mean someone with a PhD in any subject. Why do you expect there to be an MD present at an appointment with a natural health practitioner? I think you have unreasonable expectations. That is no fair criticism of David Parker. If you are going to pay for the opinions on a medical matter of someone without medical qualifications, then this type of thing that can happen. General health questions are more their territory. Those that make bold medical claims often get away with it because what they say actually works. I can’t comment about all such practitioners and every case obviously. Sometimes such people talk rubbish. But what do you expect? I cannot comment on the other advice given but I generally take the advice of naturopaths and their ilk with a pinch of salt anyway as it is usually just an opinion.

  4. George – have you reported David Parker to Trading Standards as you have (a) lost money and (b) had your health put at risk by (b1) dreadful advice and (b2) a lack of proper medical care.

    As Josephine notes there are now four live blood analysts listed on the ASA’s non-compliant list (there are 46 non-compliant advertisers in total so live blood testing manages to make up a reasonably high percentage!) so it seems that live blood analysis is under unprecedented scrutiny at the moment and the lack of evidence for it is now very well known.

  5. Dear Josephine,
    I haven’t reported David Parker to Trading Standards. Don’t know how to go about it, or else I would!

  6. How to report to Trading Standards
    ****************************************
    For people who are reading and wondering how to report to Trading Standards here’s some info, but Josephine’s blog has information about reporting in general that’s well worth a read (for example TStds mightn’t be the most appropriate people to complain to, in some instances).

    The following text is copied and pasted from the Trading Standards Institute page – http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/index.cfm – in most cases you’d likely be reporting via Citizens Advice, but if there has been criminal activity (see last segment below) it might be referred directly to a trading standards office.

    “TSI is a membership and training organisation and does not give consumer advice – you need to contact the Citizens Advice consumer service, which does handle consumer enquiries.

    The Citizens Advice consumer service provides free, confidential and impartial advice on consumer issues.

    You can look on http://www.adviceguide.org.uk or call the Citizens Advice consumer helpline on 08454 04 05 06.

    In cases of reported criminal behaviour, for example, scams, unsafe goods and rogue traders, the Citizens Advice consumer service will refer your details to the relevant local authority trading standards service who will decide on what to do next.

    Trading standards is a local authority regulatory service. Online guidance may be available through your local trading standards service’s website for both consumers and business. Use the post code search to find your local office. If you use the advertised telephone number you may find you are correctly put through to the Citizens Advice consumer service.”

    There’s a map on the page, to find your local Trading Standards office http://www.tradingstandards.gov.uk/advice/index.cfm

  7. I have sought David’s consultation on numerous occasions over the past ten years and he has put my health on the right track using various techniques, every time. I still and always will look to him for his advice both physically and importantly, spiritually. In my opinion, David has the best intentions at heart and I’m sure that I’m not the only one to vouch for this. Three people so far on this thread have had negative concerns about David’s methodology and I must reiterate ‘concerns’, out of the no doubt hundreds that have sought his help over the years, which is not a bad record. Thank you David, I’m with you my friend – whether you’ve got the money to back up your claims or not. My advice to future aspirants of good health is – Why look to natural medicinal techniques if you’re not in a position to trust it in the first place?

    • As long as he isn’t misleading anyone and none of the techniques are doing any harm, then I have no problem with him – he was making misleading claims and using discredited methods. I don’t know if he is still doing so, however. David’s Steps to Perfect Health website is down. Is he still practising, and if so, where?

      • ‘using discredited methods’ – by your own logic then, these methods must be ‘doing harm’. Provide evidence of this. I don’t follow your argument. Define ‘discredited methods’. Given that hundreds of natural health practitioners are using ‘discredited methods’, I don’t see why you are singling out Mr Parker – apart from the claims on his web site, which evidently motivated you to engage in a campaign against him. Excessive use of the term ‘quack’ is rather juvenile and personal IMO, and makes the tone of the whole blog unprofessional.

        ‘This is of course utter nonsense, based on the ludicrous belief that blood cells transform into bacteria and fungi, together with the equally ludicrous belief that by looking at the blood, you can diagnose and treat any health condition imaginable.’

        Either you are going to state the facts or you are going to sensationalise the issue and be insulting – which is it? It seems you are making assumptions about what David Parker believes about LBA. The idea of blood cells turning into bacteria or fungi is the cynical interpretation by critics who believe that no bacteria or fungi can be present in the blood. Perhaps if you were seriously interested in proving the theory then you would look into the numerous laboratories (in the USA) that perform PCR tests on bacteria and fungi species in the blood. Of course no one believes blood cells turn into fungi. Why make such a silly comment? I find it hard to take this article seriously, or any other of your articles TBH.

  8. I cannot speak more highly of David’s holistic approach to healthcare and disease prevention.
    He has never given any guarantees or made any claims as to the therapies he offers.
    As for causing harm, what harm can be caused through dietary change and a few nutritional supplements.
    Drug therapies cause far more harm and are now in the top three causes of death along with cancer and heart disease.
    If you were a true investigative journalist Jo, you would go and explore David’s therapy for yourself. I am sure he could help you with that problem skin you appear to be suffering with.

    • Neither Jo nor I have ever claimed to be investigative journalists but I agree that it would be interesting to try David’s therapy. However, since his website is down I’m not sure where I’d have to go in order to explore David’s therapy? And how could I discuss how he may help with problem skin if he doesn’t make any claims for the therapies? Does he treat skin conditions? What other health conditions can he help with? I’m currently suffering from a painful and swollen horsefly bite and slightly worried in case it is infected. Could David help with that? It isn’t easy to check as his website has been suspended.

      But of course he makes claims for the therapies, as well as for the testing – hence his problems with the ASA. As described above, David was claiming to successfully treat arthritis, osteoporosis, bacterial and parasitic infections, cardiovascular disorders and more besides. I don’t know if he is still making those claims elsewhere.

  9. Interest is not enough Jo, you have to be passionate about improving your health! Belief in David’s guidance comes through talking to others who have consulted with him or experiencing the benefits for yourself .Unfortunately, you may not get the chance now, as your attacks on his credibility appear to have sent him underground.
    As for claims, who doesn’t make them? Mars claim that their confectionary helps you work, rest and play! They fail to mention that it also contributes to spotty skin, immune suppression and diabetes.
    Antibiotics are given out like smarties to people with viral infections, when we all know, they only treat bacterial infections!
    If there is anyone you should be questioning about their approach to healthcare it is the GP’s.

  10. This blog seems probably like the best place to share my personal experiences with David Parker. I had been in contact with David since 2013 when he was recommended by a fellow CFIDS patient. He was initially quite helpful in answering general questions about EBOO therapy, however he did seem to lie about certain non-consequential things.

    e.g.1. I pointed out in July 2013 that his web site was down and he responded ‘My web designer is working on the site at the moment’. The ASA had just forced him to take down his web site because of various claims contained therein and he evidently didn’t think it worth his while to put up a revised web site. I don’t have a problem with that personally but there was no need to lie unless he was very worried about his image post-ASA action.

    e.g.2. I contacted him again in summer 2014 and he told me: ‘I am not taking on any new clients at the moment, as since the ASA enquiry, I have been overwhelmed and have a waiting list of 3 months now. If you would like me to put your name on the list, then I shall contact you when a space becomes available.’ This implied to me that he was UK-based but operating without a web site and through word of mouth and reputation only, and was heavily booked up. I agreed to go on his waiting list, and after a month or so, and when I hadn’t heard anything, I contacted him again to ask when it might be likely that I could be fitted in. He responded and said let’s schedule something for a month’s time (September 2014), which I thought strange. Arranging this appointment, at a rented room at a UK health clinic, and by his other rather vague statements later on about his availability in the country, it became clear that he was not actually UK-based at all, but based in Portugal for the vast majority of the time, only coming to the UK every few months or so to see clients for a couple of days, then going back to Portugal again. This was further corroborated by the patient friend of mine who referred me to him. Thus his initial statement was misleading at best and I suspect an outright lie to ‘big himself up’.

    With his web site down, there was no way to get information on his general naturopathic services and testing/treatment methods, his fee schedule, background or anything else beyond what he told me via email and what I could recall from his former web site. I only had his email address from previous correspondence, a anonymous UK yahoo email account (no domain etc.) At no point did he give me his telephone number or physical address. He provided me with no pdf list of services and fee schedule. I asked him about his testing methods, which would determine the course of treatment, specifically about Bioenergetic Synchronisation Testing (B.E.S.T.) which was mentioned on his web site, but he declined to comment. My friend told me it was just live blood analysis, from which he determined whether to go ahead with EBOO or not, and what supplements to prescribe. He did mention blood tests back in emails from 2013 but I suspect this was either a lie or something he stopped doing for UK patients because of relocating. LBA in my opinion is OK but certainly not a comprehensive diagnostic tool on its own. I had to ask him twice about how much the initial appointment would cost and what time it was. £245 for one hour. This is very expensive for a naturopath in the UK, and only the most in demand and highly reputable BSEM MDs charge amounts approaching that level (only one in the UK exceeds this level). This is a very large sum to part with on a punt if you aren’t being told what the initial consultation includes, beyond ‘consultation and testing’.

    He then became extremely rude and unprofessional. A few days or so before the appointment, I decided I wanted to reschedule. I informed him that I’d like to reschedule for 3-4 weeks time (believing he was UK-based) because I’d just bought a lymphatic passive-exercise machine and also that I’d just been recommended to try the FODMAPs diet by another natural health practitioner, and I’d like to run with these for a while prior to the appointment to see how things improved, particularly with the lymphatic system, which is a complaint I mentioned to him initially when I first contacted him. He did not respond, so I asked him again about rescheduling. He then responded to say ‘I will be working abroad at that time probably until Xmas. Perhaps we should forget about it as it seems like you want to play around with silly diets rather than get to the root cause.’

    Patients are within their rights to cancel with enough notice and should be able to do so without receiving attitude. juvenile sounding comments. He also doesn’t know the mental state of his prospective patients and to treat the ill in such a manner is inexcusable. I assume he became angry as his travel plans to the UK included my appointment as a large part of them and was annoyed at having them cancelled. His comments suggested to me that he believed every patient has the same root cause, that there is only one root cause (in my experience, utter nonsense), and also wildly speculative and presumptuous in his effectively blind diagnosis, and also not very knowledgeable. Anyone naturopath who has little interest in nutrition is in my experience rather foolish, irrespective of what skills they do possess.

    From what I recall from his web site, I am guessing that he was previously your average naturopath (and most are underwhelming in my experience) who purchased and received training on EBOO equipment, thus becoming the sole EBOO practitioner in Europe. This gave him a USP and I believe it probably went to his head, resulting in him excessively raising his prices and dispensing with the usual standards and professionalism you’d expect, esp. at that price level.

    To top it off, when I asked my patient friend further about his progress with EBOO, he informed me that it took him a year to recover from the third session he had. The last time I asked him, a year earlier, when he referred me to David, he told me he had felt better than he had in years afterwards. Apparently his energy levels crashed heavily a month later (he never mentioned this at the time). I quizzed him as to whether this was because he overdid it or not and he denied that it was, although I suspect that this may well have been the case, as it is quite common with CFIDS patients to overdo it whenever they start to feel better. He did tell me that his friends with CFIDS who tried it had benefitted from it without ill effects. EBOO oxygenates, ozonates and filters the blood, but the ozonation may well put excessive oxidative stress on the body of certain individuals, and in some CFIDS patients with lower SOD levels and badly damaged cell membranes, it may be a little too much. I think EBOO sounds like a good therapy for a variety of conditions, but I’m not convinced it is always best suited for CFIDS patients. I certainly wouldn’t want to pay exorbitant fees to someone as casual, shifty and potentially prickly as David Parker personally, even if some elements of the treatment were sound.

    • Further to my comment regarding blood tests being offered, the precise quote from David was: ‘Many parameters in the blood can change after EBOO, platelets included. A FBC is sometimes necessary to check levels.’ FBC = Full Blood Count. In my experience, an ND qualification is not sufficient to enable a practitioner to request blood tests from a UK laboratory. One needs to have an MD qualification to do this. No solely naturopath qualified practitioner I have ever consulted has been able to request blood tests (other sample forms are ok however). However, in David’s defence, he did not actually state he could arrange a FBC, nor whether this was even a standard procedure or something he would even mention to the patient. I don’t know how he would determine whether a client needed to have blood tests performed, but assuming he did, then he would simply have to refer the person back to his GP or private MD. I suspect he dropped this line as a little sales banter, to make himself sound more professional in medical terms. It is a deliberately misleading statement in any case.

      EBOO in Europe currently seems to be like the Wild West, and that situation certainly has not been helped by the action of the ASA, regardless of the legitimacy of its complaints against Parker’s web site. Some kind of regulation (minimum medical qualifications etc.) is necessary to ensure quality and adherence to standard practices, as I believe that the consumer has a right to make an educated and informed choice regarding these types of therapies.

  11. Thank you for sharing this information. I have to say, I find it very worrying that such a treatment is offered to the public by someone with no legitimate medical qualifications, based on the results of useless tests. I would urge anyone even considering undergoing such treatment not only to reconsider, but also to discuss their reasons for doing so with a suitably qualified medical professional, such as their GP, who should be able to refer them for appropriate tests or treatment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s