The wet cell device is a curious piece of equipment to those who don't use it - and a miracle cure to others who do. Either way, it's at the extreme end of even New Age health trends.
Unproven beyond anecdotal results, the wet cell looks like something out of a mad scientist's laboratory. "It's basically a battery that has a low-level galvanic current" explains Bruce Baar, who makes a wet cell unit he calls the Baar Battery. He builds wet cells based on information found in the readings of famed psychic Edgar Cayce.
The wet cell sends "a vibratory impulse throughout the body," Baar explains, via a solution jar and two electrodes attached to body. It might sound like science fiction, but the battery systeml also seems to help people with problems that medical science can't fix. Four and a half years ago, David Atkinson listened to a doctor tell him he was going to die - and soon. He has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig's disease. The doctor told him it was likely that in six months he'd be on a feeding apparatus and a respirator. "That meant death to me," Atkinson says.
He feels that the Baar Battery - as part of the Cayce teachings - has helped him survive. Atkinson's not alone. A woman in Fredericksburg has multiple sclerosis and she's been using the Baar Battery since December 1994. In addition to muscle spasms, the woman - who asked to remain anonymous - says her upper right quadricep muscle was atrophying. "Then after a couple of weeks with the wet cell, I regained full use of that muscle." The 39-year-old woman also developed optic neuritis in her right eye last Thanksgiving. "I'd lost all sight" she says. I could see if the sun was out, but that's it." Like the atrophying leg muscle, the neuritis let up after one week on the wet cell battery. As the sanctioned manufacturer and supplier for Cayce's Association for Research and Enlightenment, Virginia Beach, Baar has made wet cells for more than 10 years. "I started reading the Cayce stuff as a kid," he says. "Cayce points me in a direction and I make it." He also uses it. "I have asthma and I was in a serious car accident in 1985," Baar says. Six months after the accident, Baar had memory loss and other problems. The wet cell worked for him but he notes that it's important to remember to use the device as part of a system, including oils for massage, a special wet cell solution and - most importantly - a positive attitude.
Baar is not a doctor. He works for a large medical company but wants to keep his employment separate from his personal research. And as far as traditional MDs go, Baar knows that unless his device is clinically proven, they won't use it because of legal and insurance problems.
It's not snake oil, but Baar realizes results so far can only be qualified as anecdotal. Then there's the possibility of the placebo effect. But that doesn't worry Baar. "If it's placebo, then we have the best placebo on the market" The Fredericksburg woman agrees. "I know it can change at any time," the 39-year-old says. "MS being what it is, I might find myself unable to get out of bed in the morning. But I thoroughly believe this thing has helped me." TheBaar Wet Cell Device retails for under $150. It's available from Baar (1-800-269-2502 or www.baar.com). - Michael Clark , Portfolio Magazine 1995
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