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A Vega machine is an instrument that some people purport to be a diagnostic tool for various ailments. More specifically, the Vega machine is classified as an electroacupuncture device. This means that it administers acupuncture, an alternative healing practice of Chinese origin characterized by insertion of needles in the body, with electrodes that generate uninterrupted electrical pulses. Several members of the medical community, however, question its effectiveness, or denounce it as a product of pseudoscience.
With its debut in 1978, the Vega machine is credited in some quarters as the first bioelectromagnetic or bioelectric-based therapeutic device. It is designed as an observer of changes in the electromagnetic fields created by the body's tissues or cells that determine one's mental and physical condition. The concept of the device itself, known as the Vega test, actually originated in the late 1960s.
The Vega machine mainly consists of a galvanometer. This is a sort of box used for finding and measuring electric currents. It acts as a resistance-measuring instrument through an electrical circuit created by a conductor touching the patient's skin and the other conductor held in the patient's hand.
The measurement itself comes from the body's electrical resistance to substances placed in the circuit such as food, drink or certain chemicals. This makes the Vega machine an agent of homeopathy, a form of alternative medicine that involves using small doses of a substance to produce signs of the disease that the tester aims to treat. A drop in the body's electrical resistance is supposed to denote a problem with the substance being used, meaning that it is the cause of the ailment.
The Vega machine is mostly used to diagnose allergies, as well as deficiencies in vitamins and minerals. Some people, however, use it for detecting the causes of disease, particularly certain types of cancers. Proponents of the Vega machine claim that they can use it to identify the most stressed or adversely affected organs or cells of the body, the level of effectiveness of the immune system, the precise location of dental problems, and acupuncture's line systems that connect pressure points known as meridians.
The device has been met with some criticism. In 2003, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) ran an investigation that could not establish the validity of the Vega machine's claims as an effective medical instrument. Reports from the Medical Journal of Australia and Quackwatch were even more denunciatory, suggesting a criminality of people who call themselves medical professionals while relying on a machine that is fraudulent.