Can this alchemist provide credible information about neuroplasticity? I don’t think so!


Neuroplasticity is real and is being used in rehabilitation. We have learned that the adult brain can grow new neurons and the brain can be re-wired to function in new ways. In a recent email I was offered an interview with Adora Winquist to learn about neuroplasticity. I declined. There were red flags galore in the invitation and on Winquist’s website, and I realized I could not learn anything useful about the science of neuroplasticity from her.

Her top 5 tips to optimize neuroplasticity are essential oils, meditation, diet, exercise, and music. There is some evidence that some of these can enhance neuroplasticity, but nowhere does she mention evidence or science. She has a new book out: Detox, Nourish, Activate: Plant and Vibrational Medicine for Energy, Mood, and Love. There are already two alternative medicine buzzwords in that title, detox and vibrational medicine, but it gets worse. Adora has managed to pack in an incredible number of red flags. As the Nobel Prizes are being announced, she deserves some kind of prize too, for the most prolific use of the red flags that signal alternative medicine nonsense.

She is the founder of The Soul Institute, an innovator in the field of aromatherapy and energy medicine, and “a visionary in the nascent field of Quantum Alchemy, an evolutionary transformative path for self-mastery which facilitates healing at the DNA level using an amalgamation of plant and vibrational modalities”. Her initial product line, Rhiamon Energy Essentials, was one of the first to combine aromatherapy and energy healing. She went on to create ADORAtherapy, an award-winning aromatherapy brand. She supports women in the awakening journey of the Divine Feminine. She teaches veterans to make their own medicines with herbs, essential oils, and mindfulness techniques. She is a modern alchemist and an expert on crystals. She created Aromatic Neural Repatterning (ANR) to rewire the brain to expect positive experiences.

She makes a number of questionable claims without providing any evidence.

  • Eating blueberries will soak up toxins and can maintain and even grow new brain cells.
  • Tension and stress can rip apart the neurons and release toxins that damage synapses.
  • If you listen to your favorite concerto for 10 minutes a day for a week, you will notice changes in your mental and emotional outlook and response.
  • There are “superfoods” such as turmeric and Goji.
  • Essential oils hold a full spectrum of vibration and sacred geometry.
  • Essential oils are a most potent form of alchemy, encoded with ancient earthly and cosmic frequencies that clear, awaken, align, and activate our innate healing ability throughout the DNA.
  • They work synergistically and holographically with the nervous system to clear trauma.
  • There is an auric field.
  • Eucalyptus oil carries the vibrations of expansion and freedom. It is one of the best oils to clear stagnant energy and emotions.

That’s not the language of science or reality. It’s more than enough to convince any thinking person that she lives outside the universe of science and in a world of fantasy, wishful thinking, and wild imagination. She didn’t hit every possible red flag, but she managed to hit a great many. I advocate science-based medicine, so her only interest to me is as a bad example. If understanding what science-based medicine ISN’T can help people understand what it IS, her example may be useful. She represents the epitome of non-science-based medicine. I wonder if she even knows what science means.

Conclusion: Adora Winquist’s vision of neuroplasticity is not reliable

You may call it fantasy, imagination, or wishful thinking. Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with evidence or science and can’t be trusted.

Author

  • Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.

Posted by Harriet Hall

Harriet Hall, MD also known as The SkepDoc, is a retired family physician who writes about pseudoscience and questionable medical practices. She received her BA and MD from the University of Washington, did her internship in the Air Force (the second female ever to do so),  and was the first female graduate of the Air Force family practice residency at Eglin Air Force Base. During a long career as an Air Force physician, she held various positions from flight surgeon to DBMS (Director of Base Medical Services) and did everything from delivering babies to taking the controls of a B-52. She retired with the rank of Colonel.  In 2008 she published her memoirs, Women Aren't Supposed to Fly.