The Rife machine was invented by American scientist Royal Raymond Rife. It produces a kind of energy that’s similar to radio waves.

Rife’s machine builds on the work of Albert Abrams, a doctor who believed that every disease has its own electromagnetic frequency. Adams suggested that doctors could kill diseased or cancerous cells by sending an electrical impulse identical to the cell’s unique electromagnetic frequency. This theory is sometimes called radionics.

Rife machines are Rife’s version of the machines used by Abrams. Some people claim that they can help cure cancer in addition to treating other conditions, including Lyme disease and AIDS.

Radionics relies on the belief that elements in the body, including viruses, bacteria, and cancer cells, give off electrical impulses with different frequencies. Rife mistakenly believed that bacteria or viruses inside a tumor caused cancer. He developed a microscope that he claimed could detect these bacteria and viruses by the color of the auras emitted by their electromagnetic frequencies.

In the 1930s, he developed another machine called the Rife Frequency Generator. He claimed it produced low-energy radio waves with the same frequency as cancer-causing microbes. He believed that sending this frequency to the body would make cancer-causing microbes shatter and die. This frequency was called the mortal oscillatory rate.

Few people believed in his claims at the time, and no studies proved his findings. However, in the 1980s, an author named Barry Lynes brought Rife machines back into the public eye. Lynes claimed the American Medical Association and government agencies were covering up evidence about Rife machines.

Some people believed Lynes’ claim and continue to do so, even though researchers haven’t been able to prove Rife’s theories.

In the 1920s, Scientific American magazine formed a committee to investigate Abrams’ claims about radionics. The committee concluded that his conclusions were “not substantiated.”

There also haven’t been any large, controlled clinical trials done to evaluate Rife machines or similar devices. In addition, Rife machines are based on the belief that cancer is caused by bacteria and viruses. We now know that cancer is caused by gene mutations, not microbes.

In the 1990s, people began selling Rife machines as part of a multilevel marketing scheme. They used customer testimonials and anecdotal evidence to support claims about the machine. Rife machines haven’t gone through the same rigorous testing procedures that other cancer treatments have, and there’s no research that suggests they work.

However, researchers recently started experimenting with using radiofrequency electromagnetic fields to treat cancer. They’ve concluded that low-frequency electromagnetic waves do affect tumors without impacting noncancerous cells. This research is still in its early stages, and there haven’t been any studies involving humans. In addition, these studies use different radiofrequencies than those generated by Rife machines.

Rife machines and similar devices likely don’t pose any major health risk because the energy waves they use have a very low frequency. For reference, the frequency is lower than that of waves emitted by cell phones. However, Cancer Research UK notes that there have been accounts of shocks and skin rashes associated with Rife machines.

The biggest risk involved with Rife machines and other alternative treatments, such as hydrogen peroxide, comes from delaying more effective medical treatments, including chemotherapy. In 1997, for example, a man died four months after he started using a Rife machine instead of chemotherapy to treat his cancer. In 2004, a 32-year-old man died from testicular cancer after he refused surgery in favor of using a Rife machine. The owners of the health clinic that sold him the device were later sentenced in a Federal court for fraud.

Rife machines are also very expensive, often selling for thousands of dollars on the Internet.

The side effects of traditional cancer treatments can significantly impact someone’s quality of life, leading many people with cancer to seek out alternative treatment options. However, most of these treatments haven’t been studied.

As for the Rife machine, there’s no evidence that it works. Remember, the machine relies on the theory that viruses and bacteria cause cancer, which has long been debunked. Still, this doesn’t mean you need to rule out alternative cancer treatments. In fact, some of them, including meditation and acupuncture, may help with symptoms of both cancer and medical cancer treatments.