Undertaking over claims by spiritual healer (Maria de Cinque / Theta Healing Heart)
A Mt Hawthorn woman who claims to cure illnesses using spiritual healing has agreed to remove unsubstantiated claims being made in the promotion of her workshops and courses.
Following action by Consumer Protection, Maria de Cinque has entered into an enforceable undertaking regarding claims being made on the Theta Healing Heart website (www.thetahealingheart.com.au).
The undertaking requires Ms de Cinque to remove, among others, the following statements, which she failed to provide evidence to support, from her website:
- learn how to manipulate the law of time and how to let go of being constrained by it;
- our DNA naturally replaces itself every six weeks;
- given the right conditions, the cells will regenerate and transform;
- if we believe it is possible to heal a “dis-ease” or disorder, the body will respond; and
- facilitating healing on pets and animals.
The promotion of “Bodyshift” workshops were accompanied by the following claims which Ms de Cinque was also unable to provide evidence to support:
- Bodyshift systems have been clinically proven to produce a revitalisation of the adherent tissue and return it to its natural, supple condition;
- Bodyshift stimulates circulation, increases lymphatic flow, breaks up undesirable fibrosis, relaxes muscle spasms, reduces swelling and relieves pain;
- Bodyshift can prevent a myriad of sports injuries and can dramatically relieve neuromuscular pain caused through injury, restoring freedom of movement; and
- dozens of studies have shown that bodywork allows muscles to work longer and more efficiently.
Further statements which were removed relate to workshops targeting children aged between 7 and 12 years who, it was claimed, could learn:
- how to use the laws to perform Telekinesis (moving objects with your mind);
- using Theta to perform telepathy (mind reading);
- how to scan and heal plants and animals; and
- how to talk to an animal’s higher self.
Ms de Cinque has also agreed as part of the undertaking to offer a full refund to any client who attended her workshops between 21 March 2014 and 23 October 2014, who relied on the above statements when deciding to attend. Ms de Cinque will be required to contact these clients and make them aware of the refund offer.
Commissioner for Consumer Protection Anne Driscoll emphasised the importance of honesty and accuracy in advertising when traders promote their products and services to consumers.
“Consumers have a legal right and a moral expectation to expect that any claims being made by the promoter of workshops or courses are accurate and can be proven,” Ms Driscoll said.
“Although spiritual healing is not necessarily based on science, practitioners should not make claims that there is a medical or scientific basis proving the effectiveness of their therapies if such evidence does not exist.
“Under the Australian Consumer Law, regulators can issue substantiation notices to any business that makes claims in the marketing of their products and services. If spiritual healing practitioners state that their methods are “proven” to work, they must have credible and reliable information that reasonably supports that claim.
“Particularly in the area of wellness and health, businesses need to ensure that claims about the success of their therapies are supported by proven results and any published testimonials from past clients are genuine.”
Further information on truth in advertising can be found on the Consumer Protection website www.commerce.wa.gov.au/consumerprotection. Enquiries can be made by email firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone 1300 30 40 54.
The undertaking can be viewed at: www.commerce.wa.gov.au/undertakings.
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Media Contact (Consumer Protection)
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