Magnetic field activity during psychic healing: A preliminary study with Healing Touch practitioners
Keywords:Touch—Therapeutic use, Electromagnetic fields, Emotions, Progressive muscle relaxation, Biofield, Parapsychology
AbstractPsychic healing, involving the paranormal abilities of healers, has re-invented itself in the cultural mainstream as “energy medicine”. Energy medicine ‘biofield therapies’ such as Reiki, Qigong, and Healing Touch are administered by a healer who clears, balances and replenishes ‘life-energy’, sometimes with the assistance of nonphysical ‘guides’. A small number of studies have noted electric field surges and magnetic field (MF) oscillations in close proximity to the healers’ body, suggesting that electromagnetic field variations may be part of the energy healing mechanism. In the present study, I examine whether MF oscillations are present during Healing Touch (HT), an energy-based, biofield therapy. Low-frequency (0 - 40 Hz) MF activity was measured continuously with Hall-type gaussmeters in close proximity to healer-client pairs during HT sessions. MF activity observed during each HT session was compared with pre-session and post-session MF activity, and with MF activity during guided progressive relaxation (GPR) sessions without a healer and during mock HT sessions without a client. Qualitative analysis was used to identify potential relationships between MF activity, client symptoms, and healer descriptions of the client’s biofield. Low-frequency MF oscillations were observed during 24 of 26 HT sessions, and 14 of 16 GPR sessions. The amplitude of the MF oscillations (Bpeak-to-peak) was significantly greater during the HT session and post-session periods, as compared to the pre-session period. Bpeak-peakshowed no significant change across the GPR time periods. Large-amplitude MF oscillations > 1.0 milliGauss during HT were associated with healer/client qualitative reports of emotional release and clearing of the biofield. MF oscillations in the GPR sessions were typically low-amplitude, with 55% of oscillations occurring in the first 20 minutes of the session. Based on comments from the participants, the MF oscillations during the first 20 minutes of GPR may represent physical releases, as this part of the guided meditation focused on releasing tension in different muscle groups. Low-amplitude MF oscillations in the HT sessions showed some association with physical releases and pain reduction. MF activity was extremely quiet during the mock HT sessions, particularly in cases where the HT practitioner reported being “heart-centered”. The results suggest that low-frequency MF activity may reflect the emotions and biofield qualities of the participants. Continuous recording of environmental variables, such as magnetic field activity, may be useful in the study of paranormal phenomena, such as psychic healing, psychokinesis, and remote viewing.
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