nerve-front-page-squareHealing Lab researches energy healing. Our mission is to remove the stigma from energy healing, and get the entire scientific community involved, from physics to biology to medicine and more. This article explains how and why.

(Note: “Biofield healing” is the scientific term for energy healing. They’re essentially synonyms.)

Placebo-controlled studies suggest that biofield healing can help with pain, anxiety, and other conditions. Cell culture studies and plant and animal studies provide further evidence that biofield healing is a real phenomenon, not just placebo. Research is still ongoing, and there isn’t a scientific consensus yet, but one thing is clear: If a pill were producing these results, we’d see well-funded research rushing it to market.

And yet, while 30-50% of the population uses Complementary and Alternative Medicine, only 1% uses biofield healing. Research funding is almost non-existent. Why?

The single biggest reason: Contemporary physics has no mechanism for a biofield. This creates a stigma for people, especially doctors, who believe in it. So people don’t seek energy healing, even when they suffer from chronic pain and other conditions. Medical professionals don’t recommend it. And energy healers aren’t able to help as many people as we otherwise might. Not understanding the biofield hurts everyone.

But there’s a bigger reason: Science advances by studying phenomena it can’t explain. A couple examples:

  • In the 17th century, weavers in Venice got the first lenses ever made. Their goal was to examine their thread, but they also examined water, blood, and other substances and discovered single-cell organisms. They called them “animalcules.” That discovery lead to the germ theory of disease that underpins modern medicine.
  • Transistors are based on the quantum-level behavior of silicon atoms. Modern computing starts with quantum physics, which grew out of anomalies such as wave-particle duality and the observer effect.

atom-600The modern world is built on the exploration of anomalies. (For more, see Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.)

Biofield healing is today’s anomaly. Short-term, understanding it will help energy healers everywhere gain credibility, and help bring about the day when energy healers are found in every town and hospital, when energy workers join doctors and biologists in unraveling diseases like cancer and Alzheimer’s, and when biofield healing becomes better-understood and demonstrably more effective every year.

Long-term, understanding the biofield will impact our understanding of the world, from physics to biology to medicine and more. We cannot predict where that leads any more than those 17th-century weavers could have predicted antibiotics and vaccines. But we have faith that it leads somewhere amazing.

The Plan

Here are the major projects we’re working on to help make energy healing a trusted part of modern science and medicine:

Today, each practitioner feels the biofield intuitively. Some perceive it as a glowing aura, extending several feet beyond a person; others perceive it as a set of colored layers, immediately above the skin; still others as a texture, not extending out, but rather super-imposed on the tissue.

Why does everyone perceive the biofield differently? Because we’re not actually seeing or touching it. Biofield energy doesn’t interact with photons, so it doesn’t have a glow or a color. It isn’t solid, so it doesn’t have a texture. The practitioner’s mind is intuitively sensing the biofield, then creating a metaphor for that intuitive information, representing it as a glow or color or texture.  And everyone’s mind uses a slightly different metaphor.

That’s OK. But sometimes, we forget that these perceptions are metaphors, and we treat them as literal descriptions of the biofield. Doing that prevents us from agreeing on the size, shape, and structure of the biofield. It keeps us from creating standardized terms for the energy of healthy vs inflamed vs infected tissue. It makes collaboration difficult.

To address this, we want to give everyone a second technique for perceiving the biofield, to supplement that intuitive sense. It’s called sensory connections, and it’s based on the connections that energy workers commonly use to send energy. The practitioner makes a connection (to a person’s knee, for example) and absorbs a tiny amount of energy, similar to how a thermometer absorbs a tiny amount of heat to measure temperature. These connections are small enough to target the biofield of individual tissues, and since they’re ethereal they can connect to tissue inside the body. With a network of sensory connections, the practitioner can get a picture of the biofields of the tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and other tissues in the knee (or other region). With experience, we can even sense the individual structures that comprise that tissue’s biofield.

We’ve already taught sensory connections to practitioners of Reiki and other systems, and used it to create new healing techniques. We’re currently testing and refining the sensory connections technique, to make it as accurate as possible in preparation for peer-reviewed research.

For three decades, researchers around the world have done excellent research in energy healing: Placebo-controlled studies, cell culture studies, double-blind trials, and more. Energy healing is becoming more accepted, but it’s slow. It seems skeptics are determined to ignore energy healing as long as they possibly can.

When we think about making energy healing mainstream, it’s tempting to aim for better research. But that’s probably not the solution. Current research is done well, and it’s not being refuted — it’s being ignored.

There’s a phrase we like: So good they can’t ignore you.

Our plan is to engineer new energy techniques designed for demonstration. Techniques that give a clear, fast result, that can be used for both research and live demonstration. An ideal technique would:

  • Produce a clear result.
  • The result only happens when we do the technique (low rate of false positive).
  • Work quickly (in seconds or minutes), so we can build large pools of data and do in-person demonstrations for skeptics, legislators and investors.

Currently, Healing Lab is focused on techniques to create sensations with energy at distance: Obvious sensations in energy workers (so we can use energy to send messages), and ideally obvious sensations in the population at large (so skeptics can feel this energy for themselves). Not just a tingling or faint pressure, but a clear sensation like being touched.

We have some promising avenues of research, with techniques currently in development. And it’s possible that the insights from creating sensations will also help us prevent sensations, potentially leading to techniques for pain reduction.

Physicists will tell you: Current physics doesn’t contain a mechanism for the biofield.

To go mainstream, we’ll need to convince physicists to update their models.

Here’s the challenge: Medicine aims for 95% to 99% certainty that a treatment is effective. Physics expects 5-Sigma certainty (99.99997%, or 1 in 3.5 million chance of an error). That’s 200,000x as precise.

The answer isn’t to do placebo-controlled studies 200,000x as large. Instead, Healing Lab is working on experiments designed purely to demonstrate the biofield. For example, biofield messaging: Two practitioners in two different rooms. One sends, the other receives. The sender flips a coin, if it’s heads they send energy, tails they do nothing. The receiver says when they feel energy.

Simple enough, but how many coin flips are required? 3.5 million? No. If the testers are 100% accurate, this experiment would achieve 5-sigma certainty in only 22 coin flips. Lower accuracy requires more iterations, but it’s clearly feasible.

The main challenge is increasing the accuracy of sending and receiving biofield energy. Healing Lab is working on techniques to do exactly that.

Get Involved

Want to help make energy healing a trusted part of modern science and medicine? Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Become part of the research. Volunteer for our studies and receive free energy healing sessions. (Currently SF Bay Area only.)
  • Meet energy healers and researchers, and learn new energy techniques at our events.
  • Subscribe for news about new studies and events, and tell your friends.