Physical Properties of Putative Energy Fields
There has always been an interest in detecting and describing the physical properties of putative energy fields. Kirlian photography, aura imaging, and gas discharge visualization are approaches for which dramatic and unique differences before and after therapeutic energy attunements or treatments have been claimed.23
However, it is not clear what is being detected or photographed. Early results demonstrated that gamma radiation levels markedly decreased during therapy sessions in 100 percent of subjects and at every body site tested, regardless of which therapist performed the treatment. Recently replicated studies identified statistically significant decreases in gamma rays emitted from patients during alternative healing sessions with trained practitioners.
It has been hypothesized that the body’s primary gamma emitter, potassium-40 (K40), represents a “self-regulation” of energy within the
body and the surrounding electromagnetic field.24 The body’s energy adjustment may result, in part, from the increased electromagnetic fields surrounding the hands of the healers. Furthermore, an extremely sensitive magnetometer called a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) has been claimed to measure large frequency-pulsing biomagnetic fields emanating from the hands of Therapeutic Touch practitioners during therapy.25
In one study, a simple magnetometer measured and quantified similar frequency-pulsing biomagnetic fields from the hands of meditators and
practitioners of yoga and qi gong. These fields were 1,000 times greater than the strongest human biomagnetic field and were in the same frequency range as those being tested in medical research laboratories for use in speeding the healing process of certain biological tissues.26 This range is low energy and extremely low frequency, spanning from 2 Hz to 50 Hz. However, there are considerable technical problems in such research. For example, SQUID measurement must be conducted under a special shielded environment, and the connection between electromagnetic field increases and observed healing benefits reported in the current literature is missing.
Other studies of putative energies suggested that energy fields from
one person can overlap and interact with energy fields of other people. For example, when individuals touch, one person’s electrocardiographic signal is registered in the other person’s electroencephalogram (EEG) and elsewhere on the other person’s body.27
In addition, one individual’s cardiac signal can be registered in another’s EEG recording when two people sit quietly opposite one another.
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