Energy Healing Studies
I'm not a scientist, but I have had many people ask about whether there are studies or information available regarding energy healing.
Several of the books listed in the suggested reading provide excellent resources. For example, Hands of Light: A Guide to Healing Through the Human Energy Field, by Barbara Ann Brennan, Bantam Books, 1998. Ms. Brennan obtained an MS in atmospheric physics and worked with NASA before becoming a healer. She specifically discusses and references many scientific studies of the energy properties of the body and of energy healing.
Another great book that combines science with the metaphysical is, The Tao of Physics: An Exploration of the Parallels Between Modern Physics and Eastern Mysticism, 4th ed., Fritjof Capra, Shambhala Publications, Inc., 1999.
Also, you may wish to consider becoming a member (it's free) of the Center for Reiki Research. They are in the midst of doing several clinical studies on Reiki and have devoted an entire website to sharing the results. You can review these studies through your free membership: http://www.centerforreikiresearch.org/
I will periodically update this page with different studies, articles or links which discuss the benefits and efficacy of energy healing from the Center for Reiki Research or other sources. Please know that I am merely offering information for those who are interested. What you choose to believe is completely with you:
The following excerpt is relatable because isn't steeped in scientific language, but the "down side" is that it doesn't specifically list the studies reviewed for additional reference and support. Still, it's rather interesting....
From Healing by Prayer and Meditation: The Scientific Evidence, found in Self Realization Magazine, Spring 1992 issue, reprinted from New Sense Bulletin, May 1991, published by Interface Press, Box 4211 Los Angeles, CA 90042:
According to Daniel Benor, a psychiatrist who reviewed several studies on faith healing:
"Spiritual healing by laying on of hands or by prayer/meditation has been practiced for as long as recorded history. ...Virtually every known culture has included healers among its health-care professionals.
...If [spiritual] healing were a drug...it would very likely be accepted on the basis of the existing evidence. Fifty-six of 131 studies reviewed - some flawed, some of excellent design - showed significant results.
More than a simple curative process, healing effects are, "the intentional influence of one or more persons upon another living system without using known means of intervention," Benor said.
Among the most impressive findings:
Effects on fungus and bacteria. A group of ten subjects showed a powerful ability to inhibit the growth of fungus cultures by concentrating on them for fifteen minutes from a distance of a few feet. Another study found strong effects with subjects miles from the target cultures.
In another, sixty subjects not known to have healing abilities both impeded and stimulated growth of bacteria at significant rates.
Benor noted that the work of famed horticulturist, Luther Burbank, who had an incredible ability to produce new strains of plants, suggests the possibility of influencing genetic material via intervention.
Effects on cells. Volunteers in a study by William Braud of the Mind Science Foundation showed highly significant ability to decrease haemolysis (destruction or dissolution) of red blood cells, scoring at a chance rate of 50,000 to 1. An English healer, Matthew Manning, performed drastic alteration of cancel cell cultures both by holding his hands near the cells and from a distant, electrically shielded room. The ability of some healers either to inhibit or promote cell growth suggests that healing can be used to good or bad effect, Benor said.
Effects on plants. Healer Oskar Estabany showed a strong ability to counteract the growth-inhibiting effects of a saline solution poured on target seeds. Control plants grew more slowly after being watered with the solution. In another study, "loving thought" increased the weight of radish plants compared to "ignored' controls.
Effects on Animals. Estabany was able to speed the healing of minor wounds in a group of mice by holding them, compared to a group of mice held by a non-healer. He also slowed the growth of goiters in another group.
In carefully designed series of studies, healers were consistently able to awaken one mouse of a pier from anesthesia. Benor described the results as a "clear and highly significant healing effect."
Another healer, Rabbi Abraham Weissman, was consistently able to slow the growth rate of tumors in mice:
"As I became adept at working with the energies, I began to realize that, although I believe I am channeling from God, you might believe that you are channeling from Buddha, the wind, or the sun, and it would be the same energy source. I also found that you cannot impose healing on anybody."
Effects on human beings. Several experiments have confirmed the effectiveness of Therapeutic Touch, the "laying-on-of-hands" technique refined by Dolores Kreiger of New York University. San Francisco researcher Randy Byrd found fewer complications and faster recovery among coronary patients who were prayed for. A study at the Mind Science Foundation (January 1990) revealed a potent effect of so-called transpersonal imagery, in which volunteers several rooms away from their targets used imagery to affect their psychological states. Benor noted that the lack of a theoretical basis for healing has led many scientists to dismiss it as a placebo. Yet, it is clearly more than that, he observed, "unless enzymes, yeasts, bacteria, plants and mice are subject to suggestion."
As is implied by experiments in which healers have affected the molecular states of bottles of water, Benor speculated that strong magnetic fields carried by healers could be a method through which physical bodies - such as human beinigs, whose mass is sixty-five percent water - are affected.
Although they were the minority of the reviewed studies, the number of impressive successes is far too great to ignore. "What does appear clear is that healing can produce benefits and that it warrants further clinical study," Benor Said.