The biological mechanism underlying energy healing is unknown. Because healing can occur both locally and at a distance, an effective theory of energy healing must account for nonlocality (action at a distance). Electromagnetic fields (EMF) are usually dismissed as part of the energy healing mechanism because of the inverse-square law. The inverse-square law generally applies when some force or energy is evenly radiated outward from a point source in three-dimensional space. As the emitted radiation gets further from its source, the intensity of the radiation decreases with the square of the distance from the source. With distant healing, the distances are so great that any EMF from a healer would be neglible by the time it reaches the client, or so it is argued.
There may actually be a dual-level mechanism in energy healing: a local EMF effect, and a distant nonlocal effect, working together. EMF does seem to operate within both energy healing and parapsychology. Sidorov (2003) proposed the term, “electromagnetic signatures”, to describe local EMF changes in response to human consciousness and intent.
In my experiments, I have observed that both local energy healing and distant healing produce the same magnetic field waveform. This waveform is evident where the healer’s intent is focused. For example, if I am measuring magnetic field (MF) activity next to the cages of mice being healed – the MF activity is the same regardless of whether the healer is holding the cage or he is located 400 miles away. The MF waveform next to the cages is the “signature” in that space where healing is occurring. Distance does not matter.
Among EMF theories of energy healing, Slater (2009) has proposed magnetic induction as a possible healing mechanism. Magnetic induction is the ability of one device (e.g., healer) to induce or cause an electric voltage or current in a secondary device (e.g., client) without direct contact.
In a video explaining electromagnetic induction, physicist Walter Lewin (2015) explains how closing an electric circuit and starting a current in one device causes a change in the local magnetic field. This changing magnetic field produces an electric current in the nearby second device – this is electromagnetic induction. A static magnetic field does not induce current flow.
Similarly, healers are not static. During a healing session, the electromagnetic properties of the healer’s body changes. Green et al (1991) found that the healer’s body voltage potential shows surges and increases during a healing session, leading to electrical discharges. In the Schwartz lab (2007), healers describe “running energy” through their hands – a feeling of current flow between them and the client.
So how would magnetic induction as a possible healing mechanism work? Conscious intent by the healer to channel energy, either by “running energy” or voltage buildup, would start a current flowing in the healer’s body, which would cause changes in the magnetic field around both healer and client. The low frequency magnetic field waves which I see in my energy healing experiments are changing magnetic fields – they move through space and time, and the client’s body is exposed to this changing magnetic field environment. This changing magnetic field environment could potentially lead to current changes in the client’s body, with beneficial cellular effects.
In multiple healing traditions, such as Healing Touch, Reiki, Polarity Therapy and Therapeutic Touch, the healer holds their hands above or lightly touching the client’s body. These traditions teach that the work is finished when the healer’s hands are pushed away or the surge dissipates, and no further change is noticeable. Slater (2009) believes that this is an indication that the healer’s and client’s electromagnetic fields have reached a steady state, meaning they are no longer changing and no additional voltage or current can be induced at that location. “Healers then move their hands to other areas of the client’s body repeating the process of magnetic induction.”
Thus, magnetic induction explains some of the sensations experienced by healers and clients. The low frequency magnetic field waves I detect in the healing environment are a “changing, pulsing magnetic field” which could induce voltage changes and current flow in the client.
Green E, Parks P, Guyer P, Fahrion S, Coyne L (1991) Anomalous electrostatic phenomena in exceptional subjects. Subtle Energies 2,3: 69-94.
Lewin W (2015) 8.02x – Lect 16 – Electromagnetic Induction, Faraday’s Law, Lenz Law, SUPER DEMO. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nGQbA2jwkWI&list=PLNUIFw8MI0KavVXLLxCDC30Jc2FswgiCZ&index=8&t=601s
Schwartz GE, Simon WL (2007) The Energy Healing Experiments: Science Reveals our Natural Power to Heal. New York, NY: Atria Books.
Sidorov L (2003) Thinking outside the box in experimental parapsychology. Journal of Nonlocality and Remote Mental Interactions Vol. II Nr.2 http://www.emergentmind.org/sidorovII2.htm
Slater VE (2009) Energy Healing. In (Dossey BM, Keegan L, eds): Holistic Nursing: A Handbook for Practice, 5th edition, Chapter 32, pp. 647-673. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.