What is the Biofield?

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A friend asked me, “What is the biofield?”

That’s like asking, “What is gravity?” Or “What is magnetism?” There’s no simple answer, and perhaps no known answer. The best we can do is give you examples, and describe how those phenomena behave.

Examples include Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Chi Gung, and many more. “Biofield” is the term used by the NIH and medical researchers to describe the energy used by all of those healing modalities.

How does the biofield behave? It seems that living cells emit some sort of field. The state of those cells — inflamed, injured, healthy, etc — determines the state of that field. Normally, the field flows out of cells. But it seems that the flow goes both ways, and that influencing the field can also influence those cells. (This has been demonstrated with cell culture studies, for example.)

That’s my answer. But there’s also a story here. The question came up at a writer’s potluck — bring food, bring something you’re writing, share both. I read the start of my vision for Healing Lab, got asked that question and flubbed it in front of a dozen writers. Just went off on a tangent, focusing on how no one knows instead of giving examples. Not a good answer, and I got gentle, kind feedback to that effect.

Today, this feels ok. That’s what practice is for: To make errors, reflect on them, plan a better answer next time. Better now with friends than later with investors.

But in the past, that writer’s potluck would have terrified me. I wouldn’t have read my work, wouldn’t have taken the question, would have frozen up instead of reflecting on how to answer it better.

I think bloggers too often share only our successes. Only the good answer we’ll give next time, not the failed answer we said in the moment. So I’m sharing that failure, too. If you’re afraid of flubbing an answer, know that us experienced folks mess up, too. I hope it helps you share when you get the chance.

The world doesn’t need your silence. The world needs your art.

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2 Responses to “What is the Biofield?”

  1. Julie says:


    Nice post! I enjoyed hearing your real life example. You probably did great. We tend to be our harshest critics. At least the experience helped you arrive at a better answer for next time. It was a blessing in disguise.

    Don’t feel bad, I had a similar experience where I flubbed an answer to an easy question. It wouldn’t have been a big deal, except it was during an interview with the department chair of the graduate program. He asked me, “What is art therapy?” And I drew a blank, I was so nervous. Luckily, the interview at the other school went better. I felt more comfortable and prepared. The second school was a better fit and where I was meant to go. Even though I felt like an idiot at the time, things worked out for the best.

    You’re right about how our culture focuses on the success and skips over the hard work and mistakes along the way. I was just thinking about that today, people who have big muscles, that didn’t happen overnight.

    I have another example of a failure that became a redirection. I lost my original publishing contract (with a small press) a few years ago. At the time, I was disappointed, but the manuscript never would’ve become what it is now, back then. I wasn’t proud of what we were creating. I thought I needed her validation instead of trusting my own. And now, I’m doing the very thing I didn’t think I could do, which is self-publish.

    Perhaps, going off on a tangent is a defense mechanism you use when you aren’t completely certain of an answer, or how it will be received by others. Just a thought.


    • Thank you. Yes, I think going on a tangent can be a good sign that we’re not certain of an answer, a good sign to dig deeper and figure out what we really think about a topic, to sift through the information and organize it into ideas. And I definitely get the feeling of needing to be proud of what one is creating. Well said.

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