You found my old blog. Thanks for visiting! For my new writing, visit mikesententia.com.
Energy healing acts on the biofield, using biofield energy. But what is the biofield?
Short answer: It’s the body’s natural energy field, produced by living cells. The term was coined in 1992 by researchers at an NIH conference. It refers to the “energy” of energy healing modalities such as Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Chi Gung, and many more.
Long answer: That’s a definition, not an explanation. What is the biofield?
Before I start, let me say: All of this is speculative. It’s my current best understanding, but I’ve updated that understanding in the past, and probably will again in the future. None of this is established science, and other energy workers and researchers would probably disagree with some parts.
Cells seem to emit some sort of energy field. The signature of this energy (its state, sometimes called a “color” or “frequency”) seems to correspond to the state of the cells. That is, healthy cells emit a different signature of energy than inflamed cells, and both emit a different signature than cells under attack from an auto-immune disorder, and so on.
Some people ask, “Isn’t it possible that you already know the person’s condition, and are just feeling what you expect to feel in their energy?” And it’s hard to rule that out completely — in fact, our expectations influence all our senses. But like many energy workers, I’ve had the experience of feeling a person’s biofield, not knowing their condition, feeling an inflamed energy in their knee or other area, and having them confirm what I had sensed. That gives me confidence that something real is happening here.
Normally, energy flows from the cells to the biofield, and the state of the cells determines the state of the biofield. But it also works the other way: Altering the biofield seems to influence the state of those cells. When I’m developing new biofield techniques, I’ll usually start with the tissues involved in a condition, sense their biofields, then figure out what signature to set each of those biofields to. When I do that, I like to think of the biofield as inhibiting or promoting the cell’s processes. (Which process depends on the particular energy signature.) Is that how it actually works? I can’t say for certain, and I’d like to collaborate with biologists to verify that someday. But that model leads me to useful techniques, which is another way of saying that it makes non-obvious, useful predictions that turn out to be accurate.
What about the shape of the biofield? It’s easy to imagine it as just a cloud of energy. Part of the biofield is like that, but as I’ve explored it, I’ve found energetic pathways and structures beneath that shapeless energy, between the energy and the cells. When I adjust someone’s biofield (changing the signature of their energy), if I also sink those changes deeper into the pathways (closer to cells), I find it produces faster, stronger results.
So, those are the moving pieces: A cloud of energy and some energetic pathways to cells. Normally, the cells produce this energy, and it flows from cells through the pathways to the energy cloud. Energy workers change the signature of the cloud, which feeds back to influence cells. And by sinking those changes deeper into the pathways, we see a larger, faster influence.
OK, but what is the biofield, in terms of physics and biology? I have no idea. I don’t think today’s physics can explain the biofield, I think we’ll need new physics, and as a non-physicist, I’m going to stop there. A major part of Healing Lab’s mission is to demonstrate phenomena that will get physicists interested and open up collaborations to actually answer those questions. For more, see the vision.
As a closing thought, asking “what is the biofield” is a bit like asking “what is magnetism?” Here’s Richard Feynman explaining why he can’t answer that:If you liked this post, consider visiting my current blog at mikesententia.com.