This month’s President’s Choice focuses not on a single article but a group of articles presented as varied perspectives on the theme, “Biofield Science and Healing”. These articles, published as a special issue of the journal, Global Advances in Health and Medicine (GAHMJ), are truly groundbreaking since they ask us to consider an additional dimension to the molecular/genetic biomedical model that was at the core of most of our healthcare training.
We might all remember our excitement when we learned that the nervous system, endocrine system and immune system are not independent entities, but are fully interactive parts of a regulatory whole. Now, we are presented with evidence that an additional system, collectively described as biologically-based fields or ‘biofields’ and present in all living beings, is a major contributor to the interconnectivity that underlies the physiology of health.
The essence of the biofield perspective is that a variety of endogenously generated electromagnetic and other fields act within and between multiple levels of biology, from molecular and cellular, through tissues and whole organisms to affect our personal and perhaps even our interpersonal functioning. The value of this Special Issue on Biofield Science and Healing is their even-handedness in assessing evidence and their breadth of approach to the topic.
The Special Issue presents models on the biofield from Asian wisdom traditions as well as from forefront physics. Several papers review the current state of the science and efficacy of biofield therapies (such as Healing Touch and Reiki) in clinical settings as well as cell cultures and discuss these findings both in terms of hands-on healing approaches, “hands-off” or non-physical touch healing approaches, and distant intention techniques. Perspectives of biofield healers are presented, as are an array of devices described as biofield-based that have been tested as diagnostic and therapeutic tools.
It is also noteworthy that this series of articles represent the first project of a backbone organization, the Consciousness and Healing Initiative (CHI), a self-described “collaborative accelerator” that aims to forward the science and real-world application of consciousness and healing practices. This special issue can be accessed via the CHI website or directly from GAHMJ’s website. The articles are a welcome outcome of a meeting on Biofield Science and Healing, held in September, 2014, jointly sponsored by the Samueli Institute, Miraglo Foundation, Institute of Noetic Sciences, and Chopra Foundation. These organizations, in alignment with AIHM, know that one vital key to the transformation of health and healing is collaboration and CHI was created to foster and facilitate such collaborations in the science and practice of healing.
This collection of articles on Biofield Science and Healing reflect the transdisciplinary research approaches, as well as the integration of healthcare practices that are critically needed to place healing back into the center of medicine. It is with open minds and open hearts that we welcome conversation on the biofield perspective; we are grateful to both CHI and GAHMJ for making these articles broadly available, as they reflect an emerging view that has considerable potential for enhancing how we consider and assess health.
Blessings on your journey,
Mimi Guarneri, MD, FACC, ABIHM