Measuring Effects of Biofield Therapies in the Laboratory: A Pilot Study Focused on Pain Alleviation Garret Yount , Helane Wahbeh; Dean Radin; Arnaud Delorme; Loren Carpenter; Kenneth Rachlin; Joyce Anastasia; Heather Mandell; Meredith Pierson; Sue Steele; Dee Merz; Steven Swanson; Aimee Chagnon (Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, CA ) C9
BACKGROUND: Biofield practitioners operate on the premise that a subtle biologic energy or biofield can be influenced for therapeutic effect. A wide range of disciplines supports such practices however the mechanisms underlying their efficacy may be shared. OBJECTIVE: To assess the feasibility of simultaneously measuring psychological, functional, physiological and environmental effects of biofield therapies at a significant scale. DESIGN: Feasibility study, without control condition. Practitioners from 17 distinct disciplines (including qigong, Healing Touch, Reiki, Quantum Touch Healing, Bengston Energy Healing Method, Peruvian shamanic healing, intentional manipulation of morphic fields, and others) each delivered therapeutic sessions (lasting 30 minutes) from close proximity to an average of 10 subjects seeking relief from chronic wrist pain. SETTINGS: Electromagnetically shielded chamber and biological laboratory. OUTCOME MEASURES: Outcome measures were obtained immediately prior to and after therapeutic sessions. Psychological measures included subjective experience of pain, overall health, acute sleep, positive and negative affective well-being, compassion, creativity, interconnectedness, and transformation. Functional measures included performance on tasks designed to assess intuition, remote viewing, time estimation, precognition, and psychokinesis. Physiological measures included wrist nerve conduction velocity, electrocardiography, and neuroinflammatory gene expression. Environmental measures included potential influences on a quantum noise generator and water samples present during the biofield sessions, perturbations in the magnetic field, and changes in subtle energies perceptible by a clairvoyant seer. To assess potential predictors of efficacy, we administered the Noetic Experience and Belief Scale, and collected subjective measures of personality and expectancy. A subset of the measures was collected during a 3-week follow up visit. PARTICIPANTS: 193 subjects living in the area local to the laboratory and experiencing chronic carpal tunnel syndrome pain. RESULTS: There was an average decrease in pain score of -2.1 (10-point scale) from before to immediately after the healing sessions across all subjects. The greatest individual reduction in pain score was -9. Using a repeated measures model, pain was significantly decreased (p<0.00005) across subjects at the three measurement points (including the 3-week follow-up visit). Overall, the heart rate and heart rate variability changes reflected an increase in parasympathetic activation. There was no discernible improvement in wrist nerve conduction velocity or neuroinflammatory gene expression following healing sessions. Some of the most remarkable results were found with the analysis of the quantum noise generator data, which showed that over the course of the therapeutic sessions the spacetime metric started out near zero and increased to over 3 sigma (p < 0.001). Then, after the therapeutic sessions, the metric reverted back to near zero. This suggests that the healing sessions caused entropic ripples in spacetime. Other results will be discussed. CONCLUSIONS: The experiences reported by the subjects confirmed that we were able to study the effective application of biofield therapies within a laboratory setting and collect multiple outcome measures simultaneously. While this pilot study was not powered to definitively test hypotheses, some of the measures yielded provocative results that warrant further investigation.