Can Anyone Channel?

August 6, 2021
Helané Wahbeh, Director of Research

What do people who channel have in common? Can anyone channel? There is growing evidence that yes, everyone has some channeling capacity, but that the way they access it is unique.

There are few specific characteristics that we’ve seen in studies that ask these questions. In general, there have been studies showing that these characteristics are related to having more channeling experiences or doing better on tasks in the laboratory:

  • Female
  • Spiritual but not religious
  • High belief in psi
  • Openness to experiences
  • Extroverted, empathetic
  • Highly sensitive
  • High transliminality which has to do with psychological material moving in and out of our consciousness
  • High absorption, which means you get very engaged in visual or mental imagery

This doesn’t mean that if you don’t have these characteristics, that you don’t or can’t channel. It just means that the studies done so far have noted these characteristics.

One way to increase your channeling experiences or improve your performance on laboratory tasks involves a practice anyone can do: Meditation.

Being a meditator is one of the most consistent ways to cultivate channeling abilities. This makes sense when you think about what meditation training does. Most types include attention training that helps focus the mind and intention on a single point. Some meditation types also help you expand your awareness beyond the boundaries of your physical body, which one could imagine would support channeling.

Meditation can also induce an altered state of consciousness, which can support channeling. This might not be true in spontaneous experiences of channeling but most intentional channeling experience begins with getting into a specific type of state that is more conducive to channeling.

Another interesting characteristic that is well-known anecdotally is that channeling runs in families. Perhaps there is something about genetics that allows someone to channel. Few studies have looked into this formally. One study examined second sight through interviews and pedigree studies, and found that indeed the ability ran in families (Cohn 1994, 1999).

At IONS, we’ve done multiple survey studies where we ask people if their abilities run in their family. We get mixed results depending on who we ask, whether it is trance channelers or people with more general channeling experiences.

In general, most people do say they have family members with similar experiences. We also just finished a study looking at the genetics of 13 psychics and 10 controls and found an interesting difference between the two groups. This was just a preliminary study and we are actively seeking funding to support additional studies in this research program.

Perhaps genetics has something to do with the type of channeling that comes naturally to you, but I don’t think it is the only factor. I think that anyone can do channeling in some form. For example, we just published the results of one of our mediumship studies. That study showed that mediums and non-mediums were able to discern a person’s cause of death.

Other teachers of psychic abilities have shared with me that they feel they can teach anyone things like remote viewing, psychokinesis, and trance channeling, if the person believes that they can learn. Perhaps some people will learn it more easily, but if they believe they can do it and put in the time and effort, they can learn.

So, what is your way of channeling? Do you have specific characteristics that you think make it easier for you to channel in certain ways? If you would like to take a deeper dive into the world of channeling, you can preorder my book, The Science of Channeling. In it, we’ll explore the compelling research around channeling, how to discover your own abilities, and the practical application of these abilities.


Curious to learn more about channeling? Take a deep dive into The Science of Channeling through our new online course! A part of the IONS Channeling Research Program, this self-paced program sheds light on experiences we call “channeling” — the process of revealing information and energy not limited by space and time.

In this course, you will explore the latest scientific evidence for channeling phenomena, looking at research questions such as “Is channeling real?” and “Is it a mental health concern?” Join IONS Director of Research, Helané Wahbeh, as she reveals the fascinating research on this common phenomenon which we are just coming to understand!

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About the Author

Helané Wahbeh, ND, MCRHelané Wahbeh, ND, MCR, is the Director of Research at the Institute of Noetic Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at Oregon Health & Science University. Dr. Wahbeh is clinically trained as a naturopathic physician and research trained with a Master of Clinical Research and two post-doctoral research fellowships. She has published on and spoken internationally about her studies on complementary and alternative medicine, mind-body medicine, extended human capacities, stress, posttraumatic stress disorder and their relationships to physiology, health, and healing. Dr. Wahbeh is especially known for her research around — and noetic approach to — channeling.

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