What is energy healing? What is energy medicine, and could science explain quantum healing? Does Reiki work?
As people are becoming more open-minded, their interest in questions like the ones above is rapidly evolving. At IONS, we have been examining energy healing and subtle energy from a scientific perspective for many years.
Here are some of the fascinating findings:
In a previous blog, we covered studies exploring how intention affected the crystalline structure of ice and the mood-enhancing properties of chocolate.
But did you know that IONS has also performed research on the effects of energy medicine for pain relief? In this 2019 study, one of the largest and most complex of its kind, the participants reported significant reductions in pain. Another notable effect was a change in quantum noise in the room where the healing occurred, suggesting that energy treatments affect space-time.
Could this be extrapolated to hypothesize that our thoughts and intentions affect the fabric of the cosmos? Time, and future studies, will hopefully give us additional clues.
For now, let’s look at some of the remarkable findings from existing energy medicine studies.
Healing: A complex interplay between your inner universe and the outer world
IONS is currently organizing one of the biggest research projects to date on how energy healing works on a more granular level. We have already seen strong indications that results not only rely upon the two humans involved – the healer and the patient – but also on external factors.
It is widely known that local weather plays a role in healing. The influences of solar winds, the Earth’s geomagnetic field, and the interplanetary magnetic field are less investigated. This 2020 study led by IONS Dr. Helané Wahbeh and Dr. Dean Radin explored the potential effects of local and solar/geomagnetic variables on energy healing treatments. The measurements were taken during the hand and wrist pain study mentioned above.
According to this study, it seems like local barometric pressure, in particular, has a relationship with nerve conduction velocity. Some of the more distant environmental factors like interplanetary magnetic fields and lunar illumination also had a relationship with nerve conduction velocity and subjective experience of pain.
Another study derived from the main project on hand and wrist pain examined if energy medicine could impact the molecular bonds in water. Results showed that the water molecules reacted to the healing – both when healing intentions were sent directly to the water and when the water was merely present in the room where the session took place. Even though causality cannot be fully proven, the results are intriguing and inspire further studies.
Energy medicine treatments for hand and wrist pain: What did they find out?
To return to the study mentioned at the beginning of this article: the participants all suffered from various degrees of carpal tunnel syndrome. One of the variables was self-reported pain, where participants rated their pain on a scale of 0-10, where 10 was the maximum pain.
On average, pain decreased 2 points post-session and was still 1.3 points below baseline 3 weeks after the treatment. Well-being, negative emotion, and sleep quality significantly improved. These improvements are reflected physically by increased heart rate variability, indicating lower stress levels. You can find a summary of the original 2019 study on our blog.
Another finding was that the participants’ level of expectancy and credibility around the efficacy did not impact the results – which discredits the placebo effect.
Where to go from here
The above study suggests that energy healing has both physical and mental effects that last weeks after completion of the treatment. There is very little research on the potential influence of environmental factors like solar winds and lunar illumination on the efficacy of energy medicine. Still, the primary findings of the IONS study suggest that there’s indeed a non-negligible link.
More remarkably, it seems to work even when the person receiving the treatment does not believe in it. This suggests that the placebo effect does not paint the whole picture – but that there’s something at play beyond the well-known fundamental forces of the universe. The fact that energy and intention act on large distances and permeate electromagnetic shielding also supports the idea that intention has some effect.
We’re excited to find out if the results from the ongoing study are in line with previous findings. The more we understand the workings of subtle energy and energy medicine, the more we can leverage it for healing to reinforce conventional treatments or as an alternative when conventional treatments are not working.