Is Channeling Real?

June 23, 2021
Helané Wahbeh, Director of Research

As we explored in last month’s blog, we know that the subjective experience of channeling is very common. However, just because they are common doesn’t mean that they are actually real. What is the evidence that channeling experiences are “real” phenomena, or that channeled information is valid?

First, let me start by defining what I mean by real phenomena. This means that they can be observed with objective measures rather than just subjective or first-person accounts. Now, I could easily argue that anything experienced by a person is a “real” experience. However, that is not really what people are getting at when they ask if channeling is real.

Is Channeled Information Real?

So back to the evidence: There are several channeling experiences that have been repeatedly demonstrated in the laboratory and have multiple studies with positive effects.

One recent paper describing these results was published in the American Psychologist and reviewed meta-analyses of telepathy, precognition, presentiment, remote influence, distant healing, remote viewing, and psychokinesis (Cardeña 2018). A meta-analysis is a type of study that combines the results of multiple studies to get an overall picture of the effects. A meta-analysis is the pinnacle of proof when it comes to scientific evidence.

Let’s look at a few of these experiences in more detail, such as remote influence. The effects of someone’s mental intention on another person has been studied in the laboratory in a few ways. Remote staring is one set of studies.

Imagine being a participant in one of these studies and being asked to stare at a friend through a one-way mirror and closed-circuit TV. Your friend has no idea that you are there staring at them. These studies show over and over again that the person can tell when they are being stared at (Schmidt 2015, Sheldrake, 2015).

Another example is the classic distant mental intention on living systems, or DMILS. In this protocol, you have someone directing positive mental intention towards another person. Both people’s bodies are usually measures for changes. Dozens of these experiments have been done with measures like heart waves, skin changes, brain waves, and even real-time functioning of the brain.

All the results show the same thing: The receiver’s body changes when the sender is sending versus not sending (Schmidt 2012, 2015; Achterberg et al. 2005; Richards et al. 2005; Schmidt et al. 2004). The effects are small but they appear to be instantaneous!

Channeling & Intention

Healing intention is another example that is very practical. Health and healing is a top priority for many people. Many studies have demonstrated that our positive intention creates changes in cells, plants, animals, and humans (Roe, Sonnex, and Roxburgh 2015). Again, the effects are small but consistently noted. These results are amazing because the effects “should” be zero!

The evidence continues. There are multiple laboratory studies reliably demonstrating telepathy and precognition in waking life (Baptista, Derakhshani, and Tressoldi 2015; Cardeña 2018; Storm, Tressoldi, and Di Risio 2010, Mossbridge and Radin 2017; Storm and Tressoldi 2020) and even while asleep (Krippner 2005, Storm and Rock 2015; Storm et al. 2017)!

Remote viewing, where people are able to get information about distant locations they have never visited, has some of the most consistently observed and largest effects in parapsychology (Baptista, Derakhshani, and Tressoldi 2015; Cardeña 2018; Dunne and Jahn 2003; Milton 1997).

Channeled information received from mediumistic readings have also been shown to be valid in multiple laboratories using rigorous triple-blind methods (Beischel and Schwartz 2007; Beischel et al. 2015; Delorme et al. 2013). Volumes have been written describing tests of the validity of mediumship in and out of the laboratory (Rock et al. 2020; Sarraf, Woodley, and Tressoldi 2020; Braude 2003; Fontana 2005).

The Evidence for Channeled Information Is Compelling

These are just a few quick examples of evidence for the “realness” of these phenomena. I go into these in more depth in my upcoming book The Science of Channeling (which is coming out in September!). Although, even a whole book doesn’t cover all the evidence and the nuances of that evidence.

That being said, I find it hard to believe that anyone could read through the voluminous research that I just very briefly summarized and still believe that something isn’t going on. Yes, the effects are often small, so perhaps something we aren’t measuring is the reason for these effects. However, we can clearly observe the “realness” of channeling beyond people’s first-hand reports.

If you’re curious about channeling and would like to learn more about the science as well as the practical application, you can order The Science of Channeling. In it, we’ll explore the jaw-dropping research around channeling, as well as how you can get in touch with your own unique abilities.

Want 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!

Learn More & Register

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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