Can Science Measure Healing Chi?
Scientists call chi “biomagnetism,” a bioelectric current or life energy field, measured in biophotons running through our nerves and which send signals back and forth to our brain.
To find out what wai dan or “external” energy feels like, do the following simple test: rub your hands together until they become very warm, then hold them loosely and relaxed about four or five inches (between seven to ten cm) apart, fingers slightly parted.
At this point, you should feel a slight tingling or numbing sensation. This is what vital life energy feels like on a very superficial level. With prolonged practice the feeling should intensify, sometimes becoming very hot, though not uncomfortably so. It can also become tangible in sensation, like a pressure or an invisible ball.
How biomagnetism works in Chinese medicine or in martial arts where an old man, with a mere effortless wave of his hand is able to sweep his opponent off his feet, is another matter.
There have been numerous experiments with the effects of biomagnetism directed at water as a medium. Such water appears to stimulate plant growth at a significantly greater rate than water that has not been treated with this intrinsic life force.
- accelerating bone repair,
- controlling seizures,
- stimulating nerve regeneration,
- suppressing inflammation and promoting healing of wounds,
- not to mention elimination of infections, warts, tumors, lesions, and other diseased tissue.
But how is a qigong practitioner able to pass this healing life force to another person and heal without physical contact?
Lian Sidorov posits that just the intent to heal enables the practitioner to synchronize his/her brain with that of the patient. Observed measurements of increased alpha brainwave activity in the occipital and frontal lobes of the brains of both sender and receiver suggest some invisible communication of bioinformation occurs during the synchronization.*
Sidorov also explains how the practitioner is able to target precisely the area required for healing in the recipient’s body.
An imbalance in the equilibrium of the chi can result in disease which also makes the affected area more vulnerable and “open” to modification. This may be the reason that healing life energy becomes focused and localized in that area and nowhere else.†
Sidorov’s theory brings to mind a personal experience I had with my 107-year-old grandmother who, for the past 40 years of her life has suffered almost complete hearing loss in her right ear — approximately 95% — and about 75% hearing loss in her left.
About fifteen years ago she agreed to let me pass healing energy to her ears in an attempt to heal her deafness.
For three consecutive days, I placed my hands in close proximity to her ears, transferring biomagnetic healing energy for upwards of fifteen minutes a day. Both ears regained partial hearing —approximately forty or fifty percent.
Unfortunately the effect was transient, lasting only a few hours after each treatment. In hindsight perhaps if I had persisted for a few more weeks and for longer periods of time, the effects would have been longer lasting.
However, I was new at this: it was the first time I had undertaken to heal an impairment that had been with her for more than a third of her life, and I was not sure how effective the treatment would be.
Moreover, I wondered if both of us “imagined” and exaggerated the results in our minds, because we wanted so much for the healing to be successful.
I didn’t voice my skepticism to my grandmother, but I decided to test my theory on two different occasions, by transmitting “painful” chi instead of healing energy.
My grandmother was able to sense the change almost immediately. Where previously she described the life force as warm and comfortable, about ten seconds after I started transmitting “pain,” she immediately complained of a sudden stabbing sensation in her ear. She was even able to tell me which ear I had directed this pain to.
Just an added footnote: let me reassure my readers that the “pain” I transmitted with my yinian or yi mind was at a very light scale, and in no way harmed my grandmother. Even after I continued to transmit healing life energy again, she continued to notice an improvement in her hearing.
Though this little “experiment” of mine was by no means precise, it does illustrate how the healer or qigong practitioner is able to control the chi simply by intent.