That the human body does in fact have measurable bioelectromagnetic fields and systems is NOT open for discussion or debate. EKGs and EEGs measure the electrical fields of the heart and brain. According to the Mayo Clinic Family Health Book, MRI's (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) are "based on magnetic properties in the interior (nucleus) of all atoms, including those in living tissue. When radio waves are directed to a specific part of your body, they cause the nuclei of atoms there to give off energy. This energy is detected, and a computer translates the EMERGING PATTERN OF MAGNETIC ENERGY into an image that your radiologist can interpret." (emphasis added) As a point of general info for the non-science minded, you can have neither electricity nor magnetism by itself – there will always be both since one creates the other. This is hard science.
Part of the problem in the past was the lack of scientific instruments sensitive enough to actually measure some of this. That is no longer true. Equipment does exist today and it is being used, including such things as the Squid Magnetometer (Superconducting Quantum Interference Device). Per “Energy Medicine – The Scientific Basis” by James Oschman, “SQUIDS and arrays of SQUIDS are now being used in medical research laboratories around the world to map the biomagnetic fields produced by physiological processes inside the human body. A global network of SQUIDS is also being used to monitor moment-to-moment fluctuations in the geomagnetic field of the earth.”
For those who might have missed it in the news, the earth’s magnetic field has been dropping dramatically for at least the last 100 years. Geologically, the earth’s magnetic polarity field reverses periodically. According to the geologic record, we are past due. Once again, this is hard science. During this same period of time, we have been bombarded with a plethora of man-made fields – microwave, radio, television, computers, etc. There is growing suspicion that these two things (decreasing earth field and increasing man-made wave pollution) are influencing the human fields in as yet unknown ways.
The point here is that the equipment is out there, it is being used, and “interesting things” are being measured. For those of us who “do the work,” no scientific validation is necessary. Our validation comes through what we feel with our hands and the results we see when we work on someone. For those with totally closed minds (and unfortunately they are legion), no amount of scientific validation seems to be possible.
Be that as it may, there has been some very fascinating research done over the last few years. Again quoting Oschman, “One of the academic questions created by the discovery of the heart’s magnetic field is the location of the boundary between the organism and the environment. In the past, we could define an individual as that which lies within the skin; but it is a fact of physics that energy fields are unbounded. The biomagnetic field of the heart extends indefinitely into space. While its strength diminishes with distance, there is no point at which we can say that the field ends.” The best example is light. If the telescope is powerful enough, light can be seen at the farthest known ends of the universe. In this respect, additional research has been done where two individuals in a room have had their heart fields monitored. Within a matter of minutes, their heart rates will “synchronize.” For those musicians out there, it is similar to two or more metronomes in a room synchronizing. Biologically, it is called “entrainment.”
There is NO dispute as to the reality. The disputes primarily arise from the traditional Eastern definitions of Chi, Ki and Prana. There is little doubt in my mind that Western medicine would have accepted and embraced acupuncture and the meridian structure years, if not decades, ago except for traditional Eastern insistence that Chi, Ki or Prana represent the “life force” of the body.
This is not a minor sticking point; it is a huge philosophical stumbling block for most “scientifically” oriented mind-sets. It is also a potentially huge obstacle, both for gaining acceptance by the general public and for generating interest in meaningful research. While those of us actively engaged in energetic bodywork modalities are more than well aware of the reality of what we do, it is not enough to simply accept that what we do is “real.” If we hope to generate wider acceptance among both the general population and the medical establishment, it is essential that we familiarize ourselves with the hard science under-pinnings of what we do.
That it has not been widely accepted by the western medical community does NOT negate the studies that have been conducted. A couple of things must be kept clearly in mind whenever discussing “scientific” research studies on the validity/reality of energetic bodywork. One key problem is that many of the studies have literally been designed to fail simply because the researchers had no meaningful understanding of traditional eastern medicine. For example, a frequently cited “proof” that acupuncture is a sham or fraudulent is that different “schools” use different points for the same conditions or the same points for different conditions. In reality, all this proves is that the designers of the study have little (if any) real understanding of Traditional Chinese Medicine (or any other eastern modality for that matter). Any one with even rudimentary knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine (or any of the Eastern modalities for that matter), is well aware that for every condition being treated, there are multiple acupoints from which to choose. By the same token, every acupoint can also be used for multiple conditions. This is no different than a Western trained Doctor treating a headache. What kind of headache: Sinus, Vascular, Tension? Should it be treated with bed rest or drugs? If drugs, what kind? It would be just as fair to say Western Medicine headache treatment protocols are fraudulent because they cite different causes and therefore different treatment procedures.