Abstract: This article outlines various studies which
have shown a change in the measured gamma radiation
near bioenergy healers. Contained herein is a theoretical
explanation for these findings based upon an expansion
of current concepts in physics and biology.
Certain alternative healing therapies are theorized
as being bioenergetic modalities which utilize the "élan
vital" or vital energy. Proponents of these techniques
have claimed this previously unrecognized force infuses
organisms with life sustaining energies and/or balances
existing energies resulting in improved health.
This long-standing and widespread belief in the existence
of an etheric healing force, called "prana"
by the Hindus, "chi" by the Chinese, and "ki"
by the Japanese, is the source most often associated
with the "soul, spirit, and mind."
In fact, there are references made to human energy fields
or the aura of the body in 97 different cultures, according
to John White in his book "Future Science."1
Equally mystifying and unexplainable are
the plethora of parapsychological phenomena often referred
to as extrasensory perception, precognition, remote
viewing, etc. that have evaded scientific description.
Modern scientists have repeatedly sought evidence for
the substance of spirit. After Newton published his
laws of mechanics, optics, and gravity, he spent many
years looking for the living force via the use of alchemy.
In the late nineteenth century, prominent physicists,
William Crookes and Oliver Lodge, searched for what
they called the "psychic force." Their premise
was that a connection existed between the spiritual,
aetheric forces and the recently discovered electromagnetic
waves. By 1905, electromagnetic signals were recognized
as being carried by light packets, or photons, but were
not scientifically connected to healing energies.2
Numerous other scientists have also searched for and
attempted to name this elusive aether. An abbreviated
list would include "pseudo magnetism"; "fifth
force"; "empty waves"; a significant
part of Tesla phenomenology; "radiation energy"
by H. Moray; "tachyon fields" by Fienberg;
"free energy" by Kelly; Nieper’s "gravitation
field energy"; "space energy" by Schaffranke
and Harris; "unified field" by Mahareshi-Jagelin;
"emptiness energy" by Reichenbach; "vital
magnetism" by Messmer; "bio-cosmic energy"
by Hieronymus; "Mumia" by Paracelsus; "X-force"
by Eemen; "N-radiation" by Biondio; "ponderomatoric
forces" by Myshin; "radiation energy"
by Abrams; "O-radiation or Orgonne" by Reich;
"M-field" (morphogenic field) by Schaldrein
and B. Haeim. A common physical reality behind the diverse
phenomenology was postulated by many researchers, in
particular, in a more complete form be D.A. Kelly in
1986 and Antwort Schema in 1989.3
Throughout the 20th Century, proponents of "élan
vital" and bioenergy medicine have been unable
to provide definitive evidence of an electromagnetic
connection between alternative healing therapies and
living organisms let alone offer a scientifically-testable
theory of its existence. This has left the field open
to staunch criticism from medical professionals and
scientists who overtly dismiss any possible healing
effects from an "imaginery" aether. However,
recent research may document the existence of healing
energy and, further, describe a new paradigm for bioenergy
healing which includes a plausible mechanism of action.
II. Bioenergy Healers and Gamma Radiation
Recently replicated studies by Benford
et al. identified statistically significant decreases
in extremely high-frequency electromagnetic fields,
termed gamma rays, during alternative healing sessions
with a trained practitioner and multiple subjects.
Early results demonstrated that gamma radiation levels
markedly decreased during therapy sessions of 100% of
subjects and at every body site tested regardless of
which therapist performed the treatment. In many instances,
the gamma counts fluctuated by thousands which represented
a 3 – 6% difference in gross gamma count between
the untrained control practitioners and trained healing
energy practitioners within the short time periods analyzed.
Later tests, whereby the therapists and controls were
moved three feet away from the detector and seated at
the subject’s head, demonstrated that significant
drops occurred in female subjects interacting with trained
therapists but not in males. In fact, two males demonstrated
"emissions" of gamma rays during the therapy
sessions. This may be due, in part, to variations in
lean body mass which contains the body’s primary
gamma emitter, Potassium-40 (K40). This has also been
hypothesized to represent a "self-regulation"
of energy within the body and the surrounding electromagnetic
The consistent results from these controlled experiments
may result, in part, from the increased electromagnetic
fields surrounding the hands of healers. Dr.
John Zimmerman discovered large frequency-pulsing biomagnetic
fields emanating from hands of therapeutic touch practitioners
during therapy as measured by an extremely sensitive
magnetometer called a SQUID (Superconducting
Quantum Interference Device).6 Similar frequency-pulsing
biomagnetic fields were later measured and quantified
from the hands of meditators and practitioners of yoga
and QiGong using a simple magnetometer. These
fields were 1000 times greater than the strongest human
biomagnetic field7 and were found to be in the same
frequency range as those being tested in medical research
laboratories for use in speeding the healing process
of certain biological tissues.3,8 This
range is low energy and extremely low frequency and
spans from 2 Hz to 50 Hz.8 However, still missing from
this research is a mechanism of action that can explain
the connection between electromagnetic field increases
and observed healing benefits reported in the current
III. Adding "spin" to the healing
Recently released Russian research posits
an approach for describing many, if not all, the biopositive
and parapsychological phenomena related to bioenergy
healing and conscious intention. This research has postulated
and tested the existence of "torsion fields."
Russian scientist Akimov and his team consider the quantum
vacuum as a universal torsion wave carrying medium.
The torsion field is said to fill all of space
isotropically, including its matter component.
It has a quantal structure that is unobservable in non-disturbed
states. However, violations of vacuum symmetry and invariance
create different, and in principle observable, states.
These theorized "violations" and "invariances"
may be what the energy practitioners are creating, which
induces changes in the gamma radiation previously described.
The torsion field theory takes a modified form of the
original electron-positron model of the Dirac sea: the
vacuum's energy field is viewed as a system of rotating
wave packets of electrons and positrons (rather than
a sea of electron-positron pairs). Where the wave packets
are mutually embedded, the field is electrically neutral.
If the spins of the embedded packets have the opposite
sign, the system is compensated not only in charge,
but also in classical spin and magnetic moment.
In keeping with this theory, Akimov et al.3 view the
Vacuum as a physical medium that can assume various
polarization states. Given charge polarization, the
Vacuum is manifested as the electromagnetic field. Given
matter polarization, it is manifested as the gravitational
field. And given spin polarization, the Vacuum manifests
as a spin field. All fundamental fields
known to physics correspond to specific Vacuum polarization
IV. Characteristics of the torsion field
G.I. Shipov showed that besides the two known long-range
physical fields, electromagnetic and gravitational,
there exists a third long-range field: the torsion field.
The torsion field is an extremely unusual entity. First
of all, the theoretical upper limit for
the speed of torsion waves is estimated to be not less
than 10^9 c, where c is the speed of light in a Vacuum.
Second, torsion fields may be able to propagate in a
region of space which is not limited by the light cone.
That means that torsion fields are able
to propagate not only in the future but in the past
as well. Third, torsion fields
may transmit information without transmitting energy.
Fourth, torsion fields are not required to follow the
Torsion fields are generated by spin (considering classical
spin) or by angular momentum. There exist both right
and left torsion fields (depending on the spin orientation).
As the location of the atoms within a molecule and their
spin orientation is due to their underlying physical
characteristics, the superposition of torsion fields
generated by the atomic and nuclear spins of each molecule
determines the intensity of torsion field in the space
surrounding the molecule as a whole. While an amorphous
or nonaligned substance would therefore not have such
an aggregate effect, a substance with aligned
molecules (i.e. crystal) would have an aggregate effect
in terms of its torsion field. The superposition
of all these torsion fields determines the intensity
and spatial configuration of the characteristic torsion
field of that substance. Thus, each substance possesses
its own characteristic torsion field.
The property which is open to influence by torsion
fields is spin. The structure of the torsion
field of every object can be changed by the influence
of an external torsion field. As a result of such an
influence, the new configuration of the torsion field
will be fixed as a metastable state (as a polarized
state) and will remain intact even after the source
of the external torsion field is moved to another area
of space. Thus torsion fields of certain spatial configuration
can be "recorded" on any physical or biological
The following fundamentally important fact should be
emphasized. In the framework of the theory of electro-torsion
interactions, it is shown that if electrostatic or electromagnetic
fields exist in some region of space, then there always
exists torsion fields in that region of space. Electrostatic
or electromagnetic fields without a torsion component
do not exist. On the strict level this
is shown by G.I. Shipov.11 Strong torsion
fields are generated by high electrical potentials and
by devices with organized circular or spiral electromagnetic
V. Torsion fields, radiation hormesis, and
The theory linking biopositive physiological effects
of bioenergy therapies with radiation hormesis has been
well described.4,5 Radiation hormesis is
the concept of using small doses of ionizing radiation
in a manner which has a beneficial affect on the body.
In summary, whole body exposures of mammals to low-dose
irradiation (doses <10 cGy/y; <10 rad/y) has been
found to stimulate major physiologic parameters including
reproduction, growth, muscular development, mental acuity,
cell repair systems (DNA, RNA, membranes and shock proteins),
and immune competence.12,13,14
Similar biopositive effects have been noted
following bioenergy healing therapies including
reduced anxiety in hospitalized cardiovascular patients,15
chemotherapy oncology patients,16 and premature neonates.17
Other research has shown bioenergy therapies reduce
tension headache pain17 and dramatically increase the
rate of healing of dermal punch wounds.18 One pilot
study demonstrated a decrease in the concentration of
suppressor T-cells implying an increased immune response.19
A separate study showed significant changes in hemoglobin
and hematocrit values after treatment.20
Work by renowned Chinese scientist Dr. Shu-Zheng Liu
of the MH Radiobiology Research Unit of Norman Bethune
University demonstrates that in both human populations
and animal studies low-dose radiation (LDR) stimulates
the immunological responses.21 The up-regulation of
immunity following LDR involves a series of cellular
and molecular reactions as well as their systemic regulation.
The results obtained by Lui and many others have compelled
researchers to conclude that whole-body irradiation
(WBI) with X- and gamma-rays in the dose range within
0.2 Gy has definite positive effect on the immune system
which can be considered as beneficial to the organism.22
Similar types of improved immune responses
have been reported by the Russian scientists with the
use of generated torsion fields. "In
a laboratory of radiobiology of Perm University we have
investigated the effect of static torsion field on mice.
. . The experiments have shown that torsion
field has immune-stimulating effect showing itself in
the activation of both cellular and humoral parts of
the immune system.
VI. Interacting with the Vacuum
It is therefore postulated here that bioenergy
healers are creating permutations in the Vacuum or zero-point
field (ZPF) via torsion fields, which, in turn, change
the characteristics of the source mass m (see Figure
1). For this discussion, the Vacuum/ZPF is being defined
as "the locus of a vast energy field that is neither
classically electromagnetic nor gravitational, nor yet
nuclear in nature. Instead, it is the originating source
of the known electromagnetic, gravitational, and nuclear
forces and fields. It is the originating source of matter
electromagnetic \|/ fields
in the surrounding the hands)
the torsion field
This spin compensation, posited to be induced by heightened
electromagnetic fields surrounding the hands of bioenergy
healers (charge q), alters the torsion field and creates
new annihilation/energy opportunities for the source.
Furthermore, preliminary data collected to test this
theory demonstrate a "Rubberband Effect" resulting
from the healer’s intervention with matter-based
substances and their fields. To explain the effect,
one can use the example of an unstretched rubberband
of a certain length (say 2"):
When force q is exerted on point B such that the rubberband
(mass m) is stretched it will assume a new length of
This, however, puts the system out of equilibrium such
that when the force, or energy, dissipates, the rubberband
does not immediately go back to a stable position 2"
but, first, overcompensates by going to 1":
In a recent gravity-shielding experiment involving
lentil beans, the rest mass (pre-therapy) was 37.545
gms. When the bioenergy healers energized
it in a direction such that it reached a peak by decreasing
in mass by about 0.1 gm (this was replicated
in a second energizing session). This "stretched"
the mass of the beans such that when the energy dissipated
overnight it did not return to its normal rest mass
(37.545) but over compensated by a full gram.
Likewise, a replication of the test involving the same
healers under more stringently controlled conditions,
e.g., test mass enclosed behind glass windows, resulted
in the same rubberband effect only in reverse. The test
mass initially got heavier but subsequently rebounded
to a lighter than pre-test weight. Several attempts
to replicate these results by non-therapists demonstrated
that the test mass could uniformly be made heavier;
however, the rebound effect only returned the mass to
its pre-test level and not beyond.
A second series of preliminary experiments
with bioenergy healers demonstrated a similar rubberband
effect. In a radioactive decay rate study, which tested
the ability of the healers to alter the constant gamma
decay rate of Cs-137, the results indicated
that the Cs-137 peak increased at some point during
the therapy session but, post-therapy, plummeted to
a level below the pre-test average (testing is still
underway with additional healers and controls).
Russian researchers have theorized that
torsion fields may have both an elastic effect and a
residual effect: both noticed in the previously described
experiments with bioenergy healers. "The opinion
that the Vacuum behaves as a super-fluid is commonly
accepted. There are also researchers who
believe that Physical Vacuum behaves as an elastic solid,
precisely as aether was regarded at the times of I.
Newton.. . Another feature of torsion fields must be
mentioned. Just as a magnet produces residual magnetization
in a ferro-magnet, the torsion source creates ‘residual’
polarization through acting upon the classical spin
both at the levels of substance and the Physical Vacuum."3
VII. Gamma radiation, torsion fields, and psi-phenomena
Thus far it has been demonstrated and postulated that
there is a connection between bioenergy healers, gamma
radiation, and torsion fields. Is there also a possible
link to the unexplained psi-phenomona that have perplexed
scientists and theologians for centuries? According
to the Russian pioneers in torsion field research, just
as in electricity, the elementary particle charges are
the primary source of field where the elementary particle
spins are the primary sources of torsion field. However,
gamma photons have also been identified as primary sources
of torsion field.3 Furthermore, it has been stated and
verified that the electromagnetic field can generate
the torsion one. Thus, it stands to reason,
that healers who can consciously increase the electromagnetic
field surrounding their hands and, likewise, cause significant
fluctuations in external gamma radiation around a subject’s
body, are also creating permutations in the torsion
field and, subsequently, the Vacuum itself.
This new paradigm describing
the "Spin Doctor," advances our scientific
understanding of bioenergy healing modalities by analyzing
studies and data in order to develop a theory that takes
into account our current understanding of physics and
expands upon it. Too often data which
does not fit our current understanding is ignored rather
than trying to develop a theory which can explain the
previous data as well as the new.
As a result of this new paradigm, we can
now begin to understand, and thus demystify, the origins
and actions of the "imaginary" aether of healing
energies. This new model takes into account
the well-known, and documented, beneficial effects of
low-dose radiation as a potential mechanism in bioenergy
healing. Furthermore, the acceptance and
appreciation of torsion fields, with their influencable
spin characteristics both in defining and refining matter,
opens a new perspective of scientific exploration into
psi-phenomena. Possibly, we can conclude that life,
and even mind, may be a manifestation of the constant,
albeit subtle, interaction of the wave packets classically
known as "matter" with the underlying physically
real Vacuum field.
* I will use the term "Vacuum" in the sense
that the Russians refer to a Physical Vacuum or which
we refer to as quantum vacuum. The Russian term has
a materialistic quality.
1. White J, Krippner S, eds. Future Science: Life Energies
and the Physics of the Paranormal. Garden City, NY:
2. Stenger VJ. The Energy Fields of Life: For, Skeptical
Briefs. Internet website: http://www.phys.hawaii.edu/vjs/www/skbriefs/fields.html
3. Akimov A. Heuristic Discussion of the Problem of
Finding Long Range Interactions, EGS-Concepts. Journal
of New Energy, Winter 1997; 2:55-80.
4. Benford MS, Talnagi J, Burr-Doss D, Boosey S, Arnold
LE. Gamma Radiation Fluctuations During Alternative
Healing Therapy. IN PRESS, Alternative Therapies in
Health and Medicine, July 1999.
5. Benford MS. Biological Nuclear Reactions: Empirical
Data Describes Unexplained SHC Phenomenon. IN PRESS,
Journal of New Energy, April 1999.
6. Zimmerman J. Laying-on-of-hands healing and therapeutic
touch: a testable theory. BEMI Currents, Journal of
the BioElectroMagnetics Institute. 1990; 2: 8-17.
7. Seto A, Kusaka C, Nakazato S, et al. Detection of
extraordinary large bio-magnetic field strength from
human hand. Acupuncture and Electro-Therapeutics Research
International Journal. 1992; 17:75-94.
8. Sisken BF, Walder J. Therapeutic aspects of electromagnetic
fields for soft tissue healing. In: Blank M, ed. Electromagnetic
fields. Biological interactions and mechanisms. Advances
in Chemistry Series 1995; 250: 277-285.
9. Penrose R. The Emperor’s New Mind: Concerning
Computers, Mind and Laws of Physics, Oxford University
Press, Oxford; 1989;466
10. Nachalov YV. Theoretical Basics of Experimental
11. Panov V, Kichigin V, Khaldeev G, Klyuev AV, Testov
BV, Yushkova TA, Yushkov VV. Torsion Fields and Experiments.
Journal of New Energy, Winter 1997; 2:29-39.
22. Liu SZ. Biological Effects of Low Level Ionizing
Radiation and Molecular Biology Research. Norman Bethun
University, Changchun, 1995.
I would like to thank Donald Reed, mathematician and
physicist, for his gracious assistance in providing
me with the Russian research on torsion fields and for
reviewing my preliminary paper. I would also like to
thank Dr. Harold Fox, and his staff, at the Journal
of New Energy for their help in locating references
for this work.