The purpose of this blog is purely educational. It does not advise any reader to forgo medical treatment for any condition. It describes methods that have not yet been proven effective through widespread scientific testing. Readers who are concerned about their health are advised to contact their physician.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The mind is a powerful thing - part 4

This posting may be the one you have been waiting for through parts 1 to 3, although it could be more appropriately be entitled "The brain is a powerful thing", and it is also quite esoteric. Simply put (or not so simply put), it turns out that the brain engages in some very specific brainwave activity during healing, and that that brainwave activity is somehow connected to "electromagnetic micropulsations" in the earth's atmosphere, the so-called "Schumann resonance", which one could more poetically refer to as the heartbeat of the planet.

James Oschman, author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, cites experiments in which a certain Robert C. Beck "used EEG recordings to study brain wave activity in ‘healers’ from all over the world: psychics, shamans, faith healers, a Hawaiian kahuna, practitioners of wicca, etc." and found that "all these healers produced similar brain wave patterns when they were … performing a healing… register[ing] brain wave activity averaging about 7.8-8.0 cycles/second… Beck performed additional studies on some of the subjects and found that during healing moments their brain waves became phase and frequency synchronized with the earth’s geoelectric micropulsations – the Schumann resonance.”

More recent experiments by Bill Bengston and Luke Hendricks showed "high amplitudes at about 8 hertz" in the healer's brain, also echoing the Schumann resonance. Healer and healee then came to share the same brainwave frequency during sustained periods of high amplitudes at this level, meaning that entrainment had been produced. Entrainment occurs when two separate objects share the same rate of activity, as when two hearts beat together, or two pendulums swing in synchrony.

The way it seems to work is that the healer produces this brainwave activity first, and then entrains the healee, and the two of them might rest there together briefly. According to Bill Bengston, healing happens in such bursts.

In his recent book, Spontaneous Evolution, Bruce Lipton tells us that trained healers are not the only ones able to produce entrainment. Experiments have shown that the same kind of entrainment occurs with people who simply love one another. The mechanism is in place for each and every one of us to become a healer; we just have to access the right frequency.

What is the Schumann resonance?
The Schumann resonance is an electromagnetic "standing wave" caused by electrical activity in the atmosphere that "readily penetrates the body" and has "considerable overlap with the biomagnetic fields such as those produced by the heart and brain" (Oschmann). Experiments have shown that subjects experience the best reaction times when the Schumann resonance is at 7-10 hertz, and that physiological disorientation can occur when subjects are magnetically shielded from it. The optimum resonance of ca 7.8 hertz is in the alpha state of brainwave activity associated with "body/mind integration, present during meditation and states of relaxation."

No one entirely knows why this happens, but we do know that non-waking states in which brainwaves are slowed down and become synchronous are necessary for the body to repair itself (as Shakespeare said, sleep does "knit up the ravelled sleeve of care"). Oschman theorizes that when when the mind is calmed, the Schumann resonance "can take over as the pacemaker" and "regulate the overall tone of the nervous system".

Oschmann also mentions that studies have shown pulsations emanating from the hands of healers sweeping through the range of 0.3 to 30 hertz, with most of the activity centering around 7.8 hertz -- again the Schumann resonance. Why that would produce healing is anyone's guess, but being entrained to the "heartbeat" of Gaia might have something do with it.

Finally, to add another piece to the mystery, the EEG study cited in the video excerpt above also showed occasional peaks during which a doubling or a tripling of the Schumann resonance occurred in the healer's brain during healing. This took brainwaves into the high beta range, speeding up rather than slowing down activity.

As best as I can figure, what we call energy healing is based on the reality of us being electromagnetic creatures, while medicine as it is practiced today is mostly based on our chemistry and biology. Energy healing is just a different way of approaching the complex creature that is a human being, but may turn out to be more-user friendly and less complex in the long run than the orthodox biochemical approaches have been.

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