to Part 1
1 focused on how prayer and spirituality can influence health. This
article discusses several possible mechanisms by which therapies based
on spirituality or prayer-like consciousness can facilitate physical
paradigm-expanding mechanisms frequently involve concepts central to
other healing traditions. Although often referred to as subtle-energy
(instead of prayer) research, the mechanisms are increasingly
being backed up by scientific evidence.
Electromagnetic energy represents one mechanism by which prayer can be
transformed into healing power. Although all humans generate such
energy, spiritual healers seem to be unique (see How
Prayer Heals by Dr. Walter Weston, 1998). For example, whereby most
people emit a variable electromagnetic frequency from their hands,
healers emit a steady
7.8-hertz frequency (hertz is the number of waves that pass a fixed
point per unit of time, e.g., cycles per second).
Perhaps because it is identical to the Earth’s
resonant frequency, this frequency appears to have special healing
significance. For example, in mice it can heal cancer induced using a
lower frequency. This indicates that some frequencies are life enhancing
and others are not. Touch healers have been shown to transmit this
7.8-hertz, life-enhancing frequency to others through prayer-like
The body’s cumulative electrical potential can be immense. Researchers
have shown that spiritual healers’ hands can emit over 200 volts;
non-healers produced no more than 4 volts. Because such voltages are
approximately one billion times stronger than brain-wave voltages and
100-million times stronger than those in the heart, their potential
impact on the human body is enormous. It is conceivable for healers to
“raise the dead” in the same sense as heart defibrillators.
Many healers believe that energy fields surround
the human body. Most people at some level can sense them. It explains the intuitive feelings one has for another,
including instant dislikes or physical chemistry. The halos surrounding
spiritual beings in many traditions supposedly represent one higher
manifestation of these fields.
Barbara Brennan, a former NASA physicist, has
developed a training program to enhance people’s inherent capability
to perceive these fields (see Hands
of Light, 1988). A classic demonstration of these energy fields is
called the “phantom leaf effect.” After a part of a leaf has been
cut off and destroyed, a precise image of the entire
leaf can be obtained using Kirlian photography.
believe that the human energy field is composed of at least seven
consecutive layers representing increasing energy vibration.
Intersecting the body and the energy field are seven tornado-like energy
centers called chakras. Fundamental to
many eastern healing traditions, these chakras suck energy from the
universal energy field and transform it into energy that the body can
Located in front of the spinal cord, a power column
or pranic tube receives life-force energy from the chakras and transmits
it vertically through the body. Any
energy imbalance or blockage eventually causes illness (basically, the
theory behind acupuncture). This energy imbalance can be measured and
assessed before the onset of physical disease. For example, using an
advanced form of Kirlian photography, Indian physician Ramesh Chouhan
can identify the unique energy signature of various diseases months
before overt symptoms.
Injury: According to Sherry Pae, a teacher at the Barbara Brennan
School of Healing, spinal cord injury (SCI) will greatly affect energy flow
through the body because of the cord’s proximity to the power column.
Furthermore, after injury, the energy received by the base and sacral
chakras is substantially reduced.
The effects of the injury are stored in the etheric
field, the energy field closest to the body. This field contains the
template or blueprint for the physical body. It duplicates every cell
and organ of the body. As such, it is responsible for the growth,
development, and repair of the physical body. If the etheric template is
distorted, its physical product, the body, will also be distorted in
After injury, the etheric field’s dysfunctional
energy vectors must be mended to facilitate physiological healing.
Because time tends to lock in a spinal cord injury within the etheric
field, the sooner the therapy is performed the better.
Pae says negative, injury-associated emotional
memories are stored within cellular energy fields. The body will heal
more quickly when this negative energy is removed.
She says that pain and spasticity are especially amenable to
Dr. Walter Weston is a spiritual healer (also, an
ordained minister and researcher), who uses these energy fields. He
believes that recent trauma injuries respond well to his efforts.
Although his experience with spinal cord injury has been limited, he
indicates that his healing therapies have been especially effective for
traumatic brain injury. He reports many severe head injuries that he has
treated have survived with damaged brain tissue regenerated and memory
Injury Case Study:
Using knowledge of human energy fields, Deborah
Mills treated a man named Russell four months after he became a
paraplegic when he fell out of a tree. According to Mills, Russell’s
energy lines were “broken and unwound” due to his injury. Her
initial efforts were directed toward restoring and balancing the energy
movement within Russell’s physical body. With one hand placed on his
pelvis near the hip and the other near his knee, she created a circular
movement of energy. This was repeated from the knee to the ankle and
again from the ankle to the foot.
Next, Mills treated Russell’s etheric, emotional,
and mental fields. In these sessions, she did not touch Russell but
placed her hands in his energy fields. In a manner consistent with many
healers, she stated, “I connected my higher self to Russell’s higher
self and then connected to the universal energy source.”
Deborah treated Russell three times at one-month intervals. The
day after the first treatment, he regained bladder control; soon after
the second treatment, he transitioned to crutches from a wheelchair.
(Note: these dramatic results represent a single anecdotal case
and are not scientific proof.)
Various animal studies support the theory that
energy-fields possess the blueprint for the physical body.
For example, salamanders are able to regenerate severed limbs,
including the tail-containing spinal cord segments. After amputation,
electrical voltages can be measured around the missing parts. If the
voltage exceeds a certain threshold, as often the case in younger
animals, regeneration occurs.
Children also appear to have this capability.
Specifically, if medically permitted to do so, they can regenerate the
severed tip of a finger, including the same fingerprint. Given these
results, it is conceivable that the therapeutic manipulation of energy
fields could enhance the regenerative potential of an injured spinal
From the Heart?
Healers believe that strong emotions are stored in
energy fields and that the heart has access to them through the heart
chakra. Dr. Paul Pearsall (The
Heart’s Code, 1998) observed that many heart-transplant recipients
assume the donor’s uniquely idiosyncratic behaviors, including,
musical tastes, food preferences, sexual desires and vocabulary usage.
Dr. Pearsall speculates that in addition to the
brain, all of the body’s 75 trillion cells have some sort of memory
ability. The heart’s cellular memory potential is especially
significant because it is the body’s most powerful energy generator,
and its millions of cells beat in unison.
Dr. Pearsall cites experiments showing a
simultaneous synchronization and exchange of heart energy between
non-interacting individuals sitting in the same room. Consistent with
the heart’s poetic role, this energy resonates between individuals
like tuning forks.
This ability to exchange information with others,
combined with the heart’s ability to remember provides one possible
explanation on how prayer may influence another person. Investigations
by Jack Stucki, a biofeedback and prayer researcher, further underscore
the heart’s potential importance. His studies suggest that prayer,
even at great distance, can modify the electrical activity on the body
where the heart chakra is supposedly located.
Collective Consciousness Magnify Group Prayer?
Dr. Pearsall speculates that the synchronization of
heart energy between individuals provides one mechanism for obtaining
group or collective consciousness can be obtained. He cites a famous
example of collective consciousness called the “100-monkey
In this example, on islands off Japan, one monkey
learned a new skill. In turn, this monkey taught this skill to other
monkeys. After the critical mass of 100 monkeys had been taught,
suddenly all of them knew the skill, even those on nearby islands who no
Experiments have replicated this effect in humans.
There are many examples of human behaviors that suggest this collective
consciousness. For example, although large numbers of people deeply
mourned the death of Princess Diane last year, they felt that the depth
of their grief was way out of proportion to the feelings they had for
her before she died.
Experts theorize that collective consciousness is
catalytic and self-feeding. As such, they believe that if the collective
consciousness represents a negative emotion, it adversely affects
society. For example, in a strengthen-what–you-oppose perspective, a
flu epidemic would be aggravated by the fear-based collective
consciousness associated with catching the virus.
Perhaps an understanding of collective
consciousness can help explain why two million people who enter a
hospital each year acquire infections they did not have when they went
there. Does an infectious consciousness exist in addition to the
On the other hand, if a group consciousness
represents positive emotions like love, empathy, and compassion, it is
humanity enhancing. Einstein showed that mass is just another form of
itself, is energy. It
follows then that consciousness can create our physical reality,
especially when collectively amplified.
When reflected in prayer, group consciousness can
facilitate powerful healing. British physicist and theologian Dr. John
Polinhorne compares group prayer to laser light, which is powerful
because its waves are in synchrony. According to Dr. Walter Weston, when
synchronizing energy fields can generate immense, exponential power. For
example, the power of two people praying would be four times that of a
single person (2 x 2), and the power of 10 people praying would be 100
times that of a single person (10 x 10). A large church congregation of
1,000 unified in prayer would have 1 million times the praying power of
a single person (1,000 x 1,000). Given the potential healing provided
through group prayer, mechanisms have been established in which
individuals can be prayed for by groups (see Dr. Larry Dossey’s Prayer
is Good Medicine, 1996).
Although times are
changing, modern medicine has generally viewed the human body as
collection of parts that must function and, as a result, be healed
according to the science defined by classical, Newtonian physics.
With this view of health, spirituality has had no role.
spirituality is an integral part of many holistic, alternative medicine
traditions. Perhaps, this is one reason why so many Americans have been
turning to these traditions. They want to be treated from a mind, body,
and spirit perspective - and are listening to their hearts.
Adapted from a three-part article appearing in the
March, May, & June 1999 issues of Paraplegia
(For subscriptions, contact www.pn-magazine.com).