Distant healing works: Studies

Distant healing works: Studies

Over the past half century, researchers have developed techniques for measuring whether instance healing can have an effect on living systems. The typical goal of these experiments has been to influence a form of plant, animal, or human life in a way that can be objectively measured. The best experiments use careful, controlled designs that rule out the possibility of physical manipulation, suggestion, and expectancy on the part of the subject... In the first major research category of experiments, a healer seeks to lessen a harmful process or condition in a target organism. In other words, through conscious intention alone, the healer aims to improve the organism's vitality or decrease its morbidity. The following studies give dramatic evidence that this is possible. A classic study was conducted by biologist Bernard Grad, a pioneer in the field. Grad watered seeds with saline solution that either had been prayed over by a healer, or not. In a careful, double-blind design, he found that the seeds watered with healer-treated saline were more likely to sprout and grow successfully. Another biologist, Carroll Nash, reported that the growth rate of bacteria could be influenced by conscious intention in controlled double-blind studies. Some studies within this category involved an attempt to influence the course of a naturally occurring disease or condition. For example, healers have successfully reduced the growth of cancerous tumors in laboratory animals, compared to tumor growth rates in control animals with no intervention from healers.

Other experiments have attempted to affect the course of an artificially induced disease or condition. For example, in a series of studies using mice, Grad and his colleagues fund that skin wounds healed more rapidly when treated by healers who laid their hands on them. Grad, a traditionally trained biologist, worked with several exceptional healers--Justa Smith, Oscar Estebany, Olga Worrall, and others--over many years. The experiments carefully controlled for possible influences, such as extra warmth from the hands. Grad's pioneering work also showed that goiters induced in mice could be inhibited by these healers, even when they acted indirectly by treating cotton balls and placing them in the cage with mice. Healers also apparently have been able to increase the recovery rate of wounds imposed on the skin of human volunteers. Statistical analysis typically shows that the rate of wound healing in the treatment group is significantly higher than that in a control group that is otherwise similar but receives no distant healing treatment.

Marilyn Schlitz, PhD; and Nola Lewis, M.S

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