Science Of The Lost Symbol


A Range of Healing Subjects and Intentions

Below we review some of the work of pioneering researcher Bernard Grad. This brief review will reveal other studies with mice and with a wide range of organisms that have been the subject of healing studies. Grad’s work is also important because it reveals the kinds of healing effects that are possible.

Dr. Bernard Grad is one of the pioneers of energy healing studies. He has undertaken dozens of controlled studies with healers, especially with Oscar Estebanay. He studied Estebanay’s ability to heal, through laying on of his hands, mice with goiters and mice with skin wounds. Estebanay was able to speed the rate of healing in both groups relative to control groups, who had no healing energies directed at them. In another experiment with mice with goiters, Estebanay “treated” wads of cotton or wool, instead of trying to directly affect the mice. The “energized” cotton and wool was then placed in the cages with the goitered mice for one hour a day, six days a week, for the experimental period. Untreated cotton and wool was placed in the cages of the control mice for the same time spans. The mice exposed to the “treated” wool and cotton showed much slower growth in their goiters than did the control mice (cited in Dr. Larry Dossey’s book, Healing Beyond the Body, 63). These types of studies are important, as they show that the healing “energy” does not have to be directed at the animal, person or organism itself. Only coming in contact with something that has been energized by a healer can have a therapeutic effect. This confirms the results of William Bengston cited above.

Grad also tested Estebanay’s ability to affect enzymes in a test tube. As David R. Hamilton reports in his book, It’s the Thought that Counts (53-54), the enzymes were trypsin, molecules that help convert food in the digestive system. They were placed in a beaker and Estebanay had no direct contact with them. Every day for three weeks Estebanay sent healing energy to them, intending to accelerate their ability to work. When researchers tested their efficacy, they found that they indeed worked more efficiently in converting substances. Other healers have been asked by various researchers to affect the performance of other kinds of organisms, from enzymes to bacteria, and have been able to use intention to direct them in specific ways, for example speeding or slowing the mutation rates in e coli bacteria. They, too, have been successful to significantly significant degrees.

Many experiments, especially those of Cleve Backster, show how plants appear to have some form of “information” awareness, such that if someone even has the intention to harm them, they respond with stress a response that is detectable using monitoring equipment. Many other plant experiments show how healing energy directed at seeds or plants can speed a seed’s germination rate or a plant’s growth rate.

In controlled experiments of this kind, Grad asked Estebanay try to protect a group of seedlings that were watered with a saltwater solution, which would stress the plants and retard or prevent their sprouting. However, Estebanay would “treat” only the salted water that was to be poured over the seedlings, not the seedlings themselves. He would intend that it not be harmful to the seedlings. A control group of seedlings was watered with the same solution, but it had not been “neutralized” by Estabanay. When the results were in, it was revealed that the seedlings watered with the neutralized saline water showed less injury than those in the control group, with more seeds sprouting and the seedlings growing more robustly.

Grad says, “Although little can be said about the nature of the force that is producing the biological effects . . . or the mechanism whereby it acts, the experiments on wound healing . . . and plant growth have demonstrated that the so-called ‘laying on of hands,’ at least when done by certain individuals, has objective demonstrable effects, which, because it was done on animals and on saline poured over plants, can hardly be explained as being due to the power of suggestion. . . .” (quoted in Dossey, Healing Beyond the Body, 64).

These experiments barely scratch the surface of the evidence that has been amassed that both direct and indirect healing intention and energy have a positive therapeutic effect. They raise a host of questions that are spurring scientists to probe more deeply into the mysteries of mind-over-matter healing.

Back to Healing Intentions I: Influencing Non-Human Systems

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