Exceptional Experiences of Healers: A Survey of Healing Touch Practitioners and Students
Margaret M. Moga
Exceptional and non-ordinary experiences, also termed anomalous experiences, have long been associated with healing, occurring in both healers and healees . Exceptional experiences of healers include unusual sensate phenom-ena, such as images, bodily feelings and sounds, as well as contact with nonphysical beings and other dimensions.
In this pilot study, a cross-sectional design was used to determine the types and prevalence of sensory and extrasensory experiences among Healing Touch practitioners and students. Healing Touch (HT) is an energy healing, biofield therapy developed by holistic nurses. Data was obtained with an online survey using a new instrument, the Healer Experience Scale (HES). The HES contains both semi-quantitative, Likert scale (e.g., “have you seen…chakras/meridians” “never, a few times, sometimes, often”) and qualitative (e.g., describe “unusual visual experiences”) questions. The HES was administered to a convenience sample (n=183) of HT practitioners (n=110) and students (n=73). Pearson’s product-moment correlation and student’s t-test were used to test any significant associations/differences between item average scores and demographic characteristics.
The major finding was that HT practitioners and students feel unusual tactile sensations more often than other sensations, such as visual or auditory, during healing sessions. Respondents “often” feel areas of heaviness or congestion, prickly sensations, and/or warmth or heat while touching the client or moving their hands through the client’s biofield. Other tactile sensations included “electrical current” and static charge, “bubbles” and effervesce like a can of soda pop, “cool air leaks”, pressing/pulling sensations, stickiness, and vibrations.
The most common visual experience was of “light filling” the client’s body or “light dissolving” something within the client’s biofield. Other common visual experiences included seeing, “images related to the client’s life” and “different colors”.
The most common auditory experience was a telepathic conversation with a “guide” or deceased relatives of the client. A great variety of unusual sounds were reported by the healers, including, “crackling energy sounds”, humming and buzzing, music, singing, birds, bells/chimes, mumbling/whispers, and “tonal frequencies”.
Unusual smells and tastes during Healing Touch were reported as rare or infrequent. Unpleasant odors, such as “the smell of something rotten” or “stale”, were noted when healers were clearing “very dense energies” from the client’s biofield. Pleasant odors such as flower smells and perfumes were also reported. Healers “often” observe visible changes in their client indicating an energetic release, including facial changes, a change in the client’s breathing pattern, and movement of the client’s body (e.g., twitching/jerking).
As preliminary validation of the HES, the responses of the two groups (students and practitioners) were similar (Pearson’s coefficient = 0.9118), but the frequency of reported experiences was significantly lower among students as compared to practitioners. The prevalence of tactile experiences suggests that practitioners may possibly be responding to subtle physical stimuli caused by fields associated with the client’s body. The HES may be useful in assessing the training and effectiveness of healers, but more importantly, studies of exceptional experiences of healers may lead to new insights into the putative energies and mechanisms involved in biofield therapies and other anomalous phenomena.
Recorded at the Society for Scientific Exploration Conference in Boulder, Colorado 2016.
Join the SSE to support to support the Society’s commitment to maintain an open professional forum for researchers at the edge of conventional science: https://www.scientificexploration.org/join
The SSE provides a forum for original research into cutting edge and unconventional areas. Views and opinions belong only to the speakers, and are not necessarily endorsed by the SSE.
Published on November 22, 2018