Biofield Detection: Role of Bioenergy Awareness Training and Individual Differences in Absorption

Gary E. Schwartz, Summer Swanick, Willow Sibert, Daniel A. Lewis, Sabrina E. Lewis, Lonnie Nelson, Shamani Jain, Laurel Mallory, Linda Foust, Kay Moore, Deboray Tussing, Iris R. Bell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Objective: To measure health care providers' capacity to detect biofields before and after bioenergy awareness training in relation to individual differences in the personality trait of absorption. Methods: Twenty-seven (27) physicians, psychologists, and nurses participated in a 5-day intensive bioenergy healing training course with Rev. Rosalyn Bruyere. The course was part of the Associate Fellows Program in the Program in Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona. Blindfolded participants received a 24-trial hand biofield detection test (HBDT) pretraining and post-training. The experimenter placed his or her dominant hand a few inches above the participant's left or right hand for 30-second trials. After each trial, the participant guessed which hand was being tested. Blocks contained two right- and two left-hand trials in different orders. Participants filled out Tellegen's Absorption Scale, a measure of the capacity to focus attention in tasks. Results: Percent HBDT accuracy for the entire sample was 50.8% (standard deviation [SD] = 12.24) at pretraining (50% is chance); accuracy increased to 55.5% (SD = 12.38) at post-training (t = 2.08, p < 0.05). Pretraining absorption (mean = 23.9; SD = 5.52) was significantly correlated with degree of detection accuracy increase (r = 0.42, n = 22, p < 0.05). High absorption (mean = 28.2 n = 11) participants increased to 58.3% compared to 52.7% for low absorption (mean = 19.2 n = 11) participants. Conclusion: The findings support claims of energy healers that (1) training can improve bioenergy awareness, and (2) there are substantial individual differences in response to training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)167-169
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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