Dynamical energy systems and modern physics: Fostering the science and spirit of complementary and alternative medicine

Gary E. Schwartz, Linda G. Russek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


When systems theory is carefully applied to the concept of energy, some novel and far-reaching implications for modern physics and complementary medicine emerge. The heart of systems theory is dynamic interaction: systems do not simply act on systems, they interact with them in complex ways. By definition, systems at any level (eg, physical, biological, social, ecological) are open to information, energy, and matter to varying degrees, and therefore interact with other systems to varying degrees. We first show how resonance between two tuning forks, a classic demonstration in physics, can be seen to reflect synchronized dynamic interactions over time. We then derive how the dynamic interaction of systems in mutual recurrent feedback relationships naturally create dynamic "memories" for their interactions over time. The mystery of how a photon (or electron) "knows" ahead of time whether to function as a particle or wave in the single slit/double slit quantum physics paradigm is potentially solved when energetic interactions inherent in the experimental system are recognized. The observation that energy decreases with the square of distance is shown not to be immutable when viewed from a dynamical energy systems perspective. Implications for controversial claims in complementary and alternative medicine, such as memory for molecules retained in water (homeopathy), remote diagnosis, and prayer and healing, are considered. A dynamical energy systems framework can facilitate the development of what might be termed "relationship consciousness," which has the potential to nurture both the science and spirit of complementary medicine and might help to create integrated medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-56
Number of pages11
JournalAlternative therapies in health and medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 1997

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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