pulse in electrocardiograms (ECGs) and for assessing heart rate variability (HRV), readings from electroencephalograms (EEGs), magnetoencephalography (MEG) of the brain, magnetoneurography of peripheral nerves, or the now very familiar and much-used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). These diagnostic techniques all exploit the body’s bioelectromagnetic system.
It seems that the most viable reason for why this crucial system has been so neglected in terms of its use for treatment is down to the pharmaceutical industry’s purposeful anchoring of treatment modalities in the areas of biochemistry and, more recently molecular biology. This limitation has almost certainly been driven by Big Pharma’s desire to stick with its business with disease model that has been based heavily on ‘medicalising’ different states of health while creating extremely lucrative patents for new-to-nature molecules, justified by biochemical, molecular or genetic mechanisms.
The notion that energy, that may be described as chi or prana, flows throughout and around the body through a biofield network that may be viewed as auras, or interconnected via meridians or chakras, is viewed by most mainstream doctors and health scientists as being too woo-woo to be taken seriously by mainstream medics. Despite these systems having been recognised for thousands of years.
Modalities like acupuncture, acupressure, reflexology, homeopathy, Reiki, Qigong, distance healing, flower remedies, magnet therapy, phototherapy (to name a few), as well as a diverse range of frequency medicine machines, all work with the human energetic biofield. However, they continue to be largely consigned to the fringe worlds of traditional systems of medicine, such as traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) or Ayurveda, or alternative medicine.
Each year, much effort is expended by proponents and defendants of the pharmaceutical model, as witnessed by content on websites such as Science-Based Medicine and Quackwatch, to ensure such modalities are viewed as pseudoscience or quackery.
This might keep those who are wedded and trusting of the mainstream medical model away – but the millions who are open to energy medicine continue to use elements of it based mainly on their own positive experiences with it. Others appreciate there is a very long history of safe use of different energy medicine modalities and that the science is only recently starting to emerge.
At the heart of the attacks on energy medicine are claims that these modalities lack a plausible or known mechanism of action. Many fail to recognise that these proponents, as the great Greek philosopher Socrates alluded, don’t know what they don’t know. We could take it one step further, even; they choose not to investigate what they don’t know – especially when it comes to the field of bioenergy medicine.
Frequencies are fundamental to all living systems
Frequencies are vibrations or oscillations of energy. Energy can be transferred in a variety of ways, principally in electrical, electrochemical or electromagnet forms.
Let’s start at the beginning.
Electricity runs whole cities and factories and provides the energy for lighting and powering most people’s homes. But it also exists in nature, both within and without living systems. It is, in essence, the flow of electromagnetic energy through negatively charged sub-atomic particles, called electrons, along a conductor, such as a nerve fibre or a copper wire. Electricity exists in every living being. Our hearts wouldn’t pump, our brains wouldn’t work, and our nerves wouldn’t fire without it. But electricity also exists in nature outside living systems, such as in the form of lightning.
Electricity – or this electromagnetic energy flow involving negatively charged electrons – can also induce chemical changes. The scientific field that studies the interconversion of chemical and electrical energy is called electrochemistry and our bodies rely on electrochemical gradients every time a nerve impulse is transmitted. These nerve impulses vary in speed from rates of less than 1 metre per second for a pain signal, through to over 100 metres per second when we activate muscle fibres. This is much slower than the flow of electricity in a copper wire in a typical domestic residence (typically around 200 million metres per second, around 90% of the speed of light). While we know this happens through the changes in membrane potential that occur through polarisation and depolarisation of nerve fibres caused by the influx and efflux of positively charged sodium, potassium or calcium ions via voltage-gated ion channels, there may be other mechanisms at work as well. This includes the possibility that biophotons (particles of light energy emitted by all living organisms) trigger such reactions and act as quantum controllers of life. More on this later.
Electromagnetism is a type of energetic force that acts between charged particles that is a combination of both electrical and magnetic forces. Electromagnetic waves, unlike sound waves, can travel through a vacuum (including space) because they are massless. Electromagnetism has been exploited in a wide range of technologies, from the creation of the loudspeaker, induction hobs, through to radio, television and wireless radiation, and in x-ray machines.
Electromagnetic waves are propagated by oscillating electric and magnetic waves at right angles to each other (see Fig. 1 below). Many will be familiar with some of their properties, such as interference (e.g. of radio or television signals) and diffraction (e.g. when you see the rainbow colours in a crystal or on the surface of a CD).
Key features of electromagnetic waves are the wavelength, which is the distance between wave peaks (measured in nanometres, metres or even kilometres), the amplitude (height) of wave, generally related to power and measured in Gauss units, and frequency i.e. the number of waves (cycles) that pass a given point per second, measured in cycles per second using the Hertz (Hz) unit, where 1 Hz = 1 cycle per second.
As you’ll see in the figure1 on page 14, visible light is a form of electromagnetic wave. The speed of light (nearly 300 million metres per second) is faster than anything we know of in the universe – because a light wave, like any electromagnetic wave, is itself massless.
Electricity, by contrast involves the transfer of electromagnetic forces between sub-atomic electrons that are particles with mass, albeit miniscule. In the copper wiring of a house, the electricity wave might move at around two-thirds this speed, say 200 million metres per second. The electrons themselves actually move very slowly, as well as in multiple directions, colliding with each other, generating the familiar heat associated with electricity in a wire. The average net speed of movement, taking into account collisions and the backwards and forward movements in AC electrical systems as developed by Tesla, result in typical electron drift velocities of considerably less than 1 millimetre per second in the copper wire of your household electrical system.
Music to your ears
To help avoid any confusion, while sound can be measured as a frequency because it involves the vibration of particles of matter, it is not a form of electromagnetism, in contrast to light and electricity which, as we’ve discussed, are.
That’s why we can see light through space, yet space is silent to the human ear as there are no particles to vibrate. That’s not to say that sound and its resonances, including music, cannot be beneficial in healing. In fact there’s a great deal of experimental and clinical evidence to suggest particular resonances that are both heard through the ears – and heard by vibration receptors within the body – can be highly beneficial. This explains in part at least why the human love of music is so universal and why animals are so reliant on different sounds, not just to communicate, but to also improve their quality of life.