ABSTRACT Advances in biophysics, biology, functional genomics, neuroscience, psychology, psychoneuroimmunology, and other fields suggest the existence of a subtle system of “biofield” interactions that organize biological processes from the subatomic, atomic, molecular, cellular, and organismic to the interpersonal and cosmic levels. Biofield interactions may bring about regulation of biochemical, cellular, and neurological processes through means related to electromagnetism, quantum fields, and perhaps other means of modulating biological activity and information flow. The biofield paradigm, in contrast to a reductionist, chemistry-centered viewpoint, emphasizes the informational content of biological processes; biofield interactions are thought to operate in part via low-energy or “subtle” processes such as weak, nonthermal electromagnetic fields (EMFs) or processes potentially related to consciousness and nonlocality. Biofield interactions may also operate through or be reflected in more well-understood informational processes found in electroencephalographic (EEG) and electrocardiographic (ECG) data. Recent advances have led to the development of a wide variety of therapeutic and diagnostic biofield devices, defined as physical instruments best understood from the viewpoint of a biofield paradigm. Here, we provide a broad overview of biofield devices, with emphasis on those devices for which solid, peer-reviewed evidence exists. A subset of these devices, such as those based upon EEG- and ECG-based heart rate variability, function via mechanisms that are well understood and are widely employed in clinical settings. Other device modalities, such a gas discharge visualization and biophoton emission, appear to operate through incompletely understood mechanisms and have unclear clinical significance. Device modes of operation include EMF-light, EMF-heat, EMF-nonthermal, electrical current, vibration and sound, physical and mechanical, intentionality and nonlocality, gas and plasma, and other (mode of operation not well-understood). Methodological issues in device development and interfaces for future interdisciplinary research are discussed. Devices play prominent cultural and scientific roles in our society, and it is likely that device technologies will be one of the most influential access points for the furthering of biofield research and the dissemination of biofield concepts. This developing field of study presents new areas of research that have many important implications for both basic science and clinical medicine.
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