What is Consciousness, Healing, and Biofield Science?

What is Consciousness?

Defining consciousness is a challenge. While some people describe it as awareness, others equate it with spirit. Even scientists disagree, with many believing consciousness results from brain activity while others describe it in an opposite sense, as a fabric of the universe that pervades all sentient (and perhaps non-sentient) beings. At the forefront of science is the view that the understanding of consciousness may require an evolution of physics. Which definitions and which perspectives are right?

At the Consciousness and Healing Initiative, we embrace a multiplicity of perspectives on consciousness. We believe that each view is valuable and leads us to different lines of questions (and answers). For example, evidence increasingly indicates that our internal state, which includes our level of conscious awareness, can lead to substantial changes in biology that influence our health. We need to consider that these internal states are as real and as powerful as the molecules that they affect.

Our perspective is that consciousness, regardless of how one defines it, is essential to guiding our wellbeing and that the scientific exploration of consciousness will lead us to breakthroughs that will impact not only healing and healthcare but how we understand and appreciate the interconnections between us and our planet.

Magnifying Glass

What is Biofield Science?

Allopathy, the dominant form of Western medicine views the human body mainly as a machine with interacting fixable parts called organs and chemical pathways, which can be modified by surgery and drugs to restore and maintain healthy function. Biofield Science explores the view that molecules, cells, and organs of living systems communicate via fields of energy and information that serve as additional means of self-regulation to maintain health. The biofield hypothesis suggests that biofield activity is a normal ongoing health-promoting function of the body, and that intentional alteration of the biofield can regulate health processes via pathways that mediate aspects of our physical, psychological, and spiritual well-being. Some biofields, such as in the form of EEG and ECG patterns, are readily measurable and are in common use as diagnostic indicators. Other aspects of ‘biofields’ appear more difficult to measure, but could be modulated by biofield therapists (such as Reiki and Healing Touch practitioners) to affect health.

Although biofield concepts are foundational for many systems of healing (particularly Asian medical traditions such as Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda), the biofield perspective is still widely viewed as incompatible with the Allopathic Western medical model. For this reason, even as evidence continues to build that biofield-based approaches can have a positive impact on health, research that directly assesses or examines biofield effects is often viewed as “high-risk” by funding agencies and is prone to negative bias by reviewers of both grant proposals and manuscripts submitted for publication.

Despite these barriers, biofield scientists across the globe continue to conduct high-quality small-scale studies that show strong promise for impacting health and healing. In order for this area to move forward and achieve maximal impact, a clear collaborative strategy for rigorous science is needed. The scientists conducting the work are geographically distributed and have few opportunities at existing meetings to convene and formulate a collaborative strategic plan for research.

What is Healing?

Healing has many meanings for different people. For some, healing means no longer having a physical illness, or coming to a deeper wisdom that helps one manage illnesses or other difficulties in life. For others, the journey of healing simply reflects the joyful process of becoming more whole – in body, mind and spirit.

The remarkable ability of living organisms to heal reflects a basic principle of life, called salutogenesis, the naturally occurring tendency to move towards health.

Healing can be understood as a movement towards dynamic balance, which brings us closer to our true essence. The intention to heal is a process of creating space for the natural wisdom of consciousness to guide us toward wholeness.

The Consciousness and Healing Initiative believes that instead of simply studying disease processes and focusing on symptom reduction, we need to understand the heart of healing from multiple perspectives. By furthering our deep understanding of healing, from both a scientific and experiential level, we can empower ourselves and others to live healthier, more fulfilling lives.

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