New publication: The Biofield Paradigm
Friday Brainstorm S3 E2 🧠
I started Friday Brainstorm as a means to explore different interests and share what I’m learning along the way.
What’s kept this journey interesting for me (and hopefully for you all) is the variety. I could spend a month diving into the science of music, switch gears completely, and cover brain-computer interfaces the next month.
But there’s one topic in particular that has continued to be on my mind since I first wrote about it in May 2020.
I have a strong belief that there is untapped wisdom in the energy healing practices developed by several Eastern cultures over thousands of years. All of these practices rely on the concept of “energy”, which has been relegated to the domain of spirituality.
What’s immensely exciting to me is these energy-based practices are finally being examined more rigorously from a scientific perspective.
The emerging field of biofield science is starting to unpack the concept of “energy”, and it has the potential to completely change how we think about health and disease.
Since this isn’t the reason that any of you have signed up this newsletter, I’m starting a new publication focused solely on the science of biofields.
(To clarify, I’ll still be posting regularly on Friday Brainstorm. Stay tuned for next week!)
My hope is to make it easier to cut through the noise and find evidence-based coverage of an area that is considered to be pseudoscience by the mainstream.
Apart from my own interpretation, you can also expect interviews with researchers and practitioners on the frontier of this exciting new field.
Here’s a sample of what I’ll be covering:
The science of acupuncture
How to train yourself to detect biofields
How can biofields be measured and imaged?
If this sounds like something you’d like to hear more about, sign up here:
As a starting point, I updated the intro to biofields I wrote in 2020. Here’s a snippet:
Biological Wifi: The Science of Energy Medicine
To understand the biofield, think of it as biological WiFi.
We're already familiar with the properties of WiFi:
our devices use it to send and receive information
it radiates outwards in all directions from a router or hotspot
it has a limited range
Now let's map these features to the biofield. Imagine that every cell in your body has its own personal WiFi signal!
Physics tells us that moving, charged particles generate electromagnetic (EM) fields. Every cell in our body consists of these particles, so an EM field is generated around them. Just like WiFi, this field similarly radiates in all directions and has a limited range.
Cells have evolved to use WiFi to wirelessly send information to nearby cells within their range, which is useful for regulation. This is not the only way that cells communicate, though. They also send and receive physical molecules, the cellular equivalent of snail mail.
Different types of cells have different compositions and so their WiFi signals operate at distinct frequencies. As we build up towards tissues and organs, which are just groups of similar cells, we get larger and more complex WiFi networks.
These signals are important for the coordination and regulation between these organs and the body as a whole. When an organ is under stress, its WiFi network reflects this state with irregular signaling. The surrounding organs pick up on the spotty WiFi and respond accordingly.
We're used to thinking about ourselves in physical terms, contained by the surface of our skin. Conventional biology focuses on the mechanical and chemical composition of our bodies, which leads to the assumption that all medicine must be physical in order to have a therapeutic effect.
The biofield paradigm instead emphasizes the electromagnetic nature of our bodies. The biological field of energy and information is essential for the self-regulation of our various systems and extends well outside of our skin.
From this perspective, energy medicine techniques start to make more sense. Practitioners scan the biofield with their hands and detect irregularities that correspond to dysfunction.
Check out the full article on the new publication.