Energy Medicine and the Chakras: Shedding Scientific Light on an Ancient Paradigm
J. Kenneth Arnette, Transpersonal Institute for the Scientific Study of the Paranormal
Chinese medicine is an ancient medical art based on the concept of qi, or vital life energy, and its role in the health of the body. Essentially, disease is seen as an imbalance of qi, and treatment of disease is accomplished through methods that re-balance this energy. Examples of these treatments include acupuncture, herbs, Reiki and related methods such as Healing Touch, cupping, and many other approaches.
In the theory of Chinese medicine, chakras play a vital role. These entities are seen as energy centers in the body, and energy-balancing methods focus on these centers. But from a Western perspective, chakras are poorly understood, if at all. I propose a new, scientific way of understanding these ancient ideas, based on known classical physics (electromagnetism) as well as recent theoretical developments in physics (string theory). I will present a dualistic model in which the human being is composed of two parts, a physical body that generates an oscillating electromagnetic field (EMF), and a non-material entity (“essence”) that also generates an oscillating EMF. That is, while the essence is not composed of matter, it is made of a substance that has the “physical” property of generating an EMF. For the purpose of model construction, the body and essence can be seen as two oscillating dipoles interacting via their EMFs. These two fields interact via constructive interference, producing an interference pattern (similar to a double-slit experiment) that manifests as alternating nodes and crests along the spinal cord. The strength of this interaction and thus the interference pattern is a function of the match (or mismatch) of the oscillation frequencies of the two EMFs: when the two fields oscillate in phase, the interaction is maximized and optimal health can be realized; as the oscillating dipoles lose phase coherence, the interaction strength decreases and the body’s health can suffer as a result.
I hypothesize that Chinese and energy medicine treatments have their basis in adjusting these oscillation frequencies to re-establish phase coherence and strengthen the interaction between body and essence, leading to health improvement. Unfortunately, physics is incapable of addressing a system in which one dipole is not material, and overlaps with a dipole that is material. I therefore will present a simplified model that will demonstrate the properties I have described through a straightforward qualitative analysis.