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The Bioenergetic Basis of Life

The Bioenergetic Basis of Life

The fundamental principle of Western medical science has been that the basis of life is biological and the combination of biochemistry and molecular biology defines living organisms. However, each cell in the body can generate and receive different forms of energy -- heat, light, sound, vibration, magnetism, and electricity11. Historically, these different types of bioenergy phenomena have been treated as byproducts of normal cellular function instead of being recognized as intrinsic to the function.

"Not only is every cell in the body a transmitter and receiver of electromagnetic information, it is these electromagnetic frequencies that precede and correspond to biological functions."

Appendix C: Healing with Electomedicine and Sound Therapies in The Rife Handbook of Frequency Therapy and Holistic Health.

Emerging fields of research including epigenetics , psychoneuroimmunology (see Epigenetics, Psychoneuroimmunology, and Qigong), biophysics, (including biophotonics and quantum biology), proteomics, biomedical imaging, bioengineering, metabolomics, and frequency therapy (see Energy Based Medical Technologies and Therapies) are proving that energy is just as fundamental to life as biology. This should come as no surprise because in 1905 Einstein published his Special Theory of Relativity demonstrating the equivalence of mass and energy (E=mc2). This fundamental equivalence confirms the fact that human beings are half biological, but the other half is energy.

What explains the coordinated function of the estimated 75-100 trillion cells and over 100,000 reactions per second in most cells in the body, day after day, and year after year? Although DNA holds instructions for creating all of the roughly 150,000 proteins in the human genome, it is still just a parts list. Proteins that are involved in metabolism and body function are created and then can be reused many times without transcription being required from DNA. When a protein wears out or is damaged and must be replaced or extra demands are placed on the body, then DNA is accessed to create information in the form of a biomolecular program to create a new copy of a protein.

Epigenetics research has demonstrated how proteins are turned on and off by environmental bioenergetic signals, such as those generated by thoughts, emotions, and the practice of Qigong (see Qigong and Gene Expression). Although epigenetics affects cellular function and modulates the expression of genes, it is only one factor in the production and regulation of metabolic enzymes. Just as computers need oscillators to regulate the rate at which computations take place, the human body also needs oscillators and signaling mechanisms to coordinate body functions and regulate metabolism over time. The heart and brain are examples of oscillators that generate measurable electromagnetic fields11. Researchers are beginning to understand that the complexity and timing of the regulation of body function is simply beyond chemical signal processing speeds and capabilities8.

"Brain cells use electrical pulses to talk with one another and guide functions ranging from heart rate and breathing to decision-making and navigation. Like the din of a crowd, the chatter of 100 billion neuronal cells in the human brain creates larger patterns of activity commonly called brain waves. The pulsing of a single neuron can switch a brain’s waves from the equivalent of a big ocean swell to ripples on a pond."

Breaking the Waves: A Single Neuron Can Change the Activity of the Whole Brain.

This has not always been the case. Up until recently, the majority of biology research has been based on classical physics. But many researchers point out that the primary shortcoming of classical physics based molecular biology is that the holistic character of the physical world now recognized in quantum theory is not taken into account. For example, classical physics is inadequate for describing homeodynamics, ontogenesis, and morphology. In addition, fundamental biological processes that involve the conversion of energy into forms that are usable for chemical transformations are quantum mechanical in nature. These processes involve chemical reactions themselves, light absorption, formation of excited electronic states, transfer of excitation energy, transfer of electrons and protons, etc10. Molecular biology and biochemistry, though well grounded in empirical knowledge, have had no foundation in the principles of quantum theory1. Biophysics must be based on more than classical physics in order to be able describe energy-based phenomena within cells such as quantum coherence and oscillating electromagnetic fields. Today, the field view of the organism and its interactions is finding increasing acceptance in biology, biophysics, and medicine1. Quantum biology is an example of a new discipline which incorporates field theory and combines principles of biophysics and molecular biology based on quantum physics. It's interesting to note that some emerging sub-fields of bioenergy research are so new that their scientific descriptions are still being defined (e.g. biophotonics, quantum biology, and quantum chemistry).

"Muscle contractions require electricity. Your nerve system is driven by electricity. Atoms, molecules, all chemical reactions exist because of electricity. You could not think without electricity. Your heart would not beat without electricity."

Lec 1 | MIT 8.02 Electricity and Magnetism, Spring 2002

Understanding the interaction between human energy and human biology is intrinsic to the scientific understanding of the basis of Qigong. At a basic level, all life depends on molecules interacting through vibrating or oscillating energy fields. Each electron, atom, chemical bond, molecule, cell, tissue, organ, and the body as a whole has its own vibratory character11. A growing amount of energy field-based biophysics research is confirming the energetic nature of the human body. The heart, brain, and nervous system generate electromagnetic fields11. Electromagnetic fields have been found to modulate cellular signaling molecules2. Microtubules in cells generate oscillating electromagnetic fields which are believed to have an organizing affect upon water around microtubules and a role in cytoskeleton organization, cellular interactions, and information transfer 3, 6. Bioelectric ion flows and gradients have been found to regulate cell proliferation, migration, and differentiation as well as appendage regeneration, embryogenesis, and formation of prepatterns for gene expression during craniofacial patterning4. Cancer cells have been detected by their electromagnetic signatures5, and their growth has been inhibited by specific electromagnetic frequencies7. Even the stomach generates measurable electric and magnetic fields9.

Introduction to Bioelectromagnetism.


"The basic idea [underlying] all these phenomena is the superposition of electromagnetic fields, in particular biophotons, in a way that during biologically relevant time intervals within biologically relevant structures, interference patterns of destructive and constructive interference are built up that 'organize' the movement and activity of the biomolecules within and between the cells."

Popp, A. and Zhang, J., Mechanism of interaction between electromagnetic fields and living organisms. Science in China (Series C). October 2000. Vol 43. No 5. 507-18.

The emerging science of biofields23 is a recognition of the fact that humans are comprised of energy as well as matter. Researchers are just beginning to characterize the various electromagnetic fields that occur within cells, tissues, organs, and a human being. Although there are many proven technologies to diagnose, monitor, and characterize eletromagnetic fields within humans31, and therapies that are based on energy are becoming more prevalent (see Energy-Based Technologies and Medical Therapies), understanding the role of energy within the human body is still very much a research project. One of the more established areas of research is biophotonics.

As summarized in Rahnama, et. al.12,

All living cells of plants, animals and humans continuously emit ultraweak biophotons (ultraweak electromagnetic waves) in the optical range of the spectrum, which are associated with their physiological states and can be measured. Neural cells also continuously emit biophotons. The intensity of biophotons is in direct correlation with neural activity, cerebral energy metabolism, EEG activity, cerebral blood flow and oxidative processes. There are significant correlations between the fluctuations in biophoton emission and fluctuations in the strength of electrical alpha wave production in the brain.

Biophotons are light emitted by biological organisms either spontaneously or as a result of external stimulation15,26,27. As early as 1923 Russian researcher Alexander Gurwitsch discovered that living tissue gave off photons, which he termed "mitogenic rays." He demonstrated that these ultraviolet rays (photons) stimulated cell reproduction. Gerwitsch's work was replicated in the 1970's and expanded upon by German researcher Fritz Popp. The resurgence of biophotonic research was enabled by the development of the photomultiplier tube which can detect very weak light emissions. Popp was inspired by Herbert Fröhlich, father of superconductivity theory, who was a theoretical physicist in the field of solid state physics who later applied theoretical physics to biological systems.

Fröhlich proposed the existence of "condensates" which are composed of a collection of vibrational oscillators that concentrate their vibrational energy in collective motion. More specifically, he stated that biological systems are highly nonlinear; far away from thermal equilibrium, and must be treated as thermodynamically open systems that constantly carry out work to maintain this non-equilibrium; and macroscopic quantum systems that are able to produce coherent oscillations17, 32. These coherent oscillations have been observed to generate an electromagnetic field that could enable long-range interactions between cells. The action of the electromagnetic waves causes the excitation of coherent vibrations pumped by energy derived from metabolism. This effect should be visible at normal temperatures and occur in all living things, and cells are able to recognize each other at a distance and be attracted or repelled. Fröhlich's hypothesis of coherent vibrations in biological systems provides a theoretical framework for the regulation of biological processes in and between cells, organs, tissues, and the whole human body via electromagnetic fields.

Oschman outlines the scope of coherent vibrations11:

Coherent vibrations recognize no boundaries, at the surface of a molecule, cell, or organism -- they are collective properties of the entire being. As such, they are likely to serve as signals that integrate processes, such as growth, injury repair, defense and the functioning of the organism as a whole. Each molecule, cell, tissue, and organ has an ideal resonant frequency that coordinates its activities.

Fröhlich describes how the coherent vibrations would actually work30:

An assembly of cells, as in a tissue or organ, will have certain collective frequencies that regulate important processes, such as cell division. Normally these control frequencies will be very stable. If, for some reason, a cell shifts its frequency, entraining signals from neighboring cells will tend to reinstall the correct frequency. However, if a sufficient number of cells get out-of-step, the strength of the system's collective vibrations can decrease to the point where stability is lost. Loss of coherence can lead to disease or disorder.

Coherent vibrations in humans have been found in the acoustic, megahertz, gigahertz, and infrared ranges. Macroscopic coherent states occur when an oscillating electromagnetic field is created within or surrounding a cell. Research has shown that mechanical oscillations of microtubules and cell membranes generate an electromagnetic field, and it is proposed that this field plays role in cell physiology and participates in the controlling of the organization of intracellular processes and interaction between cells14,18,28,33. The constant stream of energy in the form of photons and heat that microtubules receive from mitochondria12,25 has been found to catalyze the ordering of water in cells into a crystalline lattice structure which may play a role in meridians and qi flow in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Biophoton emission has been found in oxidative metabolism in mitochondria, free radical reactions with biomolecules, and in proteins and DNA. There is extensive research on electromagnetic cellular interactions13. Although the use of biophoton emission for diagnostic and treatment purposes is in its infancy28, biorhythms of biophoton production have been found to be on the order of weeks and months and may vary considerably after just ten minutes due to the dynamic nature of biological systems. The intensity of biophoton emission is much higher in the hands and face and can vary considerably (up to fifty percent more or less than the daily average) depending upon skin temperature 16,29. Palm locations produce significantly more photons than dorsal locations, and emission rates vary considerably depending upon the time of day15.

Popp and other researchers have proposed the possible biocommunicaton and bioregulatory effect of photons 17. In this theory, the generated field of photons is a quantum information field that interacts with body molecules and chemistry in a regulatory biofeedback mechanism. It is hypothesized that photons released by the cells form a whole interlinked system working as a synchronized coherent field17. The high degree of order in such light reflects its laser-like properties21. This light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light. Because of the stable field strength, its waves can superimpose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light. Because of its high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism19,22.

Popp's biophoton theory also postulates a web, or hologram, of light created by the constant emitting and absorbing of photons by DNA, cells, tissues, and organs and proteins. This hologram could correspond to auras, chakras, meridians and other energy matrices that have been part of eastern philosophy and healing traditions for millennia. An energetic matrix could also explain basic morphology, or cell differentiation, and the regulation of myriad other cellular functions. However, there are other theories of morphology that are based on ion flows and gradients4. Although this ion-based theory also depends on electromagnetism, it does not as yet involve biophotons.

There are myriad unanswered questions in biophoton research, such as how and why are biophotons generated; how do biophotons contribute to cellular organization, regulation and communication; what is the source of the information that they carry; can biophotons be modulated; which signals result in which metabolic actions; can photon emission reliably be used diagnostically; what is the relationship between biophotons and DNA; what is the function of the absorption of biophotons by photosensitive molecules; how does weak and strong radiation interact with biological tissue; can condensates (collective electron oscillations) form in biological tissue powered by photons; how do microtubules, mitochondria, and photons interact; and what role might biophotons play in the regulation of cell division and cellular differentiation.

Ongoing research in the emerging science of bioenergy will play a major, if not defining role in 21st Century medicine. For example, imagine energy-based pharmacology instead of chemical-based pharmacology.

More information on the bioenergetic basis of humans and cells can be found in the Qigong and Energy Medicine Database™ , Energy Based Medical Technologies and Therapies, The Scientific Basis of Qigong and Energy Medicine, and Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis by J. Oschman.

1.Bischof, M., Field Concepts and the Emergence of a Holistic Biophysics. International Institute of Biophysics, Published in: Beloussov, L.V., Popp, F.A., Voeikov, V.L., and Van Wijk, R., (eds.): Biophotonics and Coherent Systems. Moscow University Press, Moscow 2000, pp.1-25.

2. Pilla A, Fitzsimmons R, Muehsam D, Wu J, Rohde C, Casper D. Electromagnetic fields as first messenger in biological signaling: Application to calmodulin-dependent signaling in tissue repair, Biochim Biophys Acta. 2011.

3. Havelka D, Cifra M, Kucera O, Pokorny J, Vrba J., High-frequency electric field and radiation characteristics of cellular microtubule network, J Theor Biol., 2011.

4. Levin, M., Molecular bioelectricity in developmental biology: New tools and recent discoveries: Control of cell behavior and pattern formation by transmembrane potential gradients, Bioessays, 2012.

5. Pokorny, J., Vedruccio, C., Cifra, M., Kucera, O., Cancer physics: Diagnostics based on damped cellular elasto-electrical vibrations in microtubules, European Biophysics Journal, 2011.

6. Pokorny, J., Video: Microtubules - Electric Oscillating Structures in Living Cells (Google Workshop on Quantum Biology). 2010.

7. Zimmerman JW, Pennison MJ, Brezovich I, Yi N, Yang CT, Ramaker R, Absher D, Myers RM, Kuster N, Costa FP, Barbault A, Pasche B., Cancer cell proliferation is inhibited by specific modulation frequencies, Br J Cancer. 2011 Dec 1.

8. Georgiev, D., Bose-Einstein condensation of tunnelling photons in the brain cortex as a mechanism of conscious action, [Preprint], 2004.

9. Kim, et. al., Influence of body parameters on gastric bioelectric and biomagnetic fields in a realistic volume conductor, Physiol Meas. 2012 Mar 14.

10. Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, Quantum Biology, http://www.ks.uiuc.edu/Research/quantum_biology/.

11. Oschman, J., Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis, Churchill Livingstone, 2000.

12. Rahnama, M., Tuszynski, J., Bokkon, I., Cifra, M., Sardar, P., Salari V., "Emission of mitochondrial biophotons and their effect on electrical activity of membrane via microtubules", Journal of Integrative Neurosciences, 2011, vol 10, no. 1, p. 65-88.

13. Cifra, M., "List of modern experimental evidence on cellular photonic interactions", UPE-DataBase Newsletter, 2010a, vol. 2, no. 1, p. 5-7.

14. Cifra, M., Pokorny, J., Jelinek, F., Kucera, O., "Vibrations of electrically polar structures in biosystems give rise to electromagnetic field: theories and experiments", In Proceedings of Progress In Electromagnetics Research Symposium 2009, Moscow, Russia, August 18-21. Cambridge: The Electromagnetics Academy, 2009, p. 138 - 142. ISSN 1559-9450.

15. Cifra, M., Van Wijk, E., Koch, H., Bosman, S., Van Wijk, R., “Spontaneous Ultra-Weak Photon Emission from Human Hands Is Time Dependent”, Radioengineering, 2007, Vol. 16, n. 2, p. 15-19, ISSN 1210-2512.

16. Cifra, M., Van Wijk, E., Van Wijk, R., “Endogenous electromagnetic field in biological systems: measurement of spontaneous photon emission in visible range from the human body”, In Odborne seminare - Sborník za rok 2006/2007. Praha: Czechoslovak section IEEE, 2007, p. 40-48. ISBN 80-86582-21-3.

17. Cifra, M., “Measurement of spontaneous photon emission from the human body: technical aspects, parameters, time and temperature dependent fluctuations of photon emission”, master degree thesis, University of Zilina, Slovak Republic. 2006.

18. Cifra, M., Havelka, D., Kucera, O., Pokorny, J., "Electric field generated by higher vibration modes of microtubule", In Microwave Techniques (COMITE), 2010 15th International Conference on, p. 205 - 208, 2010.

19. Schmidl, G., Experimental Evidence for the Frolich Hypothesis, http://www.fourcoffees.com/project/evidence.html#Pak01.

21. Nobrega, C., Biophoton – The language of the cells. What can living systems tell us about interaction?, Technoetic Arts: A journal of Speculative Research Vol. 4 No. 3, 2007.

22. Bischof, M. Biophotons – The Light in our cells. Journal of Optometric Phototherapy. 2005.

23. Rubik, B., The Biofield Hypothesis: Its Biophysical Basis and Role in Medicine. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 8. No 6, 2002, pp. 703-717.

24. Van Wijk R, Schamhart DH., Regulatory aspects of low intensity photon emission, Experientia, 1988.

25. Cifra, M., Havelka, D., Kucera, D., Biophysical role of oscillatory electric field generated by undamped microtuble vibrations, In 6th International Workshop on Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Fields, Istanbul: Bogazici University, 2010.

26. Popp F.A. Properties of biophotons and their theoretical implications. Indian J. Exp. Biol. 2003;41:391–402.

27. Gall D., et al. Measurement of low-level light emission under lab conditions. In: Chang J., et al., editors. Biophotons. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1998. pp. 159–182.

28. Joseph, et. al., Biophoton Detection and Low-Intensity Light Therapy: A Potential Clinical Partnership, Photomed Laser Surg. 2010 February; 28(1): 23–30.

29. Cohen, S., Popp, F.A., Whole-Body Couting of Biophotons and its relation to biological rhythms, In: Chang J., et al., editors. Biophotons. Dordrecht, The Netherlands: Kluwer Academic Publishers; 1998. pp. 183–193.

30. Fröhlich, H., Coherent electric vibrations in biological systms and the cancer problem. IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques MTT 26:613-617.

31. Morris, P, Perkins A., Diagnostic imaging, Lancet. 2012 Apr 17.

32. Srobar, F., Fröhlich Systems in Cellular Physiology, Prague Medical Report / Vol. 113 (2012) No. 2, p. 95–104.

33. Pokorny, et. al., Mitochondrial Metabolism – Neglected Link of Cancer Transformation and Treatment, )Prague Medical Report / Vol. 113 (2012) No. 2, p. 81–94.

PubMed.gov logoTowards whole-body ultra-weak photon counting and imaging with a focus on human beings. For decades, the relationship between ultra-weak photon emission (UPE) and the health state of the body is being studied. With the advent of systems biology, attention shifted from the association between UPE and reactive oxygen species towards UPE as a reflection of changed metabolic networks. Essential for this shift in thinking is the development of novel photon count statistical methods that more reflect the dynamics of the systems organization. Additionally, efforts to combine and correlate UPE data with other types of measurements such as metabolomics be key to understand the complexity of the human body.

PubMed.gov logoUltraweak photon emission as a non-invasive health assessment: a systematic review. There is growing use of ultraweak photon emissions from humans as both a medical and research tool for determining inflammatory and oxidative states of patients.

PubMed.gov logoNew perspective in cell communication: Potential role of ultra-weak photon emission. This review provides thorough information and a detailed overview of experimental results on the cell-to-cell communication observed in different living system via ultra-weak photon emission to bring a better understanding and new perspective to the phenomenon.

Biophotonics Research - International

Institute of Applied Biophoton Sciences. "Biophotons are photons, light impulses, that are emitted and/or reflected by living cells. There are approximately 100 000 impulses per cell per second. These impulses steer all the biochemical functions in our bodies. This all works with the speed of light which is necessary to perform all the tasks that have to be done to keep our bodies in good functioning order. The way that has been described in medical science is far too slow to do it all. It really needs the speed of light. Although this was discovered in the 1970's this fact is not taught at the medical schools because if they taught this, they could stop teaching anything else. There are many scientists and universities that research the biophotons but they do only fundamental research. The value of the discovery by Dr. Fritz- Albert Popp, a German biophysicist, lies of course in the applications. These applications are however not researched because the applications would change humanity and all its institutions enormously."

Biophotonics Research Forum: UPE.Wikispaces.com

A small international group of young researchers in biophotonics have set a goal of improving on the communication between researchers. Experiments and ideas are usually discussed with a few people, happening to be close to each other, being interested in the same thing. To achieve that, there is a Wiki (http://upe.wikispaces.com). This website includes a discussion forum, news section, literature database and other info, including that on the rules and ideas on a UPE database for researchers which is located on http://www.upedb.net/. A biophotonic-related newsletter is published several times per year.

Biophotonics Research - United States

In recognition of the importance of photonic research, the National Science Foundation created the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology at the University of California at Davis in 2002. The Boston University Photonics Center was established at roughly the same time. Both centers have four main missions: academic research, educational programs, commercial incubation, and photonics technology development. In 2011, the two centers jointly received the newest National Science Foundation (NSF) Industry/University Cooperative Research Center award and became the Center for National Biophotonic Sensors and Systems (CBSS). The new Center is one of fifty such cooperative research center awards across the country and the only center focused on biophotonic sensors. The concept is a long-running NSF program designed to foster university-industry collaborations and is jointly supported by the foundation and industry.

According to the CBSS press release, "working at the intersection of photonics engineering and the life sciences, the center will focus on translational research where photonics provides the technologies for advances in methods to detect and identify biological properties, conditions or changes at the molecular, cellular and sub-cellular levels." Some of the more interesting potential research from the standpoint of energy medicine is the following from the Boston University Photonics Center website:

  • Biophotonics imaging, the study of optical imaging and how it is used to understand biological problems, including microscopy, subsurface probing of tissue, adaptive optics for retinal and neurobiological imaging.

  • Biomedical photonics, the study of light-based systems for applications including detecting and treating disease, probing molecules and cells, sensing pathogens, microsurgery and wound healing.

The Incorporation of Biophysics into Medicine

There is no underlying theory for the relationship between electromagnetism and physiology, and yet this interaction enables the function and health of every cell, organ, and tissue in the human body. Quantum biology, molecular biophysics, biophysics, and biophotonics are examples of overlapping fields of research that are applying physics to biology and medicine. It is becoming increasingly evident that biophysics is necessary to describe the organization, regulation, generation, and conversion of energy into forms useable for biochemical reactions and cellular signaling. The electromagnetic fields that participate in these processes and functions constitute the bioenergetic foundation of life. Furthermore, exciting new research is revealing that there are physical representations in nature of biomolecules that require interaction with zero point energy. The discovery of micron scale leukocytes fighting Casmir forces to maintain their spherical size is just one example of the relationship of biophysics to quantum physics.


James Oschman, Ph.D. Quantum introduces Quantum Biology. Oschman is the author of Energy Medicine: The Scientific Basis


bioelectromagnetic healing Bioelectromagnetic Healing: A Rationale for its Use. A short introduction to bioelectromagnetic medicine. This book includes chapters on History of Electromedicine, Coherent Natural and Stimulated Biophoton Emission, Effects of Electromagnetic Fields on the Body, Biological Effects of Pulsed Electromagnetic Fields, Bioelectromagnetic Healing, and Electromagnetism in Nature.

PubMed.gov logoNonlinear quantum phenomena and biophysical aspects of complexity related to health and disease. In this paper we discuss living systems as a non-linear self-interacting phenomenon, stabilized by the non-linear interaction between matter and self-created electromagnetic field. Such electromagnetic field can arise, in particular, as the radiation from electrosolitons which mediate the charge transport along macromolecules in metabolic redox processes. The non-linear nature of solitons results in an effective mechanism and leads to the synchronization of redox processes. It allows intra- and intercellular communication and long-range coherence in the system. One peculiar property of solitons is the resonant effect of external weak stimuli on their dynamics, which can explain the mechanism of low-intensity (non-thermal) electromagnetic therapies. We also discuss the stabilizing role of noise and spatial symmetry breaking in living organisms as open dissipative structures far from equilibrium, and health/disease states as the corresponding attractors of the system in the multi-parametric phase diagram. The essential role of electromagnetic potentials in self-regulation and self-healing processes is analyzed, based on the long-range matter-field interaction and fast information transfer, provided by the electromagnetic potentials.

PubMed.gov logoBioelectromagnetic Medicine: Specific electromagnetic (EM) frequencies modulate cellular function to restore or maintain health. Ultrasmall magnetic intensities are biologically significant which suggests that EM signaling is endogenous to cell regulation, and consequently that the remarkable effectiveness of EM resonance treatments reflects a fundamental aspect of biological systems. Organisms contain mechanisms for generating biologically useful electric signals.

pubmed logoEndogenous bioelectrical networks store non-genetic patterning information during development and regeneration. This research explores the relationships between bioelectrical networks and cell behaviors, morphogenesis, regeneration, and cancer. The body's bioelectric signaling is an autonomous layer of control not reducible to a biochemical or genetic account of cell state nor is the real-time dynamics of bioelectric communication among cells fully captured by transcriptomic or proteomic analyses. This is a strong scientific validation of TCM Eight Extraordinary Vessels theory which "provides a blueprint of understanding how energy is formed and flows in the body (Fabric of the Soul: 8 Extraordinary Vessels) ". This research provides direct verification of our intrinsic energetic nature as well as new insight into the relationship between physiology and bioelectricity, for which there is no current theory.

Life Rhythm as a Symphony of Oscillatory Patterns: Electromagnetic Energy and Sound Vibration Modulates Gene Expression for Biological Signaling and Healing. Our lives contain a seeming infinity of rhythms, with vibrations at the atomic and molecular levels and within biochemical reaction rates. The physiological correlates of the rhythms of the breath, heartbeat, and brain have been extensively studied and shown to be intimately related to our emotions, thoughts, and psychospiritual state.

Fashioning Cellular Rhythms with Magnetic Energy and Sound Vibration: a New Perspective for Regenerative Medicine. Compelling evidence recently shows that oscillations and synchronization of multiple oscillators is an essential requisite in living cells. Proper delivery of radioelectric fields is able to finely tune the expression of multipotency in human adult stem cells and to afford a direct reprogramming of human dermal skin fibroblasts into cardiac-, neuronal- and skeletal muscle-like cells. Vibrational/acoustic energy is an inherent property of living cells,

pubmed logo“Nanosized Voltmeter” Enables Cellular-Wide Electric Field Mapping. Electric fields (E fields) are found in and surround every living cell and are critical for the proper functioning of biological processes. These E fields are as widely varied as the high internal fields that preserve cells' energy-dependent nonequilibrium chemical steady state, or the cell-to-cell signaling fields in complex organisms. Biological E fields can affect the entire human body, such as the E fields associated with neural signals or cardiac rhythm. Externally applied E fields have been employed in the modulation of a variety of physiological and pathophysiological processes, and significant alteration/adaptation of cellular regulatory processes have been achieved. In the clinical management of wound healing, external E fields have been shown to accelerate repair (5). Both endogenous and applied E fields have been demonstrated to stimulate Xenopus nerve growth and regeneration (6). Exposure of cells in culture to short E field pulses induces electroporation of membranes for the delivery of nucleotides, peptides, and small proteins.

Electromagnetic Detection of Cancer

Bioelectric signals can be used to detect early cancer. Biologists at Tufts University School of Arts and Sciences have discovered a bioelectric signal that can identify cells that are likely to develop into tumors. The researchers also found that they could lower the incidence of cancerous cells by manipulating the electrical charge across cells' membranes.

pubmed logoUltra-weak Delayed Luminescence in cancer research: A review of the results by the ARETUSA equipment. The study of the photoinduced ultraweak photon emission in the optical wavelength range, namely the Delayed Luminescence, from human cells and tissues has an increasingly growing interest in view of its possible application in optical biopsy. Delayed Luminescence signals from normal and cancer cells are compared and the relationship between Delayed Luminescence and apoptosis is investigated.

pubmed logoCancer physics: diagnostics based on damped cellular elastoelectrical vibrations in microtubules. This paper describes a proposed biophysical mechanism of a novel diagnostic method for cancer detection based on frequency selective absorption of electromagnetic waves by malignant tumors.

Multimodal polarization system for imaging skin cancer. An optical system is created that is capable of detecting tumor formations in vivo in real time by means of the spectrally resolved polarization imaging of light elastically scattered by tissue and imaging of fluorescence polarization of exogenous fluorophores. E. Salomatina-Motts, V. A. Neel, A. N. Yaroslavskaya. Optics and Spectroscopy. December 2009. Issue 6, Volume 107. 884-890.

pubmed logoBiophysical Insights into Cancer Transformation and Treatment. The authors present compelling evidence that biological cellular activity depends on the cell's generated electromagnetic field. The field's role in the directional transport of mass particles and electrons, organization of living matter, interactions between systems, and information transfer is extensively analyzed and described. This research represents a new contribution to understanding the biological activity of living cells and describes how cancer can be detected by decreased power in the electromagnetic fields generated by cells.

PubMed.gov logoThe Effects of Non-Invasive Radiofrequency Treatment and Hyperthermia on Malignant and Nonmalignant Cells. Non-invasive radio-frequency treatment caused declines in cancer cell viability and proliferation.

Qigong and Energy Medicine for Cancer.

The Biofield Hypothesis: Its Biophysical Basis and Role in Medicine. B. Rubik, Ph.D.

ABSTRACT: This paper provides a scientific foundation for the biofield: the complex, extremely weak electromagnetic field of the organism hypothesized to involve electromagnetic bioinformation for regulating homeodynamics. The biofield is a useful construct consistent with bioelectromagnetics and the physics of nonlinear, dynamical, nonequilibrium living systems. It offers a unifying hypothesis to explain the interaction of objects or fields with the organism, and is especially useful toward understanding the scientific basis of energy medicine, including acupuncture, biofield therapies, bioelectromagnetic therapies, and homeopathy.

The biofield is defined as the endogenous, complex dynamic electromagnetic (EM) field resulting from the superposition of component EM fields of the organism that is proposed to be involved in self-organization and bioregulation of the organism. The components of the biofield are the EM fields contributed by each individual oscillator or electrically charged, moving particle or ensemble of particles of the organism (ion, molecule, cell, tissue, etc.), according to principles of conventional physics. The resulting biofield may be conceived of as a very complex dynamic standing wave. It has a broad spectral bandwidth, being composed of many different EM frequencies, analogous to a musical symphony with many harmonics that change over time.

However, evidence shows that not just the frequency of the EM field, but other field parameters including waveform, intensity, carrier frequency, modulation frequency, polarity, and time exposure patterns are involved in the specific biological responses to externally applied EM fields. There is no single or ultimate homeostatic balance point in biologic systems because they are self-organizing systems with many more possibilities than a single steady state. They also rely on dynamics other than feedback control such as strange attractors and innumerable flows of information to regulate themselves. Thus, the concept of homeostasis is limited and is undergoing replacement by a new concept, homeodynamics.

In homeodynamics, the processes that render dynamic stability proceed simultaneously at multiple levels of organization, from the molecular level to that of the whole being, and with various time scales. These processes are constantly adjusting to the myriad information flows and the entire lifeline or history of the organism. In this way, the organism integrates a huge number of information signals and responds appropriately. The biofield is proposed to act as a regulator of homeodynamics to coordinate life functions.

Rubik, B., The Biofield Hypothesis: Its Biophysical Basis and Role in Medicine. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Vol. 8. No 6, 2002, pp. 703-717.

"Everything vibrates. When you go down to the very basic structure of the atom, you get vibrations. Every cell vibrates; they are like little electric circuits that give off vibrations and frequency, and stick a million different vibrations together and they perform one particular [holistic] frequency. So, all the different parts of any mass, which is pretty much everything in the universe, vibrate. Like the heart vibrates at its particular frequency, although not everyone’s heart is at the exact same frequency, as it will vibrate at a unique specific frequency depending on whose body it’s in. And then the whole vibrates differently than the parts, so you and I vibrate differently. This is not something that is debatable. This is a fact of physics. But it’s something that for some reason Western science misses...There is a corruption of Western science so that it is not open to the blindingly obvious. What’s blindingly obvious is that everything vibrates. If you understand that everything vibrates, then—it’s the whole Gaia theory, where people say that everything is interlinked. It’s sort of a no-brainer, in as much as if everything vibrates then our thoughts and everything have a relationship to each other. You can measure a healing vibration. But for some reason science has chosen not to look at vibrations, and certainly not medical science, probably because there is no money in it. So everything has become chemically based as opposed to vibrationally based."

Matthew Silverstone in Quantum Health, Issue 17, May/June 2012. (www.quantumhealthmagazine.com). www.blindedbyscience.co.uk.

Quantum Health Magazine. Quantum Health Ltd is one of the world's leading media and training companies specialising in Bioenergetic and Informational Healthcare (BIH). It publishes the Quantum Health eMagazine monthly.

pubmed logoClinical neurophysiology of brain plasticity in aging brain. Italian researchers have studied the process of physiological brain activity by utilizing non-invasive electromagnetic means. Their integrated approach to research utilizing modern neurophysiological techniques, including electroencephalography (EEG), event-related potentials (ERPs), and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), together with biological markers and structural and functional imaging is promising for large-scale, affordable, and noninvasive medicine and testing drug actions.


Connectomics (Wikipedia) is the production and study of connectomes: comprehensive maps of connections within an organism's nervous system, typically its brain or eye.

Human Connectomics. Recent advances in non-invasive neuroimaging have enabled the measurement of connections between distant regions in the living human brain, thus opening up a new field of research: Human connectomics. Different imaging modalities allow the mapping of structural connections (axonal fibre tracts) as well as functional connections (correlations in time series), and individual variations in these connections may be related to individual variations in behaviour and cognition.

The Human Connectome Project. The NIH Human Connectome Project is an ambitious effort to map the neural pathways that underlie human brain function. The overarching purpose of the Project is to acquire and share data about the structural and functional connectivity of the human brain. It will greatly advance the capabilities for imaging and analyzing brain connections, resulting in improved sensitivity, resolution, and utility, thereby accelerating progress in the emerging field of human connectomics.

$40 million awarded to trace human brain's connections.

Also see Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative.

Brain Networks and Gamma Synchrony

Gamma Rhythms in the Brain. Brain rhythms are activity fluctuations shared in populations of neurons. They are evident in extracellular electric fields and detectable through recordings performed within the brain or on the scalp. The gamma rhythm, a relatively high frequency (30– 80 Hz) component of these fluctuations, has received a great deal of attention. Gamma is modulated by sensory input and internal processes such as working memory and attention. Numerous theories have proposed that gamma contributes directly to brain function, but others argue that gamma is better viewed as a simple byproduct of network activity. Here we provide a basic introduction to this enigmatic signal, the mechanisms that generate it, and an accompanying paper in PLoS Biology attempting to elucidate its potential function.

Brain works like a radio receiver. Initial evidence is found that the brain has a 'tuning knob' that is actually influencing behavior. Brain circuits can tune into the frequency of other brain parts relevant at the time.

How the brain filters out distracting thoughts to focus on a single bit of information. Information is carried on top of gamma waves, just like songs are carried by radio waves. These "carrier waves" transmit information from one brain region to another. The lower frequencies are used to transmit memories of past experiences, and the higher frequencies are used to convey what is happening where you are right now. The cells can rapidly switch their activity to tune in to the slow waves or the fast waves, but they cannot listen to both at the exact same time. In this way, the brain cells can distinguish between an internal world of memories and a person's current experiences.

Brain Circuits Multitask to Detect, Discriminate the Outside World.

pubmed logoSuccessful Execution of Working Memory Linked to Synchronized High-Frequency Gamma Oscillations. These findings suggest that transient high gamma synchrony contributes to the successful execution of spatial working memory. Furthermore, the data are consistent with an association between transient high gamma synchrony and explicit awareness of the working memory content.

Biophoton Field Theory: An interview with Fritz-Albert Popp, Founder of the International Institute of Biophysics in Neuss, Germany.

Fritz-Albert Popp is a biophotonics pioneer who began researching biophotons in the 1970's. Since that time he has developed a bioenergy-based theory of human body regulation.

An electromagnetic field produces a pattern. Photons are single units of this field. This field is generated by DNA which is vibrating over 1 billion times per second. The pattern is not just in a locality. It is a space-time pattern. "This spatial dynamical pattern provides the information of the cell, and it tells the cell what it has to do at what time and what place"2.

He argues that proper function requires speed of light signalling. It cannot be done through chemical means¹. It also requires a coherent light. The predictability and stability of the pattern is a measure of coherence: "The coherence time of the best laser is about one-tenth of a second but the coherence time of biological system[s] is at least in the order of days, or even weeks. So you have a very very high degree of coherence. And this allows the biological system to communicate with the highest possible clearness...A chemical reaction can only happen if the molecule which is reacting is excited by a photon. A photon is necessary to stimulate a molecule to a chemical reaction."

Photons are "autocatalytic messengers", meaning that they are self-sustaining catalysts for cascading reactions, without losing their coherence/energy to heat. Thus, the electromagnetic field itself, the space-time pattern, is the coherent source of the information necessary to regulate cellular metabolism.

1. " Each cell can be viewed as a tiny chemical factory, performing many millions of reactions every second." Alberts B, Johnson A, Lewis J, et al., Molecular Biology of the Cell. 4th edition. New York: Garland Science; 2002.

2. Quotes are from the YouTube video Biophotons Popp Interview (12:14) .

Biophysics Research

Biophysical Society. The Biophysical Society was founded in 1958 to encourage development and dissemination of knowledge in biophysics. The Society publishes the Biophysical Journal twice monthly. It also has an Annual Meeting, a Newsletter, and more benefits for members.

Coherence and Entrainment

The bioenergetic basis of life is comprised of energy fields. Coherence (constructive interference) and entrainment are terms used to describe the generation, organization, and interaction of the fields.

Body function and well-being depends upon the degree of coherence which is reflected in the Heart Rate Variability (HRV). HRV is an indicator of Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) function. Generally speaking, relaxation and regeneration occurs when the ANS is in parasympathetic (highly coherent, or entrained) mode. Qigong moving meditation creates coherence and entrainment of body systems and cells.

The body generates electromagnetic fields of varying types and intensities. For instance, the heart generates an electromagnetic field many times greater than that of the brain. The electromagnetic fields of people have been measured from as far as six feet away using SQUIDS. This gives a real physical meaning to the term "charisma." Science is just beginning to investigate the properties of these fields. They have been part of energetic medicine and eastern spiritual and wellness practices for millenia. Different names refer to different parts or combinations of the fields, such as aura, chakra, dantien, meridians, and others.

PubMed.gov logoEntrainment and coherence in biology.


The Institute of Heart Math is the first organization to systematically research human coherence and entrainment and make that research known to a wide audience. The Institute's mission is researching the link between emotions, heart-brain communication, and cognitive function. Just as oscillators provide the timing for computers, coordination of body function via rhythms such as heart beat and respiration are described by coherence and entrainment. The following summary is from the Heart Math website:

The term coherence is used to describe two or more waves (or systems) that are either phase- or frequency-locked. This is also called entrainment. In the coherent mode, respiration, heart rhythms, and blood pressure rhythms become entrained and oscillate at the same frequency. The term cross-coherence is used to specify this type of coherence. Note that this use of the term coherent is different than its use to describe coherent waves, which are man-made concentrated radiation that can harm biological organisms.

Physiological coherence is a state characterized by:

  • High heart rhythm coherence (sine wave-like rhythmic pattern)
  • Increased parasympathetic activity
  • Increased entrainment and synchronization between physiological systems
  • Efficient and harmonious functioning of the cardiovascular, nervous, hormonal and immune systems
An exchange of electromagnetic energy produced by the heart occurs when people touch or are in proximity. Signal averaging techniques are used to show that one's electrocardiogram (ECG) signal is registered in another person's electroencephalogram (EEG) and elsewhere on the other person's body. While this signal is strongest when people are in contact, it is still detectable when subjects are in proximity without contact.

Sustained positive emotions affect bodily functions. Thus, there are physiological correlates of positive emotion. This is called psychophysiological coherence. This mode, characterized by heart rhythm coherence, increased heart-brain synchronization and entrainment of diverse physiological oscillatory systems, is associated with increased emotional stability, improved cognitive performance, and a range of positive health-related outcomes. Additionally, individuals frequently report feelings of increased spiritual connectedness during psychophysiologically coherent states.

Through the use of tools and technologies that foster positive emotions and psychophysiological coherence, individuals can effectively initiate a repatterning process, whereby habitual emotional patterns underlying stress are replaced with new, healthier patterns that establish increased emotional stability, mental acuity, and physiological efficiency.

The heart generates the largest electromagnetic field in the body. Its electrical field as measured in an electrocardiogram (ECG) is about sixty times greater in amplitude than the brain waves recorded in an electroencephalogram (EEG). The magnetic component of the heart's field, which is around five thousand times stronger than that produced by the brain, is not impeded by tissues and can be measured several feet away from the body with Superconducting Quantum Interference Device (SQUID)-based magnetometers. Clear rhythmic patterns in beat-to-beat heart rate variability are distinctly altered when different emotions are experienced. These changes in electromagnetic, sound pressure, and blood pressure waves produced by cardiac rhythmic activity are "felt" by every cell in the body , further supporting the heart's role as a global internal synchronizing signal1.

1. McCraty R., Clinical Applications of Bioelectromagnetic Medicine, 2005.

Measuring Biophoton Activity in Humans

During the last thirty years the Rhine Research Center’s Bio-Emissions experiment has been measuring people for charge accumulation and electromagnetic bio-emissions. These measurements are being used to study bio-energy healers, meditators and people who claim unusual effects on electrical equipment. Cindy Cicero, Director and Instructor for the School of Chi Energy Heals, participated in one such experiment at the Rhine Center’s Bio-Emissions Lab in Durham, NC. which is described in the video below.

For more background information see Energy Healing and the science of Bio-Photons.

serene lake

The Rhine Research Center Experiment - A Study of Human Biofields

The Experiment: A variety of detectors, including those that can measure charge accumulation and eletromagnetic emissions are being used to study bio-energy healers, meditatiors, and people who claim unusual effects on electrical equipment. This is a continuation of work originally begun at Duke University that is now being performed at the Rhine Research Center.

Several special devices are used to measure bio-emissions. A thermoelectric cooler detector measurement device is cooled to 30 degree centigrade to create a baseline. Then a photomultiplier tube measures biophoton emissions. When one photon of light strikes this sensitive surface it dislodges several other electrons. The dislodged electrons accelerate striking many more electrons that cause a chain reaction event that gets recorded.

Also see: Rhine Research Center Measures Sifu Cindy for High Emissions of Bio-Photons.

Photonic Stimulation In the Practice of Medicine

There is a rapidly growing body of solid scientific research documenting the effectiveness of near infrared light therapy. NASA published a study on Navy Seals in the Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine and Surgery in November of 2001 showing that this frequency of light penetrates 23 centimeters into the body's tissues, and that it not only relieves pain but also accelerates the healing process by 50% or more. (More).

Biophysics Research

The Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group (TCBG), an NIH Resource for Macromolecular Modeling and Bioinformatics, was founded in 1989 and is located at the Beckman Institute of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). It is supported by the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation and other federal and private agencies.

Bioelectromagnetism: Principles and Applications of Bioelectric and Biomagnetic Fields. This book looks at the application of engineering science and technology to biological cells and tissues that are electrically conducting and excitable. It describes the theory and a wide range of applications in both electric and magnetic fields. The similarities and differences between bioelectricity and biomagnetism are described in detail from the viewpoint of lead field theory. This book aims to help with the understanding of the properties of existing bioelectric and biomagnetic measurements and stimulation methods, and to aid with the designing of new systems.

Detailed .pdf overview of the book including an introduction: Bioelectromagnetism - Principles and Applications of Bioelectric and Biomagnetic Fields (.pdf).

Biofields and Energy Medicine

There are several forms of biofield-based Energy Medicine:

Qigong - Energy Medicine for the New Millenium. What is Energy Medicine?

pubmed logoBioelectromagnetic medicine: The role of resonance signaling. The discovery by Zhadin that ultrasmall magnetic intensities are biologically significant suggests that electromagnetic signaling is endogenous to cell regulation, and consequently that the remarkable effectiveness of EM resonance treatments reflects a fundamental aspect of biological systems.

nih bioimaging and engineering

The mission of the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) is to improve health by leading the development and accelerating the application of biomedical technologies. The Institute is committed to integrating the physical and engineering sciences with the life sciences to advance basic research and medical care. This is achieved through: research and development of new biomedical imaging and bioengineering techniques and devices to fundamentally improve the detection, treatment, and prevention of disease; enhancing existing imaging and bioengineering modalities; supporting related research in the physical and mathematical sciences; encouraging research and development in multidisciplinary areas; supporting studies to assess the effectiveness and outcomes of new biologics, materials, processes, devices, and procedures; developing technologies for early disease detection and assessment of health status; and developing advanced imaging and engineering techniques for conducting biomedical research at multiple scales.

Strategic Plan:

Goal 1: Develop innovative biomedical technologies that integrate engineering with the physical and life sciences to solve complex problems and improve health

Goal 2: Enable patient-centered health care through development of point-of-care, wireless, and personal health informatics technologies

Goal 3: Transform advances in knowledge of cellular and molecular disease mechanisms into precise medical diagnostics and therapeutics

Goal 4: Develop medical technologies that are low-cost, effective, and accessible to everyone

Goal 5: Train the next generation of diverse and interdisciplinary scientists, bioengineers, and health care providers and promote the value of research that synergizes these disciplines