Biofield Physiology: A Framework for an emerging discipline

Author: Richard Hammerschlag, PhD; Michael Levin, PhD; Rollin McCraty, PhD; Namuun Bat, BA; John A. Ives, PhD; Susan K. Lutgendorf, PhD; James L. Oschman, PhD
The Institute for Integrative Health, Baltimore, Maryland; Consciousness and Healing Initiative, San Diego, California; Oregon College of Oriental Medicine, Portland (Dr Hammerschlag); Tufts Center for Regenerative and Developmental Biology, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts (Dr Levin); Institute of HeartMath, Boulder Creek, California (Dr McCraty); The Center for Brain, Mind, and Healing, Samueli Institute, Alexandria, Virginia (Ms Bat, Dr Ives); Departments of Psychology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Urology, University of Iowa, Iowa City (Dr Lutgendorf); Nature’s Own Research Association, Dover, New Hampshire (Dr Oschman).
Conference/Journal: Global Adv Health Med.
Date published: 2015
Other: Volume ID: 4 , Issue ID: supl , Pages: 35-41 , Word Count: 275

Biofield physiology is proposed as an overarching descriptor for the electromagnetic, biophotonic, and other types of spatially-distributed fields that living systems generate and respond to as integral aspects of cellular, tissue, and whole organism self-regulation and organization. Medical physiology, cell biology, and biophysics provide the framework within which evi- dence for biofields, their proposed receptors, and func- tions is presented. As such, biofields can be viewed as affecting physiological regulatory systems in a manner that complements the more familiar molecular- based mechanisms. Examples of clinically relevant biofields are the electrical and magnetic fields generat- ed by arrays of heart cells and neurons that are detect- ed, respectively, as electrocardiograms (ECGs) or mag- netocardiograms (MCGs) and electroencephalograms (EEGs) or magnetoencephalograms (MEGs). At a basic physiology level, electromagnetic activity of neural assemblies appears to modulate neuronal synchroniza- tion and circadian rhythmicity. Numerous nonneural electrical fields have been detected and analyzed, including those arising from patterns of resting mem- brane potentials that guide development and regenera- tion, and from slowly-varying transepithelial direct current fields that initiate cellular responses to tissue damage. Another biofield phenomenon is the coher- ent, ultraweak photon emissions (UPE), detected from cell cultures and from the body surface. A physiologi- cal role for biophotons is consistent with observations that fluctuations in UPE correlate with cerebral blood flow, cerebral energy metabolism, and EEG activity. Biofield receptors are reviewed in 3 categories: molecu- lar-level receptors, charge flux sites, and endogenously generated electric or electromagnetic fields. In sum- mary, sufficient evidence has accrued to consider bio- field physiology as a viable scientific discipline. Directions for future research are proposed.

Key words
Biofield, electromagnetic fields, biophotons, physiological regulation, biofield physiology