Hands-on healing, sometimes referred to as spiritual healing, is only considered acceptable within the alternative or complementary areas of modern, pharmaceutically based medicine. The West’s disregard for this technique is attributed to claims that there is no sufficient quality data from clinical trials to support it and that, at best, hands-on healing is no better than a placebo.
Nevertheless, beyond the confines of traditional medical science, profound evidence does exist showing that one person can affect the physiology of another being by the laying on of hands. Some of this evidence has been recorded by Dr William Bengston, and his observations point to the existence of an underlying framework of interconnection between all living things.
Four decades ago while working as a lifeguard at a public swimming pool, Bengston encountered a person who claimed to be a psychic healer. That experience, and his innate skepticism and curiosity, inspired him on a journey of extraordinary discovery. For years he has conducted experiments at various university laboratories that involve healing mice previously injected with cancer-causing serum that is designed to induce death within twenty-one days. His experiments have “miraculously” proven to be 100 percent effective in curing the diseased mice. Even more remarkably, close to 80 percent of the mice within the control groups were also healed. He stated, “We observed that the circumstances in which the control group mice did succumb to the cancer were twofold: First, we observed that they were contained in a location different than the experimental building and, second, that no one involved with the experiments came into contact with the control group during the trials.”
Today, Dr Bengston is a professor of sociology at St Joseph’s College in New York and the current president of the Society for Scientific Exploration. His experimental findings are detailed in the book, The Energy Cure: Unraveling the Mystery of Hands-on Healing. SuperConsciousness spoke with Dr Bengston about his most recent findings on energy healing and what he has come to understand of that underlying connection he observed that clearly exists between all living beings.
SC: What can you say with all certainty, from your experience, about hands-on healing and energy healing?
William Bengston: I can say that cancer can be cured. I think at this point even a good skeptic like me has to throw in the towel. I have conducted ten experiments utilizing mice with a 100 percent success rate in reversing fatal cancer. After awhile you just have to say, “I give up.” The question now is not whether cancer can be cured, but what is the underlying mechanism.
SC: Your first experiment forced you into a position of becoming a “healer.” Since then you have continued healing work that has included humans. How do you separate successful results from any expectations of a “correct” way of healing?
Bengston: It is very simple. To think there is a correct way to do something would, in my mind, be the height of arrogance. Along those same lines, the real me — the full me — knows how to heal already.
Bonding goes on all over the place quite frequently, and once we begin studying this, I think it will be discovered to be not only psychological, but a physical thing that exists in the world. I think our natural state is connectedness.
I am interested in only those things that point to further applications. The question becomes, “Can people be taught to heal?” If so, and if it can be repeated successfully, then you have something valuable for further application. The second one is, “Can we discover a way to reproduce the healing so that we develop a healing modality that can be widely disseminated as a trainable therapy?” That would be very interesting.
What we have recently demonstrated in the lab, but not yet published, is that we can remove part of a tumor from a mouse that is in the remission stage after hands-on healing, we can transplant that tissue into a fully infected mouse, and the infected mouse will also go into remission. More importantly, once these mice are cured, they remain healthy for the rest of their lives. We can reinject the mice with the cancer causing serum all day and all night and no cancer will develop.
There must be some kind of an underlying mechanism that we don’t understand. Apparently, something is being transferred to these animals, which then perpetuates itself. If we can better understand it, then it is in that sense that we might be able to develop a therapy.
SC: You have observed that the healing is not continuous, but occurs in bursts. Do experimental Petri dish cells behave the same way?
Bengston: Yes, very similar. There will be periods when the cells are quiescent just going along doing whatever it is they are doing then suddenly there is this explosion. We refer to that as phase transition — the abrupt change from one condition to another. I suspect nature is non-linear. It’s as if the cells go through some kind of preparation, then suddenly they transition to a healed state.
Perhaps the physical space blips and the brain blips are not the cause of the healing, but are the consequence of the healing.
SC: What role do you perceive “consciousness” plays in the healing of the cells or the mice?
Bengston: What I mean by consciousness is “awareness.” I think cells are consciousness. I think everything is conscious, but we don’t yet understand if there is a relationship between healing and our conscious awareness.
When we began these experiments, I expected the healing to occur along the lines of a physical model like radiation: I anticipated that once the mice were injected, and then the healing techniques were performed — whatever they may be — then the cancer would be prevented from taking hold in much the same way as when you radiate a tumor and it blows apart immediately.
It turns out that nature is a bit more subtle and interesting and that hands-on healing is not analogous to radiating a bunch of cells. There is a process. When I saw the tumors in the mice expanding or ulcerating, I thought the experiments were failing. Turns out, those processes are the natural phases of healing.
SC: In describing your observations you have used two distinct terms: entanglement and resonant bonding. What kinds of interconnected phenomena have you observed during the experiments between the control group and the experimental groups of mice?
Bengston: I have used the word entanglement before, but now I think that word is incorrect. Entanglement is the term used by physicists to describe quantum particles that have become interconnected, but in physics once something is entangled it remains entangled.
Resonant bonding is a better term to describe the more fluid connection or disconnection, not a one directional process. I think that the bonds can be made and broken, and then remade and rebroken. The general phenomena that I have observed is that the control mice were cured under certain conditions. For instance, when anyone who was part of the experiment and knew the healing techniques came into contact with the control mice, even without deliberately trying to heal them, it turns out those mice were also cured. Further, the only way we could get the control mice to succumb would be if their location was elsewhere, and that no one involved with or trained in the experimental healing protocols had access to them. If someone who had simply learned the healing techniques stumbled upon the controls, those mice would begin the remission process.
If mice are raised together, shipped together, and hang out together, when they are separated into different groups, they appear to retain some sort of connection.
SC: Can you give some examples of how this resonant bonding is demonstrated in the lab?
Bengston: Classical experimental design assumes that if you create separate experimental groups, they are and will behave independently. In fact, this is so engrained within experimental design thinking that no one really ever questions that assumption.
A classically designed experiment has subjects: It could be people or mice, or it could be cells. The subjects are randomly divided up into experimental and control groups. While working with the experimental group, we assume that the control group represents what otherwise would have been. The reason we don’t question this protocol is because the physical separation implies that each group will respond independently. If we intend only to heal the experimental group, then the control group shouldn’t be affected. That assumption is considered common sense. But what we have assumed as common sense is wrong.
We are beginning to get a glimpse of the rules by which certain things become bonded and certain things become unbonded. The very short version is that things can become bonded by similar experience. In other words if mice are raised together, shipped together, and hang out together, when they are separated into different groups, they appear to retain some sort of connection. If you do something to one group, the other group also responds.
SC: You have also done some experiments utilizing EEG (Electroencephalogram).
Bengston: Yes, a paper about the EEG data is soon to be published in the Journal of Scientific Exploration. The principal investigator is Luke Hendricks, and the other collaborator is Jay Gunkleman who is an EEG expert.
Under Jay’s technical direction we procured a couple of very sophisticated EEGs to be able to test two people at the same time. One person, the healer, was in one room and another person, the healee, was placed in a different room. The healer produces a specific brain state, which is seen to be mirrored in the healee.
SC: How did these observations of the data change your understanding of what is going on during healing?
Bengston: I recently published a study utilizing mice and geomagnetic probes with Margaret Moga at Indiana University Medical School. In addition to the standard cancer-based healing experiments, we monitored geomagnetic probes in various locations throughout the animal building.
It turns out that nature is a bit more subtle and interesting and that hands-on healing is not analogous to radiating a bunch of cells.
We observed very strange anomalies. The geomagnetic data began to show pulses, similar to the pulses we observed in the EEG data. So now we are looking at the correlations between these weird brain outputs and the weird geomagnetic outputs. It appears that the local physical space around the healing changes as the brain waves change, but we are not sure how much of this is associated with the healing.
Any assumption that the brainwaves and geomagnetic pulses are connected with the healing at this point is a leap of faith. Perhaps when healing occurs, there are signature blips in the surrounding physical space. Perhaps the physical space blips and the brain blips are not the cause of the healing, but are the consequence of the healing. We simply don’t know yet.
SC: Based on your experience what can you say about interconnectedness? Do you perceive there is an underlying connection between ourselves, the environment, and other beings?
Bengston: At this point, I am reasonably confident that people bond in a very meaningful way, and that the classical understanding of separateness is probably not accurate. However, this connection is not a subjective psychological feeling, but an actual physical connection. In the EEG data, for example, we demonstrate that two people in separate rooms remain connected.
I am sure at this point that mice can become bonded together; that humans can become bonded together. I am sure at this point that the bonding is not permanent. Just as everyone has probably had the subjective sense of connection, they also have the experience that the subjective sense of connection is not fixed, it’s a fluid thing.
A person can be attached to things, places, people, and pets, and the same is true of mice. They can grow closer together and they can grow farther apart. Perhaps this is where a conscious aware connection comes in, but I am speculating of course. I don’t really see how consciousness or awareness affects healing all that much, but the healing does appear related to connection. In so far as some kind of connection is involved in healing, it seems that it would only be some kind of indirect method or indirect means by which consciousness would affect healing.
The question now is not whether cancer can be cured, but what is the underlying mechanism.
It turns out that the more mice I use in an experiment, the faster the mice heal. It’s not about the number of treatments per cage that matters, but about the absolute number of mice in the experiment. If I have seventy-five mice in an experiment, I need to do more treatments because there are simply more cages. I think that the dose is attributable not just in mechanistically counting the number of times that the healer puts their hands around a particular mouse or cage, but rather the total number of cages. Each separate group of mice benefits because they are bonded.
I perceive connectedness is a general phenomenon. Our understanding of group boundaries may become very important to our understanding, for instance as in a bonded pair: lovers, friends, etc. I perceive this bonding is something that needs to be sustained through conscious awareness because it is fluid. Bonding goes on all over the place quite frequently, and once we begin studying this, I think it will be discovered to be not only psychological, but a physical thing that exists in the world. I think our natural state is connectedness.