Love’s healing power

From “The Awakened Brain: The New Science of Spirituality and Our Quest for an Inspired Life” by Lisa Miller, PhD

In another innovative study, Dr. Jeanne Achterberg showed that love’s healing power might be transmitted not only through touch or physical proximity but also remotely. At the North Hawaii Community Hospital in Waimea, Achterberg used fMRI technology to examine whether healing thoughts sent at a distance might correlate with activation of certain brain functions in the subjects receiving the healing intentions. Experienced indigenous Hawaiian healers each selected a person with whom they felt a compassionate bond, and these receivers were placed in a scanner and isolated from all forms of sensory contact from the healer. The healers entered a scanner in a different building and were monitored as they sent healing intentions to their subjects at randomly selected two-minute intervals. The receivers had no way to anticipate or discern with their senses when the healing messages were being sent. And yet, ten times out of eleven, at the exact time the healer sent the intention, specific areas of the patients’ brains – precise locations in the anterior and middle cingulate, precuneus, and frontal regions – activated. The probability that this would happen by chance alone is less than one in ten thousand. Achterberg drew the conclusion that it’s possible for compassionate healing intentions sent at a distance to have a direct physical effect on the recipient – that when we are bonded, we can influence one another’s bodies and mental processes.