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The Electricity of Touch: Detection and Measurement of Cardiac Energy Exchange Between People

Rollin McCraty, Ph.D., Mike Atkinson, Dana Tomasino, B.A., and William A. Tiller, Ph.D.

In: Karl H. Pribram, ed. Brain and Values: Is a Biological Science of Values Possible. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Publishers, 1998: 359-379.

1. Summary
2. Introduction
3. Methods
4. Experimental Examples
5. Discussion
6. Future Discussions
7. References

Future Directions

These experiments represent an initial attempt to identify and objectively measure an exchange of energy between individuals. The phenomenon highlighted by the results presented here is an intriguing one that has many potential implications and certainly invites further characterization. It is our hope that these data will serve to stimulate critical discussion and encourage interested researchers to pursue further the investigation of the many unanswered questions that have been raised by this work. The repetition of the experiments discussed in this paper with expanded sample sizes will help to distinguish anecdotal observations from real trends and also begin to paint a picture of the variability that exists among individuals with regard to this phenomenon. To continue to characterize this energy exchange, it will be important to refine our understanding of how it varies with distance. More precisely mapping out how transmission of the signal decays with distance will allow us to determine whether there exists an effective “cut-off” point and whether this varies among individuals.

We feel that individual variability in both the transmission and reception of cardiac energy is an important area of investigation that raises a number of questions. Future research might seek to increase our understanding of how one's emotional state affects both energy transmission and reception as well as investigate the role that intention may play in facilitating the energy exchange. In particular, does consciously shifting to a state such as sincere love or appreciation, in which the heart's energy field becomes measurably more coherent, affect signal transference? Also along these lines, does the exchange vary according to the type of relationship people share? Would the signal transference be measurably different in subjects who did not know each other as compared to people who shared a close personal relationship? Finally, studies analyzing the exchange of cardiac energy between individuals in conjunction with the practice of various therapeutic techniques may serve to elucidate any relationships that may exist between this type of energy exchange and the physiological effects of these treatments.