from Subtle Energy:
Awakening to the Unseen Forces in Our Lives by William Collinge,
Ph.D., Warner Books, Inc., 1998
Marianne, 68, was in the
recovery room after open heart surgery. She was full of tubes and needles
when she slowly began to wake up from anaesthesia. This post-operative
period is a time when people are very vulnerable to complications developing,
and one of the greatest sources of concern is how the patient handles the
trauma emotionally. The nurse who was assigned to watch Marianne had a
practice of using the laying on of hands to calm and soothe her patients,
and Marianne benefitted tremendously from this. As the nurse placed her
hands on Marianne's shoulder and arms, she felt a loving presence and a
flood of relaxation and warmth throughout her body. Her troubled and fitful
breathing became calm and rhythmic, and she went into a state of deep relaxation.
Why do we instantly feel
warm and peaceful when one person touches us, yet we may bristle and cringe
when touched by another? Is it purely psychological, or is something happening
An Exchange of Energy
When we touch another person
we exchange energy. There is no way to avoid the fact that a kind of energetic
communion takes place, even in such seemingly innocuous acts as shaking
hands or touching another on the shoulder. Touch itself communicates a
great deal energetically, and actually influences our own energy field.
This is something we all know intuitively, and there is even a passage
in the Bible in which Jesus states, "Who touched me?... Someone has touched
me, for I percieve that power has gone out of me."
Some fascinating breakthroughs
in understanding the energetics of touch have recently been discovered
in research at the Institute of HeartMath. Since the heart creates the
strongest electromagnetic field of the body (measurable from several feet
away), Rollin McCraty and his colleagues wanted to find out whether our
heart energy fields are really detectable at the surface of one another's
bodies when we are in close proximity or actually touching.
One study involved wiring
pairs of subjects up to electrodes and having them sit five feet apart.
The researchers found that one person's heart energy waves (electrocardiogram
output) were not detectable by the electrodes on the surface of the other
person's body at that distance. However, when they were holding hands,
each person's heart energy waves were detectable on the surface of the
other's body, and even in the other's brain waves.
The researchers then wondered
whether what was being picked up was being radiated through the air from
the first person's heart, or was being conducted, like a wire conducts
electricity, through skin contact. What they found was that when one person
touched the other through a latex glove, the signal was still present,
but was only one tenth as strong.
They then did another experiment
to determine whether heart energy was transferred when the subjects were
sitting closely together but not touching at all. Subjects were seated
three feet apart and again wired with electrodes. Indeed, their electrocardiogram
output was detectable across the space between them on the surface of each
other's bodies. Thus, we now know that the heart energy field is both conducted
by physical contact and radiated across space between people.
When we touch or are in close
physical proximity with another, there is a real transfer of energy between
us. We are "touched" and no doubt "penetrated" by each other's energy field.
All kinds of contact casual, intimate, as well as contact for
healing purposes involve a co-mingling of our energy field
with that of another.
And, when we consider the
fact that the most coherent oscillator tends to "pull" those around it
into entrainment, it makes sense that we can be so moved by being in the
presence of someone who radiates genuine love. Whether we are in
the presence of a lover, a loving friend or relative, a healer or one of
the world's living spiritual teachers, we are affected by the strong, coherent
heart energy field they radiate, and our heart can be pulled into entrainment
with theirs. Likewise, if we are with someone who is agitated or angry,
their incoherence will make it more difficult for us to be in a coherent