Research with Healers, Mystics and Shamans.
Healing, distinct from a cure, is a phenomenon not yet fully understood by
western science. Energy Healing is a good place to explore where science
meets spirituality.
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                                       QEEG sessions with Swamiji Nithyananda, april 2006.

Color coded QEEG topographic brain maps show the spatial distribution and averaged power values for the
different frequency bands, allowing comparisons for the indicated different recording condition at the same
calibration scale (upper right in uV2).
Power-frequency spectra revealed delta was the dominant rhythm, followed by theta and some alpha during eyes
closed
baseline condition.
Comparison of
 baseline and meditation topo maps revealed small increases in Delta, Theta, and Alpha, and large
increase in Beta1 indicating increased focus during meditation.
Samadhi maps showed additional increased
Beta1 (lower left), indicating a more active mindstate. This remarkable pattern of brainwaves during
samadhi state
demonstrates Swamiji is engaged in active focused state while still sustaining a high delta background state.  
Healing state showed the most differences:  reduced Delta and Theta, significantly increased Alpha, reduced Beta1
power centrally and appearance of Beta1, Beta2 and Gamma frequencies at parieto-occipital sites.
This finding for the
healing state is consistent with my previous studies with many energy healers,
(Acosta-Urquidi, J., 2004, JACM, vol. 10,
no. 4, p.725.)

Conclusion:
Swamiji demonstrated a remarkable ability to shift his brainwave patterns when accesing different brainstates :   
meditation, samadhi and healing states. Note that the changes between his baseline pattern and meditation are
small, suggesting he is always in a state of meditation when just sitting relaxed with eyes closed.

Frequency bands: top row, from left, Delta(1.5-4 Hz), Theta (4-7.5 Hz), Alpha (7.5-14 Hz);
lower row, from left,  Beta1 (14-20 Hz), Beta2 (20-30 Hz) and Gamma (30-40 Hz).
19 channel International 10-20 electrocap hookup, linked ears referential montage using Mitsar EEG equipment
(St. Petersburg, Russia).
                                                           copyright 2006 Juan Acosta-Urquidi

                                                                                               
Building a bridge between science and spirituality.
Using SPECT brain-imaging technology, the research of Dr. Andrew Newberg
has revealed that a certain form of Tibetan Buddhist meditation and prayer,
activate specific brain structures, yielding distinct neuroimaging patterns that
elucidate the spiritual circuitry of the brain. He concludes that our brains are
evolutionarily wired up to experience spiritual and mystical states.
This landmark  book: The Mystical Mind,
Probing The Biology of Religious
Experience ,
by A. Newberg and E.
D'Aquili, 1999, is a bold attempt to
integrate the findings of current brain
science behind religious and mystical   
experience.
Meditation produced greater activation of the prefrontal
cortex, the seat of attention, due to the state of deep
concentration. Images by A. Newberg.
Prayer reduced frontal lobe activation and significantly suppressed right hemisphere parietal activation (the
Orientation Association Area, arrow). The Orientation Association Area enables the ability to orient ourselves in space
and time, giving our body a sense of physical limits. It is the location where our brain produces our sense of "individual
self", apart from the rest of the universe. During prayer and other mystical states this area  becomes temporarily more
isolated (in a sense disconnected from its usual inputs from the rest of the brain), and subjects report feeling a state
of unity, experiencing a transcendent state
(An AUB, absolute unitary being experience, a term coined by Newberg).
  
Baseline
Sending energy
EEG correlates of Reiki healing session
QEEG spectral analysis revealed robust increase in Alpha power
(10 Hz peak) in a patient receiving a
Reiki treatment. Table lists
averaged computed  power values and % increases at frontal sites.

Data copyright  Dr.Juan Acosta-Urquidi. Publication:
JACM, 2004,
v.10, No.4,p.728.
healers
Example of another Energy healer that switched from an Alpha state, recorded during
baseline
(A), to a predominantly Theta state during a deep healing session (B). Note
hot spots (bright red) are located at right temporal and parietal sites.
Baseline
Receiving energy
A
B
Left : QEEG topographic
brainmaps (topos) recorded from
a
Reiki Master practitioner show
a robust increase in
Alpha
power (8-12 Hz, red color) during
"sending energy" state, when
healer was working on a distant
client.
Shifting Brainstates
shamanism
research2
"In every culture and in every medical tradition before ours,
healing was accomplished by moving energy".

 Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
  Nobel Laureate, 1937