Savely Savva

Monterey Institute for the Study of Alternative Healing Arts (MISAHA)



The current pragmatic development of biomedical science proved to be effective, though very expensive to the society. Since the most complex control system of the organism remains largely unknown, it is reasonable to trace associations of wrong or missing signals with particular physiological deviations and try to make up for failures. A typical example is the discovery and application of insulin in the treatment of diabetes that saved millions of lives. However, this kind of compensation increasingly incurs unforeseen damages to the organism. The deeper science penetrates into biochemical processes of life, the more complex picture it encounters: what, for example, controls processes such as splicing, methylation, glucositation, protein synthesis on ribosomes, etc. remains unknown. Similarly unknown and unpredictable are possible long-term reactions of the organism’s general control system to invasions at such deep levels. It is the testing of new remedies developed in the absence of the big picture that constitutes the rapidly increasing cost of health care to the society.

The purpose of the Symposium is to start a coordinated scientific effort aimed at understanding the physical basis of life, the function and the physical carrier of the general control system of the organism. This and only this approach will lead to the understanding and broader utilization of such medical practices as acupuncture and so-called energy or biofield therapies. This will provide a scientific basis for the utilization of mind-body phenomena including placebo effect.

As Craig Venter, CEO of Selera Genomics, remarked on national TV at the announcement of deciphering the human genome in 2001, we are facing a different, nonchemical level of organization. It seems that since nobody knows how to approach this different level of organization associated with life, the biochemical approach remains dominant: biochemists know how and want to deal with molecules only. Yet, there are many scientists throughout the world who inquire into this “mysterious” level of organization that we call the Biofield.


M. Bischof (1998) starts his review of biological holism and field theories with the 1890 work of German embryologist Hans Driesch (1891). The first to introduce the concept of the biofield as the morphogenic factor in embryogenesis was Alexander Girwitsch (1944)

“…the place of the embryonal formative process is a field (in the usage of physicists) the boundaries of which, in general, do not coincide with those of the embryo but surpass them. Embryogenesis, in other words, comes to pass inside the fields. … Thus what is given to us as a living system would consist of the visible embryo (or egg, respectively) and a field.”


In their Commentary to Beloussov’s “Life of Alexander Gurwitsch...” biologists J. Opitz and S. Gilbert (1997) write:   

 “...The concept of the morphogenetic (or embryonic) field was extremely robust in the 1930s, as is evidenced by the debates concerning the structure of the fields.  Huxley and deBeer (1934) popularized the notion of the “gradient field,” extending the work of Morgan and Child on regeneration, while Weiss’ 1939 book put forth a more ecological and interactive notion of the field (see also Schmalhausen, 1938; Filatov, 1943).  However, after World War II, the concept of fields went into dramatic decline.  There were several reasons for the decline.  First, biochemical methods (such as those employed by Needham) were not adequate to enable embryologists to analyze field properties such as limb polarity, neural patterning, and lens induction.  Second, there was the decline of the scientific infrastructure in Germany and other European countries.  The Spemann laboratory, for instance, had scattered around the world.  Third, Morgan and other geneticists were in direct opposition to the morphogenetic field, which they saw as a rival to the explanation for heredity.  They actively blocked the publication of materials by those investigators (especially C.M. Child and his students) who favored field explanations (see Haraway, 1976; Mitmann and Fausto-Sterling, 1992; Gilbert et al., 1996).  Fourth, the field concept had been made extensively holistic and refractile to the scientific analyses of its time.  Although Weiss and Spemann vehemently claimed that embryonic fields were real, physical entities, they could not be analyzed by the techniques of their day.  Indeed, Weiss’ fourth postulation in his characterization of morphogenetic fields made it doubtful that fields could ever be reduced to biochemical analysis.  This was seen by many geneticists as evidence of poor science.

      The notion of the field persisted, especially in studies of limb generation and of Drosophila imaginal discs (see Hueftner, 1948; Gilbert et al, 1996).  The last theoretical exposition of the embryonic fields prior to the l980s   was probably that of Curt Stern (1954).  In this remarkable article, he equated embryonic fields with the prepattern of the embryo.  After analyzing the data concerning the ability of genes to regulate where and when they are expressed, he noted, “Yet this astonishing result fits perfectly well into existing concepts of the embryologist.  He has discovered the existence of prepatterns, which he calls embryonic fields... Under normal circumstances, the differentiation takes place in only a limited part of the whole field, at a peak, figuratively speaking.  Once differentiation has set in on the peak, no other differentiation occurs within the larger field ... The prepatterns of the embryonic tissue in Drosophila, which call forth a response of genes involving the differentiation of bristles, are embryonic fields of larger dimensions than the limited points of normal location of bristles.”

      Stern also hypothesized that the fields were themselves the products of genes.  From here on, the fields are considered (when considered at all) as epiphenomena of gene expression.  As part of the genetic explanation of embryology, genes were considered primary.  Fields, if they existed, were merely gene products.

      During recent years, there has been a re-appreciation of morphogenetic fields as units of developmental and of evolution (see Goodwin, 1982,1995; De Robertis et al, 1991; Opitz, 1993; GilbertetaL, 1996). Interestingly, Stern (1954) hinted that changes in embryonic fields might allow for evolutionary novelties to arise.”



   The following hypothetic definition of the biofield comes from viewing the organism as a self-controlled cybernetic, thermodynamically open system (Savva, 1997, 1998).

   The biofield is the general control system of the organism that evolves in ontogenic development being based on all the genetic material available at any stage of development and differentiates into subordinate biofields of organs, tissues and cells. At the organism’s level it holds four fundamental programs of life: development, maintenance, reproduction and death with their physiological and behavioral aspects. The mind is an essential part of the biofield serving behavioral aspects of all fundamental programs and securing conservation of the species, the population and the organism (see the graph).



The word mind is used rather than consciousness in order to distinguish the general decision-making mechanism from awareness associated with the latter in higher species. The function of the mind includes memory, extraction of meanings out of perceived information and fundamental drives such as attraction to the food and opposite sex, avoidance of threats, etc. All the four above-mentioned fundamental programs are apparent in all living organisms and, although they are transferred through a single genome, i.e., chemically encoded, the attempts of reducing them to chemical interactions are obviously inadequate.

More complex organisms are operated by the biofield through four independent control subsystems using different agents and channels of communication: nervous, humoral (chemical), electromagnetic (hypothetical electromagnetic coherencies and biophotons in tissues and organs, for instance, Van Wijk, 2001) and one manifested in acupuncture (called Qi, prana, etc. in Oriental cultures).


The question is “What is the physical carrier of the biofield?”


We suggest that it is one or more yet-unknown fundamental physical interactions, in addition to the strong, weak, electromagnetic and gravitational interactions currently recognized in physics, capable of communicating with all known fundamental physical interactions and with control subsystems of the organism. This or these interactions, that we will call “X-interaction, are manifested in parapsychological phenomena such as anomalous information transfer (location in space and time) and psychokinesis (interaction with other biofields including psi healing, with physical fields, material objects and man-made devices). Thus, observing effects of conscious intents of specially gifted individuals on physical and biological objects may shed light on the X-interaction — the physical carrier of the biofield.

            The following are but a few examples of published scientific observations of human intent interference with other physical fields, material objects and living systems. These observations indicate that X-interaction cannot be reduced to any one of the known four fundamental interactions.


  Interference with weak (internuclear) forces:

- Speeding up and slowing down the rate of americium 241Am nuclear decay. The intentional changes of half-life were registered between + 9.5% and –12% with the probability of random effect less than 10-10 (Yan Xin et al., 1988c, 2002 - the latest and most complete presentation),            

- Low temperature nuclear transmutation of lead into gold in concentrations up to 300 ppm only in presence of a psi operator was observed in Professor J. O’M Bockris’ laboratory at Texas A&M University (Bockris, 1997, Savva, 1999)


  Interference with electromagnetic fields:

- Rotation of the plane of polarization of a polarized laser beam by 30 ang. min. (Dul’nev, 1995) and 7o ang. (Yan Xin et al., 1988a)

- Induction of an intensive temporary peak in laser-induced Raman spectrum of tap water with maximum at 2100 1/cm (Xin Yan et al., 1988d, 2002) indicating changes at the intermolecular level.

- Temporary various changes in the microstructure of water as observed through scattering of laser beam l=632.8 nm at various angles by intent of several psi operators (Pyatnitsky and Fonkin, 1995)

- Deviation of the electrical resistance of a thermo stabilized thermo resistor (Boldyrev and Sozhina, 1992)

- Increase of adsorption and dispersion of a monochromatic laser radiation (l=10.6 mm and 4 mm) by air, nitrogen and carbon dioxide (Volchenko et al., 1992)

- Deviation of UV adsorption spectra of DNA water solution in the area of 220-280 nm – three independent observations (Yan, 1988b, Rein, 1995, Stepanov & Mozhaisky, 1997)

- Induction of a periodic electrical signal from a piezoelectric sensor (Ye and Fan, 1983)

- Induction of a pulse magnetic field 100nT and up to 27x106 nT (Dulnev et al., 1998),  rotation of a compasses needle (Dulnev et al., 1998, Shen & Sun 1991)


  Interference with the gravitation field:

- Moving the plate of an encased precise analytical balance equivalent to 100 mg force (Dulnev et al., 1998)


  Interference with performance of man-made devices:

- Predetermined deviation from randomness of various random number generators (this study has been conducted in at least two highly credible scientific laboratories in the US showing the probability of randomness p<10-13) (Schmidt, 1992, Jahn, 1997)

- Increase of the concentration of dislocations (missing atoms in microcrystalline structure) in “metal bending” experiments with local increase of surface (Vickers) hardness (Hasten, 1979)


The above is by no means a comprehensive review of published scientific observations. We intentionally did not mention observations of phenomena such as remote viewing (mental location in space and time) studied by Hal Puthoff and Russell Targ (1979) at Stanford Research Institute, that were confirmed by at least four other laboratories; dematerialization and materialization of material objects, moving of material objects and transteleportation, and many others representing a very peculiar interference of the human mind with physical mass (see for instance Song, 1999).


  Interference with living organisms:          

A substantial body of information is available on effects of human intent on living organisms. Daniel Benor, MD (1998) reviewed more than 150 controlled studies on the subject conducted by 1994. Among objects of influence were enzymes and cells (including malignant cells) in vitro and in vivo, fungi/yeasts, bacteria, single-cell organisms, animals and humans. Many reviewed studies on humans were conducted in clinical conditions and included contemporary diagnostic procedures. (Benor’s and Yount’s abstracts are in MISAHA Newsletter #32-25, 2001). Among different names and slightly different techniques representing this phenomenon used for therapeutic purposes are Therapeutic touch, Reiki, Qigong, Energy healing (used in the NCCAM 5-year Plan) and Biofield therapies. Perhaps most widely known and used in the USA is Therapeutic Touch (TT), a technique developed by Dolores Krieger, professor of nursing at NYU, now widely used by holistic nurses (Krieger, 1973, 1979). For instance, Dan Wirth (1992) in a well-designed double-blind study involving 44 subjects that underwent punch biopsies on the skin and received either 5 minutes TT or infrared warming showed a significant acceleration in the rate of wound healing in treated individuals compared with controls, with p<0.001.

Most gifted healers seem to be capable of communicating with the highest levels of the general control system, the biofield, reversing or replacing particular programs of death. Just as a picturesque example, a very convincing eighteen-minutes video record is available on full recovery of Mrs. Nelda Buss from ALS who was treated by a gifted psychic healer, Dean Kraft. Her husband, Mr. Buss, scientist, video recorded the recovery progress every three-four months from 1986 to 1992 covering the whole process. 


The above-mentioned experiments and observations seem to have shown that the physical carrier of the biofield and bioinformation, the X-interaction:


1. Cannot be significantly blocked by any physical screening,

2. Produces effect independently of distance unlike the known isotropic physical fields such as centered gravitational or electromagnetic fields. The bioinformation field may be anisotropic, net-like, as suggested by A. Denisov (1975), which can explain the absence of attenuation in reverse proportion to the square of distance, (r2), and

3. Acts along emotional (or intentional) bonds that must be established between the operator and the subject (or object).


A good illustration to the latter provide long-running and meticulously designed studies of the effect of operators on random event generators (REG) by H. Schmidt (1992) and R. Jahn et al. (1997) at Princeton University (PEAR): an operator affects only one REG on which he/she focuses attention while all other REG in the laboratory and in the world are not affected. Also, in many experiments conducted in Russia authors observed “selectivity” in psi operators’ distant interference with measurement devices such as micro calorimeter (Parkhomov, 2002) or magnetic transducer (Dulnev, 2002). In the latter case a target device at 15 km distance reacted to operator’s intent while at the same time a similar device in the next room did not.

All the above-mentioned observations suggest that current broadly accepted physical models are insufficient to describe phenomena and processes associated with life and mind. A detailed analysis of these and alternative physical models is presented in the following James Beichler’s article.

The majority of previous studies were aimed at showing that the phenomenon of interaction or healing just exists and not at discovering detailed physiological and genetic responses to operator’s intervention. The contemporary methodological arsenal of biochemistry and molecular biology permits to repeat some of the previously conducted studies at a new methodological level and by this deepen the understanding of life, the biofield and X-Interaction. Following are but a few examples of such studies where psi-gifted individuals seem to have interfered with biofields of organisms or cells.


E. Rausher and B. Rubik (Rubik, 1966) observed the effect of psi healer O. Warrell on poisoned Salmonella typhimurinum bacteria.  The motility and physiological activity were measured, the latter by IR absorption of metabolic products in IR absorption spectra.  Bacteria in the psi-treated samples survived much longer than in the control.  Attempts were made to relate the effect to different mechanisms of poisoning (two antibiotics, two added mutation-promoting substances, two stages of bacterial development) in order to get a clue of the mechanism of the psi intervention.  Although the study confirmed the existence of the phenomenon, authors could only conclude that “...the simple explanation that the healer treatment accelerates the mutation rate seems insufficient.”  Even if the presumed mechanism of the antibiotic effect (inhibition of protein synthesis) is correct, the healer must have interacted with the bacterial control system which is apparently reactive to the human bioinformation field.

Garret Yount (1997) studied effect of the intent of Chinese Qigong masters on human brain tumor cells growing in vitro. The cultures served as the target for both control and test runs. In best-result runs the viability of the cancer cells decreased by 90% compared to control cultures as measured by trypan blue exclusion analysis.

Ge Rong-chao et al. (1998) found that cells of wheat sprouts grown in 45 minutes under the influence of Sun Chu-lin revealed a very high activity of ATPase compared to that in cells of normally grown sprouts of the same size. This indicates that other cytophysiological and possibly cytogenetic parameters may be altered by the intent of Sun Chu-lin. 

Repeating these and similar experiments with observation of changes at cytogenetic, cytophysiological and biophysical levels may elucidate the structure and function of the biofield and it’s physical carrier.


Further studies of the biofield and the X-Interaction should take into consideration some methodological specificity of experiments engaging human operators. One of the arguments against studying the biofield and the phenomena associated with it is that the obtained experimental results are not reproducible. It is understood that complex actions and reactions of the operator’s organism depend on a broad variety of internal and external conditions that never will be precisely defined, controlled or reproduced. This can be called “biophysics uncertainty principle” that often, but not always, can be overcome by a probabilistic approach. However, it would be incorrect to say that none of the parapsychological experiments with gifted psi operators were reproduced. For instance, experiments on rotating the plane of polarization of a polarized laser beam were repeated with different operators, although with a different quantitative effect (Dulnev, 1995, Yan Xin et al., 1988). The same was with UV adsorption spectra by water solutions of DNA (Yan, 1988, Rein 1995, Stepanov & Mozhaisky, 1997), and with measuring magnetic field emanated from operator’s hands (Dulnev et al., 1998b, Shen & Sun, 1991, Kokubo, 1999), and with destroying cancer cells in vitro (Rein 1992, Kmetz 1981,Yont and Qian, 1997).  It is not the results that are not repeatable but the conditions of the experiment. It should be recognized that


1.  Very few people have exceptionally strong psi abilities,

2.  Those who have may perform variably depending on their psychological and physiological conditions as well as on time, geographical location, and psychological factors of the environment,

3  The effect may be directly correlated with the quality and intensity of the information-emotional bond between the operator and the object, and the perception of the task by the operator,

4  The emanation of the message by the operator in many cases may be in a form of relatively short impulses. Accordingly, in preliminary testing operators’ psi abilities, averaging results of runs should be replaced by statistical analysis of the length of a series of correct responses (Lee and Chunovkina, in publication).

5  In experiments on the biofield interaction with other physical fields the experimental error can be easily determined by a metrological analysis of the measuring device for best runs.


The objective of the Symposium and the following research program is not to        prove or disprove the existence of the phenomena but to try to understand them.




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