Science investigates laying on of hands

Scientist investigates “Laying-on-of-hands"

”It appears that there is some kind of universal healing energy that human beings can accumulate and use to correct health problems in humans, animals, and even plants. We recently came across a fascinating scientific research project that demonstrated this in a carefully controlled laboratory experiment.

The project was covered in detail by Dr. Bernard Grad in a special conference in Washington, Dec. on November 25 and 26, 1972. The conference, called “The Mind In Search of Itself,” was sponsored jointly by the Mind Science Foundation and Silva International. Dr. Grad’s presentation was transcribed.

“This all started,” he explained, “when a Hungarian gentleman (Mr. E.) came to me with the claim to be able to accelerate healing in people according to his experience in Hungary. I told him I was a biologist and therefore I couldn’t bring any patients to him, but we could do experiments on animals and on plants.

“When I asked him how he worked, he said that all he did was to lay his hands on the people. If they had a headache, he would put his hands on the head. He would hold his hands there for a while, fifteen minutes, or twenty minutes, and repeat this as required, perhaps the next day or several times a week, generally not on the same day.”

Dr. Grad wanted to work with mice since they are small and inexpensive to maintain, but they don’t really want humans to lay on hands.

“We decided to construct a little metal box divided into ten or twelve compartments, each big enough to accommodate a mouse, and when these were in the box to cover them with a wire screen,” Dr. Grad explained.

“I want to emphasize that when we did these experiments, I used the same kind of experimental design as if I would have been testing a drug or food. In other words, we tried to make these experiments conform to the best that we knew how in biological experimentation.”

He started with healthy mice but made the goitrous artificially by giving them a diet low in iodine, and also incorporating into their diet a chemical (thiouracil) that prevents almost all of the iodine that may be present in the animal’s body from getting into the thyroid gland.

They used three groups of mice:

1. A control group with no treatment

2. A control group with heat applied to the mice in the box by means of thermal tapes so as to mimic the temperature changes taking place because of the heat of the healer’s hands when he was holding the cages with the third group of mice.

3. A group receiving the laying on of hands treatment for twenty days.

“Six to seven mice were sacrificed in each group two, three and four weeks after thiouracil was started, and the thyroids of the laying on of hands-treated group were found to weigh less than those of the two control groups. Thus, laying on of hands treatment definitely showed down the development of goiter in mice,” Dr. Grad concluded.

“When we finished this series of studies, we began a new series of experiments involving wound healing in mice.

As in the first experiment on goiters, there were three groups: two control groups and the third laying on of hands.

“One day after wounding there was already some progress toward healing in all the groups, but too little to detect any differences between the groups,” Dr. Grad told the conference. “However, by the eleventh and fourteenth day, there were twelve obvious differences which could be seen with the naked eye and which were confirmed by statistical analysis. Here, as in the first experiment, the wounds of the laying on of hands-treated group were very much smaller than those of the two control groups, whose wound areas were not significantly different from one another.

“Such studies were conducted both in our lab and in the Department of Physiology of the University of Manitoba. The results of this experiment were published in the International Journal of Parapsychology and in the Journal for the American Society of Psychical Research,” the scientist noted.

“In plants, we began our studies just as we did with mice. That is, we wanted to se if we could affect healthy plants.” They did not see any differences.

“The next attempt was to put these seeds in soil to determine whether there was any difference in the growth of plants in soil due to laying on of hands. Having found an effect due to laying on of hands on sick but not on healthy mice, we felt that we ought to work on plants made unhealthy in some way.

“The way we did it with plants was to inhibit plant growth by watering them with a salt solution. Under those circumstances, an effect of laying on of hands was observed.” They found that it was not necessary for the healer to hold the plant pots in the hands to treat them. “It was possible to treat them just by holding between the hands the 1 percent saline solution to be poured over them,” he said. The details of the technique are written up in publications in the two journals mentioned previously.

“In about eight days the seeds would come breaking through the surface of the soil, and we would count the number of seedlings coming through. We had put in twenty per pot. As these seedlings got taller, we would not only count the number but we would also measure their height and average the values per pot per group.

“The first plant experiment showed that the laying on of hands- treated group had more seedlings coming through the soil initially than did the controls, and that they grew faster and yielded more plant material than the controls. And all this was supported by statistical analysis.

“Now, when I finished this experiment, the question that came to mind was: Did this experiment arise purely by chance? Statistically, you’d say it didn’t, but I said supposing I would repeat the entire experiment with only one change in it. Instead of having one group a treated group and the other group a control, we would have both groups controls. If I just ran two groups in the same way, - without laying on of hands treatment, would I get the same kind of differences that I just saw in the previous experiment?
“Well, when we did that, we found that we got exactly the same results in both groups. So the difference in the previous experiment was not due to any errors in handling the material.

“We now come to the last experiment which was also done on plants. It was designed to test whether saline solutions held by a person who was positive in his feeling, and genuinely and naturally so, not psyched up to be so, would have a positive effect on plants watered with it; whereas, a person who was depressed would have the opposite effect.”

They set up an experiment using ordinary people, not a verified holistic faith healer.

One was a person, that Dr. Grad referred to as Mr. B., who had helped in the previous experiments. “Now, he has a passion for plants and is able to make them grow and thrive,” Dr. Grad said.

“The other two people were depressive patients in the hospital where I worked. One of them had a psychotic depression and the other one had a neurotic depression. I had obtained permission from their doctors to give them each a bottle to hold, during which time the bottle was to be in a brown paper bag as part of the multiblind system of the experiment. Each person was asked to hold the bottle for half an hour.

“I gave the bottle to Mr. B. with the necessary explanation and I was ready to provide the same to the two patients. When I came to the man who was more deeply depressed of the two, he didn’t even ask me why I was giving him the bottle. I was wearing a white coat, as I usually do, and he thought I was a medical doctor coming to prepare him for electric shock therapy and he told me he didn’t need any. I tried to explain to him that I wasn’t there to prepare him for this but that all I wanted him to do was to hold the bottle in his hands for half an hour, but he appeared not to believe me and didn’t bother to ask what was in the bottle; therefore, I didn’t bother to explain. I just asked somebody to keep an eye on him during the time he held the bottle and I said I would be back in half an hour. This man, I want to emphasize, was definitely depressed at this point in time and certainly in a negative state of mind.

“The other patient was a young woman. When I came to see her she had a neurotic depression. She was depressed, but less severely so than the man, and she was sitting somewhat forlornly in an out- patient department. When I came up to her and asked her if she would be kind enough to hold the bottle for half an hour, she was a little taken aback and asked, ‘Well, why are you giving me this to hold?’

“I told her that this was part of an experiment; we wanted her to hold the bottle in her hand and later on we wanted to put the saline solution on some plants. She thought this was a great idea and she brightened right up and this upset me, because I didn’t want her to become enthusiastic. In fact, I chose her for the experiment just for the opposite reasons. So there we were and the die was cast and I decided we would just go ahead with the experiment.

“When I came back half an hour later she was faithfully holding the bottle, somewhat like a mother holding a child, I thought, in a kind of cradling fashion. I didn’t know what to make of all of this but I was going to see what would happen in any case.

“The man with the psychotic depression was still busy engaging me in conversation about his not needing electric shock therapy and I departed without further explanation. We then proceeded to do the experiments.
“The multiblind system was so extensive that one of my worries was whether I could get all of the pieces of information together again without having mixed the information up. When the information was decoded, it was a source of relief that there was no mix-up at all. What was even more astonishing to me (and I have had experience in this field) was that the results did turn out mostly as I had hypothesized.

“The group that grew the slowest was the one watered by saline held by the man with the psychotic depression.

“The next lowest group was the untreated control, the bottle not held by anybody.

“The next lowest group was that of the girl who had the neurotic depression.

“The best one was Mr. B.’s group.

“Now, I had supposed that this girl’s plants would grow more slowly than the control, but this was not so, and I attribute this to the fact that she was quite enthusiastic about the experiment. The interesting thing is it is not the diagnosis which is important for this experiment; what is important is the state of mind you are in at the moment.

“There are quite a few implications arising from this study. Perhaps the most critical implication of all is the fact that it says that anybody handling any material imparts to that material something that bears a relation to his emotional state. I assume that some energy was at the core of this transfer, for it took place through the glass wall of the bottle containing the saline solution.

“Our earlier experiments on goiter and wound healing also suggested that such energy transfers can occur between man and animal, and I’m sure also between man and man.

“If this is accepted, it would help to explain why some physicians are more effective than others (this has something to do with what we call the bedside manner) and why some nurses, for example, can have a profound effect on patients, depending on what their attitude is.

“Also, we know for example in psychotherapy, where a patient comes to a doctor repeatedly, that there is a kind of relationship that develops between psychiatrist and patient which Freud called transference. Now, I believe there is an energy process at work here; and I think that this process is at work between parents and children, teachers and students, man and wife, and in the old days between the pharmacist and the medication he prepared.

“Some children are very disturbed because there is a lack of we call it rapport. Rapport describes an energy process, I believe - something passing between parent and child which may be positive or the opposite.”

As he reached the end of his presentation, Dr. Grad hinted that the transference of energy to objects - what we call psychometry - could have profound effects in everyday life:

“Then there is the relationship of a mother to cooking,” he said. “She has a responsibility there, and I can expand further on this, but time does not allow. Thank you.”

Psychometry is one of the subjects that Jose Silva included in his UltraMind ESP System.

Ed Bernd Jr

About Ed Bernd Jr.

Silva Instructor and Author, Ed worked for Jose Silva for more than 17 years and coauthored numerous books with Mr. Silva.