JSB Vol.4, No.3

  Journal of Spiritual Bodywork

  Vol. 4, No. 3                                 ISSN 1079-8390                                     September 2000


Albert Schatz and Mary Brewster

"It is possible that human emanations exist that are still unknown to us. Do you remember how electrical currents and 'unseen waves' were laughed at? The knowledge about man is still in its infancy."

                                                                                     Albert Einstein

The title of this article consists of three queations about subtle energy that we are frequently asked. The article is our brief answer to these questions.

What is subtle enrgy? 

We believe there is a spectrum of subtle energy comparable to the spectrum of electromagnetic energy. The subtle energy spectrum includes our minds, thoughts, feelings, how we interrelate with one another, and the biofields of living organisms,.

Our subtle energy self may well be the part of us that continues living after our material body dies. Other forms of subtle energy are the emanations of water, mineral and petroleum deposits, and all other things that are detected by dowsing.

Subtle energy is involved in our regaining and maintaining good health - physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It is involved in prayer, spiritual healing, Therapeutic Touch, and all other alternative health care modalities. It is also involved in all conventional medical treatment.

Why is subtle energy


Subtle energy is important in many areas of our life. This article is concerned with the role of subtle energy in our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. 

Subtle energy is involved in health problems including physical injuries, infectious and degenerative diseases, and mental and emotional problems. It is involved (a) in the relationship between a doctor and his patient; Ib) in medical treatment including surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and psychotherapy; (c) in the  relationship between a doctor and his patient; and (d) how a patient feels about himself and the likelihood of his recovery. The placebo effect is a subtle energy phenomenon.

In alternative healing and conventional medicine, we often focus on the material aspects of anatomical and physiological systems of the body, their individual components, and how they interrelate. We can also focus on the subtle energy fields of these same parts of the body.

We are energy

"Einstein showed through physics what the sages have taught for thousands of years: everything in our material world  - animate and inanimate  - is made of energy, and everything radiates energy. The earth is one enormous energy field - in fact, a field of fields. The human body is a microcosm of this - a constellation of many interacting and interpenetrating fields.1

"Every individual living organism can  be described both as a physical entity and as a system of energy fields that are constantly interacting with the environment, which includes all other organisms. These fields (like all those known to science) permeate space. Each individual is a localization  (concentration) of energy within these universal fields. Moreover, these individual local fields interact with one another, being part of one whole, dynamic, and interdependent system... An energetic approach to human interaction may explain how individuals unknowingly affect each other.

"The application of such a perspective may have outcomes that change our perception of human relationships, since every thought or emotion is an energy that may affect the energy field of others... Every thought, action, and emotion  can thus be seen as an energetic pattern with distinct characteristics - a pattern which we may unconsciously radiate or deliberately direct at another person. In fact, illness and health have characteristic  patterns of energy flow within each individual. Such dynamic patterns of energy may be likened to the ripple formation caused when a pebble is dropped into water.2

We live in an ocean

of energy

"We live and move in a vast and complicated ocean of energies. These energies move in and out of our own individual fields in a similar fashion to the process of breathing. Each individual seems to have his own selective process for taking in various types of energy. Certain activities or stimuli key in or give access to this ocean of energy. Other activities or emotional states may decrease the access to surrounding energies. Grief or self-centeredness, for example, appear to greatly diminish the individual's access to this energy supply... Within a group of people there is often a stimulating exchange of energies between and among individuals.3

Sensing subtle energy

"How can it be that we are able to sense energies that the most sophisticated technology cannot detect? The answer lies in the human perceptual system itself.1 In Beyond Biofeedback, researcher Dr. Elmer Green of the Menninger Foundation states that,

"[some energies] have not been detected with scientific instruments because these instruments have no  parts above the [physical] level. Humans have all the parts and can therefore detect a greater spectrum of energies. Instruments are made of minerals, and lack the transducer components needed for detection... In other words, living beings are coupled to the cosmos better than scientific devices, which are, after all, quite limited tools.4

"A transducer is a device, like a microphone, that converts a signal from one form of energy to another.  It appears that our ability to detect and work with subtle energies is based on a transducer system that involves our endocrine glands, our nervous system, and our own biofield - to which these systems are coupled. Of course, our biofield is itself a subtle phenomenon not measurable by technological instruments. It is the presence of our biofield that makes us alive, and when we die it is no longer present. In a sense, you could say our biofield is life, and it follows that any living system is a transducer because it bridges the physical dimension and the subtle realm beyond."4

Subtle energy fields can be identified

and measured by dowsing  


Dowsing is a way to obtain information by asking questions with a dowsing device. Dowsing is an innate, intuitive ability that we all have. It is not God's gift to a chosen few. Everybody can develop his dowsing ability. Dowsing is easily learned, and can be done with simple, inexpensive, home made devices. Information can be obtained about people's health without touching them. Some Therapeutic Touch practitioners have used  L-rods to dowse the energy fields of people they were close to.5 But people may be dowsed anywhere. They need not be in the same room as the dowser. In this respect, dowsing is like distant (absent) spiritual healing when healers send energy to an individual who may be in another state or country.

Edgar Cayce diagnosed and prescribed treatment for people whom he had never seen and who, in some cases were thousands of miles away.6 In map dowsing, one uses a map to locate something that may be far away.7 In remote viewing, one describes objects that may be thousands of miles away.8 All these phenomena involve subtle energy.

In dowsing with dowsing devices and in  deviceless dowsing, we expand our consciousness. Ross and Wright "explain dowsing as one practical, specific means by which you may gain access to your intuition."7 Sig Lonegren, in his book Spiritual Dowsing, tell us, "Dowsing is a way of knowing."  and "a tool for spiritual growth."9

Christopher Bird defines dowsing  as searching "with the aid of  a hand-held instrument such as a forked stick or a pendular bob on the end of a string - for anything." This includes "subterranean water flowing in a narrow underground fissure, a pool of oil or a vein of mineral ore, a buried sewer pipe or electrical cable, an airplane downed in a mountain wilderness, a disabled ship helplessly adrift in a gale, a lost wallet or dog, a missing person, perhaps a buried treasure."

Bird's book The Divining Hand. The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing "provides a complete history of the art of dowsing around the world and discusses in detail the various ... theories attempting to explain this extraordinary phenomenon."10

Ross and Wright's book7 is a good guide to teaching yourself how to dowse. It provides information (a) about the paradigm of dowsing which is based in part, on certain concepts  of quantum physics, and (b) about changes in brain waves during dowsing. The American Society of Dowsers' bookstore in St. Johnsbury, Vermont (800-748-8565) has a free catalogue that provides information about  books and videos on dowsing, dowsing and health, and dowsing devices.


1. Collinge, W.. Subtle Energy. Awakening to the Unseen Forces in Our Lives. Werner Books. NY. 1998.

2. Kunz, D., and Peper,  E. Fields and their clinical implications. Spiritual Aspects of the Healing Arts. pages. 213-261. The  Theosophical Publishing House. Wheaton, IL 1985.

3. Karagulla, S. Breakthrough to Creativity. DeVorss & Co. CA. 1967.

4. Green, E., and Green, A. Beyond Biofeedback. Knoll Publishing. NY 1989.

5. Krieger, D. The Therapeutic Touch. How to Use Your Hands to Help or to Heal. Prentice-Hall. NJ. 1979.

6. Reilly, H. J., and Brod, R. H. The Edgar Cayce Handbook for Health through Drugless Therapy. Macmillan Publishing Co. New York. 1975.

7. Ross, T. E., and  Wright, R. The Diving Mind. A Guide to Dowsing and Self-Awareness. Destiny Books. Rochester, VT. 1990.

8. Jahn. R. G. The persistent paradox of psychic phenomena: an engineering perspective. Proceedings of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering. 70(2):136-170. February, 1982. 

9. Lonegren, S. Spiritual Dowsing. Gothic Image Publications. Somerset, England. 1986.

10. Bird, C. The Diving Hand. The 500-Year-Old Mystery of Dowsing. New Age Press. Black Mountain, NC. 1979.

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