The Biofield Research Fellowship Program believes that subtle energy and biofield healing integrative health modalities are poised to become a life-changing, scientifically-validated and integrated part of mainstream health and wellness. This Fellowship is designed to help support early-career researchers by providing research grants of up to $20,000 as well as mentor support from esteemed scientific researchers in the field of subtle energy and biofield healing.

Grant applications that include the following may be prioritized: 

  • High degree of research rigor, quality of methodology
  • Projects with additional funding 
  • Projects that expand on previous pilot work   
  • Multidisciplinary projects
  • Consistent with systems change mission of the Subtle Energy Funders Collective 

Research Priorities

1. Clinical Research


To better understand the impact of subtle energy and biofield healing modalities to address physical and mental health using mixed methods to capture their multidimensional impact.

Particular areas of current interest include: 

  • Biofield healing’s impact on and relationship to mental health conditions such as trauma, depression, anxiety, etc. One of the Fellowship Program’s funders, The Bedari Foundation, will be funding one grant specifically focused on this area of research. 
  • Clinical efficacy and effectiveness of biofield therapies for physical chronic or acute pain.
  • The relationship between changes in psychological/emotional health (anxiety, depression, etc.) and physical outcomes (pain, physical functioning, etc.) as a result of subtle energy and biofield healing
  • Biological mechanisms associated with clinical improvement
  • Exploration of pain threshold theory as a mechanism of biofield healing, including looking at the changes in pain threshold testing as mediated by changes in phenomenological markers of self-transcendence/states of consciousness
  • Mediating and moderating variables including compassion, empathy, love, states of consciousness (e.g. transcendence, non-dual awareness), expectation, and belief
  • Changes in phenomenological markers of self-transcendence (i.e. nondual awareness, body boundary dissolution, etc.)

Representative conditions of interest include: 

  • Chronic Pain  
  • Trauma/Post-Traumatic Stress
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Cancer and cancer-related pain
  • Depression 
  • Anxiety  
  • Addiction 
  • Palliative Care 


2. Qualitative Research


To better understand subtle energy and biofield healing practitioner perspectives on how they heal and what the practitioner community needs to increase their impact and accessibility to the broader community.

Particular areas of investigation of interest include: 

  • How do healers explain that healing works? How is this explanation different across healing traditions?  
  • What physical and mental conditions are most successfully treated by subtle energy and biofield healing?
  • What role does the participant play in the effect of the healing?
  • What is the perspective of leadership within the medical community on what is needed in order to accept the integration of biofield therapies?


3. Fundamental Science & Mechanism Research


To better understand the mechanisms by which subtle energy and biofield healing influences living and nonliving systems.

Particular areas of interest include: 

  • The physics of subtle energy 
  • The nature of the subtle energy informational carrier wave
  • The influence of biofield therapies on gene expression
  • Neural correlates of biofield therapy in practitioners and receivers during a session
  • Influence of biofield therapies on seed germination and/or plant growth
  • Detection of biofield therapy energy with novel instrumentation or methodology
  • Effect of biofield therapies on biophoton emission
  • Influence of biofield therapies on properties of water, biological fluids (e.g., pH, bacterial content)

Representative Biofield Modalities of Interest

  • Healing Touch 
  • Reiki 
  • Therapeutic Touch 
  • Brennan Healing Science 
  • External Qi Gong 
  • Light and/or sound healing 
  • Others, including spiritual healing/shamanic energy medicine, Bengston method, etc.  

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