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Positive and Negative Healing

Dear Bloggers,

I recently wrote a letter for our hypnosis society as I do every month.  One of our members found it so interesting, they suggested I also send it out as a blog – so here it is…

One of the most carefully documented studies of healing was conducted by Dr. Bernard Grad, a biologist and gerontologist at McGill University. I had occasion to be in Montreal and spent one afternoon with Dr. Grad who I found to be a very open yet cautious and conservative scientist. He graciously reviewed some of his ongoing research projects on healing and provided me with a reprint of one of his most well known studies.

A research assistant, Oskar Estabany had been a colonel in the Hungarian cavalry but escaped following the revolution with Russia. He claimed to have healing powers and Grad invited him to participate in a research projects.  Barley seeds were selected as the research variable as they germinate quickly in a shorter period of time. Based on a tradition during the Roman conquest when the Romans would sow fields with salt to ensure a town becoming dependent on the Romans as a source of food and implicitly power, Dr. Grad “wounded” the barley seeds by soaking them in a saline solution. He created a “sick plant” model as salt inhibit plant growth and the barley seeds were then planted in two containers.

This was a double blind experiment whereby two flasks of salt water were prepared. One flask was held and charged by Mr. Estabany with his intention and healing energy for twenty minutes. The other container of salt water was held and exposed to the hands of a control subject with no expressed healing capabilities. A third assistant would retrieve the flasks of salt water from a location in the laboratory, not knowing the purpose of the experiment or who had held and energized which flask.  This assistant simply watered each container of barley seeds with the designated flasks.

The number of seeds planted, height of the plant, chlorophyll content and quality of leaves were all carefully assessed. At the end of the designated time, the barley treated with the water energized by the healer, Mr. Estabany were statistically taller and healthier than the control subject.  The experiment was replicated and the results were maintained.

Dr. Grad went in to introduce another variable. Would negative feelings and energy have a negative effect on plant growth? He obtained two volunteers from a nearby psychiatric institute who were diagnosed with a psychotic depression. They followed the same protocol and Grad’s hypothesis was upheld. At the end of the allotted time, the growth of the barley seeds was significantly stunted compared to the controls.

In subsequent experiments, Grad, utilizing infrared spectroscopy established that the water treated by the healer had minor molecular shifts and decreased hydrogen bonding between the molecules. Grad went on to use the magnetic spinning rods to charge the water with a magnetic field. The magnetically charged water also accelerated plant growth similar to that of the healer.


In his later work, Grad would excise coin size pieces of tissue from the backs of mice. The healer energized “wounds’ healed four times faster than when treated by the control non-healer.

Grad’s work with the negative outcomes when utilizing the energy of psychotically depressed psychiatric patients has considerable implications for mental health workers who are in daily contact with very depressed and psychotic patients. Could there be some subtle form of energetic ‘bleed through’ negatively affecting the therapists exposed and creating an entrainment effect? Could this also be on possible explanation for psychiatrists having the second highest suicide rate followed by dentists who rated highest? Of course, one must also consider what if one is living with a very negative, psychic bleeder – what effect does that have on one’s energy and energy field? What effect does that have on a therapist’s energy and energy field? And most importantly, what can we do to reduce or avoid the negative energetic impact on our body/mind?  Any thoughts?


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