In last week’s blog post, I gave a little introduction to the idea of how brain waves, and their different speeds and vibrations, relate to healing and to reiki.
What inspired me to write these were some amazing articles that Frans posted on his website, and which were also posted on LinkedIn. The article on LinkedIn is a summarised version, easier to understand for those new to the material, I think, but missing some fun illustrations.
So, if you want to read the full article, the better version is here on the International House of Reiki website.
Judith Pennington does scientific research on brain waves. Her very interesting website can be found here. Using an EEG machine, an electroencephalograph (say that ten times fast!), she looked at healers to examine the brain wave frequences that I reviewed in the previous blog: beta, alpha, theta, delta and gamma waves.
In a series of studies in 2011 with modern reiki healers in New York City, she found that while giving reiki, they produced brainwave patterns that reflect higher states of awareness, patterns only seen in meditators, energy workers, spiritual seekers and highly creative people.
Biophysicist and inventor of the Mind Mirror (an EEG designed to study brain waves), Max Cade identified the Awakened Mind pattern and describes it as the shape of a human. He also said that the appearance of a “higher-state brainwave pattern such as the Evolved Mind stabilizes lower stats such as the Awakened Mind”. This says to me that the more work that I do on myself, the more awakening and evolution I achieve, creates building blocks, meaning I could get into the higher states more easily or frequently. Come to think of it, I think this would be an argument for reiki clients who feel that reiki helps them to have regular treatments; and that it should be easier for the body to tap into the same healing energy as previously rather than, say, starting from scratch.
In any case, when Pennington studied Frans in 2011, she saw something she’d never seen before: whether he was healing or telling a joke, his brain wave showed the slowest delta waves, with only the slightest display of theta, alpha and beta waves, a ‘yoga nidra state’, or a ‘psychic sleep’. So, it was energy from the deepest place of meditation, a dreamless sleep. When I looked at the picture of this, the ‘no mind’ state, it was so simple that I didn’t really pay attention the first time. It’s simply this pattern on the left!
Apparently, this pattern can be seen before someone enters transcendence and their brainwaves go into an open circular pattern, an ‘evolved mind’ (pictured above).
I don’t know if it’s useful but these days when meditating, I sometimes picture my mind simply turning into a circle, the brain waves stilling to this perfect form … In any case, Pennington sees this place as one where an exchange can take place with the ‘collective unconscious’ or ‘the field’.
Here’s a little video of Frans and Judith chatting about the experience:
Pennington concluded at the time:
[R]eal healing is occurring through Reiki. We know this because brain wave frequencies are not confined to the brain, but cascade via harmonic wave motion into every cell and atom in the body … The frequencies conducted by the healer jumpstart the “body electric” and instruct repair systems to do their repair work. In the process, light flowing into every level of one’s being carries intuitive insights into the mind, love into the heart, and illumination to the spirit.
Researchers have shown that an increase in the strength of brain waves, whether from the awakened and evolved mind patterns or gamma waves, increases the output of energy from the fingers and this energy ripples into infinity, with the consequence of healing the world. While this is a precious service to humanity, just as beautiful is the ability of energy work to heal and evolve the healer’s consciousness as much if not more than the person being healed.
Of course, no one needs to see brain wave patterns to know that healing has occurred. We can feel, experience and know this. And yet, it’s always good for the doubting ego to logically understand the process, so that it can unreservedly believe, trust and surrender to the divine Light which so deeply loves and heals us and all things.
In 2015, Judith returned for more brain testing on Frans. What she discovered is that Frans’s continued daily practices of meditation and healing had increased his theta waves, and increased his gamma waves: “increased amplitudes of gamma at 30-38 hertz and newly visible gamma amplitudes appearing at up to 64 hertz”. In her report, she describes this as evidence of neuroplasticity, the ability of the brain to change itself (a topic which I’ve read about and has interested me over the last years). She also reports on Frans’s experience in 2011 of, what some people might call, enlightenment. I found this a fascinating story but perhaps we’ll explore it another time!
In her first reports, Pennington drew a distinction between the healing brainwaves that she found in modern reiki healers (and other healers) and Frans and a few of his other students from the International House of Reiki, where she found the former’s healing brainwaves were operating at the theta and alpha speeds (meditation, and presence in the ‘now’) as compared to IHR practitioners’ brainwaves which showed evidence of the slowest waves, beta, the deepest meditation, just before the entrance to the collective unconscious and gamma waves, the fastest waves, associated with universal love and guidance.
In a video made after the first experiment, Frans would describe the reason for this as a focus by traditional Japanese reiki therapy on spirituality and on daily practice to embody reiki in every moment of our lives. It is an internal practice to be as often as possible in an open, interconnected space, more than just meditating or being in the present (though these practises are good and admirable too), and cultivating oneness and a lack of separation. Instead of seeing healing between a reiki master and a client, we become one. We create a healing space recognising our connectedness, and tapping into the universe.
Judith described that she requested some healing from Frans, having just been through surgery and being in pain. She described afterwards being in no pain and her mind being “sharp, clear and flowing with higher awareness”. She also noted “The best thing about gamma is that once it is experienced for a sustained period of time, it can return.” This explains for me, in a way I didn’t quite understand before, why the effects of reiki often carry out for many days after the treatment (and can even create a permanent shift in energy and being).
Pennington finishes her 2015 article with advice for achieving your own neuroplasticity: meditating can help the brain evolve by developing your attention and eliminating negative thought patterns; then, she says, remember a time when you were happy, inspired and filled with bliss and creativity – this represents your awakened or evolved mind. Remembering and reliving these experiences can lead to being in touch with your gamma brainwaves and a “leap in your consciousness”.
Sounds good to me.