The Dynamics of Healing:
Altered States, Ritual & Medicine Conference Series

Presentations from the Dynamics of Healing Conference Series are available on video and audio tapes (except where noted).

Mind Medicine: The Role of Imagery in Healing

Dr. Jeanne Achterberg discusses the use of imagery for healing and gives a rationale for using the mind to intervene in the crisis of illness. The image that a person holds of their state of health can cause profound physiological changes. Case studies and research findings on persons with cancer, AIDS, chronic pain, immune disorders and other catastrophic diseases are discussed.

Jeanne Achterberg, Ph.D. has received international recognition for her pioneering research in medicine and psychology. A faculty member for 11 years at Southwestern Medical School, University of Texas Health Science Center, she is currently a Professor of Psychology at Saybrook Institute in San Francisco. She also serves as a research advisor to foundations and government agencies. She has authored over 100 papers and five books. Imagery in Healing: Shamanism and Modern Medicine (Shambhala, 1985), critically acclaimed in the field of mind/body studies. Her book, Woman as Healer (Shambhala, 1990), focuses on the healing activities of women from prehistoric times to the present.

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Mental Techniques for Self-Healing and for Remote Influence

Dr. William Braud describes research programs that explore the use of mental techniques for improving physical and psychological health and well-being. He shows how, in parallel research projects, hundreds of carefully controlled tests demonstrate that similar techniques can be used by one person in order to influence objectively measured physiological activity of another.  

William Braud, Ph.D. is currently the Director of Research at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology in Palo Alto, California. At the time of this presentation he was a Senior Research Associate at the Mind Science Foundation, San Antonio, Texas. He directs laboratory investigations in areas of human potential, mind-made health and parapsychology. Dr. Braud is a member of numerous associations and has published approximately 170 papers in technical journals. He is especially interested in investigating the range of physical, physiological and psychological effects that can be brought about through the use of trainable mental techniques.

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Physical Effects on Healer-Treated Water

Dr. Douglas Dean has been investigating healing for the past twenty years. He is particularly interested in healing as a possible application of psychokinesis. Dr. Dean became interested in Dr. Bernard Grad's finding that water treated by healers seemed to show a change in its molecular structure. Here he discusses his spectrographic analyses of water treated by healers, and water believed to have innate healing qualities from different sites throughout the world, e.g., Lourdes, Glastonbury and Delphi.

Douglas Dean, Ph.D. is a physical chemist and parapsychologist who was pivotal in bringing about the affiliation of the Parapsychological Association with the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was the first Vice-President of the World Federation of Healing, founded at London University in 1976. He is the co-author of the book Executive ESP (Prentice Hall, 1974). He is presently working on a book about the history of non-orthodox healing titled, The Mystery of Healing: Still a Mystery After Sixty Thousand Years.

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The Integration of Parapsychology and Modern Medicine

The recognition of a new "medicine of non locality" is emerging, permitting the integration of much recent experimental evidence that has great importance for diagnosis and therapy, including distant diagnosis, "field effects" of meditation, distant healing, and a class of phenomena hitherto ignored in mainstream medicine: "telesomatic events," in which symptoms and physical changes are shared between distant bodies. Dr. Larry Dossey provides a glimpse of how he foresees medicine evolving in the future, defining new and powerful attitudes of what "real health" is all about.

Larry Dossey, M.D. received his medical degree from Southwestern Medical School (Dallas) in 1967, and later served as Chief of Staff at Medical City Dallas Hospital. Having a thorough education in traditional Western medicine, Dr. Dossey became intrigued by patients who were blessed with "miracle cures"--remissions that clinical medicine could not scientifically explain. He was co-chairman of the Panel on Mind/Body Interventions for the Office of Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes for Health. He has published numerous articles and is the author of the well known books, Space, Time and Medicine (New Science Library, 1982), Beyond Illness (New Science Library, 1984), Recovering the Soul: A Scientific and Spiritual Search (Bantam Books, 1989), Meaning and Medicine: Lessons from a Doctor's Tales of Breakthrough and Healing (Bantam Books, 1991), and Healing Words: The Power of Prayer and the Practice of Medicine (Harper-San Francisco, 1993).

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An Anatomy of Healing

Dr. Bernard Grad offers an overview of his research working with extraordinarily gifted healers for more than three decades. He discusses what healers and patients may physically feel during and sometimes after healing, distance healing, and proposed clinical experiments with healers. Dr. Grad will examine how the attitude between the investigator and the healer, and between the healer and the patient can affect the results of the healing. He is also interested in the role of faith. His major conclusion is that healing by laying-on-of-hands is fundamentally an objective and repeatable phenomenon, verified by numerous carefully controlled experiments throughout the world.

Bernard Grad, Ph.D. is a retired Associate Professor of Psychiatry at McGill University in Montreal. During his thirty-six year tenure, he engaged in both conventional studies on aging and cancer, and also in studies of bioenergy. In 1957, he became acquainted with the gifted healer, Oscar Estebany. He served as the primary healer in Dr. Grad's pioneering studies on the effect of laying-on-of-hands on laboratory animals and plants. These studies demonstrated clearly that such healing was not due to suggestion but was basically dependent on a bioenergetic interaction between healer and organism being healed. Dr. Grad is the author of more than 130 articles, many of which are about healing.

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Healing and Meditation Healing as a Unitive Experience-The LeShan Work

Dr. Joyce Goodrich discusses her own and her colleagues' observations of the initial effects of the training of healers and the apparent long-term effects on those who continue the practice for years. She describes double-blind research efforts to demonstrate the positive effects of healing at a distance on immune function. This scientifically based approach to a theory of healing, and the training of over one thousand healers during the past twenty years, has led to an evolving understanding of the healing process, its effectiveness, potentials and limitations.

Joyce Goodrich, Ph. D. is the Director of the Consciousness Research and Training Project, Inc. She has worked with Dr. Lawrence LeShan and his approach to psychic healing for over twenty years. The LeShan theory of healing is based on the belief that paranormal events, including psychic healing, occur naturally when the healer is in an altered state of consciousness often achieved through meditation. Dr. Goodrich teaches healing and meditation and facilitates the acceptance of these methods into the helping professions through research efforts with cooperating physicians.

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The Role of Out-of-Body Experiences, Lucid Dreams and Other Altered States in Mental Health

The potential positive role of altered states of consciousness in furthering a sense of psychological well-being, leading to personal insights, improving relationships and assisting those who have them in coping with a variety of stressful life circumstances deserves recognition. Although a number of clinicians have described the ways in which altered states of consciousness may trigger adverse psychological reactions in those who experience them, this is only one small aspect of the broader psychology of altered states experiences. Dr. Keith Harary discusses the positive implications of out-of-body experiences, lucid dreams and transpersonal experiences for mental health.

Keith Harary, Ph.D. holds a Doctorate in Psychology with emphases in both clinical counseling and experimental psychology. He is Research Director of the Institute for Advanced Psychology in San Francisco. Dr. Harary is an internationally recognized expert on the psychology of altered states of consciousness. He is the author or co-author of more than sixty professional and popular articles, and the co-author of five popular books including Have an Out of the Body Experience in Thirty Days (St. Martin's Press, 1989) and Lucid Dreams in 30 Days (St. Martin's Press, 1989). The critically acclaimed St. Martin's 30-Day Altered States of Consciousness Series, co-authored with Pamela Weintraub.

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Therapeutic Touch: A Contemporary Interpretation of Ancient Healing

Therapeutic touch is a healing modality specifically designed by Dr. Dolores Krieger and Dora Kunz as an extension of professional practice in the health field in 1972. In the past two decades, therapeutic touch has been taught by Dr. Krieger to almost 25,000 professional people and since 1985 to innumerable lay persons. Within the context of Therapeutic Touch, healing is assumed to be a natural human potential that can be actualized under appropriate circumstances.

Dolores Kreiger, Ph.D., R.N. holds a tenured full professorship from New York University (ret.) She is an internationally renowned researcher and educator who is known for her pioneering on the effects of laying on of hands on human blood components. She has authored numerous articles and several best selling books, Therapeutic Touch: Healing as a Life Style (Theosophical Publishing House, 1987), Therapeutic Touch for Everyman: Healing a Natural Potential.

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Altered States and Healing in South America

From the Amazon to the Andes, from the jungle to the cities, people with different ways of life often share certain healing practices. Ritual and belief play an important role in both traditional and non-traditional medicine. In this presentation, Patrice Keane examines rituals that are used to induce altered states which may be considered conducive to healing. She discusses how research in parapsychology, psychoneuroimmunology, psychosomatic medicine and energy medicine may offer us some understanding of the possible mechanisms of healing.

Patrice Keane, Executive Director, ASPR, created this conference series to explore healing research and practices from a variety of scientific disciplines and perspectives. She was formerly a research associate at Maimonides Medical Center, Department of Psychiatry, Division of Parapsychology and Psychophysics, where she conducted experiments investigating the physiological concomitants of altered states and ESP. She did research at New York University, Research Center for Mental Health and at the Veterans Administration Hospital, Department of Psychiatry, in NYC with schizophrenic patients. She became interested in Dr. Bernard Grad's healing research while she was conducting physiological research at NYU. In recent years she has been investigating healing practices among indigenous people in Australia, the Caribbean, Indonesia and South America.

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Shamans: The First Healers

Shamans were the world's first healers, diagnosticians and psychotherapists. Shamans can be defined as native practitioners who deliberately alter their consciousness in order to obtain knowledge and power for healing from the "spirit world". Despite the fact that many shamanic traditions have developed sophisticated models of healing, shamans have not been taken seriously by many Western physicians. Nevertheless, shamanic approaches have been flexible enough to survive their contact with orthodox Western medicine, and even to incorporate some of its practices. Dr. Stanley Krippner discusses the various healing practices that he has investigated throughout the world.

Stanley Krippner, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the Saybrook Institute. He is internationally known for his important contributions in parapsychology and healing. He is the author and co-author of numerous articles and books, including Healing States (Simon & Schuster, 1986), Realms of Healing (Celestial Arts, 1976), Spiritual Dimensions of Healing: From Native Shamanism to Contemporary Health Care (Irvington Press, 1992).

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The Embodied Mind: Parapsychology, Altered States of Consciousness and Healing

We live in a time when science, unconsciously and illegitimately wedded to a philosophy of materialism, has eroded traditional spiritual beliefs so thoroughly that they are largely non-functional for most people. We need a sense of spiritual meaning: without it, we are dis-eased, in both a physical and psychological sense. Dr. Charles Tart brings modern knowledge of parapsychology, altered states of consciousness and transpersonal psychology together to show that, properly applied, scientific method actually gives us a strong basis for seeing ourselves as genuinely spiritual beings embodied in a marvelous body and nervous system. Such knowledge provides a needed basis for a general healing of body and mind.

Charles T. Tart, Ph.D. is Professor of Psychology at the Davis campus of the University of California, and is internationally known for his research work with altered states of consciousness, transpersonal psychology, and parapsychology. Tart's books include Open Mind, Discriminating Mind: Reflections on Human Possibilities (1989), and two that have been called classics, i.e. Altered States of Consciousness (1969), and Transpersonal Psychologies (1975), as well as others dealing with states of consciousness, marijuana intoxication and parapsychology. His primary goal is to build bridges between the scientific and spiritual communities and to help bring about a refinement and integration of Western and Eastern approaches to knowing the world and to personal and social growth.

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