By Dr. Patricia Carrington
Research is a mixture of important safeguards and crushing restraints. I know this first hand because for many years I conducted research in the psychophysiology of dreams, modern forms of meditation, and more recently the field of energy psychology, and published numerous papers in these areas. I find scientific research a task that is difficult, tedious, and endlessly fascinating, just as unraveling any other mystery (acting as a sort of “Sherlock Holmes”) can be intriguing.
For this reason, when I first heard of the new technology “darkfield microscopy,” I immediately asked myself the question, “Can it be used for research?”
Today I will give you some of my tentative answers to this question, but first, what is darkfield microscopy?
About the Dark Field
Basically this technology is an offshoot of the field of photomicroscopy where photographs are taken under a high intensity microscope to reveal worlds within worlds that we may never have known existed. To learn about it (and have a fascinating experience) I suggest you look at some high magnification photos of various common substances assembled by scientists at Florida State University (see http://www.micro.magnet.fsu.edu).
What you will discover from doing this is that “nothing is what it seems to be”. The surface that we perceive with our limited vision is only one small slice of what is out there. I recommend taking a look at these kinds of photos if you plan to evaluate a film of blood cells in action.
But what about the sub-specialty known as “darkfield” microscopy” that has recently been used to photograph the effects of EFT? A leading biotechnical dictionary defines it as the use of a microscope “which is lit by a beam of light or electrons that have been refracted, diffracted, or condensed and diffused, so that ONLY CERTAIN PARTS of the object being studied are lit, while the rest of the field of view is dark.” This special use of the dark field is necessary in order to study living blood cells– ordinary lighting would render them invisible.
Medicine has recognized darkfield microscopy for a long time, but now, when a special computer screen is connected to a molecular microscope, one is able to see live blood cells moving about – an incredible sight. Blood cells are constantly in motion when they are still alive and their behavior varies greatly with the state of the host. Unfortunately for research, however, the behavior and appearance of the blood cells can also vary with many other factors that have nothing to do with health but are strictly mechanical. For example the picture on the screen will be very different as the blood moves to the outside of the slide where it begins to pile up and become thicker, and when the blood reaches the edges it stops moving. For this reason, any changes in the improvement of the blood cells must be looked at with all these extraneous factors kept in mind. To evaluate photos of the blood properly we also need to know exactly how the blood was taken from the finger, how quickly it was placed on the slide, how long it was exposed to the air, and many other details. Blood cells can also change their shape according to the degree of pressure exerted by the top of the slide or for other mechanical reasons, and the appearance of white blood cells in the background of the slide may reflect a variety of factors having nothing to do with the condition of the host.
For controlled research to occur on the effect of the emotions on blood, therefore, researchers should probably take at least 5 successive blood samples (no need to prick the finger more than once for this, a finger can be squeezed and the 5 samples acquired within 45 seconds) and then compare these samples with each other to get a “real” picture of what is going on. Given this, it is not surprising that currently almost nothing is known about the effects of emotions on living blood, particularly since this is an area of research that would be extremely difficult to fund — research grants are usually given for financially profitable enterprises
“Rouleaux” is a condition in which the blood cells clump together forming what looks like stacks of coins. It is medically recognized as an unhealthy state because such cells are not free to absorb and carry oxygen adequately, and medical dictionaries list it as a precursor to many serious diseases, although its presence does not allow a physician to diagnose any particular disease – it is simply viewed as a general indicator of “something wrong”.
An Unusual Experience
However, a startling thing happened when EFT practitioner Rebecca Marina went to her clinical nutritionist, Patricia Felici, for a checkup. When Rebecca’s blood was examined using a darkfield microscope, the blood’s appearance when magnified and displayed on the screen, seemed to show a good deal of clumping, not a good sign. When Rebecca attempted to correct this clumping formation with a brief, self-administered EFT session, her blood was sampled again (minutes later) and the blood clumping had disappeared. Of course this was not a scientific experiment where repeated blood samples would probably have been taken to confirm the findings under laboratory-controlled conditions, it was simply a routine clinical examination. What appeared on the screen startled Dr. Felici, however, because normally it takes many weeks of treatment (in Dr. Felici’s case this usually involves nutritional supplements) to correct this condition She had never before seen such an immediate change in the blood when examined under the microscope. It suggested to her that something very unusual had occurred.
No photos were taken of the blood cells on this first visit because no-one expected that this would happen. However, a month later Rebecca visited Dr. Felici’s office again and this time the camera was set up to capture the before-EFT and after-EFT results. The still photos they took at that time were impressive but somewhat difficult for those of us not trained in darkfield microscopy to interpret when we saw them at Gary Craig’s conference a year ago (see my review of Rebecca’s documentary film on this issue)
The photos below are an example of the types of screen shots:
Before EFT: Red Blood Cells Clumped Together
After EFT: Red Blood Cells Drifting
Independently Through the Plasma
Subsequently, however, motion pictures were taken of Rebecca’s blood when she induced certain negative emotions and cleared them by EFT and these were made into a DVD (now difficult to find) that might have conceivably have had important implications for future research. If Rebecca’s preliminary observations can be replicated under controlled experimental conditions then we would be seeing an important medical finding.
What Would Constitute “Proof”?
To investigate the type of experience Rebecca has filmed would require a series of steps. Scientific research dictates that one must never base an experiment on a technology that has not been itself established in science. This means that darkfield microscopy ITSELF must first be validated as a means of studying emotions before we can show that emotions affect blood cells by using darkfield microscopy!
Therefore, before we can prove that EFT affects blood cells by changing a person’s emotional state, we first need to show that dark field microscopy can indeed inform us about emotional states. This would need to be done by a series of carefully controlled studies before there was any involvement of EFT in the process.
What About Emoto’s Photographs?
Masaru Emoto’s microphotographs of water crystals that were formed from water exposed to various emotions (the emotions were written down on paper) are certainly impressive to view, but they are not controlled research, simply clinical observations (see Emoto, M. The Hidden Messages in Water, 2001). They also contain far too many “unproven” assumptions (such as the assumption that words on paper can affect a substance in close proximity to it – a concept that is presently “unacceptable” from a scientific point of view). How one might study Emoto’s intriguing findings under laboratory-controlled conditions is much too complex a subject to discuss now, but the fact is that such studies COULD be conducted.
What Would Be Needed
To experimentally determine that emotions can affect the behavior of blood cells, we would need to create conditions in which certain emotions were clearly identified (or induced) in a sizeable group of people, and samples of their blood taken while they were experiencing these emotions. These samples would then have to be evaluated under a darkfield microscope by a technician who did not know which emotion any sample represented – in other words he or she would be “blind” to the nature of the emotion in order to avoid prejudice. The technician would then independently rate the appearance and behavior of the blood cells on a number of variables which, when the data was decoded, could be correlated with the emotions studied. Finally, there would need to be replications of this study in other laboratories before it became a validated research finding.
What May Happen
Is this type of study likely to take place? Considering the fact that such a series of studies would cost many hundreds of thousands of dollars (probably more than a million dollars if the EFT blood studies were included in the series) it is not likely to happen soon although one can never rule out a miracle. A study of this sort would not be likely to obtain grants from governmental or institutional sources because it would have no previous research to build upon – a requirement of such grants. A concerned individual or group with the necessary resources would therefore need to contribute the required funds. However, if such a series of studies were undertaken and the results turned out to be positive, then this could be a major breakthrough for mind-body medicine.