In the News: ‘Scientific evidence proves why healers see the “aura” of people’


I stumbled across this post from Psypost entitled “Scientific evidence proves why healers see the ‘aura’ of people,” published May 5, 2012.  The post says that researchers at the University of Granada have been able to explain the claims of healers of being able to see the aura around people.

I am all for scientific research and curiosity.  If eventually science is able to explain the aura and other such things, then great.  That’s fine and dandy.  However, I have some serious doubts that this “scientific evidence” holds much credence.  Not only does it sound as if the “research” extends to nothing more than interviews with “healers,” but there does not seem to be any measurable scientific evidence presented at all–at least in this posting. I’m no scientist, but from what I understand of scientific research, you need quantifiable data to examine, and it sounds like their “data” is taking the word of people who claim to be healers and able to see the aura.

University of Granada researchers affirm that healers present synesthesia, a neuropsychological phenomenon involving a “mingling” of the senses. The results of this study have been published in the prestigious journal Consciousness and Cognition. The authors remark the significant “placebo effect” that healers have on ill people.

I do believe it’s possible to see auras.  I do believe healers exist and that energy healing exists.  I couldn’t do what I do in spells if I didn’t believe it’s possible to manipulate energy to achieve a specific goal.  Sure, it sounds crazy.  I’m fully aware of how utterly quacked it sounds, as are a number of people I know who work spells.  It sounds mad.  But I also can’t deny that I and others have achieved results by working energy.  The aura is basically a type of energy field.  It’s not a leap for me to go from working spells to seeing the aura (although I, at present, cannot).  I would trust this research a lot more if they had included data from aura photographers.  Those who have been in that business for many years would be able to give scientists boatloads of data, I’m sure.  Then include the healers.  But then they would also have to define what a healer is, what “healing” means, what “aura” is, and so on.  I don’t know if these researchers did any of this–I haven’t been able to get my hands on the original paper–but it doesn’t sound as if they did.

My point here, I suppose, is that science is more than welcome to attempt to prove things like auras, ghosts, ESP, and all the rest, but if they’re going to do so, then stick to actual science and proper scientific method.

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3 responses to “In the News: ‘Scientific evidence proves why healers see the “aura” of people’

  1. This research is false and misleading as proper scientific method(as previously mentioned has not been followed as is apparent.There are sever errors in the proceedure:
    1)The is no adequate link between synesthesia & energy work.Synesthesia is specificaly what happens when the normaly inactive synapses between the brain parts witch are involved with senses, are active.A synesthetic is able to see sounds and hear smells for example.What sense are the visual effects linked to?And why are they confined in people rather than being omnipresent?This conclusion is even further discredited by the fact that synethetics have reported clearly defined shapes and colours, not ethereal, quasi-transparent colours.
    2)Furthermore assuming this is the case (that it’s synesthesia) then statisticaly speaking the percentage of synestheric healers should be approximately the same as synesthetics is the general public.
    3)There is apparent confirmation bias involved in this case.There was no actual research on cause just ill-researched evidence of a (discredited as mentioned above) link between one phenomenon and a hypothesis.
    4)Even further there is no known type of synesthesia that “converts” facial expresions to colours.After all this would mean effectively that the senses involved are sight and well… sight witch is not possible (due to the cross-linked synapses to put it in an informal way).
    5)No actual research was done.This is science not charlatany.Interviewing people and judging based on answer is not sufficient to validate such a hypothesis.There was no study on the actual brain-stem or other biochemical substances (neuro-transmiters).
    6)Lastly this is a logical fallacy.It’s called Anecdotal Fallacy( Using a personal example as empirical evidence) though in this case a single person was used to generalise a conclusion.
    Seriously there are so many errors in this self-proclaimed scienctific research that just makes you wonder the level of education is offered in such a univercity.
    P.S. Kirilian photography is not actualy currently considered valid in science since the glows reported could very well be due to corona effect of the volatge or mere contamination or the plates.It is therefore considered pseudo-science at least until further evidence can be brought to the fore.

    • Thanks for helping clarify some of the scientific points. Did you find the original study, or did you base this off the article? I would be interested in reading the original study they did if you have a link to it.

  2. I completely agree with you, especially with the aura photography. Not only could they see if aura photography and healers agree (by comparing them on volunteers) but analyse the reason aura photography works. Then could you get a sense of what auras are. The article seems to imply that the research its self was merely the result of speculation. It doesn’t suggest they approached it with an open mind (only that they came at it believing that auras don’t exist). It seems instead of perhaps embracing the possibilty that they actually saw auras they preferred to simply say it was synesthesia and the placebo effect. No exploration of the other possibilities whatsoever.

    However, I’d like to say in part I agree with the research – in a small small part. I’ve often wondered if there might be a connection between synesthesia and aura reading but not with the attitude that that means there’s just something ‘wrong’ with them or that auras don’t exist. I think auras exist but sometimes it takes someone with a naturally altered angle of looking at things to see them, or someone who has spent a lot of time learning to alter their angle.

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