Effect of Spiritist “passe” (Spiritual healing) on growth of bacterial cultures.



Biofield therapies are approaches that harness energy fields to influence the human body. These therapies encompass Reiki, Qigong, Therapeutic Touch, Johrei and Spiritist “passe”, among others. The aim of this study was to evaluate bacterial growth in two groups of cultures subjected to biofield therapy (Spiritist “passe” and laying on of hands (LOH)) in four situations (no intention, intention to inhibit bacterial growth, intention to promote growth, and influence of a negative factor) and compare them with a “no LOH/no treatment” group.


Bacterial cultures (Escherichia coli ATCC) were randomized and allocated into three groups: Spiritist “passe”, “LOH”, and “no LOH”. Bacterial growth was assessed using the McFarland Nephelometer Scale. A One-way ANOVA was performed to determine group differences in bacterial growth at 48h, and at 1 week after each situation.


A total of 11 Spiritist “passe” healers, 10 LOH laymen and “no LOH” tubes were assessed. Under the intention to inhibit bacterial growth condition, statistically significant differences were found between the Spiritist “passe” and “no LOH” Groups (p=0.002 after 48h, and p=0.008 after one week) and also between the Spiritist “passe” and “LOH” Groups (p=0.005 after 48h, and p=0.009 after one week). No statistically significant difference was detected for the other situations tested (no intention, intention to promote growth and influence of a negative factor).


We concluded that Spiritist “passe” effectively inhibited growth in bacterial cultures compared to LOH with intention or no LOH. Further studies comparing different intentions and types of LOH in cultures of cells and microorganisms are warranted.

Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Bacteria, Biofield therapies, Passe, Spiritism, Therapeutic touch

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