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An aura of confusion Part 2: the aided eye--"imaging the aura?".

Review article
Duerden T. Complement Ther Nurs Midwifery. 2004.


The second of three papers considers claims made for the perception or detection of vital energy. Many systems of complementary and alternative medicine assume the existence of a vital force that mediates therapeutic efficacy, for example chi or qi in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Vital energy directly perceived or imaged that surrounds living organisms is frequently termed the aura. A range of devices or techniques are claimed to image the aura. These include Kirlian photography, gas discharge visualisation (GDV) and polychromatic interference photography (PIP). This paper explores such claims and argues that the images produced can be explained using concepts from the physical sciences. It is suggested that techniques such as KP, GDV or PIP currently offer insufficient reliable research evidence concerning their use as diagnostic or imaging alternatives. Consequently their clinical use is debatable. Kirlian photography and its derivatives may however be useful as a research tool by providing visual records of complex bodily responses to experimental situations. For example, responses to physiological or psychological stressors.


15135764 [Indexed for MEDLINE]
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