Body Mapping the Somatic Experience: Somatization of Disease, Disorder and Distant Healing Intention Participation

Course Information


Nancy McLaughlin-Walter 
University of Virginia, Division of Perceptual Studies 

Introduction:  “Body mapping is a visual, narrative, and participatory methodology that has several names and is used unevenly by health researchers” (Gastaldo et al., 2018).  

The purpose of this study is to garner a greater understanding of how pain and illness are expressed and experienced somatically pre and post virtual attendance of a distant healing intention group session.  A Body Mapping Index (BM-I) was created to examine the shared psi-somatization of the distant healing intention relationship. Within the healing relationship, the shared psi-somaticizing experience is often overlooked in favor of empirically measuring living system effects. This study aims to determine if the shared experience of the distant healing relationship, specifically the shared psi experience, can effectively be measured. The Body Mapping Index has been designed to guide the participant in their description by providing a physical representation for expressing the psi experience. Preliminary analysis indicates that a shared psi-somaticizing experience does occur and is independently reported by both the practitioner and the sitter/healee. 

Methods: A comparative analysis was performed to gain an initial understanding of the practitioner’s and sitter/healee’s overlapping experience.  

Results: Preliminary results show a high degree of overlap (82% of respondents) in reporting of symptoms in concentrated areas of the body between both Distant Healing Intention Practitioner’s and sitter/healee.    

Fig. 1 Q167 – During my energy session I felt a oneness/merging (of consciousness/mind/feelings/physically) or a connectedness with another person/being sensation on the following areas of my body (if this is not something you experienced during your session you may skip to the next question):  

Gastaldo, D., Rivas-Quarneti, N., & Magalhães, L. (2018). Body-map storytelling as a health research methodology: Blurred lines creating clear pictures [60 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 19(2), Art. 3. 

Nummenmaa, L., Hari, R., Hietanen, J. K., & Glerean, E. (2018). Maps of subjective feelings. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(37), 9198-9203. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807390115 

Radin, D., Schlitz, M., & Baur, C. (2015). Distant healing intention therapies: An overview of the scientific evidence. Global Advances in Health and Medicine, 4(Suppl), 67–71. 

Course Instructor

Nancy McLaughlin-Walter
Nancy McLaughlin-Walter Author

Working at the University of Virginia within the Division of Perceptual Studies, Nancy McLaughlin-Walter empirically studies consciousness, neural correlates of consciousness and the psi experience. Through empirical studies she is interested in bridging the fields of mainstream health and parapsychology toward a greater understanding of the phenomena.

Please log in to watch the video.

Course Information