Kirlian Photography & Aura Healing – Science or Myth?
Have you ever heard people saying “Oh this person’s mood is really black” or “that person is really glowing”? If you say yes, this is probably true and believing in aura colours will not be as farfetched as it may first seem. I’ve always been fascinated with energy fields and auras. I believe that every living being definitely has an energy field and what people often call a ‘life-force’. I believe our body make-up is not just limited to our physical body of flesh and bones. Seeing auras is nothing new nor is it anything particularly mystical. In the past it was believed that people were able to see auras easily, it is just that we have forgotten about this and have not trained our eyes to see them. Hence, today auras can only be seen by a special few who are more sensitive and have the gift of seeing colours around people and objects.
In this day and age of materialism, we’ve become less sensitive and more skeptical about things as we tend to focus more on obtaining objects to prove our worth. Consumerism is the core of our society now, and it is as if the more ‘advanced’ we become, the more disconnected we are with our own true nature – our spiritual being. Perhaps this is why there is a great rise in depression, sickness and ailments, especially in advanced countries and as compared to 20-30 years ago. This increase in sickness leads people to find solutions in different places, even seeking help from alternative medicines when modern medicine fails.
One of the many alternative healing methods that are being used today is aura reading, in which our aura is captured through a photograph using a Kirlian photography machine. Using this, it is said that alternative medicine doctors or healers are be able to diagnose our illness even before they arise.
However, there are skeptics of the paranormal who have long disputed the claims made concerning auras and Kirlian photography. If you ask me, there will always be skeptics but I am not here to judge or to take sides, instead simply to present to you what has been experienced and researched on both sides. Then you can choose to decide for yourself if you believe in this method of healing or otherwise. So before we move on any further, let’s first understand what exactly an aura is.
What is an ‘Aura’?
An aura is the electromagnetic energy field that surrounds, encompasses and permeates the body as well as all living things. The colours and patterns within this energy field is like a blueprint of the energy we radiate from our feelings, thoughts, to our physical being.
Every living thing on earth radiates a field of energy, which is called an aura. For humans, there are seven main centres in the body that produce the aura energy, and these energy centres are called ‘Chakras’. These energy fields can be scanned over long distance and then interpreted by healers or alternative medicine doctors. The analysis provides an evaluation of the individual’s physical health and spiritual status.
Since the early Vedic period, Indian sages have related aura (Tej or Abha Mandal) with divine and spiritual powers. The luminous halo around the paintings of gods and saints are just a visible expansion of the aura, the energy fields that interpenetrates, express and permeate both our gross and subtle realities.
What is Kirlian Photography?
Kirlian photography is a high voltage, contact print photography. The process is simple: a film sheet is placed on top of a metal plate, called the discharge or a film plate. The object to photograph is placed on top of the film.
Kirlian photography is named after the founder Semyon Kirlian, who in 1939 accidentally discovered that when an object on a photographic plate is subjected to a high-voltage electric field, an image is created on the plate. Today it is commonly used to reveal visible auras of objects photographed. The technique has been variously known as ‘electrography’, ‘electrophotography’, ‘corona discharge photography’ (CDP), ‘bioelectrography’, ‘gas discharge visualization (GDV)’, ‘electrophotonic imaging (EPI)’, and in Russian, ‘Kirlianography’.
Kirlian photography has been the subject of mainstream scientific research studies, parapsychology research and art. It has been used in alternative medicine research and even healing. With the help of Kirlian photography, scientists have been able to study, observe, and take pictures of small bioplasmic articles such as fingers, leaves, etc.
About the Inventor
Semyon Davidovich Kirlian, married to Valentina Khrisanovna, was a Russian electrician in the town of Krasnodar. In 1939, Kirlian witnessed a lab demonstration of a high-frequency d’Arsonval electrotherapy device, which caused a small flash of light between the electrodes of the device and the patient’s skin.
The experience, and his interest in electricity, led him to experiment with trying to photograph the phenomenon. After successfully photographing an energy discharge around his hand (not without severely burning himself in the process), he and his wife proceeded to perfect a technique for electrical discharge photography that is known today as Kirlian photography. It’s a technique that involves electrical voltage, photographic film, and no camera is actually required.
Over the years, the Kirlians accumulated what they considered to be ‘proof’ of the human aura through the photographs. They claimed they could photograph the declining life of a picked leaf through a series of photographs, and eventually claimed they could provide an index of a person’s physical health, and could identify acupuncture points after treatment.
Although the Kirlians invented this photographic process in 1939, they didn’t publicly release information about their experiments until 1958, and Kirlian photography wasn’t a well-known phenomenon to the general public until 1970.
Kirlian had proposed that the images he captured of living objects were evidence of the life-force or aura of that particular living being. He promoted this idea and supported it with an experiment which involved cutting off a part of a leaf. It was said that even though part of the leaf was cut off, it still showed the leaves as whole, as though the cutting had not happened.
However researchers at Drexel University claimed that they were unable to reproduce the same effect when the glass used to capture the original leaf was replaced with new glass before the freshly cut leaf was photographed. This led them to conclude that the ‘cut leaf’ phenomenon was caused by microscopic etching in the surface of the glass which occurred during preparing the images of the uncut leaf. They also reported on a number of demonstrable causes such as surface moisture and pressure which can account for much of the variations in colour, shape, and size of the resulting image.
In addition to living material, inanimate objects such as coins will also produce images on the film in a Kirlian photograph setup. In the 1980s, Polish scientist K. Wrona applied Kirlian photography in forensics, specifically dactyloscopy.
The accepted explanation amongst scientists is that the images produced are those typically caused by a high voltage corona effect, similar to those seen from other high voltage sources such as the Van de Graaff generator or Tesla coil. In a darkened room, this is visible as a faint glow but because of the high voltages, the film is affected in a slightly different way than usual.
Colour photographic film is calibrated to faithfully produce colours when exposed to normal light. The corona discharge has a somewhat different effect on the different layers of dye used to accomplish this result, resulting in various colours depending on the local intensity of the discharge.
Skeptics of the paranormal have long disputed the claims made regarding the auras captured by Kirlian photography. There are however also many who say otherwise and use this method to help people heal especially when all else fails.
How Kirlian Photography Helps with Healing
In traditional eastern medicines such as acupuncture and Reiki, healing methods are based on the energy fields in our body. It is commonly acknowledged that all living beings have an energy life-force and this is called ‘qi’ in Chinese medicine. Kirlian photography is sometimes used to assist healers in capturing the patient’s energy and aura colour as this can be very helpful in diagnosing and evaluating the patient’s health.
For example acupuncturists can take an image using Kirlian photography of a person during an initial evaluation and see specifically where their energy is out of balance. It is not a replacement for the acupuncturist’s traditional diagnostic skills but rather a supplement and a way for them to demonstrate their assessment to a patient visually.
There are many scientists and healing practitioners who believe and use Kirlian photography as a tool to predict a patient’s illness before it happens. It has also been used in detecting cancer and other devastating diseases. For example, many tests and research have shown plants with cancer would be seen with very vivid corona or electrical field surrounding them compared to healthy plants – this is due to the high metabolic rate of cancerous cells.
It is said that Kirlian photography may also be able to treat patients under psychiatric care. This is because the images taken are able to expose the emotional state of the person being photographed. Based on numerous studies conducted by Dr Thelma Moss of UCLA in the 1970s, she could determine a person’s relaxation state with the colours that appear. A blue-white corona is seen when a person is relaxed and if a person is aroused, or if there is tension, anxiety and or emotional excitement, red blotches will appear superimposed on the fingerprint areas.
Therefore although Kirlian photography has its skeptics, there is also a very strong foundation in the scientific and healing world on its benefits. Many professionals have used this ‘accidental’ discovery to help the lives of their patients around the world. This form of alternative healing along with many others should not be simply ignored just because it does not conform to the widely accepted concepts of western medicine. With more people seeking help through alternative medicine, hopefully this method of healing will be embraced by traditional western medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of major diseases such as cancer. Meanwhile alternative healers have been utilising the Kirlian photography method as a diagnostic and healing tool to help them determine their patients’ illness. Below is a general list of benefits of using Kirlian aura photography and the meaning of the colours that appear in the photograph.
Uses and Benefits of Aura Photography
- To know the present and future health problems of the body.
- To check the negative effects of radiation of mobile phones on health.
- To check the positive effects of pranayam and other yogic exercises.
- Healers and therapists can get before and after reports of the effectiveness of their treatments.
- To check the increase in energy of the room after group meditation.
- To show both chain smokers and heavy drinkers the increase in health problems due to their habits and addictions.
- Variations in the shapes, colours and intensity of images produced are said to provide clues to the patients’ overall health and energy level.
- Acupuncturists can, for example, take aura photography of a person during an initial evaluation and see where the energy is out of balance. It is not a replacement for the acupuncturist’s traditional diagnostics skills but rather a supplement and a way for them to demonstrate their assessment to a patient visually.
- Scientists or medical practitioners also theorize that aura photography has a role in detecting cancer and other devastating diseases. For example, plants with cancer show a very vivid corona or electrical field as compared to healthy plants. This is due to the high metabolic rate of cancerous cells.
- Kirlian photography may also be able to treat patients under psychiatric care. The images can exhibit the emotional state of the person being photographed through various colours.
The Meaning of Colours
Every colour in the spectrum of an aura indicates a specific meaning and reflects the true status of the individual at that moment. The colours of one’s aura changes based upon one’s mental, emotional and physical state. Some of the common colours that we can observe in the aura around people are:
- AQUA: Healer.
- BLACK: Often seen around abused children, divorcees, drug addicts and torture victims.
- ORANGE: Strong motivation.
- IMPERIAL PURPLE: Heightened dream activity.
- GRAPE: Laziness.
- VIOLET: Humbleness.
- RUSTIC RED: Short-tempered.
- SCARLET RED: Indicates ego.
- GOLDEN YELLOW: Inspiration.
- INDIGO: Strong psychic ability.
- AMBER: Personal strength and courage.
- RAW SIENNA: Indicates poor thinking process.
- FAWN: Period of problems is coming to an end.
- DOE-SKIN: Found in people who are very orderly.
- MUSHROOM: A slowing of destiny.
- CHOCOLATE BROWN: The colour of environmentalists and farmers.
- RUSSET-BROWN: A hard-working person.
- TERRACOTTA: People who challenge convention.
- DARK BROWN: Indicates a person with common sense.
- GOLD: A higher level of consciousness, etc.
Below is a very interesting documentary on auras from a popular television series in the late 1970’s called ‘In Search Of’ which investigates all types of paranormal phenomena. This particular episode I stumbled upon showcases exactly what I am writing about. Titled ‘The Human Aura Is Real’, it is a look at the multi-coloured rays we transmit, which seem to change with our moods.
Or view the video on the server at:
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