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Can modern science explain the aura around people?

  1. Apr 17, 2012 #1
    I know that this question might sound absurd, so if it's against the forum's rules feel free to move it or delete it.

    I have been practicing Chinese martial arts and qigong meditation for a number of years and have been wondering if the aura that I can see and sense around people can be explained by modern science or if there has been any legitimate scientific research done about it.

    Basically these auras look like giant electromagnetic fields around everything made of tiny particles and touching them also gives you a feeling of electromagnetism. Is it possible that aura/qi/prana/... are somehow related to electromagnetic fields and that humans can also learn to see them like some other animals?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2012 #2


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    Define "aura" in a scientific way, and maybe science can answer your question. I would expect the most interesting answers from psychology, but that is just a personal guess.

    How do electromagnetic fields look? This is a very non-trivial question! Have you ever seen a macroscopic electromagnetic field? Not photons in the range of visible light emitted from some object, but the actual field?

    What is a feeling of electromagnetism? Which sense reacts in which way?

    Electric fields in the way you describe it here don't exist (>99% confidence).
  4. Apr 17, 2012 #3
    Sorry for my ignorance about scientific terms. My major is traditional Chinese medicine and I have forgotten the little I knew about physics long time ago. Here is an image of what I can see. Basically the aura is colorful mainly yellow or green and for me it's easier to see it when the room is a little bit dark. It is mainly made of tiny strings and has a few layers, the closer the layer is to the body the denser the color gets. There is a clear border between each layer and when I touch each layer I can feel some kind of resistance similar to two magnets repelling each other and when I try it on people most of them can also feel this resistance to some extent. This is mostly my subjective experience but there is a lot of information about it on the internet. So far I have only done one small test for comparing my observation with other people who can also see aura. I asked two of my friends to see the change in the aura of a patient before and after a TCM treatment, in that test we all noticed a change in the color of one part of the aura to dark purple.

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  5. Apr 17, 2012 #4


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    If you can repeat this within a controlled scientific environment, you can go for one of these prizes.
    Otherwise, psychology might be able to find explanations for that. But that would not include any aura, just an explanation why your brain comes to the conclusion that there are the effects you describe.
  6. Apr 17, 2012 #5


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    There is no scientific evidence that aura's exist. All investigations into them have revealed nothing, nor has any plausible explanation for their mechanism ever been proposed. If you can see auras (and by "see" I mean literally physically see) then it is most likely indicative of hallucination, if you can see with your "mind's eye" (in other words get an impression but not literally see it) then it is likely a product of conditioning i.e. you want to/expect to interpret people this way or something a long the lines of synaesthesia.

    Also please note that traditional Chinese medicine is mostly not credible because the methods to derive it are not evidence based. It is a form of alternative medicine that bases a lot of its principles of un-evidenced mythology rather than a consideration of empirical evidence. That isn't to say there aren't possibly medicines that work but the method for their production is not empirical (and to date we have no better paradigm for determining facts about the world around us and using them to our advantage) and the principles behind it are often flawed.

    Finally this thread does not meet the criteria for forum rules as it's basis is in a claim for which there is no evidence and indeed evidence against it. Closed.
  7. Apr 17, 2012 #6
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