Interview of M. Sue Benford in Energy, Vol. XVI, No. 1, Winter 2001, pg. 5.
M. Sue Benford, Ph.D., R.N. was interviewed by Paula Phillips for our new Science News Update Section. Dr. Benford's impressive career includes the fields of medicine, public health, information systems, product, service and research development and scientific discovery and analysis. She has authored and co-authored or presented over 60 papers on a variety of topics.
Dr. Benford is the 1986 recipient of the American Public Health Association's Jay S. Drotman Memorial Award (given to a young professional who has challenged current public health policies and procedures to make a major contribution to the field). Since 1988 she had founded three corporations. Her third, Pre-Comp, Inc. won several awards including National Institute of Health support in the separate categories of therapeutics and diagnostic antibodies.
Her cutting-edge research in the area of human energy fields as they relate to alternative healing therapies won grant support from the Institute of Noetic Science, founded by former astronaut Ed Mitchell. A grant was awarded to assist in the continuance of her successful study of the fluctuation of high-energy gamma radiation during alternative healing therapy sessions. The researchers believe this work may lead to a better understanding of the mechanism of action for some alternative healing modalities.
Benford recently appeared on the national radio program "Mysteries of the Mind" hosted by Alex Merklinger, to discuss her provocative Shroud of Turin image-formation research with collaborator Joseph Marino, relevant to energy readers as further evidence and characterization of the bio-energy field.
Her upcoming commentary scheduled to be published in the Spring issue of Journal of Scientific Exploration follows an article by W.F. Bengston and D. Krinsley in the same publication pertaining to their study of the "laying on of hands" on transplanted breast cancer in mice. The study includes five independent experiments on mice with adenocarcinoma, typically 100% fatal.
Treated with "laying on of hands" they demonstrated an overall remission rate of 87.9% compared to 100% mortality in the control group. Dr. Benford's commentary provides fresh insight and raises new questions pertaining to the study of alternative healing and cancer. The commentary is recommended reading for any polarity therapist interested in the scientific study of energy medicine or in structuring future studies.
Dr. Benford took some time from her busy schedule to lend some perspective to what is happening in the field of polarity therapy research.
Q1.What research projects do you know of that will help validate and increase understanding of how polarity therapy works?
The only research I'm personally aware of directly involving Polarity therapy is my own. However, a CAM database search (see below for website) indicates that over 500 articles have been published that include the topic of "Polarity therapy." There are a lot of questions that need to be answered related to polarity and all of the bioenergy medicine modalities.
Q2. Where can practitioners go for more information about research and findings (such as magazines, journals or websites)?
The best journal by far is Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine. The published our original gamma radiation article in July 1999 and will publish our second follow-up study sometime in 2001 (hopefully in March).
Beyond that, I would recommend three primary research approaches:
1) a general Internet search engine like Copernic
2) review of CAM databases at http://nccam.nih.gov/nccam/databases.html
3) review of the National Library of Medicine Databases at
Or you could go to a public library and ask them to do a search on the topic of interest.
Q4. Are there other areas you yourself hope to study related to our field?
I have a lot more ideas than funding I'm afraid. There's still a great deal of work that needs to be done to fully answer the questions brought about by our gamma radiation research. These include: what health outcomes occur as a result of the fluctuations in gamma radiation during polarity therapy, is the fluctuation "therapist" or "subject" related or both, is the fluctuation due to absorption or delayed emission, or both, what mechanism is involved when the healers influence the gamma counts rates, e.g., changing radioactive decay rates, e.g., changing radioactive decay rates, changing environment, changing physiology, changing equipment responsiveness, etc.
Q5. How did you come to be involved in the study of polarity results, techniques, theory or practitioners?
To be honest, my interest is not in polarity therapy per se but in the claims of bioenergy practitioners in general to effect a change in "universal energy." I began using polarity therapists because Mary Jo Ruggieri agreed to participate in our gamma studies and, along with several other practitioners, was generous enough to donate time, etc. I have to applaud her and the other Polarity therapists' interest in scientific validation of their technique. We have also done research with Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Pranic Healing, and other "unclassified" healers as well.
Q6. Have you experienced any polarity sessions?
No, I do not participate in any of the bioenergy modalities either as a student or client. It is my opinion that this helps keep my science objective and unbiased.
Energy is the Newsletter of the American Polarity Therapy Association and is published 4 times a year. For further information see their website at www.PolarityTherapy.org