Not long ago I had the opportunity to interview sound healing expert Eileen McKusick on Warrior Radio. McKusick is most known for her work with the use of tuning forks to heal the human biofield. As a former massage therapist, she was intrigued with using the tool to aid in her practice. She quickly noticed when she struck a tuning fork and placed it near various areas of her client’s body, she’d immediately hear a change in volume, pitch, and timbre depending on where it was.
If a client was complaining about a particular pain, the fork would sound sharp. She’d hover the tuning fork near the pain point until the sound became clear. Days later, the client would come back thanking her the pain finally went away. She began pulling on this thread further, testing, observing, and recognizing patterns with hundreds of her clients. With the simple use of a tuning fork, she was able to treat a bevy of ailments ranging from digestive disorders, menstrual disorders, depression, insomnia, migraine, fibromyalgia, arthritis, and general emotional turmoil.
As exciting as these results were, her work with tuning forks on the body was a stepping stone towards a major discovery and breakthrough in the field of complementary and alternative medicine. McKusick learned that tuning forks could actually be used to heal the human biofield. If you’re unfamiliar with the human biofield, we’re going to explain it great detail later in this article. For now, think of it as a field of energy that interpenetrates and surrounds the human body.
Yes, it sounds very woo-woo, but I delve into the scientific research that’s been to detect and legitimize this esoteric concept.
Here’s McKusick recounting how she made this discovery:
“My biggest breakthrough with the work, however, occurred one day in 2005, quite by accident. I was approaching the table with the tuning fork activated (usually I activated the fork right next to the body), when about two and a half feet to the side of the client’s throat the tone of the fork flared up and became quite loud and sharp. I investigated the area and discovered a “pocket” about four inches wide that, when the fork passed through it, the volume went up. When the fork passed out of it, the volume went back down.
Intrigued, I employed the click, drag, and drop technique, tugging the pocket back to the throat chakra, where it felt as though it was literally sucked into the body. This particular client had been complaining of jaw, neck, and shoulder pain on that side. When I had initially investigated the area I was surprised to find no noise over it, and was puzzling over this observation when I discovered that the noise was in fact out in what I had surmised, based on what I had read in esoteric literature up to that point, was the client’s energy field.”1
After observing more and more clients, she learned that information was actually stored vibrationally in this field of energy. When she’d place the tuning fork over certain areas, clients would report a surfacing of sadness, anger, fear, and a number of other emotions.
She learned that the same emotions would surface in the same areas of the biofield for all of her clients. Sadness was near the left shoulder, guilt was near the right hip, feelings of stuckness were near the knees. By clearing these areas of stuck energy with her tuning forks, her clients were able to heal physical and emotional wounds they’d been struggling with for years.
To be honest, when Eileen explained this all to me during our interview, I was highly skeptical. I’ve covered some “out-there” topics on this site, but this seemed far on the wacky end. To think that a tuning fork could heal help heal serious ailments like PTSD, sounded absurd. But like most topics in the world of esoterica, real knowledge happens through direct, first-hand experience.
So over the past month or so, I’ve been working directly with a biofield tuning practitioner. After having two intense sessions with tuning forks working on my own biofield, I’ve gone 180 degrees and completely changed my stance around the practice. It helped me recover from a concussion I had nearly twenty years ago and helped heal emotional baggage I’ve been carrying around with me since I was a teenager.
In this article I’m going to share these experiences and why I’ve come to believe this is one of the most powerful healing tools I’ve covered on warrior.do. We’re going to dive into the science of subtle energy, the human biofield, and how tuning forks can be harnessed to heal it. You may come away with a slightly shifted perspective around this little-understood form of sound therapy.
Before we dive into tuning forks and the human biofield, let’s first lay down a few foundational concepts.
Like other complementary and alternative (CAM) therapies such as Qi-Gong, Reiki, or Acupuncture, tuning forks work at the level of subtle energy. The best way to understand subtle energy is through an exercise for you to experience it directly.
Rub your hands together vigorously for a few seconds. After that, slowly pull your hands away from one another, moving them closer and further away from each other. If you’re feeling a slightly warm, tingly sensation in your hands, that’s what subtle energy is.
Although this is a relatively unknown concept to the general population, cultures have recognized this form of energy for thousands of years. Traditional Chinese medicine refer to it as Chi (or Qi). The hindu tradition refers to as Prana. Christians call it Holy Spirit, while Jews refer to it as Shekinah.
Here’s an infographic from our friends over at subtle.energy that lists over 45 different names for it:
Subtle energy falls under the spectrum of electromagnetic energy, but at a much finer level. Eileen McKusick writes:
“One analogy that comes to mind is that subtle energy is to our current understanding of electricity, also referred to as classical electromagnetism, as water vapor or steam is to water; it is essentially the same thing, only finer, more diffuse, and it obeys different laws. At certain key threshold of water changes: 32 degrees Fahrenheit to freeze, 212 degrees to turn to steam. Subtle energy is present everywhere electromagnetic energy is present, just as water vapor is present wherever water is. And just as water vapor is diffuse water, subtle energy is diffuse electromagnetism. You can’t measure subtle energy with a voltmeter any more than you can measure water vapor with a measuring cup.”
One of my favorite ideas of subtle energy is “the force” from Star Wars. The force was something that ran everywhere at all times. It’s an energy field that is present in all living things, something that surrounds and interpenetrates all of us, the stuff that all of the cosmos is made of.
Now let’s dig a little bit deeper.
If subtle energy is a broad category, there are more distinct forms of it vibrating at various frequencies, densities, and charges. One such sub-category is that of the human biofield, which is what tuning forks aim to heal.
The Human Biofield
The word biofield was coined by a team of researchers in 1994 at the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) looking to bridge the worlds of contemporary and alternative medicine, allowing individuals such as a neuroscientist and a Reiki practitioner to speak a common language. The organization defined the biofield as “a massless field, not necessarily electromagnetic, that surrounds and permeates living bodies and affects the body.” 2
Although research still needs to be done to confirm this, most energy healing practitioners and researchers believe the human biofield is toroidal shaped, extending up to five feet away from the body.
Whilst this is still an emerging field, there has been a number of evidence-backed breakthroughs that have detected subtle energy.
One such came from Dr. Valerie Hunt, a scientist, author, and professor of Physiological Science at UCLA:
“Postulating that human bioenergy fields oscillate at significantly higher frequencies than EKG or EEG machines were designed to measure, Dr. Hunt developed a high-frequency instrument which records the bioelectrical energy that emanates from the body’s surface. She proved that energy radiating from the body’s atoms give frequencies 1,000 times faster than any other known electrical activity of the body.”
Biophotons are another way researchers have detected the human biofield. Biophotons are the natural light emitted from living things (in humans this is most easily detected from the hands and face). Here’s biophysicist Dr. Beverly Rubik speaking about biophotons and subtle energy on a recent Warrior Radio interview:
Devices have even been created that can actually count the number of light particles coming out of the palm of the hand or fingers. I recently wrote an article titled How To See The Human Biofield With The Bio-Well that describes my experience with one of these device called the Bio-Well that is able to capture, measure, and analyze the dance of light around the human fingers.
Why Tuning Forks?
Tuning forks are one of the few tools able to tap into and make adjustments to the human biofield. It does this through a process known as entrainment. If you’re unfamiliar with entrainment, it occurs when one rhythmic system falls into synchrony with another rhythmic system. This could include:
- Birds in the sky coming together to fly in synchrony
- Your body’s circadian rhythm synchronizing to the rise and fall of the sun.
- The human heart beating at the same beat of a pacemaker.
When a tuning fork is struck and hovered in a particular area around the body, the area of the biofield seems to entrain to the forks frequency. Here’s a snippet from the Institute of Biofield Tuning that explains this further:
“Tuning forks appear to work therapeutically according to the physics principles of resonance and entrainment. Initially they resonate with whatever distortion or dysfunction is present in the body and its field, and then, through the production of a stronger, more coherent frequency, they entrain the body into a more coherent expression as well.
Since everything in the body is in motion, and everything in motion produces pressure waves into the surrounding environment, it makes sense that there is actually an acoustic field of inaudible sound around each individual. Most people have had the experience of getting a “bad vibe” off of someone.
The overtones and undertones produced by the tuning forks interface, like sonar, with these acoustic emanations of the body and act as a sort of “invisible ink decoder” to locate areas of noise in the signal. These pockets of noise are held like nodes or eddies in the standing waves contained within the biofield and may relate to experiences of physical, mental or emotional stress from any point in our lifetimes.
When the corresponding signal of noise in the body due to a dysfunctional system can be located in the field, the precise application of sound – which may be as far as five or more feet away from the body – can cause the body to self-regulate out of the noise and into a more harmonious expression.” 3
How Tuning Fork Sound Therapy Release Trauma Stored In The Human Biofield
Here’s where things get interesting.
According to Eileen McKusick, memories throughout our lifetime are actually stored in the human biofield. McKusick writes:
“In a nutshell, I have come to believe that the memories of our life experience are recorded not in the brain, but rather in a sort of magnetic fashion in the bioplasmic bubble of our biofield (i.e., the human energy field or aura) and that this field is compartmentalized and follows a timeline (as we generate information it moves away from our center toward our periphery, like rings in a tree).”
Here’s a clip from my interview with Eileen talking about how she made this discovery:
These stored memories in our biofield include any traumatic event from our past, taking the form as energetic imbalances. These imbalances eventually manifest into physical and mental disease. This is why tuning forks are extremely intriguing. You’re able to systematically pinpoint and release the energetic source of your past trauma. I know because it happened to me.
In my own biofield tuning sessions, I’ve received huge insights about my past. During my first biofield tuning session, my practitioner Christina McVea heard blocked energy from the tuning forks near my left legs. Based on the distance away from my body, she deduced that it was unreleased emotions around the age of seventeen.
That night, an intense wave of sadness came over me. As I laid in bed, tears rolling down my face, I realized I was grieving over something that was stuck inside me for years. I didn’t even know what I grieving over, but I intuitively knew that it needed to happen.
In the days that followed, the detoxification symptoms eventually passed away, allowing for feelings of acceptance, inner-peace, and love to take its place. I felt energetically lighter, and could physically feel sensations inside me that I hadn’t felt before (which could have been the result of my energetic blockages being cleared). For example, I had a strange tingly sensation in my hamstrings that I ironically felt the days/weeks after my first ayahuasca session.
During my second session, Christina heard a strange static noise when she hovered the tuning fork around my head. She asked if I’d ever had a concussion. I’ve written in-depth about a recent concussion I had while surfing and was certain this was what she was referring to. To my surprise, she said it was around the age range of eleven or so. I had zero recollection this ever happened. In hindsight, it makes a lot of sense since my second concussion was so difficult to recover from.
Christina eventually cleared much of the trapped energy in this area. In the subsequent days, I experienced constant headaches and major constriction in my throat. These symptoms lasted for a number of days, as the energy was still clearing. Like my first session, once I got through this recovery period, I felt lighter and clearer-headed.
These first-hand experiences have completely changed my view around tuning forks and biofield sound healing. Out of all the different technologies, plant medicines, and therapies I’ve experimented with for Warrior.do, tuning forks are hands down one of the most powerful methods I’ve come across.
If you’re ready to pull the trigger and experience biofield tuning for yourself, here are some practical tips to get you started…
Finding a Biofield Tuning Practitioner
I suggest finding a certified practitioner from the Biofield Tuning Institute on this page. That’s where I found my practitioner Christina McVea. Rates range anywhere from $75 – $120 for a one-hour tuning session. I suggest going with at least two sessions to receive the full benefits of the sound therapy.
I also suggest scheduling your sessions when you know you’re schedule is a little less hectic. If possible, make it the day before an off day from work. This will give yourself ample time to recover (more on this later).
Keep in mind that although tuning forks can be incredibly healing, it’s not for everybody. If you fall into any of the following categories, then you should avoid this form of therapy:
- People with a pacemaker (the sound from the tuning forks could potentially reset these machines)
- People who are pregnant or nursing (the detoxing nature of this work isn’t healthy to both mothers and their babies)
- People with cancer (McKusick has stated that the work is typically too taxing on the bodies of those with cancer)
- People who’ve recently had a concussion (due to the swelling in the brain)
What To Expect During Your Biofield Tuning Session
As I stated, sessions typically last anywhere from one to two hours. More than likely you’ll lay down on a massage table. From there, you don’t have to do anything but relax. I found my mind was extra active during the first half of my session, but I eventually eased into the sound therapy and my mind followed suit. During this time, your practitioner will do their thing with the tuning forks – mostly around your body in your biofield, but sometimes they may place the base of the fork directly on your body itself.
You may feel tingly sensations throughout your body while the tuning forks are activated. Some feel a sense of lightness, others a sense of heaviness, while some others nothing at all. Some may experience a wave of emotions, while others like myself didn’t feel any particular strong feelings.
What To Do After Your Session
According to Christina McVea, clients have reported the following symptoms after a biofield tuning session:
- Profound exhaustion and tiredness, needing to sleep or lay low for a day or more: generally, happens when people who have been “running on empty”.
- Extreme emotionalism, or being very aware of formally masked or buried emotions – crying a lot, or being very angry
- Headaches and/or dizziness
- In very rare instances: skin rashes, mucus, fevers, vomiting, loose stools, excessive thirst
The day after my first session, I was a wreck. It’s hard to describe, but I felt as if an energetic layer was ripped out leaving me feeling extremely raw. Throughout the day I was emotional, sensitive, and super irritable.
With all this said, the most important advice I can give is to take things slow and practice self-care. If you had surgery, you’d probably wouldn’t run around and go about your normal busy schedule. You’d slow down and give your body the best environment to recover. I’d approach biofield tuning the same way.
During this period, you could be overly-emotional, irritable, or generally feeling pretty crummy. All of this is to be expected. Be kind to yourself. Avoid blaming or judging the way your body and mind recovers. Try not to over-analyze why certain emotions are popping up or what’s going on in your body. Your job is to just relax and let your body reset. Ride these waves out, and remind yourself that in time it will all pass.
Here are a few other ways to assist in self-caring:
Grounding – Grounding (otherwise known as Earthing) is highly recommended after your tuning fork session. According to biofield tuning practitioners, grounding allows excess energy to exit the body down through the feet and into the Earth. Grounding also helps to draw in negative ions from the Earth up into the body. Studies have shown that this practice helps to reduce inflammation, lower cortisol 4, recover from injury faster5, and lead to greater nervous system functioning6.
If weather permits, walk barefoot on grass, soil, or sand. If this isn’t an option, consider picking up an Earthing mat from Earthing.com that can be used indoors. For more information on Earthing, check out our in-depth article Earthing: How To Tap Into The Healing Energy Of The Planet.
Hydrotherapy – Electromagnetic energy (and subtle energy associated with the human Biofield) moves best through water. In order to assist in the detoxification process, it’s highly recommended that you drink plenty of water or tea. Right after the end of my session, Christina made it a point to hand me a glass of water, and told me that it was super important for me to keep hydrating myself. My body definitely let me know this as well, as I felt incredibly thirsty (strangely much more than normal) the days following my session.
Soaking your feet in Epsom salt for about twenty minutes is also recommended after your session. Epsom salts have been shown to help draw out toxins built up in the body (this is especially true after a tuning fork session as energetic blockages are released).
Working with tuning forks have been one of the most powerful forms of therapy I’ve gone through, akin to my work with ayahuasca. It’s one of the few tools that were able to heal trauma on a deep, energetic level. Hard science is beginning to detect the biofield, and verify tuning fork’s uncanny ability to clear energetic imbalances in this field of energy.
If you were like me, this may all sound super woo-woo. Believe me, I was there, especially after interviewing the pioneer of Biofield tuning Eileen McKusick. But after my own experience, I’ve completely changed my stance and have now become a massive advocate around this beautiful tool.
* Special thanks to Christina McVea of Healthy Sound Vibrations who I worked with to experience tuning fork healing first hand. She does incredible work. If you live in Illinois, I can’t recommend her enough.
- The Power of Sound by Joshua Leeds
- Tuning the Human Biofield by Eileen Day McKusick
- Human Tuning, Sound Healing with Tuning Forks by John Beaulieu
- Sound Healing & Values Visualization, Creating a Life of Value by John Beaulieu
- Healing Sounds by Jonathan Goldman
- Shifting Frequencies, Sounds for Vibratory Activation by Jonathan Goldman
- Song of the Spine by Dr. June Leslie Wieder
- Resonance, Nine Practices for Harmonious Health & Vitality by Joyce Whileley Hawkes, PH.D
- Conscious Healing by Sol Luckman
- Potentiate Your DNA by Sol Luckman
- The Body Electric by Robert O. Becker, MD & Gary Selden
- Quantum Healing Codes, Solfeggio Frequencies for Positive Change by Stephen Linsteadt
- “BIOFIELD TUNING – A Sound Approach to Wellness.” Biofield Tuning – Eileen McKusick, biofieldtuning.com/.
- Rubik B, Pavek R, Greene E, Laurence D, Ward R, Al E. Manual healing methods. In: Rubik B, editor. , et al. , eds. Alternative medicine: expanding medical horizons: a report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medical systems and practices in the United States (NIH Publication). Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office; 1995:113–57.
- McKusick, Eileen. “Who Can Benefit.” Biofield Tuning, biofieldtuning.com/biofield-tuning-institute/who-can-benefit/.
- Ghaly, Maurice, and Dale Teplitz. “The biologic effects of grounding the human body during sleep as measured by cortisol levels and subjective reporting of sleep, pain, and stress.” Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine10.5 (2004): 767-776.
- Brown, Dick, Gaétan Chevalier, and Michael Hill. “Pilot study on the effect of grounding on delayed-onset muscle soreness.” The Journal of Alternative and complementary Medicine 16.3 (2010): 265-273.
- Chevalier, Gaétan, Kazuhito Mori, and James L. Oschman. “The effect of earthing (grounding) on human physiology.” European Biology and Bioelectromagnetics 2.1 (2006): 600-621.