General Question

GAMBIT's avatar

Can one human being give or take away energy from another human being with a touch of the hand?

Asked by GAMBIT (3855points) April 7th, 2009
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

55 Answers

allen_o's avatar

It depends how high you are

Mr_M's avatar

It depends on where they touch. And how.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Mr_M – Yes I take it that you have some experience with this with your medical background Mr M.

dynamicduo's avatar

Theoretically any martial artist who was able to paralyze or kill by striking a certain part of the body would be able to deprive another human of their life or at least stun them, so I would argue that fits your requirement.

But if you mean I touch your hand and close my eyes and somehow draw your life force energy from your body into mine? No I’m pretty sure this doesn’t exist. My proof for this is that this would be considered a supernatural power and thus eligible for the $1 million JREF prize (awarded to anyone who can demonstrate a supernatural power under mutually agreed upon conditions). The fact that anyone with this “skill” has not attempted to claim the prize, which of course removes any chance of trickery or deception, strongly says to me that such a “power” does not exist.

GAMBIT's avatar

@dynamicduo – I am only referring to a very small degree.

Mr_M's avatar

@GAMBIT, actually, I was making a joke. A BAD one, but a joke nonetheless.

nikipedia's avatar

If your hand is colder than mine, and we touch hands, heat will move from my body to yours.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Mr_M – Without a joke a serious question gets missed by the serious people.

GAMBIT's avatar

@nikipedia – Great point nikedia. Also when someone is feeling sad. The first thing we may do is put our arms around them to make them feel better. This was the basis of my question. One person gains energy one person loses energy.

Mr_M's avatar

@GAMBIT, I should have realized when I saw “Queen Elizabeth” and “handsdown” listed as two of your topics, that this was a very serious question. My bad.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Mr_M – Don’t apologize for trying to make someone laugh. There are all types of people in the world some more serious than others. Keep your sence of humor and let the serious minded say what they have to say also.

fireside's avatar

About 5 years ago, I went to a chiropractor who seemed to be able to diagnose vitamin deficiencies through a touch method. He had a few spots like my collar bone or the tip of my nose that he would apply light pressure to and then ask me to raise my arms, or something similar.

If I was vitamin deficient I was unable to raise my arm and after taking some Esther C for a couple of weeks he did the same thing again and I had no trouble raising my arm.

I don’t remember much about it and can’t figure out the right search terms to find anything online right now. (not that this is exactly the same thing as giving energy by touch)

Jayne's avatar

Nikipedia was joking too, I’m afraid. She was referring to energy that actually exists- thermal energy, in this case- while you are referring to energy as a generic, unscientific stand-in for an apparent motive agent that you don’t understand.

Sorry for being so harsh. I certainly don’t understand much of how the body works, either. There is simply no “energy” that fills our body in the way you imagine. There is chemical energy from food, thermal energy from that food and from the environment, kinetic energy from falling off of the roof, etc…but no “life-force energy” that somehow sets us apart from the inanimate world. For some reason, whenever a layperson cannot fully explain a phenomenon, in physics, biology, or elsewhere, they always turn to “energy” to fill the gap.

mattbrowne's avatar

In theory, yes, if the (surface) body temperatures were different and they’d have to stand pretty close, maybe a millimeter apart. When measuring it, it might just a few joules. But entropy makes sure differences are leveled out.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Jayne – thank you for your time. Your right the best word I could come up with was energy. Something takes place when we touch a human being that can lift our spirits. Again for lack of a better word I have said spirits.

GAMBIT's avatar

@fireside – that is an awesome experience.

Mr_M's avatar

In all seriousness, however, the reason a person feels consoled when someone puts their arms around them in a time of need is because that simulates the womb environment and that is supposed to be calming.

tigran's avatar

A hug like you mention might stimulate some neurological pathways that will make the sad person happy and at the same time become more active. We can feel more energetic from our hormones, so any changes may reflect that feeling.

Lightlyseared's avatar

Well a precordial thump transfers about 10J of energy, which might be enough to restart someones heart.

Jayne's avatar

If you are referring to a purely emotional effect, then yes, this is certainly legitimate. A person can be consoled or angered, aroused or repelled, by the touch of a hand; physical contact has a very visceral effect on most people. There is just no reason to refer to anything so vague as energy- I assumed you were talking about something like chi.

GAMBIT's avatar

@mattbrowne – please explain in simple terms. I’m sorry. I am a simple man.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Mr_M & @tigran – yes something seems to start the engine going again. This is what I’ve been wondering.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Lightlyseared – that is powerful.

Mr_M's avatar

@GAMBIT but with what I described, the subject isn’t getting energized per se; the subject is getting calmer, i.e., the immobilizing anxiety is decreasing. It isn’t more energy. It’s less anxiety.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Mr_M – yes “energy” is probably the wrong term as you said “my bad”

GAMBIT's avatar

@Jayne – but do you believe it is purely emotional? I tend to think there is more to it than just that. Maybe it has to do with ones chi?

SuperMouse's avatar

@nikipedia, lurve for a perfect, common sense answer!

I think of our chi as source of emotional energy. When I hug someone, rather than feeling as though it has taken some of my chi, I feel as though it has added to mine as well as theirs. Whether the hug is to console them or just to hold another person, it fills us both up and doesn’t take from either of us.

I think people are more likely to sap that emotional energy (chi) without touch of any kind. “Energy vampires” steal one’s energy with the negative energy they are exuding. That negative energy does more to sap my positive energy then giving me any kind of loving touch.

Touching in anger (i.e. hitting), drains the energy of each party involved – the victim and the perpetrator.

Bagardbilla's avatar

Some people call it Reiki…
True story: my brother (an engineering major, very analytical), who runs a lot, had hurt his knee.
He was hanging out at a coffee shop, late at night and got up to get a refill… Being very stiff it was evident to those nearby. An older man at the table next to him asked if he had hurt himself. My brother explained how he had been under a lot of stress and had overdone his run a few days ago, and has been paying the price… He had been taking asprin for swelling and pain…
The gentleman asked my brother if he could see it, thinking that he was a doctor or something my lifted his shorts and the just put his palm on it for a few seconds… My brother says it was only for a few seconds but he felt this intence warmth/heat, as if literally this knee was on fire!
He pulled back, thanked the guy and walked away, only to realize that he was no longer in pain, no longer limping, and the swelling was gone!
He returned to his table wanting to thank the guy, only to find no one there…

GAMBIT's avatar

@Bagardbilla – BINGO 5 stars.

I believe we all have this gift in smaller degrees. Thank you for sharing your story and not making this discussion a joke.

Sometimes in order to learn I have to empty my brain and become an idiot.

Thank you everyone that participated I appreciate your time.

Judi's avatar

I used to have a massage therapist who seemed to magically take the stress out of my body. Problem was, she was always getting sick. My theory was that she was so good, and so intuitive that she took everything on herself. She had to quit massage.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Judi – That is very interesting.

Dr_C's avatar

one person can… we call her Rogue.
she has powers

GAMBIT's avatar

@Dr_C – Sorry Dr. C the mystery has already been solved.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Jayne@Bagardbilla and @Judi – pretty much touched on what I was getting at.

GAMBIT's avatar

@Jayne – Dr C is referring to the X-MEN comic book which wasn’t my purpose although some people believe my name GAMBIT is an X-MEN name and not a chess move.

Dr_C's avatar

@GAMBIT it was just a joke (albeit a bad one) not an attempt at making light of your question

GAMBIT's avatar

@Dr_C – No problem I just know that Jayne and a lot of other people tried to help me answer this question. That is all.

I don’t mind the jokes. Every time someone poses a question they take a chance of being laughed at it goes with the territory.

Enjoy your day.

nikipedia's avatar

@Jayne: Oh, but I was serious. I guess I have a tendency to take things too literally.

I think we can increase or decrease each others’ emotional energy, and I think there are a lot of ways to do that. And I think most kinds of touch are beneficial for all parties involved. This thread makes me want to snuggle!

GAMBIT's avatar

@nikipedia – thanks nikipedia. It was suppose to be a serious question.

mattbrowne's avatar

@GAMBIT – Suppose two people meet and shake hands. In the first case both hands are 97.7 F warm. After the handshake nothing changes (we ignore side effects like the kinetic energy from the shaking). In the second case we assume that one hand has a temperature of 97.2 F and the other has 97.9 F. Nature doesn’t like this. Nature loves homogeneity. So in this case a human being can give or take away energy from another human being. Let’s say after a few minutes one hand is 97.3 and the other is 97.8 F warm (it’s a rather long hand shake). The same fundamental principle is the reason for plate tectonics. Cold outer space doesn’t like the fact that a lot of heat is trapped inside the Earth. Likewise the heat is desperately trying to get out. This is why we (still) have earthquakes.

GAMBIT's avatar

@mattbrowne – Thank you mattbrowne. This is why I wanted someone that has a background in science to help with this question. I appreciate your input.

mattbrowne's avatar

@GAMBIT – There’s of course a second interpretation of energy transfer which has to do with the mental attitude and the interpretation of body language and facial expression (I would see it as an indirect energy transfer). A hostile expression for example can trigger hormonal reactions which in turn trigger the release of additional usable energy inside a human’s body.

From Wikipedia: Glucagon is an important hormone involved in carbohydrate metabolism. Produced by the pancreas, it is released when the glucose level in the blood is low (hypoglycemia), causing the liver to convert stored glycogen into glucose and release it into the bloodstream.

When more glucose is available in the bloodstream more muscles can make use it. Chemical energy gets transformed into kinetic energy. Fight or flight.

Judi's avatar

@mattbrowne ; Is that the same as when I put my cold feet on my hubbys legs at night?~

mattbrowne's avatar

@Judi – Yes, it is indeed. See, how good husbands show their true affection for the women they love. Not only do men kiss their wives so passionately, they also shower them with an endless and wondrous stream of kilojoules emitted by hot radiating feet.

wundayatta's avatar

When another person holds their hand near you, but not touching you, you can feel it, and the person holding their hands hear, can also feel a kind of gentle electrical feeling (I believe that’s warmth in both cases). Dancing depends on the give and take of energy, often while holding hands. Music creates sound waves which can energize or depress people (oops, not relevant to question).

Once a person I met claimed to have saved the life of someone by placing their hand over that person’s seventh chakra (at the top of her head). It seems she’d been in a marathon, and had collapsed from exhaustion, and the person claimed that she could feel the runners life pouring out though the top of her head. She placed her hand over the top of the marathoner’s head, and held that life energy in, or so she claims.

When my Chiropractor, or indeed, most any doctor touches me, it calms my worry right away, and I feel better. So I think the answer to the question is yes.

GAMBIT's avatar

@daloon – when I first asked this question I thought where is daloon.

Someone that takes a question lightly it is but a joke.
Someone unstable a question may seem crazy.
Someone wise and learned it makes perfect sense.


mattbrowne's avatar

@daloon – What a wonderful experience. My conclusion: the question can be answered in two ways: giving a physics answer and giving a spiritual answer.

jo_with_no_space's avatar

Of course. Don’t doubt the powerful energy flow that the human touch is capable of. For example, a spiritual healing that can leave you weeping on your knees or feeling as high as a kite.

Cruiser's avatar

Yes, it is very possible and even without touching.

philosopher's avatar

Having people to speak with that listen and empathize can energize most people.

namaste1's avatar

there are books written on the subject…some fields of study for more indepth info would be books on Reiki and psychic vampires

koanhead's avatar

Put on your rubber-soled shoes and scuff on a woolen carpet. You can transfer literally thousands of volts that way!
OK, it only works out to a microwatt or so, but hey, it’s still energy.

On a more serious note, I suspect that the sort of “energy” referred to as chi, ki, Reiki, baraka, and so forth does exist, although I don’t know of any scientific proof nor any useful way to measure it.
The human nervous system does emit a tiny amount of RF energy, but hardly enough to even credibly transmit information, let alone physically effect anything enough for us to measure.
So, if this form of energy does exist, it would almost certainly not be electromagnetic in nature- we are quite good at detecting that sort of energy. If it has been detected in human beings at the intensity needed to provide some of these effects, I would very much like to hear about and see the studies. If electromagnetic energy is out, then that would seem to leave gravity and the strong and weak nuclear forces. If humans are able to manipulate gravity sufficiently to achieve the observed results, that would be pretty awesome IMO. We don’t understand gravity well at all- less well than we do the nuclear forces (by which I mean, we have a fully worked-out, functional quantum theory of the nuclear forces (QCD) and electromagnetism (QED) but none for gravity.)
Hopefully science will one day contain a definitive answer to this question. The world will look very different then.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther