Biophotons, or ultraweak photon emissions of biological systems, are weak electromagnetic waves in the optical range of the spectrum–in other words: light.  All living cells of plants, animals and human beings emit biophotons which cannot be seen by the naked eye but can be measured by special equipment developed by German researchers.  These particles of light are stored in our cells, as well as ejected (and replaced) from our bodies at varying speeds/quantities at various points of the human body.  On average, approximately 300 biophotons per square centimeter are ejected from your body at any given moment and travel at roughly 10cm/second.

This light emission is an expression of the functional state of the living organism and its measurement therefore can be used to assess this state.  Cancer cells and healthy cells of the same type, for instance, can be discriminated by typical differences in biophoton emission.  After an initial decade and a half of basic research on this discovery, biophysicists of various European and Asian countries are now exploring the many interesting applications which range across such diverse fields as cancer research, non-invasive early medical diagnosis, food and water quality testing, chemical and electromagnetic contamination testing, cell communication, and various applications in biotechnology.

According to the biophoton theory developed on the base of these discoveries the biophoton light is stored in the cells of the organism–more precisely, in the DNA molecules of their nuclei–and a dynamic web of light constantly released and absorbed by the DNA may connect cell organelles, cells, tissues, and organs within the body and serve as the organism’s main communication network and as the principal regulating instance for all life processes.  The processes of morphogenesis, growth, differentiation and regeneration are also explained by the structuring and regulating activity of the coherent biophoton field.  The holographic biophoton field of the brain and the nervous system, and maybe even that of the whole organism, may also be basis of memory and other phenomena of consciousness, as postulated by neurophysiologist Karl Pribram an others. The consciousness-like coherence properties of the biophoton field are closely related to its base in the properties of the physical vacuum and indicate its possible role as an interface to the non-physical realms of mind, psyche and consciousness.

The discovery of biophoton emission also lends scientific support to some unconventional methods of healing based on concepts of homeostasis (self-regulation of the organism), such as various somatic therapies, homeopathy and acupuncture.  The “ch’i” energy flowing in our bodies’ energy channels (meridians) which according to Traditional Chinese Medicine regulates our body functions may be related to node lines of the organism’s biophoton field.  The “prana” of Indian Yoga physiology may be a similar regulating energy force that has a basis in weak, coherent electromagnetic biofields.

First discovered in 1923 by Russian medical scientist Professor Alexander G.Gurvich (who named them “mitogenetic rays”) and in the 1930s widely researched in Europe and the USA, biophotons have been rediscovered and backed since the 1970s by ample experimental and theoretical evidence by European scientists.  In 1974 German biophysicist Fritz-Albert Popp has proved their existence, their origin from the DNA and later their coherence (laser-like nature), and has developed biophoton theory to explain their possible biological role and the ways in which they may control biochemical processes, growth, differentiation etc.  Popp’s biophoton theory leads to many startling insights into the life processes and may well provide one of the major elements of a future theory of life and holistic medical practice based on such an approach.  The importance of the discovery has been confirmed by eminent scientists such as Herbert Froehlich and Nobel laureate Ilya Prigogine.  Since 1992, the International Institute of Biophysics, a network of research laboratories in more than 10 countries, based in Germany, has been coordinating research in this rapidly-developing field.

Some diseases, specifically some types of cancer, inhibit the release of light, so the body doesn’t easily recognize the illness as being a problem.  Our body’s biochemical responses are iniated by the body’s response to biophoton emissions; if this is blocked through the cloaking ability of the cancer, the disease remains invisible to the body’s immune system, and it can grow unprotected for some time.  However, the light will intensify as the disease progresses, until the body becomes aware of its presence and responds.  Rarely cancer can’t be “seen” but will show up in a full scan.  It is important to know that through the intention of the person, the immune process can still be stimulated.  That is, that the fact that a disease is cloaking the light energy does not mean that the body does not have a functioning immune system.

Biophotons consist of light with a high degree of order, in other words, biological laser light.  Such a light is very quiet and shows an extremely stable intensity, without the fluctuations normally observed in light.  Because of their stable field strength, its waves can superimose, and by virtue of this, interference effects become possible that do not occur in ordinary light.  Because of the high degree of order, the biological laser light is able to generate and keep order and to transmit information in the organism.  In biophoton research, the property of coherence mainly shows in the “hyperbolic decay” of so-called “induced emissio.”  Two types of measurement are used in biophoton research.  In the spontaneous emission of a sample it is practically impossible to provide evidence of coherence.  For this reason the measurement of “induced emission” has become an important instrument of biophoton research, where it is possible to determine the degree of coherence of the light emitted by the organism.

Here the sample is illuminated by a short flash of light, before the researcher measures in which way the absorbed light is given off again.  In doing so, he can observe that biophoton emission from living tissue shows a very extended decaying process lasting for a period of minutes to hours–something which is never observed in dead objects.  Furthermore, this decay continuously slows down, such that the decay curve becomes flatter all the time and the emission never really ceases.  Popp has given proof that such a decaying behavior–which graphically is displayed in the form of a hyperbolic curve–is evidence of the coherence of the measured emission and indiates that light is stored in the tissue.   Another conclusion that can be drawn from this behavior of the re-emitted biophotons is that the emission is not originating from isolated molecules in the cells, but that the emitting molecules are coupled by a connecting coherent radiation field.  A central role in the light storage seems to be attributable to the DNA in the cell nucleus which Popp’s group has shown to be the main light source in the cell.

There have been numerous studies of the implication of spiritual healing on biophotons and in one lengthy experiment, scientists studied the reaction of leaves to the healing hands of various energy healers (from p.127 of “The Energy Healing Experiments”):

We couldn’t quit there.  No scientist would want to get results like these and not follow up.  The experiments proved an incentive for my decision to purchase a small super-cooled low-light camera for my laboratory … for further testing with some of our “master healers.”  The results were dramatic.  The best of these healers were able to increase or decrease the photon emission in plants as much as fivefold, and in some cases even as much as tenfold.  The results raise a fascinating possibility: that biophoton release in plants might in the future serve as a biofield marker of extraordinary healers.

Over the coming years, as more data comes our way, we will see to what extent biophotons are able to bridge the gap between science and spirituality.


Writer, editor, and founder of FEELguide. I have written over 5,000 articles covering many topics including: travel, design, movies, music, politics, psychology, neuroscience, business, religion and spirituality, philosophy, pop culture, the universe, and so much more. I also work as an illustrator and set designer in the movie industry, and you can see all of my drawings at

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