EILEEN DAY MCKUSICK
The originator of therapeutic sound practice Biofield Tuning discusses the electrical energy fields within us and in our environment; how we hold trauma in the body; and the future of healing.
When I connect with Eileen McKusick, she is at her home in Jamaica, working on her forthcoming second book, “Electric Body, Electric Health (St. Martin’s Press) and preparing to record her first album. The founder of the practice known as Biofield Tuning, author of the best-selling book Tuning the Human Biofield: Healing with Vibrational Sound Therapy (2014, Simon and Schuster), and an internationally recognized figure in the field of therapeutic sound, McKusick has spent decades forging a new way to think about our bodies and methods of healing.
The field of Biofield Tuning, which now has over 2,000 students and certified practitioners internationally, 15 teachers, and a full line of custom tuning forks which McKusick developed, was born of humble beginnings. From ages 20 to 32, McKusick owned a busy restaurant and was working “hundred hour weeks for months on end.” The work was taxing on her body, and she developed debilitating back pain. At 24, she took a year off and enrolled in massage therapy school, which proved a good entry point into learning about holistic health. She practiced massage as a side hobby while working at the restaurant. In 1996, she began experimenting with tuning forks in her practice. It was then that she found her calling. “It was a blind stumble at first, but I followed my own internal guidance system.” She describes discovering a wealth of information in the atmosphere around the body through this “elegant and simple” practice. “I noticed that the therapeutic outcomes of this work were incredibly dramatic. “People who had suffered from chronic pain or anxiety for years found that it was gone in one to three sessions.”
McKusick felt that she had an obligation to share her findings, but the practice of “waving tuning forks in front of people was difficult for people to understand, especially in Connecticut in the ‘90s.” She was reticent about becoming a spokesperson for this new form of healing, explaining “I’m very logical and very left-brained, and I didn’t want to be perceived as this new-age, airy-fairy person.” However, she felt a strong calling which told her that she would “go to school, learn to teach about sound, get advanced degrees, publish peer-reviewed studies, speak at conferences, and spread this practice all over the world.” She enrolled at a college down the road from her home in Vermont and received her undergraduate and graduate degrees in just 5 years. She started teaching her Biofield Tuning method in 2010, and her Master’s thesis “Exploring the Effects of Audible Sound on the Human Body and it’s Biofield” became the basis for her book “Tuning the Human Biofield.”
The premise of the work is that our electrical body extends 6 feet around the physical body. Our memories are stored in standing waves within the magnetic sphere. McKusick’s research has been in mapping this field and understanding the anatomy and physiology of this invisible terrain. “According to the map,” she explains, “the outer boundary of the field is a double layer plasma membrane that corresponds to the record of our gestation, and when we come just inside that moving towards the body we have the birth followed by each year up to the present.” The practitioner uses the tuning fork to move through the field, much like “dropping a needle on the album and reading the vibrational record of someone’s life.” Throughout a session, the practitioner listens for resistance and noise, which indicates a point in time in which the body has generated “incoherent waves due to stressors or trauma.” When resistance is found, the fork is held in that zone, and the body becomes “self-aware of that biofield feedback and intuitively relaxes and lets go of that deep subconscious tension.” When we let go of that trapped energy, we find space and breath. Many people have reported feeling light after a session, which McKusick explains is due to the “harmonization and release of this electrical energy that’s been trapped back into circulation.” Says Eileen, “these moments aren’t good or bad, they are just parts of our electrical system that have gone into freeze mode.” The practice, ultimately, brings the body back to what she refers to as our “factory settings.”
“When we get the noise and resistance out of your electrical system,
we experience vitality and radiance.”
Because Biofield Tuning works within an invisible realm around the body, the practice is best understood by experiencing it. Going into my first biofield tuning session with practitioner Jerry González, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. I laid down in a restorative posture, and Jerry walked me through the process. Before starting the fieldwork, he prepared by adjusting the central channel of the body through the Earth and the Sun stars. He explained that the Earth star is a point below the Earth’s surface, about one foot beneath the feet. González began by “dropping a line” into the Earth to create a sense of grounding. That energy was then transmitted through the feet, ascending towards the crown of the head. Next, he adjusted the Sun star, situated above the crown chakra, to bring the energy from above downwards through the body. He explained that the Earth and Sun stars are similar to the polarities in a battery, and the ascending and descending currents through the central channel create what is referred to as “bidirectional flow.” Connecting the root to the crown opens up the central channel of each of the chakras within the body. Once these two energies were connected and the circuit was complete, Jerry used a pendulum to scan the chakras in order to find any blockages. We found dissonance in the Muladhara (Root) chakra, which represents stability, security, and grounding. The remainder of the practice would focus on balancing this chakra. Starting from 6 feet away, González began cracking forks and working through the channels of energy around the body. We can think of these rings of electric energy around the body as the rings of a tree. The ring farthest from the body (6 feet away) represents our gestation, and as we move closer to the body, we move from birth toward the present. When moments of dissonance are found, Jerry marks it on the Biofield Map and stays in that area until the sound resonating from the tuning fork becomes clear, “like a bell.” These moments correlate to energy that has been trapped from instances of stress or trauma in our past. After the session, I felt a buzzing sensation throughout my body, and an overall feeling of calm. Time seemed to slow down a bit, and the persistent anxious energy I have grown accustomed to feeling seemed to subside. In the week following my first session, I felt more grounded, and had an overall sense of levity and clarity.
“When you start to understand your body as electrical and primary, you’ll notice that electric health is actually a lot simpler than chemical and physical health.”
While many alternative healing practices focus on ascension, Biofield Tuning allows us to ground and stabilize within our physical bodies. When we tune the body, we are able to find the pleasures of being human. “When you start to understand your body as electrical and primary, you’ll notice that electric health is actually a lot simpler than chemical and physical health” says McKusick. “When we get the noise and resistance out of your electrical system, we experience vitality and radiance.”
In keeping with Issue #4’s Futurism theme, we asked Eileen to write her own letter to the future. Here she imagines a future in which we are collectively liberated from the electrical imbalances that hinder us and are able to find harmony.
A LETTER TO THE FUTURE
by EILEEN DAY MCKUSICK
Our collective consciousness has been so overrun with stories of a dystopian future. But we don’t seem to have many stories of a coherent, functioning, kind, creative, nourished, and loved human family. Why is that?
I think of myself as an “unapologetic idealist” — because someone has to be. This idealism doesn’t come from wishful thinking. Over many years and tens of thousands of hours of clinical research, I have observed that underneath the noise and static in our bodies and minds, there is a beautiful harmony and coherence within each of us. We each are a perfect rainbow — an intricate symphony of infinite possibility. We hold the potential to be perfectly tuned instruments in sync with the natural earth and the greater cosmos.
Unfortunately there is a lot of noise in the way! The majority of us are out of tune and don’t have any reference point for what being in tune really looks like. How can we imagine a functional future for humanity when we can’t even inhabit a functional present?
Medicine, and our story of medicine, in many ways defines our culture in the Western world. Chemical medicine and the mechanistic perspective have been our paradigm for almost a century. We have a “pill for every problem,” but we are sicker than ever. Medicine’s focus on particles, rather than waves, does not lead to health but rather to more disease, and more separation from nature, creation, and each other.
Biofield medicine is an elegant solution to what ails us. By treating the body as a vibrating symphony of waveforms, we change the way we consider not only ourselves, but all life forms. Looking at our bodies as not just chemical and mechanical, but also as electrical and acoustic, brings us from the level of symptom to the level of cause.
The Biofield Tuning method works by gently guiding one’s electromagnetic system back into order. It is a simple but effective approach to supporting and maintaining health. If I have been able to achieve many seemingly miraculous outcomes through my primitive explorations with a simple tuning fork, just imagine what can be done with more sophisticated approaches.
For me personally, embracing this way of thinking has helped me to solve many of the problems I was suffering from prior: poor health, low energy, high debt, interpersonal struggles, and low morale. I have seen countless people around me become healthier, stronger, more coherent, and better able to solve and overcome their personal struggles by learning to look at life, the universe and their bodies in this way. Thinking electrically liberates us to see new solutions to old problems. If it can work so dramatically on the individual level, I can only imagine what it looks like on a collective level.