Investigating the Mind-Body: Physics and Methods of Medicine

Spring 2018
Class Size: 44
50% Reserved for Freshmen
Credits per quarter

Compare offerings and share your lists with others.

Taught by

acupuncture, holistic medicine
physics education research, cognitive abilities development and assessment, adult and continuing science education

Western science has traditionally considered the mind and body as separate entities. Yet substantial research indicates that the relationship and interactions between the mind and the body are much more complex and intimate than previously imagined. Considered as a single holistic entity, the human mind-body (body-mind) has an innate capacity for healing that involves complex interactions between the nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, and other physiologic systems. Insights from physics and from holistic medical systems throughout the world contribute to our ability to investigate biological evidence involving the mind-body. 

In this program, we will explore the biological principles underlying mind-body health, the physics of diagnostic instruments, and will engage in an epistemological inquiry about why it is that we believe what we believe about the body, consciousness, health, and healing. We will compare and contrast the underlying beliefs of traditional medical research and evidence-based medicine with those of alternative and complementary medical practices.

Our study of biofield measurement instruments will serve as the foundation for understanding the basic principles of electricity, magnetism, and light as they are applied in the medical professions on the body’s electromagnetic field for diagnostic readings and treatment. Topics include: charges and electrostatics, electrodynamics and induced EMF, piezoelectricity, magnetic fields, waves and wave interference, light and the wave-particle duality, and introductory quantum mechanics. Our study of holistic medicine will cover the traditional medical systems of China, India and Arabia from the East, and Greco-Hellenic and Hebraic traditions from the west.  We will place special emphasis on the nature of mind-body awareness that is present in the theories of acupuncture and Chinese medicine.

Students will acquire a strong conceptual foundation of the content as well as develop quantitative and scientific reasoning skills through readings, homework assignments, discussions, and demonstrations. Our study will include lectures, guest speakers, seminar, films, and some opportunities for practicing mind-body connections, supporting students in assimilating and synthesizing their learning though their minds and their bodies.

Note: This is an introductory science program, and as such, upper division credit is NOT available.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

alternative and complementary medicine, health sciences, holistic health practices, psychology, physiology, and consciousness studies


Credits per quarter

Online learning:
  • Hybrid Online Learning - This offering delivers < 25% of its instruction online, rather than via face-to-face contact between you and your instructors.
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 44
50% Reserved for Freshmen

Scheduled for: Day

Final schedule and room assignments:

Located in: Olympia

2018-03-02Subtitle changed from Biology and Beyond to Physics and Methods of Medicine
2018-02-28Charles Lev replaces Carolyn Prouty in this program. Description has been updated.
2017-05-10The description has been updated.
2017-05-10Sara Rose joined the teaching team. It is now offered to all class levels.