The term Biofield , which is a contraction of the phrase Biological Field, was proposed in 1992 by a committee of CAM (Complementary and Alternative Medicine) practitioners and researchers, organized by the Office of Alternative Medicine (OAM) at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Introducing the term Biofield was an effort to categorize i.e. unify Energetic Therapies (also called Energy Medicine) that involved Life Force or Vital Life Energy concepts and cultivation, such as Reiki Healing, Yoga, Tai Chi, Therapeutic Touch (TT), Healing Touch (HT), Pranic Healing, Qigong, and so on.
Biofield then became defined as “a massless field, not necessarily electromagnetic, that surrounds and permeates living bodies and affects the body.” In fact, it’s assumed that every person has a physical body and a subtle body, which both consist of several layers (or fields) of energy, and together referred to as the Biofield.
For instance, the subtle body — much depending on the definition, by the way — may consist of an etheric body, mental body, emotional body, and/or spiritual body, and each of those may again have several sub-energetic layers and functions.
In any case, in 1994, Biofield therapies were officially recognized as an alternative treatment by the NIH, and were defined as “noninvasive, practitioner-mediated therapies that explicitly work with the Biofield of both the practitioner and client to stimulate a healing response in the client.”
Biofield therapies can be either direct or indirect. In the direct method, the therapist uses physical contact with the receiver, but in the indirect method the therapist gives therapy without direct physical contact. The latter is thought possible because Biofield therapies work within the Biofield energy layer that surrounds the receiver.
Therapeutic Biofield treatments are increasingly interpreted as working with the holistic energy matrix of an organism, that is, a human being, animal, or plant, allowing for rapid and effective communication and information exchange throughout the body of that organism, connecting physical, emotional, and mental levels.
Today, the term Biofield and its practice as Biofield Therapy transcends its initial purpose of “explaining” or “categorizing” Life Energy healing methods, and involves a broader variety of energetic features, such as magnetism, electromagnetism, homeodynamics, and/or neurological processes.