Investigating the Mind-Body: Biology and Beyond

Spring 2018 quarter

Taught by

health science, public health, bioethics
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 has an innate capacity for healing that involves complex interactions between the nervous system, immune system, endocrine system, and other physiologic systems. Additionally, physics contributes 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, health, and healing. We will study stress physiology and how we embody our lived experiences, the connections of the gastrointestinal nervous system and the microbiome to mental and physical health, as well as neuropsychological phenomena such as the placebo effect. 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 may 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.

Students will acquire a strong conceptual foundation of the content as well as develop quantitative and scientific reasoning skills through readings, homework assignments, discussions, demonstrations, and a final Science Carnival poster presentation.

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.

Program Details

Fields of Study

biology consciousness studies health physics physiology

Preparatory For

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


Spring Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


2017-05-10The description has been updated.
2017-05-10Sara Rose joined the teaching team. It is now offered to all class levels.