Placebos, Presence and the Zero Point

by Darren Starwynn

Those of us in the holistic health professions spend a huge amount of time learning techniques and methods and in many cases are given professional licenses based on our ability to remember and accurately apply them.  All well and good, yet there are other, less tangible factors that may be as important, or even more important in some cases, for the recovery of our clients.

There has been a great deal of recent research into the so-called placebo effect.  In numerous studies it has been shown that sham treatments, such as fake acupuncture into non-points or doctors giving sugar pills with containing no medications has shown equal or higher degrees of effectiveness than “real” treatments.

Ted Kaptchuk, author of bestselling acupuncture book The Web that Has No Weaver and now a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School has created pioneering studies measuring the placebo effect in medicine. As an example, in one 2010 study Kaptchuk treated 230 adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)[1].  These patients were divided into three groups.  One group received no treatment, one received sham acupuncture (needling non-indicated random points) and one received sham acupuncture from a warm, empathetic doctor.  People feeling relief from the symptoms of IBS fell into these categories:

Improvement after no treatment:  28%

Improvement after sham acupuncture:  44%

Improvement after sham acupuncture given by a warm, empathetic doctor:  62%

Another study was done giving pills to patients with IBS.  35% of those receiving no treatment improved while 59% of the people receiving placebo pills improved.  What is remarkable is that these people were told in advance that the pills they were taking were placebos with no drug content!

When doctors or acupuncturists approach their patients with compassion and confidence this is often called “bedside manner”.  Good bedside manner is credited for significant improvements in patient responses.  In this article I will share a deeper dive into the spiritual power behind this phenomenon.  To do that I will introduce and explain three terms:  Presence, Zero Point and Quantum Field.

Presence / I AM Presence

Some definitions of “presence” from Mirriam-Webster dictionary:

The fact or condition of being present

A noteworthy quality of poise and effectiveness

Something (such as a spirit) felt or believed to be present

All of these point to an essential quality of being that is vital for healers to embody.

Zero Point

In this regard Zero Point refers to the center point within us of unity, or singularity.  Everything else in our experience tends to be dualistic, moving through cycles and bouncing between the yin – yang, up – down poles of experience.  The term Zero Point is roughly equivalent to the terms Tao, Divine, I AM Presence and more, although each term has its own flavor.  I have called it our “calm center”.

The term zero point has been used both as part of physics and various healing systems.

In Quantum Physics Zero Point Energy (ZPE) refers to what remains after all energy is removed from a system – the ground energy within the vacuum state.

Some scientists believe that the key to free energy on Earth or future interstellar space travel could be harnessing the massive zero-point energy contained within the seeming vacuum of space. This taps into what is called the “Casimir effect” in quantum physics- harnessing minute forces within a vacuum state.

An energetic bodywork system called “Zero Balancing” was created in the 1970’s that uses touch to balance the subtle energy fields of the body for healing purposes.  Acupuncture can also be said to work in this way.

Human beings function best in our multi-faceted experiences when we are able to keep our inner mind and heart connected to singularity, or One-ness.  Yet few people experience this consistently, and that is the deepest cause of suffering.  The deep state of dis-illusionment and even despair many people experience after seeking love and fulfillment in the outer world is called Vairagya in Sanskrit.  Vairagya is the strongest motivation for people to truly go within and meditate.  We can say that it is what motivates us to actually go into the Zero Point.

Putting our attention in the Zero Point within is a major key to accessing Presence.  It is my experience that when I am holding Presence the healing sessions I do produce higher level results with less reliance on techniques and effort.  That is an expression of wu wei (results through non-action).   This is the essence of Quantum Healing.

Quantum Field and Quantum Healing

To try to make a complex subject super simple, a quantum field is an unmanifest field of unlimited possibilities that tends to get excited.  When a quantum field is excited it shows up as fields of fluctuating particles with wave-like actions.  These particles represent frequencies, the prime basis of everything.  These particles can “collapse” into all the measureable things of our Universe.

Quantum Field Healing is a system of transformational healing that takes place within the consciousness of the Quantum Field.  Quantum Healing can be applied by itself, or can be used to amplify the results of any healing techniques and modalities.

One of the remarkable principles of Quantum Healing is that people can access perfect energetic templates of all parts of them through the Quantum field.  Therefore even if a person has a diseased liver the perfect template of their undiseased liver still exists in their field.  Healing and spontaneous remissions happen when people are able to tap into that template and “download” it into their physical body, upgrading or replacing the diseased part.  Hard to believe?  I have seen this happen on numerous occasions.  How to facilitate this happening more often?  That is a mystery that beckons us to explore!

This understanding brings us back to the power of placebos as described above.  Scientists do not understand why placebos work so well.  I propose that placebos, whether in the form of pills of the attention of a caring practitioner, helps clients to bypass their surface minds and access the Quantum Field.  It is a form of Quantum Healing happening throughout our medical system, and should be further investigated.

Holding Presence

Here are some guidelines for cultivating your ability to hold Presence more of the time:

  • Center yourself in your heart, coming from unconditional love
  • Master hook-up – keep the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind two front teeth as much as possible. This tends to bring you into the Zero Point by balancing the Yin-Yang poles of the body through the Ren and Du channels
  • Making it a habit to deepen breathing periodically and learn to recognize the subtle shift in your body and energy fields when you are holding Presence
  • Regular meditation in the inner silence and Zero Point
  • Eating a healthy diet, avoiding the bad stuff that whacks out and de-sensitizes your body to subtle energy sensing

A free guided meditation mp3 is available on Zero Point meditation.  You can access it here.


Darren Starwynn has over 30 years experience in Chinese Medicine. He has developed healing technologies for acupuncturists, written three books and is Director of Bridge to Mastery, an online school for acupuncturists and physicians.  Darren currently practices in Marin County, California, and can be reached through his websites or  Email:



  • sharolyn says:

    Great job,I likeit.

  • says:

    Such a gentle reminder. Thank you. How do I access the guided meditation–I love your voice!!