Kirlian photography is named after two Russians called Semyon and Valentina Kirlian who did research on high-voltage photography (or electrophotography) and who suggested that the haloes which their photographs showed around living things provided evidence of the existence of a non-physical energy force or aura.

Those who use Kirlian photography claim that problems or disorders of the body or mind can change the body’s powerful electrical force and that these changes can be measured and recorded with their special photographic techniques.

The hands and the feet are, they say, particularly rich in nervous tissue and when high voltage electrical fields are applied to these parts of the body the intensity and size of the interference pattern that is produced will provide the observer with an accurate picture of the physical and mental state of the patient.

Indeed, many practitioners of Kirlian photography go further than this and claim that changes in the patterns of interference occur before there are any physical or psychological signs of illness being present. Kirlian photography is, they claim, an extremely sophisticated and advanced diagnostic aid which enables them to predict future illness patterns.


To take his or her pictures the Kirlian photographer places a sheet of photographic paper on a special ‘camera’ and the patient then puts first a hand and then a foot above the photographic paper. No light source is used but a high-voltage charge is passes across the sensitive paper. The resulting image shows a fringe of light around the object. Once the picture has been developed the Kirlian photographer uses old case histories and specially prepared wall charts to help him ‘read’ his results.

Kirlian photography is the alternative version of radiology, and photographs taken by Kirlian photographers (sometimes known as practitioners of Kirlian aura diagnosis) are the alternative equivalent of X-rays.


Like iridologists Kirlian photographers are diagnosticians. But like iridologists most are prepared to offer some form of treatment or therapeutic advice.


I know of no specific dangers associated with Kirlian photography. However, there is, I believe, a risk that serious pathology may be missed.


I do not think it has any.