Secrets of near-death experiences could be about to be uncovered in new research

New research shows that many people who have come close to dying reported similar experiences including separating from their body and being able to see in all directions

Secrets of near-death experiences could be about to be uncovered as new research looks into the truth behind the phenomena.

This comes after various cases show that neither your physical or mental processes stop immediately after clinical death.

For years, many people have put those who claimed to see a tunnel of light or felt as though they were floating above their bodies while on the brink of death down to fringe science.

But it’s time for near-death experiences to be taken seriously, researchers say.

This comes after an international team of researchers, including experts from universities of New York, King’s College London, Harvard, California and Southampton, have set out a standard definition for near-death experiences, and guidelines for how to study such episodes.

The experts have estimated that millions of people across the globe who have been between life and death have inhabited a certain “grey zone”.







An international team of researchers have set out a standard definition for near-death experiences
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During this, those have experienced a specific narrative arc which involves separating from your body, a sense of travel to a place that feels like home and then a meaningful review of your life.

Speaking about the research, the lead author of the consensus statement Dr Sam Parnia who is the director of critical care and resuscitation research at NYU Grossman School of Medicine said that those who explain their near-death experiences have often not been believed.

He told the Telegraph : “People from all over the world who have come close to death report unique transcendent experiences, but these accounts are often poo-pooed as weird anecdotes or something triggered by the brain shutting down.

“There hasn’t been a single common definition for what people experience, and the term ‘near-death experience’ has been used interchangeably to refer to dreams or drug-induced hallucinations when it is something entirely different.

“We took hundreds of peoples’ experiences and merged them together so that we could pull out clusters of experiences, and come up with a common definition.”

Now, the team of experts have proposed that the term ‘near-death experiences’ should be changed to ‘Recalled Experience of Death’ which will be shortened to RED.

To determine whether a case is authentic, they’ve set out six components that people have to meet.

The six components are:

  • The experience must be linked to death
  • It has to involve a loss of consciousness
  • Bring a sense of transcendence
  • Be somewhat indescribable
  • Bring a positive transformation
  • Be free of other coma-related experiences (including dreams and delirium)

These guidelines have been put in place to separate REDs from other phenomena, such as those who have been in a coma and reported dreams of briefly waking without realising and being unable to recall the events that happened around them, this is called post-intensive care syndrome (PICS).

The research, which will be published soon according to Dr Parnia, shows that roughly 15 per cent of people who’ve been resuscitated from a coma after suffering from a cardiac arrest have a Recalled Experience of Death.







Those who have experienced REDs often wake up no longer scared of death
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Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While many have recalled leaving their body, but still being aware of ‘self’, some have claimed to be able to see in all directions along with hovering in space and occasionally connected to their own body by a cord.

Some have said they’ve been drawn through a tunnel while others have seen their lives in review and how their actions whilst alive impacted others.

Those who have experienced REDs often wake up no longer scared of death, feel changed and determined to better their lives.

The researchers have stated that this is different from dreams, illusions and hallucinations as they all share a common and universal theme.

“Death is so fundamental to everything we do that it’s important to take an objective look in an unbiased and fully scientific way about what it means.”

It was deemed impossible to explore death until the 1960s when it was discovered by doctors that hearts could be restarted.

Due to advances in science, we’re able to find new ways to bring people on the brink of death back to life and monitor what’s happening to them during that time.

Studies have been showing that physical and mental processes can continue for hours or even longer after clinical death. This is potentially providing a window for life-changing altered states of awareness.

However, the experts and authors of the new consensus statement have said that whilst it’s not possible to prove the reality of claims from patients, it’s also impossible to disprove them.

Writing in the new paper, which was published in the Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, the authors state: “While understanding death and what happens when we die remains a mystery, this may now be a mystery that is amenable to unbiased and objective scientific scrutiny.”

Have you experienced any near-death experiences? If you have let us know in the comments below

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