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Dowsing – Origin, Benefits, Efficacy, And Methodology
A problem-solving technique, dowsing employs motor autism that is magnified by the use of a pendulum or a similar instrument.1

The human body is known to be more sensitive than any artificially-manufactured instrument. Two theories have been floated about the working of a human body:

  • Firstly, human body is said to be able to detect electromagnetic energy because the cells comprise protoplasm, which is an electrical force field.
  • Secondly, dowsing effects are said to be metaphysical and generated by mind. This is because dowsers can divine through maps alone.2

Dowsing as a medical practice has enough popularity for it to be practiced by natural therapists. Dowsing can be done by almost any person with some amount of practice.2

Originally, dowsing is a method used to find water, minerals, ores, and other things present on earth. Several types of instruments are used for dowsing such as pendulums, divining wires, or forked twigs.2

What Is Dowsing? Where Did It Originate?
Dowsing is also known as rhabdomancy, water witching or divining. It is defined as a problem-solving technique that uses motor automatism along with a mechanical instrument to get information that is otherwise not known to the dowser.

  • Dowsers view a problem with a clear question in mind.
  • They specify the direction of motion that indicates a “yes” and a “no.” This practice is known as programming.
  • This is how the “code book” of their practice is built.1

How Is Dowsing Beneficial?
Dowsing is helpful in the following conditions:

  • To find out whether a person has a bacterial or a viral infection
  • To find out whether a person has a deficiency of vitamins or minerals in the diet2

Studies/Research On The Efficacy Of Dowsing

  • Mixed results have been obtained by conducting scientific experiments on dowsing.
  • Research has been conducted on dowsing as it is employed in veterinary medicine.

How Is Dowsing Performed?

  • In medical radiesthesia, the pendulum is used for divining disease in people or animals and plants.
    • The pendulum provides a yes/no answer to specific questions.
    • Usually, a swing in the clockwise direction means a yes, and a swing in the anti-clockwise direction means a no.
  • In homeopathy, dowsing is used to confirm that the selected remedy is indeed appropriate for the patient. It also helps to determine the correct potency of the prescribed homeopathic medicine.2

The dowser concentrates on questions at hand and places a hand on the witness of the patient.

  • A witness refers to an object that is intimately associated with the patient, such as a handwritten letter, a spot of blood, or a lock of hair.2

How Can People Get Started With Dowsing?
There are four theories on dowsing:

  • Normal inference theory – According to this theory, the dowser is capable of processing a large amount of information related to the situation subconsciously and transfer it to the mechanical instrument, thus making it move.
  • Physical theory – According to this theory, the minute reactions in the human body are transferred to the mechanical device through mechanisms unknown, thus making it move. Electromagnetic fields or other forms of vibrational energy may be involved.
  • Theory of psionic medicine – According to this theory, each living as well as non-living object is moving continuously at a molecular level. The dowser is able to sense these vibrations at a subconscious level and amplify them using a pendulum or a similar device.
    • Believers of this theory hold that the sense of dowsing evolved as a means of surviving since it helps one find water.
    • It is said to be useful in clinical practice because the vibrational patterns differ with different diseases.
  • Psychical theory – According to this theory, the dowser uses extrasensory perception to find his object.1

Any Precautions, Interactions, Or Contraindications
No particular safety issues associated with dowsing have been identified.3

1. McCarney R, Fisher P, Spink F, Flint G, van Haselen R. Can homeopaths detect homeopathic medicines by dowsing? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. J R Soc Med. 2002 Apr;95(4):189-91. PubMed PMID: 11934908; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC1279512.

2. Jollyman N. Good Health Naturally Without Drugs. B. Jain Publishers; 2002. 232p.

3. Mantle F., Tiran D. A-Z of Complementary and Alternative Medicine: A guide for health professionals. Elsevier Health Sciences; 2009. 272p.

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