I first found I could dowse when I tried to locate the lines of geopathic
stress in my home. The instructions said to cut a wire coathanger into
two ‘L’ shapes and think hard of what I wanted to find.
Feeling a little silly and extremely sceptical I stood in the middle
of the lounge holding out the rods and hoping nobody was watching.
Incredibly, as I wandered round the room the rods began to move. I
was surprised and a little shocked. This was my first foray into dowsing
and since then I have learnt how useful it can be in helping to identify
food and chemical intolerances - especially for those with multiple
I now dowse weekly to plan my rotation diet and find out which washing
powder I will be able to tolerate on which day. Occasionally I use
it to check which food or vitamin supplements I require, and to see
if foods such as meat and fish are safe to eat. Unlike other sensitivity
tests, dowsing is free, the results are immediate and it can all be
carried out in the comfort of your own home - great if you also have
chronic fatigue syndrome.
What is it?
Dowsing can be defined as a way of searching for things that cannot
be seen, in this case answers to questions.
Many people are familiar with diviners using rods to look for water,
and the process is virtually the same when dowsing food or other products.
Some dowsers use rods made of a particular type of wood or metal, while
others prefer to use pendulums or even manage to dowse without any
tool at all. Most people find they have some ability to dowse, especially
for water and geopathic stress; some find they can refine their talent
to dowse for almost anything – from oilfields to missing persons.
While the latter often involves spiritual energy, beginners usually
find their dowsing ability is due to a physical process between the
substance and the unconscious chemical energy of the body.
No particular belief is required and even a healthy scepticism is unlikely
to hinder your ability.
The easiest way to find out whether you can dowse is by searching for
underground water. Assuming you have no desire to dig up your garden
or kitchen floor, it is going to be difficult to verify your results,
but if the rods do move you will know you are likely to have some success
in dowsing for foods or chemicals.
To get started the only equipment needed is a rod or pendulum of some
sort. A ring on a piece of cotton would suffice, but I find the results
are more obvious using rods.
Dowsing for Water
Equipment: one wire coathanger and something to cut it with.
1. Open the coathanger.
2. Discard the hook, and bend the two other pieces to create two L-shaped
rods. Ideally, one side of the ‘L’ should be longer than
3. Hold the shortest part of the rods in each hand so the long parts
are parallel to the floor. Make sure you hold the rods loosely so they
can swing around. You might find it easier to slip the ends of the
rods into a handle such as a straw or an empty biro casing.
4. Hold the rods steady out in front of you, with your elbows close
to your body to minimise movement of your arms and hands.
5. Clear your mind and centre yourself. It is important to keep your
mind completely focussed on what you want to find. Tell yourself out
loud that you would like to look for underground streams.
6. Walk slowly with the rods held in front of you. If you come across
an underground stream the rods should start to move.
If the rods cross, you are likely to be standing directly over a source
of underground water. If the rods line up, they may be marking the
direction of flow of an underground stream.
Try approaching the area from another direction to see if you get the
same response. If you don’t get any reaction, check you are not
holding the rods too tightly, and that they are still parallel to the
floor – not tipping up or down. Move slowly and smoothly to avoid
unintentionally moving the rods and make sure your mind is completely
focussed on what you want to find.
If there is still no response, it may be that there is no water in
that area, so try looking somewhere else. The same process can be used
to dowse for geopathic stress.
Dowsing for Food Intolerance
The process of dowsing for chemicals or foods is similar to that of
looking for water. It is easier to have a sample of the food or product
in front of you to start with, but in time you may find you can dowse
just by saying the name of the food or chemical.
Hold the rods loosely with your elbows tucked in. Clear your mind and
focus on the question you want to ask. Hold the rods over the sample
of food and say your question out loud eg ‘Can I tolerate this
If the rods cross, the answer is yes. If they remain parallel, the
answer is no. If one rod moves or they only move a little, the answer
With this technique it is most important to ask an accurate question.
If your mind is not totally clear, or you are expecting a specific
answer, you are likely to influence the way the rods swing.
It is useful to have a practice run first – simply ask the rods
to indicate yes, no and uncertain. With practice, you can refine your
dowsing to find out whether your intolerance is temporary or permanent
and how often each food should be eaten in a rotation schedule, simply
by asking the question out loud.
Using a Pendulum
Whether you use the rods a pendulum depends on your own preference.
Almost anything can be used as a pendulum, as long as it is light and
easy to move. It is possible to buy all sorts of purpose-made brass
and crystal pendulums, but a metal ring on a piece of cotton should
Once you have centred and focussed your mind, the process is similar
to using rods.
First of all you need to work out which way the pendulum should swing
to indicate a positive or negative response. To avoid confusion keep
the same code each time. Usually the pendulum will circle clockwise
(to the right) for ‘yes’ and anti-clockwise (to the left)
for ‘no’. If the answer is uncertain it may move forwards
and back in a straight line, but it is up to you to decide on a code.
Before you start have a practice run to make sure the pendulum will
swing in the direction you want.
Dowsing usually provides answers for this exact moment in time so it
is important to be accurate. Asking if you are sensitive to potatoes
may produce a positive response but may only apply to today; asking
whether you will be sensitive to potatoes in the next five days is
likely to get a different response. This can be really useful when planning
rotation menus as you are likely to be able to tolerate slightly different
foods each week, according to your body chemistry at that time
However, if you don’t have the energy to dowse regularly, it
may be more appropriate to just find out whether your sensitivities
are temporary or long-term.
Dowsing when Tired
Whether you decide to use rods or a pendulum, try not to dowse
when you are tired or brain fogged, as the results will be unreliable.
If you find you become tired while dowsing, stop and before starting
again imagine yourself completely enclosed in a giant glass bubble
- this should prevent expending excess energy. When you have
finished evaporate the bubble and imagine your energy coming
back down from
your head into your feet. Some people like to wash their hands
after dowsing to rebalance their energy.
Finding I had the ability to dowse made managing my food intolerances
a lot easier and gave me more flexibility in planning rotation
diets. It also enabled me to test my sensitivity to products
before I bought
them, meaning I no longer had stockpiles of redundant food, washing
powders and toothpastes. It is especially useful in helping to
solve the riddle of multiple intolerances and can help lessen
of distressing reactions. In fact the only thing dowsing hasn’t
been able to help me with is next week’s lottery numbers, but
I’ll keep trying!
First published in 2005
More articles on the management and treatment of food allergy and intolerance
back to top