Dowsing, Healing &
Lessons from dowsing’s first cousin
Tony Scofield interviewed by Ced
definitive history of dowsing is set out in ‘The Divining Hand’ by
Two other wonderful books by Bird - both written
jointly with Peter Tomkins - are ‘The Secret Life of Plants’ and
‘Secrets of the Soil’.
In these books Bird and Tomkins provide us with a comprehensive
overview of dowsing, and subtle interactions between people and the
The books point out that dowsing is not only used to detect
and diagnose objects, problems, etc, but can also be used as a form of
intervention, especially the improvement of people’s
Running parallel to the history of dowsing in the twentieth century
is the practice of radionics. In its early days radionics could almost
be described as ‘medical dowsing’ ~ tapping a patient’s stomach and
listening carefully to the results.
In 2003 the Radionic Association1 celebrated its Diamond
Jubilee, and to mark the occasion published ‘Horizons in Radionics :
Energy Medicine for the 21st century’2. The
book was edited by Tony Scofield, then chair of the Radionic Association
and currently editor of its Journal. Tony is also a member of the BSD
and its Professional Register.
The book provides a remarkable overview of the history and current
practice of Radionics. It also includes an article by Tony which is the
best and most comprehensive I have yet read on the subject of Geopathic
Stress and Health. The article provides a host of references, sources,
and hence suggestions for future reading. Tony is also the author of a
very interesting article on ‘Shamanism, Healing and the Dowsing
Tradition’ at www.radionic.co.uk/shamanism.htm
Tony is therefore probably the best person to provide a beginner’s
guide to the subject of Radionics, and its links with dowsing.
The Abrams System, with a ‘witness’
in the circuit
|CJ : Could you
describe how radionics arose
TS : Radionics is generally considered to
have evolved from the work of Albert Abrams, an American doctor. Around
the time of the First World War he found that he could detect disease in
a patient by tapping or percussing their stomach. In the presence of
disease the sound changed. This discovery had already been made by
George Starr White but Abrams took it further by introducing a series of
variable resistances (of the kind used in electrical
equipment) between the patient or witness e.g. a blood spot of the
patient and the ‘subject’ whose abdomen was being percussed.
|A healthy subject was
used for percussion as many of the patients were too sick to stand and
undergo this procedure. By altering these variable resistances he was
able to more accurately identify specific diseases. Each disease was
characterised by a specific resistance. Because electrical resistances
were used his reactions were termed the ‘Electrical Reactions of Abrams’
(ERA). Later workers realised that the apparatus had no electrical
credibility and so they replaced the concept of resistance with ‘rates’
which were the numbers on the dials of the variable resistances which
are still used in many radionic instruments to this day.
Abrams original method, from Transactions of the Ninth Quinquennial
International Homeopathic Congress 1927.
From the paper ‘The Emanometer research and homeopathy’ by W.E.Boyd.
Published by John Bale, Sons & Danielsson, London.
gave a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer and as it was not an easy technique to use -
and required a healthy subject - it is not surprising that it was soon
replaced by dowsing techniques such as the stick pad or pendulum.
different types of instruments evolved from Abrams’ work even during his
lifetime, and the term ‘radionics’ was coined by the operators of one of
the most popular-~ the Calbro-Magnowave - towards the end of the 1920s,
after Abrams’ death in 1924.
Abrams’ work inspired Ruth Drown to develop her own method and she
was probably the most influential American practising what we would now
see as radionics until the 1950s, but she refused to call it by that
name as she felt her method was distinctly different. With time we have
realised that it most probably wasn’t, having the same basis as all the
other methods. Although Drown had the most significant early influence
on radionics development, the term ‘radionics’ - rather than her own
description - has prevailed as the name of the technique we use today.
Radionics has continued to evolve and is now much more sophisticated
than it was some 80 years ago, having, for example, introduced concepts
from eastern mysticism through the writings of Alice Bailey.
CJ : Would you like to describe the links between radionics and
dowsing, and where you think the two go their separate ways
TS : Well, for a start radionic practitioners have to be able to
dowse both to analyse their patients for problems and to select suitable
treatments. Although the earliest practitioners used a stick pad,
whereby their moving finger stuck on a rubber membrane when a ‘yes’
response was obtained, most practitioners these days will use a pendulum
because, for most people, it is easier to become proficient in this
technique. Many manufacturers, however, still build their instruments
with a stick pad, but you don’t have to use it!
|Many of us in the
Radionic Association recognise that practitioners are essentially
healers and the training our practitioners undergo is as much a
discipline to develop their innate healing ability as it is to become
proficient in the physical techniques of the therapy. For most people
just being able to dowse and select remedies will probably not be the
most effective way to help people, although there will always be
exceptions of powerful natural healers who don’t need training and I am
sure we can all help ourselves and others to some extent by these
…practitioners are essentially healers and the training our
practitioners undergo is as much a discipline to develop their innate
healing ability as it is to become proficient in the physical techniques
of the therapy
|I suppose the main
difference between medical dowsers and radionic practitioners is that
our practitioners conduct an incredibly penetrating analysis of the
patient, including an analysis of the subtle bodies which are believed
to have an important influence on the physical, and then they provide a
series of specific treatments to bring the patient back to an optimum
condition. The analysis and treatment has evolved over many years and
has proved its effectiveness. By being trained in a standard technique
means that practitioners sing to the same song sheet and can provide
mutual support in what can sometimes be quite a lonely occupation.
Perhaps the methods used by medical dowsers are not usually so
comprehensive but, having said that, if they are good healers they will
probably obtain good results with their patients.
…being trained in a standard technique means
that practitioners sing to the same song sheet and can provide mutual
support in what can sometimes be quite a lonely occupation
|CJ : There are many
different kinds of dowsing tool, L Rods, Y Rods etc. Do you think that
Radionics ‘boxes’ are just another form of dowsing, or does radionics
differ in some more profound way ?
TS : No, we use the pendulum for
dowsing just like many other dowsers. The role of the ‘box’ has been
debated ever since radionics began. There are some who believe the box
actually transmits a corrective vibration to the patient or to a remedy
which the patient will take (this is called radionic potentisation). I
don’t believe this at all but suggest the box is merely a tool to focus
the consciousness of the practitioner while they do their work. I have
discussed this at two conferences this year and will publish the paper
in the Radionic Journal. I have to say this view is by no means accepted
by all although it is essentially that proposed by David Tansley, a most
influential practitioner, nearly 25 years ago.
I believe healing is done by the harnessing the power of the right
brain, which acts at a subconscious level, but in order to be effective
the logical left brain has to be kept occupied with something else!
Perhaps using the instrument achieves this aim! Perhaps the instrument
along with the rates we set up on it acts like a charm or talisman and,
after the practitioner has set it up using the right brain energies,
continues the work when the practitioner has finished. William Tiller
has done a lot of work recently on Intention Imprinted devices
and shown that an intention imprinted into an object can achieve its
effect when transported to another laboratory. What the energies
involved are is anybody’s guess! We do not know but we do know that
something is happening and I believe it involves human consciousness.
That’s all I can really say at the moment.
CJ : Though dowsing is usually thought of as a way of finding or
detecting something, it can also be used as a form of
intervention, either for example (a) as an adjunct to healing
(e.g by identifying the best flower essence for a particular condition),
or (b) as the primary intervention and/or showing that
healing is in process. Could you describe the different diagnostic and
intervention modes of radionics, if they can be separated in that way.
|TS : I think the
easiest way would be to describe what a practitioner does as all steps
will involve dowsing. A witness, usually a lock of hair these days,
would be obtained from the patient and this would be the link with the
This would always be in the practitioner’s work space, indeed usually
on an instrument or diagram. The first step would then be to decide
whether radionics was the most appropriate therapy. If not they may
dowse for the most appropriate therapy. If radionics was appropriate
they would determine if they were the most appropriate practitioner and
it was appropriate for them to treat at that time. If not then they
would dowse for alternatives.
The next step in dowsing would be to determine what systems and
organs were out of balance and what was causing this. This is all done
from a comprehensive series of charts developed over many years. Once an
analysis sheet has been completed the practitioner would decide which
organs or systems needed optimising first and set up the corrective
rates or patterns on the radionic instrument or perhaps prepare a
potentised remedy using the instrument. The rates are obtained from the
sheets or rate book. The period of treatment would be determined and, if
lengthy, the practitioner would dowse regularly to check that all was
proceeding well or if a new intervention was required.
Experienced practitioners have developed all sorts of ancillary
techniques that are often unique to themselves to expedite the process
but they would invariably involve dowsing for selecting the appropriate
|CJ : Because one
branch of radionics uses boxes which look like pieces of electronic
equipment, is it fair to say that radionics is really ‘Dowsing with
Dials’, or is there a better way of describing the links between dowsing
and radionics ?
TS : As you intimate not all radionic instruments have
dials; some, like the Pegotty board, set up patterns, and Malcolm Rae
developed a system where the rates, set up on the dials, were replaced
by patterns on cards which are inserted into a suitable instrument. I
think it is important to remember that dowsing is used to ask questions
to obtain a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer, as it is in many other areas of
dowsing, or to select a number or a factor from a fan chart, a colour
for example, when the pendulum will swing towards the appropriate
with Dials ?
Malcolm Rae Base 44 instrument
A Pegotty Board, which uses
patterns rather than dials
© Tony Scofield
|CJ : What do you think
radionics has to teach dowsing, and vice versa ?
TS : I think it would be fair to say that radionics is the natural
step for dowsers who wish to improve their healing ability.
Radionics certainly illustrates the importance of discipline in
forming unambiguous questions, which is often more difficult than most
dowsers may think. It also illustrates the value of having a
well-organised protocol for obtaining the information necessary to
understand the problem of the patient and determining a suitable
treatment. The analytical technique that radionics has evolved over the
years provides a powerful tool in understanding what is at the root of a
patient’s problems and I am sure many dowsers interested in medical
aspects would find it extremely useful in their work.
The role of subtle bodies in health has been developed in radionics
and may well be of interest to medical dowsers.
Dowsing has provided the opportunity for radionic practitioners to
consider new possible stressors that may affect their patients. The best
example would be geopathic stress which is related to dowsable reaction
or energy lines. This invaluable concept came directly from the dowsers
and is now included in the radionic practitioners’ analysis. Techniques
such as determining the vitality of food by dowsing on a scale is also
used by many practitioners in assessing suitability of diets for their
patients. I think that, rather than dowsing techniques themselves, it is
some of the uses that dowsers put their skills to that have been, and
will be, taken up by radionic practitioners where they see that they
could be of help. Radionics is always evolving and open to new ideas.
CJ : If a dowser wanted to explore radionics, what are the first
TS : Without doubt the best way is to attend the Radionic
Association’s weekend Foundation Course which is held twice a year in
April and October. In a series of talks and practical sessions you will
be introduced to all aspects of radionics by a number of experienced
practitioners. The weekends also have students attending at various
stages of their training so there is a good opportunity to find out what
the full three-year part-time training course involves. The Foundation
Course is a necessary first step for those who wish to start
professional training. Details of the courses can be obtained from the
office and the web site (www.radionic.co.uk).
CJ : On the last but one page of ‘Horizons in Radionics’, you quote
someone as saying that radionics is a form of ‘instrumented
prayer’, and someone else as describing the radionic transmitter
as ‘a type of "instrumented prayer" system with an amplification
mechanism embedded in it’. I was fascinated by this description
as I use the ‘prayer/request’ system of Joey Korn, which has the benefit
of being capable of being precisely targeted (instrumented?) on
an issue by carefully choosing the words used. Could you say a little
more on ‘instrumented prayer’
TS : In prayer we are appealing to a higher authority for help,
essentially through a ritual. The use of the term ‘prayer’ in the
context of radionics really highlights that ultimately we don’t know
what we are dealing with. The more we look into healing the more
mysterious it appears and I have always felt that if anyone claims they
understand what is happening then they are almost certainly wrong! But
something does happen and hence there must be some sort of energy
exchange. But we have no idea of the mechanisms involved.
Those people who have used the term ‘instrumented prayer’ acknowledge
the mysteriousness of radionics and that there is something behind it
that we cannot comprehend. The procedure for analysis and treatment is
certainly a well-organised ritual akin to those used throughout cultures
in what might broadly be described as ‘prayer’. And as, for many
radionic practitioners, an instrument is part of their ritual then the
term ‘instrumented prayer’ would appear appropriate; it doesn’t have to
have a religious context, just that something beyond our ken is
involved, although many practitioners acknowledge that there is some
higher authority at work in the universe, but most are quite laid back
about what it is!
Rather like your prayer/request system the analysis does provide a
very precise desired outcome which the practitioner then tries to
achieve using the ritual of treatment. One thing you and other healers
may like to consider is recent work that has shown that prayer tends to
be more effective when the outcome is left to a higher authority rather
than specifically described! This would certainly make the procedure
simpler but the ritual would still be necessary, I think, in order to
harness the relevant energy, whatever that may be.
Tony Scofield: email@example.com
I think it would be fair to say
that radionics is the natural step for dowsers who wish to improve their
1. The Radionic Association : Tel./Fax. 01869 338852. Email:
firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: www.radionic.co.uk
2. ‘Horizons in Radionics’ is available from the BSD bookshop for
£14.99 with £y postage (BSD contact details)