Have you ever seen a true believer using a Dowser to find water or oil?
What about a seemingly sane person using a pendulum to answer financial questions? Yes, like the ouija board.

According to the skepdic.com and other famous revealers of truth,
the messages are caused by unconsciously moving the hand holding the pendulum to produce the pendulum swings.

All the smart-money says it’s your own suggestions at a subliminal (subconscious) that answers your questions. If you are optimistic, your hand moves the pendulum
ever so slightly to indicate yes, and vice-versa.


There is a research history going back to 1833 by French chemist, Michel Chevreul, and in 1852 by British scientist William B. Carpenter, refuting the independent reality of both the Ideomotor Effect using the pendulum and Dowsing (Divining).

Do you get answers using the pendulum? Its critics say yes, but the responses are not from the spiritual realm, but your subconscious sending hints to your conscious mind.

Supernatural or Human

All scientists and skeptics agree the secret of the movements is the almost undetectable motor movements of the hand holding the dowser or pendulum.

Is simple suggestibility the secret of human healing of a cut, the actions of our heart beating, respiration of our lungs, and blood pressure?

All of the aforementioned are produced by our nonconscious mind, our brainstem, and basal ganglia. We label them derivatives of our Central, Autonomic, Sympathetic and Parasympathetic Nervous Systems.

Our conscious mind is total oblivious of the actions of the heart pumping (unless it races or stops), blood pressure (unless there is a stroke), and inhaling and exhaling (unless there is a lack of oxygen).

Maybe, just maybe the communication between our conscious and nonconscious mind is on autopilot, but can be made visible by the pendulum or dowser.

Google: The Influence of Suggestion in Modifying And Directing Muscular Movement, independently of Volition. See: Dr. Ray Hyman, 1999.

Corpus Callosum

Our brain is largely (80%) filled with our left and right hemispheres. The left-brain (controls the right side of the body) is the site for language, planning, and reasoning,
reading, writing and arithmetic (science too). It is verbal dominant.

The right-brain is non-verbal and handles the automatic processes of the body including metabolism, hormones, enzymes, and neuropeptides. All our senses including vision, hearing and kinesthetic, are processed by our right-hemisphere.

Emotions (Limbic System), and our Reptilian Complex (instincts and reflexes) are unlearned, inherited fixed action patterns, hardwired in our brain structures. Both functional and structural areas of the brain control blood pressure, heart beat
and respiration.

In between the left and right hemispheres is the corpus callosum (< L firm body). It is responsible for communication between consciousness and nonconsciousness, the left and right brains. See also the anterior and hippocampal commissures.

There is an ongoing conversation between body and mind, and left and right hemispheres. Which part of our brain is responsible for the Internal Dialogue, a/k/a stream of consciousness, self-talk, and subvocalization?

Answer: Neocortex and hippocampus. Both brain structures use all the senses especially visual, auditory and kinesthetic (touch) to process the contents of the Internal Dialogue. It is turned on 24/7 offering 60,000 thoughts daily, without our conscious intervention.

The Contrarian Point of View

The Ideomotor Effect is not blatant nonsense nor explained by the power of self-deception through suggestion. It is a link between the left and right hemispheres and the initiation of physiological changes.

Who says so?

The leading specialists in hypnosis, and NLP (Neural Linguistic Programming) teach that we can learn to initiate communication to our queries from our conscious mind directed to our nonconscious mind. They do not make it sound like dowsing or
ouija boarding, more like hypnosis or autosuggestion.

Google: Dr. Milton H. Erickson, Richard Bandler PhD and John Grinder PhD They use and not abuse the ability to create a dialogue between the left and right brain, consciousness and the nonconscious brain.

They agree with Dr. Chevreul that involuntary motor responses can be produced by a dominant idea. The difference is Chevreul did not have the benefit of 20th and 21st century neurological brain research of hypnosis and the placebo effect.

You can learn schemas, strategies, and use tools to access knowledge unknown to our conscious mind. You can present challenges to our right hemisphere requesting solutions involving finances, personal relationships and healing the body.

Subtle Cues

Suggestions can guide our behavior, feelings and state of mind. Our expectations and mood are dominated by subtle cues and nonconscious body language caused without our volition. Suggestions accepted, can cause bodily and mental changes.

Actors who move our feelings have mastered the use of gestures and facial movements aroused by the character he/she plays. They rely on their automatic activities of their Limbic (emotions) system, instincts and reflexes to activate our
Mirror Neurons to copy what we see and hear through empathy.

Have you watched an Olympic athlete lift 1,200 pounds, and found yourself grunting while subconsciously helping him/her make the lift?

Your Mirror Neurons make you react to the activities and feelings of others through what we are seeing, hearing, and reading. It is not volitional, but at a subconscious level.


Hypnosis was rejected as superstition and dementia by British and American scientists well into the 20th century. Later the AMA and ADA approved hypnosis for pain control. It still has an aura of mystery and phoniness after centuries of proof it offers pain relieving benefits.

Recent scientific research using fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imagery) proved that during hypnosis the area of the brain called, ACC (Anterior Cingulate Cortex) is strongly activated. It is not merely suggestion, it produces physical results.

The Placebo effect has been disbelieved and ridiculed by many scientists as mere suggestion. Today the Placebo effect is known to activate the body in up to 75% of individuals tested.

Researchers have proven our Mu Opioid Receptors is the direct cause of the Placebo effect, not the power of mere suggestion. When your physician promises a healing by taking a powerless sugar pill, and you believe him because of your trust in his medical skills, your body responds positively in 50-75% of the cases.

Hypnosis, Placebos, and the Ideomotor Effect all produce physiological changes, and initiate communication between left and right hemispheres, and the mind-body connection.

Check out how you can integrate the knowledge of both left and right hemispheres for personal success in school, career, and your relationships.

In the future you may read about how the pendulum and dowser, like hypnosis and the placebo, are accepted as scientifically valid. For the present you must do your own research, a/k/a Mind Experiments. We recommend you check it out.

Last Point: Would it help your schooling or career in reading and remembering three (3) books, articles and reports in the time others can hardly finish one?

Ask us how to triple your reading skills, and double your long-term memory permanently.

See ya,

copyright © 2008
H. Bernard Wechsler

Author's Bio: 

Author of Speed Reading For Professionals, published by
Barron's, business partner of Evelyn Wood, creator or
speed reading, graduating 2 million, including the White House
staffs of four U.S. Presidents.