Dowse your way to a decision

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The Independent Online
For businesswoman Charmaine Anderson, swinging her pendulum is as important as consulting the bank manager when she needs advice on a deal.

She simply asks a question and, depending on the movement of the pendulum, the answer is "Yes" or "No". It may not be the most conventional way to do business but for her, it works.

Charmaine is one of a growing number of people discovering the benefits of dowsing. And many of them claim it has boosted their careers, improved staff relations and upped their incomes.

Dowsing is a practice which is said to date back to prehistoric times and is most commonly known as a way of detecting underground water. Dowsers use pendulums or rods which move when water is located. Strangely, it is also said to work from a distance using a map. Although no-one has yet been able to explain the phenomenon, it is thought to be a response to changing energy fields. Like Charmaine, you can also use it as an aid to decision-making.

Veronika Strong takes a practical approach. She and husband Christopher dowse professionally in Evesham and London.

"I have no idea how or why it works," she said. "I only know that it does. Anyone can learn to dowse, you just have to be open-minded. You can use it to ask questions about absolutely anything but I always tell people they should only ask what they really need to know. And you shouldn't use it to pry into other people's lives."

One of the main uses of dowsing, however, is in detecting harmful energies in the home or workplace. In particular, dowsers look for "Geopathic stress". This electromagnetic energy, generated by underground water or geological faults, is believed to interfere with the body's own energy fields and thus weaken the immune system. This, they say, is a major factor in cancer, cot deaths and learning difficulties.

"Where you find geopathic stress at work, the workforce will not be happy," Veronika explained. "Staff will quarrel and there will be accidents, errors and absenteeism." Electrical devices like computers, aerials and mobile phones can exacerbate this. The solution, she says, is to move the furniture or place crystals at strategic points to "absorb" the energy.

Veronika and Christopher have also "harmonised" a number of businesses, advising on decor and the positioning of furniture and fittings to encourage luck and prosperity. "It's a bit like Feng Shui," Veronika said, "but I would never call myself a Feng Shui expert. We just ask where the best places are to put things. It varies in every case."

Rather unnervingly, they also dowse to detect any "presences" or energies left by previous occupants.

Susan Burns, managing director of the Parks Hotel and Sloane Apartments in London, was sceptical about dowsing until she tried it herself. "I had a year's worth of accounts to catch up on. We used a pendulum to find the mistakes on the balance sheets and most of the time, it worked."

Veronika and Christopher Strong can be contacted on 01386 833899.