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The Investigation of Medical Dowsing

How it Started

At the age of 14 I had bought a quartz crystal and had a book that taught one how to work with "crystal energies". One exercise had you hold the tip of the quartz crystal with your right hand over the palm of your left hand, and you would practice this until you would feel the crystal energies. It took me about two days of patience until suddenly I could feel and see a cool blue beam from the crystal on my hand. After that, I actually put the book away but continued to hold countless of other types of colored crystals in my hands on a daily basis, carrying them around me, even sleeping with them next to me, and I learned to get to know each of them by their own distinct feelings. Eventually I felt so receptive to the crystal energies that I put them away and only had to think of them in order to feel them.

One day I was stunned to see and feel a fresh blue-green shimmering aura around one of our houseplants, the prayer plant. I had never seen an aura before. Some time later, I felt a distinct aura around fresh oranges in the store, and then feelings of other foods as well. What came next was seeing clear anatomical images of the insides of people's bodies when I looked at a person.

The images were clearly depicting tissue, such as muscle, with blood, cells, organs. At the time, I was a person who was very uncomfortable with anything medical. I even had a junior high school class in first aid and had to rush out when we were learning CPR. I could never watch a tv documentary with surgery, so of course I was quite disturbed by these anatomical images appearing in my mind. So to say that this was not a choice. And I believe that it was brought on by my work with crystals. I cannot say whether I had really learned to feel crystal light, or whether working with them had simply built up in me the ability to have such a synthetic experience. But I do know now, that crystals absolutely do alter the properties of light that passes through them, and this is a well-known fact in optical physics which even uses these "crystal beams" in many valid, technological applications.

Why I had to Investigate

The earliest specific medical perception that led me toward investigation, was when I saw the bacteria Helicobacter pylori in the stomach of a family member who had stomach ulcers. I saw the stomach, I saw the bacteria, I drew and described, in particular its long wavy arms. I also said that I sensed that eating chalk would cure the condition. Because, in my mind, the "feeling" of chalk neutralized the "feeling" of this red illness. It was only later that I to my recollection found out that stomach ulcers are indeed caused by a bacteria that looked as what I had seen, and that yes, calcium carbonate, found in chalk, has a neutralizing effect on stomach acid and might bring relief to a person suffering from ulcers.

I lived with these medical images and didn't express them much to others. Years later I met a new co-worker, and it was like when somebody suddenly turns on the tv and it was set to the loudest volume. Such a loud image depicting her uterus and it having cysts. I fought myself not to blurt out "internal female cysts!". And every time I saw her I would have the same compelling image. About a month later she confided in us that she was scheduled for surgery to have cysts removed from her uterus. And that is when I begun to investigate my medical perceptions.

Ruling out the Obvious First

My early investigations involved identifying possible normal explanations and giving each consideration. Maybe I was remembering the hits and forgetting the misses (selective memory bias)? Beginning to keep track of perceptions and which were confirmed accurate which confirmed inaccurate and which remained undetermined for accuracy, I ruled out this possible explanation. Perhaps there were external clues about health information? But that was absolutely not an explanation to this, since I was experiencing mostly internal information that had no known external clues.

Prior information, perhaps I had overheard something but simply forgotten that I knew? No, because I was experiencing just as accurately and frequently with people whom I had never seen before or could have known about. I also knew that I never used a dialogue or feedback leading me to my conclusions. I never talked to a person to get their response on words or suggestions or to ask them any questions. And my perceptions were specific, not vague or ambivalent.

Involving Skepticism

In the summer of 2007 I decided to involve the skeptical community into my investigation. I had been unable to find a plausible explanation on my own. The skeptical community is active in searching for and promoting absolute truth, and frequently battles and tests the claims of the paranormal. I mailed in my application for a paranormal test to the Independent Investigations Group (IIG), perhaps the most active group in the USA today investigating and testing claims of the paranormal. The IIG and me were discussing the testing protocol for more than a year. It was difficult for me, as the claimant, to know what testing procedures I could agree to, since I had no experience of for instance having medical perceptions through a screen.

I joined a local skeptics group, the Forsyth Area Critical Thinkers (FACT) in North Carolina, and it was during my first meeting with them that they advised me to study my experience in order to learn how to conform it to a test setting. I embarked on a lengthy methodic study in which I tested the performance of the medical dowsing under various staged test settings, changing one parameter at a time in order to determine its influence on performance. This is how I learned the duration of time for a perception, that I cannot perceive through any material of screen but that I do perceive through clothing on a person, and that I do not need nor use feedback mechanisms with the person, such as speech or eyecontact.

With FACT I arranged for an elaborate study which involved readings with five volunteers from the public. I performed readings on FACT skeptics, which is when I discovered that - even though I had not written it down - I had accurately detected that a person was missing a left kidney. It had also been my strongest perception to date, and also makes for a suitable subject to base a test on the detection of which of persons is missing a kidney, and that is how the remainder of this investigation came to rest on kidney detection. The study on large has been completed as I have learned what I need to know about the medical perception for the purpose of test design but also just to learn more about what it is. I have entertained the prospect of future testing involving extracted sheep kidneys and have also performed some initial studies on this.

In November 2009 I was ready to have a test with the IIG, and in July 2010 I had another similar, but smaller-scale, test at the James Randi Educational Foundation JREF annual skeptical convention The Amaz!ng Meeting TAM in Las Vegas. I did not achieve 100% on either of tests, but according to my calculations their combined result beat 99.223% of random chance. I have also done some readings on skeptics as part of the investigation, and am happy to conduct more tests and readings on skeptics.