Ever heard of radionics?

Neither had I until recently, when Ben Goldacre Tweeted to a story which appeared in the UK Telegraph.

Now this immediately caught my attention, since it involved diagnosing illnesses using hair. Readers may recall I have written about hair analysis for the diagnosis of allergies previously here and here.

But radionics is more than just sticking a piece of hair in a beaker and making lights flash and dials flicker. Radionics is described by the Telegraph as, “the largely unexplained art of healing someone you’ve never met, who is hundreds, even thousands of miles away”. Sounds suspicious already. But before you go write this off in the realms of butt candles, there is a UK Radionics Association, which represents approximately 80 practitioners and produces the quarterly Radionics Journal.


How does radionics work?
Radionic practitioners claim to be able to diagnose illnesses from a patient sample, (hence hair), from a distance. Practitioners describe this as

“a challenging concept, but it is entirely compatible with modern physics and also with the ancient mystic teaching that at some level we are all one, and that at this level exchanges of healing energy can occur”.

Pardon? The concept of modern day radionics involves holding a pendulum over the hair sample (or “witness”, as it’s called), and “dowsing” to get information about that state of the patient’s health.

“We get the information by interrogating the witness,” they say. “I will ask question after question, some looking for a yes or no answer, some looking for an answer that will quantify the health or otherwise of the patient’s various physiological systems [aural, visual, skeletal].”

So, as well as rotating the pendulum in a clockwise direction for “yes”, and anticlockwise for “no”, it also gives scores out of 100 when placed over a sort of “healthometer” chart.

Many practitioners in holistic health employ radionics to identify and rectify the subtle energy imbalances that are associated with disease in the physical body. Radionics shares the same “energetic” world view recognized by acupuncturists, homeopathists, and reiki practitioners. (Radionics is especially compatible with homeopathy; radionic instruments can be used to make homeopathic potencies.)

Radionics is also used by agriculturalists and animal nutritionists, to pinpoint nutrient imbalances in plants and animals. It can also be used to select the optimal feeds, fertilizers, and supplements to rectify the imbalances. And reportedly, geologists use Radionic techniques to analyze ore specimens or to locate mineral veins.

The history of radionics

Radionics was founded by Dr Albert Abrams (1863-1924), a native of San Francisco, under the original name of ERA – Electronic Reactions of Abrams. Abrams believed that diseased body tissue affected the nervous system and gave forth ‘dull emanations’. Abrams believed electronic phenomena were involved with this, and he invented a variable resistance instrument called a ‘black box’ to measure the ohm resistance of different diseases on an electronic circuit. He found for example, that cancer produced a 50 ohm resistance, while syphilis had a 55 ohm resistance.

Abrams later modified his technique so he could take readings from a drop of blood. In 1924 a committee established by the Royal Society of Medicine investigated Abrams techniques and were favourably impressed. Today Radionics and its cousin Radiesthesia (medical dowsing) are recognised in Europe as legitimate medical procedures.

However the commercial practice of radionics is banned in the United States. One website I came across had this to offer as an explanation:

1.  It works, but not in a way totally understood, either by the academic community or by the practitioners themselves.

2.  It works and produces miracle cures in man, plants, animals and outdates existing sciences if it is understood. Therefore, the ‘lobbies’ in Washington representing the commercial applications of existing sciences force laws against Radionics to preserve existing sciences and the large sums of money invested in them to create our present technology and preserve the jobs of millions which might be lost if indeed Radionics was used to achieve the same results.

According the website; “Diagnosis by dowsing requires the use and interplay of both the intellectual and the intuitive faculties, The intellect and the concrete knowledge which supports it are used to frame questions relevant to the correct understanding of the problem. Obtaining answers via the pendulum however requires a suspension of the intellectual process and an activation of the (higher) intuition.

How can you become a radionic practitioner?

The Radionic association offers 6 month courses which includes 2 study weekends and other tutorials and results in the title of MRadA. Once qualified, you can treat ANIMALS, SOIL and CROPS (postgraduate courses for animal treatment are available). Interestingly, the website of the radionics association specifies that you must be able to dowse before you can take the course in radionics.

The course itself consists of 2 study weekends, the first being training in;
1. Making a radionic analysis through dowsing
2. Radionic rates and how to use them for simple treatments
3. Basic subtle anatomy of the chakras and subtle bodies and its importance in radionics
4. How practitioners work, including grounding and protection

Weekend 2 involves
1. Using subtle anatomy to interpret the analysis
2. Further treatments for common conditions
3. The use of vitamins, minerals and colour radionically

And this from a radionics website
“Researchers and practitioners estimate that at least 80% or better of the population have the innate ability to do Radionics and dowsing work.

And then this;

People who cannot do this sort of work are generally those who have suffered certain kinds of neurological damage, severe mental or emotional disorders, have drug or alcohol problems, or have established a mental block against radionics, dowsing, and the alternative reality they represent”.

So, there you go sceptics, if you can’t dowse or do radionics, you have brain damage. Or other severe mental problems. And I guess that includes me, and I’m fine with that.

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  • Hi Uncommon Shaman,

    Can you tell me how radionics work?

    Perhaps then I will reconsider my “tiny, consensus reality”. This is because all my research to date has not provided any reason why this modality can do anything apart from cost a lot of money for nothing.

  • Uncommon Shaman

    Most people that pooh pooh those things that don’t conform to their tiny, consensus reality usually haven’t even taken the time to honestly check these things out for themselves

  • Michael Kingsford Gray

    Is there no end to institutionalised infantile gullibility?

    If we could only harness it as an energy resource, the globe’s power stations might be shut-down overnight!
    (But the pollution from this new chakra-prana-oprah-power source might drown us all in bullshit overnight.)

  • A couple of months ago I was brainstorming and trying to come up with the most ludicrous method of “healing” I could come up with, one that was so daft and blatantly fake that it would not be in the remotest bit possible for someone to give it even the slightest hint of credibility.

    A few weeks later I read about radionics. It put my best ideas to shame and yet people still believe in it.