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Pendulum Testing
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An Introduction to Pendulum Testing for Food Sensitivities

 Frederick W. Faller


It is not known when or by whom the use of a small, handheld pendulum was first used to detect the sensitivity of the body to particular foods. Nor is it well understood exactly what the mechanism is that translates our subconscious knowledge of food sensitivities into the subtle motion of the pendulum that allows us to “read” that knowledge behind our consciousness..


The purpose of this paper is not to debate history or mechanism, but to expose the method for use by those persons who suffer from food sensitivity ailments and need a method of detecting what foods are causing the reactions. I do not have to understand how aspirin works, or a vaccine or radio, to get a benefit from them, nor do I feel compelled to completely understand the mechanism of a hand held pendulum I am explaining here.


My best guess is that the pendulum acts as a simple amplifier to subconscious movements of the hand in response to simple yes and no question that the practitioner asks of himself and this is sufficient enough an answer for the beginner to start using the pendulum.


I do not believe that there is any metaphysical or spiritual connection to the pendulum and the user must remain disciplined that they do not start to believe that the pendulum is anything more than a tool to expose reactions that remain hidden beyond our conscious thought. The pendulum cannot expose things that are not part of the user’s subconscious and should never be used in an attempt to foretell the future, or ask questions about the lottery, our personal lives or the lives of others. All such uses are considered a misuse of the process by practitioners who use the pendulum method.


In the same way, the pendulum cannot answer questions about which the user has no experiential knowledge. To ask a user whether they might be allergic to a food that they have never ingested, cannot be accurately answered by the pendulum method.


The pendulum can only give a reliable response to yes or no questions. Some practitioners set forth that there are also answers like “I don’t know” and “I cannot tell you”, and the user may want to experiment with these, but I have found that yes and know answers are sufficient to almost everything that I have needed to test.

You will find, that over time, the response will get stronger and faster. After using the pendulum method for about twenty years, the response is almost immediate. I can tell the answer within a couple swings. When I first started, it often took ten or more seconds before I was sure of the response.

The Process

There is a process that has evolved around the use of the pendulum in testing food sensitivities. The process is loosely that of any scientific use of a tool for testing:


The Pendulum:

The pendulum used in food sensitivity testing is a simple affair. Any weight weighing an ounce or two will work. It should be dense, like a marble or a stone so that it swings with good inertia and is not affected by air resistance. There is nothing magic about the shape or the material. One does not have to have a “natural” material such as a crystal or dense wood. A machine nut or a large marble will work fine. A very simple pendulum can be made by wrapping a smooth stone with some wire and tying a string to it.


The weight should be suspended from a sturdy but supple string that is three to six inches long. The string is attached to the weight in any suitable manner. A dab of five minute epoxy works well to attach string to almost anything. The suspension string must not be stiff; the pendulum must be free to swing without being affected by the stiffness of the suspension.


Since the pendulum is really an amplifier of subtle physio-mechanical motions of your body, the length of the pendulum may be critical to getting reliable answers. Try different lengths between three and six inches until you get the best results. When you find your length, tie a knot in the string so you always hold it at that length.

Calibrating the Pendulum:

Hold the string of the pendulum gently between the index finger and thumb of either hand let it hang in front of you with the length of the string between your fingers and the weight being about six inches. The suspending arm should be away from the body from the shoulder down and not resting on an armrest or table. The full length of the arm should be suspended from the shoulder.


Swing the pendulum in a small circle no larger than two inches in diameter, close your eyes and say out loud, “Give me a yes answer.” Keep your eyes closed and concentrate on making sure your hand is not moving. After about five seconds, open your eyes. The pendulum will most likely be swinging in a line, toward you and away from you.


Repeat the test by saying “Give me a no answer.” When you open your eyes, the pendulum will probably be swinging right to left.


Do this several times until you are sure that the motion of the pendulum in response to your questions is clear and repeatable.


If the response is erratic, or if the response to the questions are reversed, try taking a drink of water. Sometimes our polarity can get reversed and a simple drink of water will set it straight.

Training the Pendulum

In some cases, a person may not be able to get a consistent answer from the pendulum or perhaps no answer at all. It this case, it is possible to “train” the pendulum in the following way.

Now go back and calibrate the pendulum as described above. You may have to train several times before getting a reliable response. Remember that even a very slight or weak response is good. If you can get it to work for you and use it regularly, over time the response will be swifter and much stronger.


Simple Testing:

On a piece of paper, write down several foods which you would like to test. Later, this list can be expanded to a full “food ingredient list” with all common dietary ingredients, but for now just a few will be fine. Start with foods that you consume all the time and that are familiar to you. Remember that the pendulum is only an amplifier for your subconscious knowledge and cannot test foods with which your body has no knowledge.


Calibrate the pendulum as described above. Before any testing, practitioners always ask the following questions, using the pendulum to ascertain the answer:


  1. Can I test for food sensitivities using the pendulum method?”
  2. Should I test for food sensitivities using the pendulum method?”
  3. “Should I test for food sensitivities using the pendulum method now?”


It the answer to any of the three questions is “No” then you should not do testing. It is important to do this step. If any answer is no, your body is telling you in advance that any testing you do will be unreliable. To continue testing will give spurious results. For example, I often find that I cannot test reliably when I am in the middle of a serious migraine headache. I always wait until after the headache is gone and then test retroactively (as described below)


Assuming that you can proceed with testing, do the following:


You can also test more specifically: you may ask for what the effect of eating this food is. For example, I know that some foods will give me migraines, others affect my skin or my mood. If the answer is to not eat a certain food, I often ask questions like: “Will this give me a headache?” “Will this cause my skin to crack?”, “Will this cause fatigue?” I write an H,S or F in the blank after the food.

Important: You must be fair and resist the temptation to make a judgment about the implications of the answer you get. If the pendulum indicates that you should stay away from raisins, but raisins are your “go-to” comfort snack, you may be distracted by this. Continue the test with the other foods on the list. You can deal with implications and emotions of your discovery later later. (See Assessing Results, below)


The test will not work if you have never eaten the item you are testing. If this is the case, simply put a sample of the test item on your tongue and your body will then recognize it.


Assessing the Results:

You will find at the end of a testing session, that some number of foods got a “No” response. You may find that they fall into categories such a “dairy products” or “onions, garlic, leeks and chives”. Sometimes there are families of things such as the nightshade family (green peppers, red peppers, tomatoes) and you may notice that cooked onions are okay, but raw ones are not. White wine may pass and Red wine may fail.


You must keep in mind that it is still up to you about what you are going to do with this information and you must be aware that the pendulum is not the final arbiter, it is simply an indicator. Becoming a slave to the pendulum test will not serve you well, however, it is likely that if you do nothing, that the test will haunt you.

Armed with this “preliminary information”, select several of the foods that got “No” answers and lay a plan to test them more thoroughly. The simplest way to do this is to simply remove them from you diet for one to two weeks. This is more easily said than done, particularly if it is something like wheat or corn where nearly every manufactured food uses them as ingredients. Remember, you do not have to do anything, if it is too overwhelming, but you also must consider what it is worth to understand how the food you eat is affecting your health. In short, what is it worth to you?


After completely removing a particular ingredient for at least a week, you may notice that simple things about your life are better: You are sleeping better at night or you wake up earlier and have more energy in the mornings. Perhaps a soreness has disappeared or you have more clarity in your thinking.


Now you must confirm your test by selecting a day when you allow yourself to overindulge in that particular ingredient. If you are truly sensitive, you will be able to tell immediately or within a few hours. It is not unusual for your body to react more severely than before you removed the ingredient from your diet. For instance, if you were having mild headaches and they went away for the week you removed potatoes, you may find that you have a more severe headache when you reintroduce them. This is a clear indication that that ingredient was a culprit.


After a while, you will find that the pendulum will give results that you can rely on without further testing.

Taking Action:

Now that you have a confirmed list, what are you going to do with it? The challenge may be that number of things you are sensitive to is extensive and VERY intrusive into your daily diet - perhaps even your way of life!

Please remember that you do not have to do ALL of it to get positive results. I have found in myself that the assault against my body by “stressors” (things that cause stress) is additive. Lack of sleep, stressful family situations, difficulties at work, relationship issues are all stressors. Allergies to pollen, dust, or perfume are also stressors. Sensitivities to foods are stressors. We are designed to withstand a certain amount of stress, and as long as the pile of stressors stays below a certain threshold, our bodies can manage the accumulated stress. When the pile of stressors exceeds that threshold, our bodies start being overwhelmed by the onslaught and we start developing symptoms of fatigue, rashes, headaches, hay fever, depression, etc.

I envision the stressors in my life like a pile of books on the floor. If the pile is higher than my knees it begins to manifest itself in a bodily reaction.. I then do not have to remove ALL the books to regain order in my body. I just have to remove a few. If I can remove the thicker ones, I get better results faster


Different persons have different stressors and have a different threshold where it begins to affect them. The pendulum can help identify the stressors but you, personally, have to take responsibility to plan the attack to remove them strategically. You may not be able to change your situation at work, the family dynamics or the pollen count in the town where you live, but you CAN change your diet. You do not have to remove ALL the foods that show up on the list: start with a few. All you have to do is take out a couple of “thick” ones and your life will improve. As you get more disciplined and begin to see the results, you will be emboldened to take out more.

This is where the more advanced testing I described above starts to enter the equation of what you are going to do. For example, if something is on the Migraine list, I feel perfectly comfortable explaining to someone else that I should not eat it and why. A migraine will ruin my life for two to three days! However, if my neighbor invites me for a big lasagna dinner with garlic bread and rum cake, and wheat is on the “skin problem” list, I will enjoy my dinner and then avoid wheat in my own diet for several days: no sandwiches, cookies or spaghetti.

I regenerate my list about once a month. Often things that were a problem last month are not this month. Things that were not a problem last month suddenly show up. That is the way it is with food sensitivities. By continually keeping the stack height lower, more things fall off the list than are added to it.Over time, I have found that the list gets smaller and more manageable I am am stronger.

Whenever I generate my list, I review it carefully to see which things I need to remove. With a bit of practice and attention, I have made remarkable improvements in my health and seen long term issues slowly fade as I keep the stack height below my knees.

A friendly word of advice:

If you are married or in a familial situation where your diet affects others, be sure to include others in your family in your understanding and what you are doing. Work hard to not impose your discoveries on others, who are different and may not be so restricted. If you are not the shopper or cook in the family, be sure to keep the person who is that person informed of your restrictions. If you plan to remove some element of your diet, be sure to inform the shoppers and the cooks ahead of time.

Because the testing is somewhat private, I have a tendency to not announce the changes I need to make. It’s a little embarrassing, frankly, that I have to manage my diet so carefully. But few things are more frustrating to the shopper and the cook than to discover when I sit down at the table for a roast pork dinner, that I just decided not to eat pork that very day! All of life will be smoother if you do testing, planning and informing before you change your diet. If you have been eating pork for the last thirty years, surely one last dinner is not going to kill you, but refusing it may lead to death by strangulation.

If you do happen to be a participant in the shopper/cook role, remember that it is possible to prepare and cook foods that you may not be able to eat. I remember discovering that the cooks at a local favorite Indian restaurant were all vegetarian, even as they prepared my lamb vindaloo. Sometimes this is necessary to preserve the family balance.


Other Testing:

What is remarkable about the pendulum test is that you can do it on yourself and it can be used to test complex foods about which you have no immediate knowledge. This is extremely useful in our food-complex world where much of what we are offered to eat is manufactured rather than grown.

Complex foods

Suppose you have decided to remove wheat from your diet and you are confronted with a wonderful beef stew about which you have no knowledge. Perhaps some flour was used in the ingredients, but perhaps not. Simply dip a spoon in the stew and then touch it to your tongue. Your body now has knowledge of whether that stew is “safe” for you to eat. Do a simple pendulum test (after calibration) and ask, “Can I eat this stew?” You do not need to know the ingredients for the pendulum to give you a reliable read.


Many times you will be confronted with complex prepared foods where the ingredient list has been discarded or is not available. There is no ice cream store that knows what kind of sugar is used in their products. Simply ask for a small sample and do the test. You do not have to know the ingredients to know the results it will have on your body.


Medicines and herbal supplements

I have met practitioners of the Pendulum Method that use it to identify dosages for herbal supplements. The test is simple:


Take a single capsule and hold it against your naval and ask the question: “should I take this supplement?”


If the answer is yes, then ask “Should I take one or more capsules?”

If the answer is yes, then ask “Should I take two or more capsules?”

Keep progressing upward in the numbers until the answer is “No”


This gives an accurate reading of how many capsules to take, if at all. Most practitioners of herbal medicine know that supplements must be considered differently depending on what time of day it is: morning, noon and evening. The testing them includes different dosages for the different times of day, “Should I take one or more capsules in the morning?” – “Should I take two or more capsules in the morning?” etc.


Backward Testing

Occasionally, you will find that you have an unexpected reaction and you can go back and test food you ate earlier and accurately identify what particular ingredient caused the reaction. Simply cycle through what you ate over some period of time, asking whether a particular food was the culprit. The pendulum will accurately identify or at least bracket the food that caused the problem. “Was it the stew we had last night at Chile’s?” One can first narrow the guessing by asking things like “Was it something I had at lunch, yesterday?”, “Is it related to something I ate?”, “Was it the salad dressing?” One does not need to test for specific ingredients, but for a classes or mixed ingredient foods.

Whenever I have a “surprise” reaction because I have suddenly become sensitive to something which was not a problem before, I can always go backwards in time as described above and find the culprit.

Surrogate testing

Many practitioners use a method for testing others called surrogate testing. Surrogate testing is done by the practitioner holding the hand of another person, or resting their hand on the other person’s head or shoulder and then testing by asking the question of the patient’s condition. This is often done when the person being tested is too young to use the pendulum reliably. I have never personally done this and cannot vouch for it efficacy.


If you try it and find that it works, please inform me of your experience.


Practical Daily Use

I carry a pendulum with me wherever I go. It fits easily in my pocket and can be retrieved in an instant to test if necessary. I find it best not to make a spectacle of my testing. It unnerves a lot of people and those who do not understand the process are suspicious. I often will sneak a taste of a dip, a pie, or a stew and then slip off to the bathroom or some other quiet place to do a test in private. Sometimes I can do it under the edge of a table where others cannot see what I am doing.


This may seem strange at first, but if the consequence of eating a certain food is a migraine headache that can ruin an entire weekend or workday, or skin irritations that take days to heal or run down energy that makes life hard and sleep bad, it is worth the test. The price of the test is inexpensive in comparison to the penalty of foods I am sensitive to.


I make it a habit not to share the test with skeptics. If people ask what I am doing, I am careful to test the waters by asking simple questions about their sincerity or by demanding that they not laugh if I share with them. Be cautious, there are a lot of very closed minded people out there.

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