An article in ‘METRO’  caught my eye – not least because it quotes me. Here are a few edited excerpts:

Peter Stott lost his first wife to cancer in 1998. Her death, he believes, was due to geopathic stress (GS) – harmful energies that originate from the Earth. ‘I found out that the house where we had lived had a serious GS problem,’ he says. The discovery prompted him to become a professional ‘dowser’, devoting his life to finding and managing geopathic stress.

But what exactly is this mysterious force erupting from the surface of the Earth – and can it really harm people?Geopathic stress is said to cause discomfort and health issues for certain individuals. These energies, also called ‘harmful Earth rays’ by believers, can be detrimental, beneficial or neutral according to those who think they are ‘in the know’.

Peter Stott
Peter Stott is a professional dowser

The word ‘geopathic’ is derived from the Greek words ‘Geo’ meaning the Earth and ‘pathos’, meaning disease or suffering – hence the term pathogens, the medical terms for bugs that make us ill.

Dowsing, practitioners say, is a method used to detect the presence of various subtle Earth energies and assess their nature and quality. They argue that some of these energies can be linked to geomagnetic anomalies caused by flowing underground water, dry faults and fissures, subterranean cavities, or mineral and crystal deposits.

Dowsing is carried out by a dowser, practitioners who try to find the source of these energies using special tools, such as pendulums, rods, and bobbers – essentially sexed-up tree branches. The person holds the tool, waiting for it to move or react, which they take as a sign that they’ve found what they’re looking for. The odd practice can allegedly also be used to identify leaks, stress fractures, environmental pollutants, electromagnetic fields, nutritional deficiencies, black spots, and, rather oddly, sexing pigeons.

Peter claims that a skilled dowser effectively advises on the optimal placement of buildings and structures to mitigate the impact of geopathic stress, and often possesses the ability to reduce or eliminate it through the use of various methods. He emphasises the fact that GS ‘does not affect everybody in the same way. Cancer has been described as “a disease of location”,’ he says. ‘And if there is a family history of cancer – as there was in my late wife’s case – a person can be more susceptible to GS being a contributing factor in succumbing to the disease.’ Peter believes that GS impacts our immune system, depleting its resources and hindering its ability to function optimally. By eliminating GS from our surroundings, we allow our immune system to operate more efficiently, he contends. Our susceptibility to GS varies, he says, with some experiencing mild symptoms like sleep disturbances and fatigue, while others may face more severe health issues such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancer.

17th Century dowsing illustration
Dowsing has been around for millennia (Picture: Getty)

In 2017, rather incredibly, a report revealed that 10 out of 12 water companies in the UK were employing the practice of water dowsing to identify and locate leaks. Even more incredibly, last year, it emerged that Thames Water and Severn Trent Water were still using this form of ‘witchcraft’ for leak detection, despite scientific research indicating its lack of efficacy.

But water companies aren’t the only ones turning to dowsers for help. Peter believes that ‘it is also possible to carry a token or amulet on your person that has been imbued with the powers of protection by someone who is proficient in [dowsing]’. ‘This can protect you from GS and other detrimental energies wherever you go anywhere throughout the world,’ he claims. ‘Other protection techniques can also offer a degree of protection.’

However, Dr Edzard Ernst, a man who has dedicated years of his life to examining questionable, science-based claims, won’t be enlisting the services of a GS specialist or house healer anytime soon. ‘Geopathic stress cannot cause health problems for the simple reason that it does not exist,’ says the retired physician. ‘It is a sly invention of quacks who exploit gullible consumers. The methods to diagnose GS are as bogus as the ones that allegedly treat it. But the quacks don’t mind – as long as the consumer pays.’

Peter fully acknowledges ‘that dowsing and this work in general is not a catch-all solution for every ailment or every person’s situation’. ‘However, often we are approached by people who are “at the end of their tether” due to their exasperation of experiencing events or circumstances in their lives that are not well catered for in the mainstream wellbeing sector,’ he says. ‘I can only speak personally, I cannot speak for the possibly tens of thousands of dowsers around the world. If our work can help ease a person’s experience of life then that is a good enough reason to continue to help where I can’. He adds that ‘we are never going to change the minds of people like Dr Edzard Ernst’, someone ‘who seems to focus exclusively on debunking anything for which there is not a scientific explanation’. Moreover, science, he notes, ‘is moving on with research done into quantum physics and the theory that everything in the universe is connected and is also accessible to everyone’.


Oh, dear Peter!

Perhaps you should learn the difference between critical evaluation and debunking (this ‘debunker’ has shown more forms of so-called alternative medicine (SCAM) to be worthy of integrating into the NHS than anyone else).

Perhaps you should read up about the difference between evidence and belief?

And perhaps the chapter on dowsing in my book could help you in this endeavour:

Dowsing is a common but unproven method for divining water and other materials. In alternative medicine, it is sometimes used as a technique for diagnosing diseases or the causes of health problems.

      1. Dowsers employ a motor automatism, amplified through a pendulum, divining rod or similar device. The effect is that the device seemingly provides an independent, visible reaction, while the dowser is, in fact, its true cause.
      2. Dowsing is used by some homeopaths as an aid to prescribe the optimal remedy and as a tool for identify a miasm or toxin load.
      3. The assumptions upon which dowsing is based lack plausibility.
      4. Dowsing has not often been submitted to clinical trials.
      5. All rigorous attempts to test water dowsing have failed, and it is no longer considered a viable method for this purpose.
      6. The only randomized double-blind trial that has tested whether homeopaths are able to distinguish between a homeopathic remedy and placebo by dowsing failed to show that it is a valid method. Its authors (well-known homeopaths) drew the following conclusion: “These results, wholly negative, add to doubts whether dowsing in this context can yield objective information.”[1]
      7. If dowsing is employed for differentiating between truly effective treatments (rather than homeopathic remedies), the risk of false choices would be intolerably high, and serious harm would inevitably be the result.

[1] McCarney et al. (2002).


21 Responses to Geopathic stress allegedly can cause health issues such as arthritis, multiple sclerosis and cancer – BUT, PLEASE, DON’T BELIEVE SUCH NONSENSE!

  • If the dowser gets the rod to levitate, does it mean that ground is holly and its a good place for a cult’s church?

    Is there a post here focused on updating the list from the great paper mentioned?
    Complementary and alternative medicine: what the NHS should be funding

  • Moreover, science, he [Peter Stott] notes, ‘is moving on with research done into quantum physics …

    Ah, quantum physics, the charlatan’s favourite escape hatch …

    … and the theory that everything in the universe is connected and is also accessible to everyone’.

    This is complete bollocks. First off, most of what physicists think of as the universe is NOT connected — there is this thing called the cosmological horizon, where the accelerating expansion of space causes ever larger areas of the universe to become causally disconnected.
    Then there’s the very wrong idea among charlatans that quantum-physical phenomena such as non-locality, particles described as wave functions and entanglement of elementary particles can simply be applied to macroscopic objects and processes in order to ‘explain’ all sorts of crazy stuff they pull out of their backsides.

    When people like Stott drop the Q(uantum) word to explain or support something they believe in, there is a simple way to set them straight (read: shut them up): ask them for the mathematical foundation of their claims. A real quantum physicist can only properly describe the goings-on in quantum physics using elaborate mathematics, as human language and the way we normally understand the world around us are woefully inadequate to grasp the extremely counter-intuitive things taking place at quantum level. When someone comes up with sciencey-sounding quantumbabble instead of solid formulas, you can dismiss anything they say as nonsense.
    Heck, I think I’m pretty well-versed in classical (Newtonian) physics — but I too only understand a few very basic concepts of quantum physics, and that is only because I deal with them in the course of my daily work in electronics, and I see their effects in e.g. semiconductors. But no, at no point have I ever seen ‘quantum interconnectedness’ or ‘human quantum energy fields’ or ‘geopathic effects’ or ‘healing frequencies’ or any other made-up pseudoscientific nonsense.

  • research done into quantum physics

    LOL! That, is a hallmark of the clueless.

    I never correct them because I enjoy their espousals of BS and other nonsense; their flaunting of ignorance.

    the theory that everything in the universe is connected and is also accessible to everyone

    Richard Rasker covered this ‘theory’.

    But, we need to remember that the espouser’s target audience is, specifically, persons who know even less about such science‑y sounding rhetoric, and will be impressed by the espouser’s ‘superior knowledge’.

  • Is GS anything to do with “grounding”, which also looks very dodgy to me?

    • @Les Rose
      ‘Grounding’ is a legitimate concept in electrical circuits and installations that has been hijacked by charlatans and woo-meisters. The article you link to is a good example, presenting the usual nonsensical pseudoscientific babble, without any (haha) grounding in reality. AFAICT, everything that is said there is untrue and/or unproven.

      I could draw up a point-by-point refutation, being an electronics engineer with a fair grasp of the real interaction between electrical and biological systems, but the sheer amount of crap served up here would make this a rather time-consuming job.

        • Thanks for linking to that load of vapid bumwash written predominantly by renowned woo espouser Stephen T Sinatra who passed away in 2022 aged 75 thus showing how effective his methods were at promoting a long and healthy life.

          • @Lenny

            To his credit, I found the name and accomplishments of cardiologist Stephen T Sinatra on Wikipedia. However, I found nothing at Wikipedia about “Lenny” …. the beer drinking dentist.

        • John the Bilge Pump linked to:

          Sinatra ST, Sinatra DS, Sinatra SW, Chevalier G.
          Grounding – The universal anti-inflammatory remedy.
          Biomed J. 2023 Feb;46(1):11-16.
          doi:10.1016/ Epub 2022 Dec 15.
          PMID: 36528336;
          PMCID: PMC10105021

          First author:
          QUOTE Stephen T. Sinatra, Wikipedia

          Stephen T. Sinatra (15 October 1946 – 19 June 2022) was a board-certified cardiologist specializing in integrative medicine. He was also a certified bioenergetic psychotherapist. He has published journal articles on cholesterol and coenzyme Q₁₀. He has appeared on national radio and television broadcasts, including The Dr. Oz Show, The Doctors, CNN’s “Sunday Morning News,” XM Radio’s “America’s Doctor Dr. Mehmet Oz,” and PBS’s “Body & Soul.” He was also the author of the monthly newsletter Heart, Health & Nutrition and founder of Heart MD Institute. Sinatra died on June 19, 2022.

          He had certification from the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine (1998), which is not recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties or the American Medical Association. American physicians cannot be officially board-certified in anti-aging medicine.

          Sinatra lectured about metabolic cardiology and energy medicine, focusing on the use of electroceuticals such as grounding or “earthing” to improve the body’s capacity to heal at the cellular level.

          Sinatra advocated a controversial alternative health practice called “grounding” or “earthing“. According to the theory of grounding, the earth’s surface is negatively charged and contact with the earth allows electrons to neutralize free radicals in the human body. One study, published in a fringe journal, attempted to show a reduction in blood viscosity and blood pressure, a key factor in cardiovascular disease, but has been highly questioned due to improper methods and questionable results.[25] Advocates say this can be accomplished by lying or walking barefoot on grass, sand or earth, or by lying on a special pad connected to the earth by grounding wires or a rod, or plugged into a wall outlet with a “modern earth ground system”. None of these “treatments” have proven to be legitimate.

          Reference 25
          Chevalier G, Sinatra ST, Oschman JL, Delany RM.
          Earthing (grounding) the human body reduces blood viscosity-a major factor in cardiovascular disease.
          Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2013 Feb;19(2):102-10.
          doi:10.1089/acm.2011.0820. Epub 2012 Jul 3.
          PMID: 22757749;
          PMCID: PMC3576907.

          END of QUOTE

          QUOTE Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, Wikipedia
          It was established in 1995 and is the official journal of the Society for Acupuncture Research.

          In 2005 the BBC used a report published by the journal as the basis of a story claiming that homeopathy was effective for some patients. The article contradicted the findings of a study that had recently appeared in The Lancet, reporting that homeopathy was ineffective. The methodology of the article in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine was criticized by pharmacologist David Colquhoun on his blog, saying that its questionnaire-based approach was “not really research at all” and that the published conclusion drawn from it was “quite ludicrous”. In his view, “papers like this do not add to human knowledge, they detract from it”.

          Quackwatch has included the journal on its list of “nonrecommended periodicals”, characterizing it as “fundamentally flawed”.

          END of QUOTE

      • @RG “John”
        That article is nonsense, rife with references to (other) pseudoscience and quackery, not supported by solid evidence. Here’s just a little excerpt showing that the author has no clue what he is talking about:

        “The earth’s surface is, therefore, inundated with enormous amounts of free electrons. Such earth electrons, when conducted to the human body, result in favorable and physiological changes.”

        So the suggestion here is that those ‘earth electrons’ are somehow special, and need to be conducted to the body, where they supposedly exert their beneficial influence. This is wrong in every thinkable aspect.
        1. All electrons are absolutely identical; it is fundamentally impossible to distinguish one particular electron from another. This means that those ‘free electrons’ are 100% identical to the gazillions of electrons already present in the atoms of our body and the world around us. There are no special ‘earth electrons’.
        2. Another suggestion here is that there is a one-way transport of free electrons that we would need to tap into. This is also fundamentally impossible, as a one-way stream of electrons would very quickly build up charge with extremely high voltages that would then repel those electrons, stopping the stream in its tracks.
        Yes, build-ups of charge do actually happen, and they’re called thunderclouds. But they are not the result of ‘inundation with enormous amounts of free electrons’, but of electrons being rubbed off the surface of ice crystals. And when a high enough charge has been built up this way, lightning discharge causes a short-lived high current (thunderbolt) which equalizes the charges again, reversing the build-up of charge.
        3. Yes, the body can build up a charge too, as anyone who ever got zapped by static electricity can testify. But as this charge repels itself, it is only present at the most superficial outside layer of the body. Such a static charge by definition cannot have any effect whatsoever inside the body – heck, it can’t even be measured from inside the body. Only at the moment of discharge is there a momentary current with an associated voltage difference that can trigger nerve cells.
        4. Do you want contact with ‘free electrons’? Simply holding a piece of electrical conductor – e.g. metal, any metal – will do. In fact, electrical conductors such as metals are the only substances containing free electrons. Contrary to what these guys claim, there are hardly any free electrons in the earth’s crust, as it contains only very little unbound metal; most of the crust’s conductivity is due to ions, not free electrons. (The earth’s core is a different matter of course, being solid iron.)

        So whether or not a person makes contact with the earth does not change anything about their physiology; all it does, is equalize the static electrical potential between that person and earth — and this static potential does not have any influence on the state of health. Same for Schumann resonances, which are simply very low frequency electromagnetic waves that have no influence on human health.

    • The connection between [pun intended] geopathic stress and earthing (aka grounding) is forged 😀 in the marketing department, not in the science department!

      Here are two quotes from the results of the following Google search:
      "geopathic stress" "grounding" OR "earthing"

      1. “When we stand barefoot on the earth, or simply place our bare hands on something connected to the earth, like a tree or a plant, all our physical, emotional and geopathic stress can fall away into the earth. Simultaneously we exchange all this stress energy for the wonderful electrons our bodies vitally need from Mother Earth to rebalance and do what our bodies are designed to do, given the right support, which is to heal.”



      The issue is, there’s a huge imbalance going on, because of our subconscious programming and trauma that we’ve experienced. Add to that our everyday environment: if it’s chaotic, if it’s high stress, with work deadlines, health problems, financial stress- you’re adding environmental stress to internal stress.

      And on top of that, we have Geopathic stress. Sources of geopathic stress include man made alterations of our environment, like EMFs from power lines, your phone, computers, cell towers, underground pipes- it all emits electricity.

      My point is, we already have tons of stored energy in our body that is in turmoil.

      We have our subconscious turmoil from traumatic experiences, plus our everyday environment which may be stressful, that’s more toxic energy. And on top of it again, we have geopathic energy and those stresses.

      So we’ve got to do something because our cells are meant to vibrate at a certain frequency and when they don’t, that’s literally the definition of dis-ease or disease. Tissues start to lower their resonance frequency. We don’t feel so good, especially things like the liver, the brain, the heart, the kidneys, the pancreas, and major organs.

      With bated breath, we contemplate what on earth could be the solution to this dreadful problem?


      An easy way to regain balance is grounding or earthing. One of the best things I’ve found is to buy a grounding sheet for your bed. You can buy just a pad, like a square rectangular thing or you can get a whole sheet set. Research that, but make sure you find one with quality. I recommend organic cotton, with silver threads rather than copper.

      Next you want to get a voltmeter and check the nearest outlet to your bed. Make sure that it is grounded. Plug the sheet in, and you have to have just at least a small patch of skin at minimum touching that sheet throughout the night, and then you are grounding.

      There’s unbelievable benefits to grounding. I sleep a lot better. I do have less aches and pains. I’ve been in health care a long time and I’ve not seen anything that’s that simple have this much profound effect. I don’t expect it to take away all health problems, but it’s a step in the right direction. There’s also published studies that actually started back in the 20s and 30s saying that the Earth is a big circuit board and we plug ourselves into it, which is what earthing/grounding is.

      It can have a profound effect on our health.

      Natural healthcare with a naturopathic Doctor, functional medicine, and holistic remedies.

      [my bolding]

      • I don’t waste much time posting here as I did previously, it’s just not worth it because I know how closed many minds are here.
        I’m done refuting and arguing with long posts.
        I post some links and let them speak for me.
        You believe what you choose, and so will I.

        • Decades ago I had first-hand experience of many many things, including geopathic stress and earthing, so I am way ahead of you, John the Bilge Pump.

        • @John a.k.a RG
          Is this one of your “goodbye” message my old buddy? In the past we have seen this type of laughable post from you and other trolls before. You all say you are leaving because yada yada…but almost always end up coming back. This website must be irresistible for you and your ilk. Before you go, may I ask what makes this website irresistible that you end up coming back again and again, despite saying you are leaving?

        • @RG “John”

          I know how closed many minds are here.

          Yup, you should know – yours is one of the most closed of all.

          Your mind certainly is not open to the notion that those quacks and charlatans are just making things up, even when it is explained to you in detail why those quacks and charlatans are wrong, and that there is not a shred of evidence supporting their claims.

        • Read your link up there…

          Can’t find much in there which resembles actual evidence or decent research.

          Sorry, I don’t have a Wikipedia page either. Mind, Sinatra’s is full of “citation needed” and “unreliable source”, especially concerning his qualifications…Certainly sounds like a “cardiologist” that I, having cardiac issues, would avoid.

          • This figure from that paper made me laugh my a** off:

            Fig. 1 shows a possible relationship between the disconnection of the earth’s natural energy and frequencies and an inflammatory-related disease – diabetes. During the mid-1950’s, leather shoes were gradually being replaced with non-conductive synthetic soles. Presently 95% of all shoes have non-conductive soles. The question arises whether this observation represents a coincidence or a correlation with the expediential rise in diabetes. Is the loss of our natural conductivity to mother earth a factor in the rise of diabetes and other inflammatory diseases? Obviously overconsumption of sugary foods, sedentary living, high fructose corn syrup sweeteners also contribute to this enormous growth in our diabetic population. However, previous research in both animal and human studies have suggested a rise in blood sugars when rats as well as humans were disconnected from the earth [17,18]. In twelve patients with non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus being grounded to the earth’s field increases glucose utilization. The researchers suggested lack of contact with the earth may have an opposite effect and perhaps may have an impact on diabetes, obesity and even high blood pressure [18].

            Bolding mine.

            I am not openminded enough to believe that rolling around on the ground cures all that ails humankind.

          • @Talker
            Not to mention the fact that (dry) leather is also a pretty good insulator. And that there are of course no such things as ‘the earth’s natural energy and frequencies’ as claimed.

            I am not openminded enough to believe that rolling around on the ground cures all that ails humankind.

            Well, laughing appears to be good for us, so all this silly nonsense may have a positive effect after all …

  • Edzard, these links need correcting:

    • 6. … ⇨[1]⇦
    • ⇨[1]⇦ McCarney et al. (⇨2002⇦).

    McCarney R, Fisher P, Spink F, Flint G, van Haselen R.
    Can homeopaths detect homeopathic medicines by dowsing? A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
    J R Soc Med. 2002 Apr;95(4):189-91.
    PMID: 11934908;

    PMCID: PMC1279512.

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