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March 2017 - The Work of Duchy Healers

The Work of the Duchy Healers

A talk by Valerie Bruce-Smith and David Lockwood

Dowsing and healing have always overlapped. Dowsing is the craft of acquiring information from sources beyond the five gross senses, and healing is the ability to apply that knowledge to effect beneficial change.

Originally founded by Elsie Kerrigan in 1984, the Duchy Healers now number around 160 practitioners, most of whom are based in the South West peninsula, although they do have members from as far afield as Scotland and Australia. The group is affiliated to BAHA (the British Alliance of Healing Associations), which has a corporate membership of almost 2,000.

The Tamar Dowsers have always had a strong, if unstated, connection with the Duchy Healers, as many of our colleagues, both past and present, have been part of both organisations.

Here, Chairperson of the Duchy Healers and long-standing member of the TDs, David Lockwood, together with the DH Secretary and fellow TD colleague, Valerie Bruce-Smith, gave a presentation about the work of the group. Valerie, an increasingly experienced healer in her own right, made a very creditable debut as a speaker, addressing an audience nudging 40.

Trained healers always wait to be approached by prospective clients (only medical staff treat patients). However, the DH are never short of people looking for assistance, responding largely to word-of-mouth recommendations – and they are always seeking to recruit additional personnel. One could argue that if were all able to realise our healing potential, and to use it in our daily lives, then the world would be a much pleasanter place – but that’s an ongoing project!  

David and Valerie explained the process of giving healing from start to finish – firstly, putting the client at ease, talking through their concerns and coming to an understanding of their needs.

The next step is to identify the method through which these issues can be addressed. This is where the dowsing plays a critical role. While the most experienced and intuitive practitioners may carry out part of this process in deviceless mode, most healers continue to use the pendulum to determine the necessary information. As with all dowsing, while the gathering of the relevant data is – at least conceptually – a fairly straightforward process, actually getting to the nub of the problem is something that usually takes considerable time and much dedicated practice.

The final part of the sequence is to channel through the appropriate energy to help relieve the stress or pain experienced by the client. Today, healers rarely apply any hands-on treatments – a few unfortunate situations (albeit not locally!) have rendered that too sensitive an undertaking.

In most cases, the healer will employ a personal sequence of silent requests for assistance to be directed or channelled to that part of the client’s anatomy or aura which is in need of remedial attention.

The source of that assistance is perhaps the most difficult part of the process to visualise or understand.   While faith healers will tend to seek help from their own view of the divine – and the client will usually be a part of that faith community anyway – members of the Duchy Healers, and other similar organisations, tend to talk of the one true source or the universal consciousness.

David described his interaction with his ‘spirit guides’ – non-physical intermediaries who assist in the undertaking. Some practitioners visualise these etheric assistants as angelic beings, whilst others feel more at home with a quasi- scientific description along the lines of ‘informational entities’. In practice, the healing process seems to be a fairly uniform procedure regardless of the client’s outlook. However, the style developed by the individual healer tends to vary, depending on their own understanding of how the activity works.

Healers can start their journey from any number of niches in society, including any faith or none, but the end result is that healing energy (sometimes called chi) is transferred from where it exists in the ‘field of consciousness’ to where it is needed by the client. This transfer is actually very difficult to describe, yet it seems to have great benefit for many of those who are given assistance.

Much emphasis is placed on the need to get to the root causes of anxiety and suffering, rather than focussing on the client’s reported symptoms as such. Pain and stress may be warning signs and distress beacons, but the underlying sources of such maladies tend to be found deeper in the psyche of the typical client. Taking a truly holistic approach – often with dowsing as a key component – is the course of action that is most likely to deliver longer lasting and more positive outcomes.

The afternoon ended with the presenters giving short healing sessions for those in the audience who felt in need of a little remedial attention.

This event marked the 15th Anniversary of the founding of the Tamar Dowsers by Jacki Ellis-Martin and Alan Neal in the Spring of 2002. The group has covered a vast range of topics and activities over the years, but healing has always been a core theme, of great interest to many of our diverse membership. It was fitting, therefore, that it coincided with such a well-received presentation on the subject.

The cake was nice too!

Many thanks to Valerie and David for sparing the time to talk to us about their work – and, as ever, to all those who have helped to keep the TDs show on the road over the last decade and a half.  

Nigel Twinn, Tamar Dowsers, March 2017

The Duchy Healers can be contacted at

or by telephone on 01566 86024


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