All three methods you've used are valid. Test the results - perform chakra balancing techniques and see which method give you better answers.
In his new book, Changing Reality, Serge Kahili King, PhD, gives a good explanation of how best to use a pendulum, as I do in my chakra workshops. "A pendulum - any object hung on a string or chain that is able to swing freely - works by responding to micro-muscular movements of your fingers, which are themselves responding to a focused question that you ask about something... you can choose what meaning to give to the following kinds of responses: clockwise circle; counter-clockwise circle; back and forth swing; side-to-side swing." I have also experienced a perfectly still pendulum when a chakra is closed. There's more info on how I use the pendulum in the prologue to The Chakra Diaries. And my favorite pendulum is a pointed lava rock embedded with olivine crystal, formed by the heat of the volcanic eruptions on the Big Island in the 1960's, hanging from a silver chain. Namaste! Becca Chopra