To ward off negative energy, use or keep black tourmaline on you. To aid with and amplify optimism, use a citrine crystal. For love, self-love and peace, get a rose quartz stone. Crystal healing is a branch of alternative medicine in which crystals and gemstones are used to cure and protect against illnesses.
According to an article on Live Science magazine, crystal healers in practice believe that crystals act as conduits for healing through positive energy and the extraction of negative energy. Although crystals have been used for centuries for the belief that they hold special healing and restorative energy powers, there has been increased popularity over the past decade. This surge has promoted the crystals’ effectiveness through many facets of natural and homeopathic medicine.
In an article on energymuse.com, crystal expert Heather Askinosie wrote that crystals and gemstones “harness the life-giving elements of the Earth and the universe. Harnessing the energy of the Sun, the Moon, and the oceans, semi-precious stones connect us to Earth as soon as we come into contact with them.”
There is no scientific research that has been able to determine the effectiveness of crystals. Most medical practitioners believe this to be pseudoscience, which is a set of beliefs and practices said to be scientific but are incompatible with scientific methods. According to Live Science, “the philosophy of modern crystal healing is based on traditional concepts borrowed from Asian cultures, most notably the Chinese concept of life-energy (chi or qi).” This can also be found in the Hindu or Buddhist concept of chakras, “which are vortices of this life-energy, said to connect the physical and supernatural elements of the body.”
Crystals and gemstones are assigned different healing properties. The most popular stone is Amethyst, which is believed to relieve stress and awaken spiritual awareness. Clear quartz is another popular crystal that is an important piece in any collection; it’s used to clear the mind and counteract negative energy blockages.
Gemstones are also used in the Chinese tradition of feng shui, with the most popular stone being jade, which is used for good fortune, harmony, balance and protection. According to an article on The Spruce, “feng means “wind” and shui means “water.” In Chinese culture, wind and water are associated with good health, thus good feng shui came to mean good fortune.” The basics of feng shui involves harmonizing the self and the environment through energy.
The ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda also uses crystals and gemstones to align chakras and balance doshas, the three energies that define a person’s makeup, according to Ayurvedic practice. In his book Ayurveda: The Science of Self-Healing, medical practitioner and professor of Ayurvedic Medicine Dr. Vasant Lad writes that the energy vibrations of these stones harness healing properties. Healing can be done by choosing the right crystal or stone and activating it by wearing them on your person and placing them in water overnight to drink it the following day. Crystals and gemstones can be ‘purified’ by soaking them in saltwater for a few days.
According to the same Live Science article, in a session, a crystal healer will place the appropriate stones on parts of the body that need healing. The stones are used physically and spiritually to help heal both the mind and spirit.
Despite consulting and practicing this ancient medicine, most modern crystal-healers still recommend always seeing a family doctor and not replacing modern medicine with stones. The stones are recommended mostly for spiritual reasons.
According to herbalism student Tamara Montenegro, crystals changed her life. She sees a crystal therapist when she feels unbalanced physically and emotionally. Montenegro claims the gems have helped with her anxiety, insomnia, and even heartbreak.
“It helps me to ground myself,” she said. “I truly believe they are a great healing tool — they can help you manifest things into your life.”
Photos by Laurence B.D., graphics by @sundaeghost