Updated: Jan 20, 2022
Crystal healing is a pseudoscientific alternative medicine technique that uses semiprecious stones and crystals such as quartz, amethyst or opals. Adherents of the technique claim that these have healing powers, although there is no scientific basis for this claim.
In one method, the practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body, often corresponding to chakras; or else the practitioner places crystals around the body in an attempt to construct an energy grid, which is purported to surround the client with healing energy. Despite this, scientific investigations have not validated claims that chakras or energy grids actually exist, nor is there any evidence that crystal healing has any greater effect upon the body than any other placebo; for these reasons it is a pseudoscience.
When the practice is popular, it creates commercial demand for crystals, which results in environmental damage and exploitative child labor to mine the crystals.
Precious stones have been thought of as objects that can aid in healing — in a practice known as lapidary medicine — by a variety of cultures. The Hopi Native Americans of Arizona use quartz crystals to assist in diagnosing illnesses. Both Pliny the Elder and Galen claimed that certain crystals had medicinal properties. In Europe, the belief in the healing powers of crystals (and in particular crystal amulets) persisted in to the Middle Ages. The alleged medicinal properties of precious stones, as well as other powers they were believed to hold, were collected in texts known as Lapidaries, which remained popular in Medieval and Early Modern Europe until the 17th century.
In the English speaking world, crystal healing is heavily associated with the New Age spiritual movement: “the middle-class New Age healing activity par excellence”. In contrast with other forms of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), participants in crystal healing view the practice as “individuated”, i.e., dependent on extreme personalization and creative expression. Practitioners of crystal healing purport that certain physical properties—e.g., shape, color, and markings—determine the ailments that a stone can heal; lists of such links are published in commonly distributed texts. Paradoxically, practitioners also “hold the view that crystals have no intrinsic qualities but that, instead, their quality changes according to both” participants. After selecting the stones by color or their believed metaphysical qualities, they place them on parts of the body. Color selection and placement of stones are done according to concepts of grounding, chakras, or energy grids.
There is no peer-reviewed scientific evidence that crystal healing has any effect; it is considered a pseudoscience. Alleged successes of crystal healing can be attributed to the placebo effect. Furthermore, there is no scientific basis for the concepts of chakras, being “blocked”, energy grids requiring grounding, or other such terms; they are widely understood to be nothing more than terms used by adherents to lend credibility to their practices. Energy, as a scientific term, is a very well-defined concept that is readily measurable and bears little resemblance to the esoteric concept of energy used by proponents of crystal healing.
In 1999, researchers French and Williams conducted a study to investigate the power of crystals compared with a placebo. Eighty volunteers were asked to meditate with either a quartz crystal, or a placebo stone which was indistinguishable from quartz. Many of the participants reported feeling typical “crystal effects”; however, this was irrespective of whether the crystals were real or placebo. In 2001 Christopher French, head of the anomalistic psychology research unit at the University of London and colleagues from Goldsmiths College outlined their study of crystal healing at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference, concluding: “There is no evidence that crystal healing works over and above a placebo effect.”
Crystal healing effects could also be attributed to cognitive bias (which occurs when the believers want the practice to be true and see only things that back up that desire).
Crystal healing techniques are also practiced on animals, although some veterinary organizations, such as the British Veterinary Association, have warned that these methods are not scientifically proven and state that people should seek the advice of a vet before using alternative techniques.
Sales and Industry
Worldwide, retail sales of crystals amount to more than one billion US dollars per year.
India, China, Brazil, and Madagascar are the main producers of crystals. In Madagascar, one of the sources of crystals, most crystals are mined in unsafe, non-industrial or “homemade” mines, with parents and children working together to dig crystals from pits and tunnels they dig with shovels.
The miners are usually paid between 17 and 23 cents per kilogram for rose quartz (less than a penny per ounce). The miner’s income may be just 0.1% of the final retail price. Some people in the industry say that the low pay for miners is because customers in developed countries want low retail prices; others say that it is due to shops in developed countries wanting to be more profitable.
An Overview About Crystal Healing
There’s been a recent uptick Trusted Source in American adults turning to what’s known as complementary and alternative medicine. This includes everything from acupuncture and yoga to tai chi and even healing crystals.
In fact, you’ve probably heard people talking about, and showing off, these beautiful stones. But you may not know what they could offer you.
There are a number of different types of crystals, each filled with their own healing abilities for the mind, body, and soul. They’re thought to promote the flow of good energy and help rid the body and mind of negative energy for physical and emotional benefits.
Historically speaking, crystals are touted as ancient forms of medicine, with philosophies borrowed from Hinduism and Buddhism. However, it’s important to know that there’s no scientific evidence to support the use of crystals. Despite this, people are still drawn to their colors and beauty.
The key to indulging in this self-care experience is mindfulness, reflection, and acceptance. For instance, researchers Trusted Source found that a person’s mind may have much more healing power than its given credit.
Even though there isn’t a great deal of scientific support of crystals, a number of people swear by their powers. So, if you’re curious to give them a go, make sure to keep an open mind and check out what each stone can do for you.
To help you get started, I compiled a comprehensive roundup of some of the most popular crystals.
Different types of healing crystals
This white crystal is considered a “master healer.” It’s said to amplify energy by absorbing, storing, releasing, and regulating it. It’s also said to aid concentration and memory. Physically, clear crystals are claimed to help stimulate the immune system and balance out your entire body. This stone is often paired with others like rose quartz to aid and enhance their abilities.
Just as the color may suggest, this pink stone is all about love. It’s said to help restore trust and harmony in all different kinds of relationships while improving their close connections. It’s also claimed to help provide comfort and calm during times of grief.
It isn’t all about other people, though. Rose quartz is said to also encourage love, respect, trust, and worth within one’s self — something we could all use in this day and age.
This smooth crystal is known as the “supreme nurturer.” It’s said to empower the spirit and support you through times of stress by preparing you to fully “show up.” It’s claimed to protect you from and absorb negative vibes while promoting courage, quick thinking, and confidence. These are traits that are extra helpful when tackling important issues — which is exactly what this stone may be good for.
An intensely protective stone, obsidian is said to help form a shield against physical and emotional negativity. It’s also said to help get rid of emotional blockage and promote qualities of strength, clarity, and compassion to help find your true sense of self. For your physical body, it may aid in digestion and detoxification while potentially helping reduce pain and cramps.
Bring joy, wonder, and enthusiasm to every part of your life with citrine. It’s said to help you release negative traits from your life like fear, and in turn help encourage optimism, warmth, motivation, and clarity. It’s also claimed to enhance mindful qualities, like creativity and concentration.
This blue crystal has powers that are said to help heal the mind, body, and soul. Generally speaking, it’s seen as a good luck charm that can help balance your emotions while finding your spiritual groundings. When it comes to the body, it’s said to benefit the respiratory, skeletal, and immune system.
If you’re in need of a power or motivation boost, this golden stone may be for you. It’s said to help rid your mind and body of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. This can be beneficial for career aspirations or even matters of the heart. Tiger’s eye is also said to help guide you to harmony and balance to help you make clear, conscious decisions.
This purple stone is said to be incredibly protective, healing, and purifying. It’s claimed it can help rid the mind of negative thoughts and bring forth humility, sincerity, and spiritual wisdom. It’s also said to help promote sobriety. Sleep is another claimed benefit of this stone, from supposedly aiding in insomnia relief to understanding dreams. Physically, it’s said to boost hormone production, cleanse blood, and relieve pain and stress.
Known for “new beginnings,” moonstone is said to encourage inner growth and strength. When starting fresh, this stone is purported to also soothe those uneasy feelings of stress and instability so you’re able to move forward successfully. It’s also claimed to promote positive thinking, intuition, and inspiration while bringing forth success and good fortune.
This powerful healing stone lives up to its name. Bloodstone is claimed to help cleanse the blood by drawing off bad environmental energies and improving circulation. Mindfully speaking, it encourages selflessness, creativity, and idealism while helping you live within the current moment. It’s also said it can also help you rid yourself of feelings of irritability, aggressiveness, and impatience.
This blue stone is one of wisdom and royalty. It’s said it can attract prosperity, happiness, and peace while opening up the mind to accept beauty and intuition. As for physical health, this stone is claimed to also help heal eye issues, cellular levels, and blood disorders while also easing depression, anxiety, and insomnia.
A red standout, this stone helps restore vitality and energy levels. This can help improve things such as sensuality, sex, and intellect. It’s also said to help bring self-awareness and the realization of truth to one’s mind. Rubies were used in ancient times to help remove toxins from blood and improve the overall circulatory system.
How to select your crystal
First things first: Identify what you feel you’re missing before looking into what stones can provide you. This will help you indicate what’s going on within yourself before depending on outside sources.
From there, just let your intuition choose what’s best for you. Whether a crystal catches your eye or you can feel a physical pull toward one, your inner subconscious will help guide you to the crystal that’s right for you. Once it’s pick out, you can create the connection you need.
How to care for your crystal
When you first bring your crystal home, you’ll want to cleanse away any negativity it may have picked up. You can hold it under cold, running water from a tap or rinse it in a natural source of water. Either way, be sure the water is cool, not warm or hot.
Add a bit of sea salt to cleanse or burn sage to really help it get rid of unwanted energies. You can also leave it out to dry in morning sunlight or full moon light to let the light filter through.
It’s not just about their physical care, though. For crystals to work their magic, you mentally have to remove the negative energy or skepticism you may have about their capabilities. It’s important to respect what they can do for you.