Crystal therapy is an ancient healing system concerned with treating patients holistically through the precise placement of crystals on the body and the surrounding room.
This means that, unlike Western healthcare (which tends to focus on treating one symptom/ailment at a time) crystal therapy addresses the patient as a whole - paying as much attention to his or her spiritual and emotional well-being as to their physical health.
There is very little scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of crystal healing on a medical level. However, crystals have been used, revered and enjoyed for many thousands of years - both for their aesthetic beauty and for the peace, relaxation and harmony they seem to invoke.
Many crystal therapists train and practice right here in the UK, bringing a refreshing new way of thinking to people dissatisfied with conventional medical treatment.
Crystal therapy is a non-invasive, relaxing, natural and enjoyable process. Whether you believe in the physical healing properties of crystals or not, the therapy itself will offer you a chance to lie back, relax and get in touch with your body's energies so you can leave feeling refreshed, restored and de-stressed - a perfect platform for improved physical health.
History of crystal healing
The use of crystals dates all the way back to ancient Egyptian times. Though they often used the precious stones for jewellery and cosmetics, they also used them for protection and health purposes, such as the use of topaz for purging evil spirits.
The word 'crystal' comes from the Greek word for ice, due to the belief that clear quartz was water so deeply frozen it would remain forever solid. Many other popular crystals also have names of Greek origin, for example 'Amethyst' meaning 'not drunken' was carried or worn to prevent drunkenness. Greek soldiers were also also known to associate Iron with Mars, the god of war and they would rub themselves in hematite before going into battle believing it would make them better warriors.
As well as playing a central role in the above cultures, crystals have also played a part in a number of religions and faiths and have been mentioned in both the Bible and Koran. In the Koran, the 4th heaven is described as being completely composed of garnet. The Kalpa Tree which represents an offering to the gods in Hinduism is said to be made entirely of precious stone and a Buddhist text described a diamond throne near to the Tree of Knowledge.
Before the advent of worldwide exploration and travel, most civilizations would have been isolated and unaware of the practices of other far-away civilizations. Interestingly, the use and purpose of crystals seems to have transcended geological boundaries. For instance, it is thought that the ancient Chinese, Aztec and Mayan civilisations all used Jade as a stone for healing the kidney, without the knowledge that anyone else was using it for the same reason.
The early 19th century saw a number of experiments aimed at demonstrating the clairvoyant effects of crystals. Though little evidence exists to prove the medical merits of the therapy it is still sought after as a beneficial complementary treatment.
How does crystal therapy work?
Crystal therapy is based on the premise that crystals can, in a sense, communicate with the energies flowing around the human body. On a microscopic level a crystal is a network of repeating geometric patterns made up of compressed ions, atoms and molecules. According to crystal therapy, every crystal has its own unique electromagnetic charge. These charges, or 'healing vibrations' are supposed to interact with the body's energy centres to remove 'blockages' and restore a healthy flow through the body and mind.
Crystal therapists choose crystals carefully for each individual patient as each one is believed to have a unique healing power. Crystal therapists then place the chosen crystal on different areas of the body in a grid-like fashion designed to stimulate energy.
Sometimes the colour of the crystal will be chosen to correspond with the supposed colour of each energy point on the body. From the tip of the tailbone to the top of the head the colours are as follows: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.
What happens in crystal therapy?
If you have never tried any form of alternative or complementary therapy before, the idea of going to a crystal therapy session can seem a little daunting. Crystal therapy couldn't be further removed from the 10 minute GP appointment you might be used to. So what exactly happens in crystal therapy?
Instead of attempting to diagnose any physical issues you may be suffering from, a crystal therapist will first assess the condition of your aura before selecting a number of crystals designed to restore its equilibrium.
An aura is an invisible emanation thought to surround each person's body. Our auras supposedly relate to our emotional, mental and spiritual make up, meaning that when we are healthy, the energy flowing through our bodies is clear and balanced. If something in our lives happens to unbalance this - such as a physical ailment, or a mental issue - then this results in a blockage that could ultimately manifest as a physical illness.
As with most alternative and complementary therapies, you will first be required to have an initial consultation. The initial consultation is basically an opportunity for your therapist to learn as much about you, your medical history and your lifestyle as possible, allowing them to analyse your personal situation as thoroughly as possible before selecting the appropriate crystals for treatment.
At the beginning of a session it is likely that you will be asked to either sit on a chair or lie on a therapist’s couch. Your therapist will then help to induce a deep state of relaxation before beginning to place crystals on or around your body.
During the session you may experience some slight tingling and it had also been reported that existing issues may slightly intensify before being released. This is thought to be caused by the shifting energies within the body. Should this happen your therapist will be able to give you advice on what to do.
What crystals will my therapist use?
The crystals prescribed for your treatment will be entirely based upon your diagnosis. Each crystal is thought to possess a different energy which can then be matched with the ailment. For example, Amethyst is thought to be particularly good for spiritual uplifting, so many people carry it with them when they need to communicate effectively. It is also used to help with stomach and liver issues.
Of course there are thousands of crystals, of which most healers only use a small percentage. During a healing session only a few crystals will be applied and they will have been selected based on their specific energies whether that may be calming, energising, purifying, protective, soft, or one of the many other qualities.
Below are a few examples of popular crystals that you might come across during treatment.
Aquamarine - means 'water of the sea' and is pale turquoise in colour.
Cape Amethyst - a translucent lilac crystal infused with silvery white.
Carnelian - a dense, blood-red crystal.
Green Aventurine - as the name suggests, a copper green shade.
Black Onyx - a jet black pebble smoothed to shine.
What qualifications and experience should a crystal therapist have?
Crystal therapy is currently not regulated by law in the UK, which means anyone can practice as a crystal therapist despite lacking the appropriate training and experience. In order to enable those searching for a crystal therapist to feel confident and reassured that their practitioner is properly qualified and is working to good standards, a number of Professional Associations have taken on the role of self-regulation.
Crystal therapists can choose to register with these associations, but in order to do so must meet the eligibility requirements as set by the organisation and must agree to comply with their code of ethics and complaints procedure.