The popularity of New Age beliefs, yoga, mindfulness and alternative medicine in recent years has caused a resurgence of interest in crystal healing. From crystal-infused water bottles and pyramids to gemstone healing necklaces, facials and massages, there’s an abundance of crystal applications.
Some sources estimate that crystals have been used for healing as far back as 6,000 years ago, with the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. The amount of information available to the public on alternative medicines like crystal healing continues to grow as well. Here’s what we know about healing crystals, how they may work, and how to use them.
What Are Healing Crystals?
Crystals are stones with physical properties, such as a specific formation or ordering of atoms, that affect light refraction, electrical charge and more. Crystal healing emphasizes these qualities and how they might affect the human body’s vibration, electrical charge and functionality. “These vibrations and frequencies can also be understood as qi, or vital energy that makes up any living entity,” explains Jenelle Kim, a doctor of Chinese medicine and founder and formulator of JBK Wellness Labs.
How Do Healing Crystals Work?
Crystal healing is believed to affect an individual in two possible ways: through vibration and through mindset.
In the 1970s, IBM researcher Marcel Vogel coined the term “vibrational medicine,” referring to the belief that crystal healing alters the vibration of the body’s molecules to match the vibrational energy of whatever crystal is being used. “Crystals have a similar wavelength to the human body, which means they vibrate at the same tone as humans and can enhance the body’s natural healing [process],” says Dr. Kim.
Los Angeles-based holistic chiropractor Alexandra Trevisan further explains, “As humans, we have the ability to operate within this energy scale, either ascending or descending. Think love and enthusiasm at the top, and fear and hate at the bottom of the scale. Healing crystals typically hold one or more of the frequencies at the high end of the energetic scale (love, clarity and/or hope) or repel energy from the low end of the energetic scale (anger, jealousy and/or despair).”
Crystal healing can also harness the power of the mind in a way that’s perhaps even more potent than vibrational energy improvements. Throughout history, poets and religious leaders viewed crystals as symbols of purity, pleasure, faith and perfection. They used crystals as a source of inspiration, devotion and creativity.
Stanford researchers agree that mindset plays a significant role in health and healing. Practitioners believe the intention-based mindset of crystal healing—like what’s cultivated in mindfulness meditation—can help with immunity, focus, emotional processing, stress reduction and nervous system regulation.
How Do You Use Healing Crystals?
There are multiple ways to use healing crystals, from meditation to decoration and beyond.
Holding or gazing at a crystal that represents a mantra, emotion or intention is a simple and effective way to return to your meditation practice when the mind wanders. “On a more practical level, they serve as a grounding tool,” says Trevisan.
Many crystal healers recommend wearing crystals on your skin or in your clothes to benefit most from the vibrational medicine theory. Trevisan, for example, places crystals on her client’s body—“on a chakra, or energy center”—while she works with them.
Shanise Spruill, a certified holistic practitioner and founder of JOHARI and LOU Artisan Soul Stones, suggests adding crystals to your home decor to “maintain healthy feng shui within your home.”
Spa Treatments and Wellness
Many holistic health practitioners use crystals in facials, massages and even chiropractic adjustments.
The Most Popular Healing Crystals
There’s a wide array of crystals and stones that are said to offer a variety of benefits or contain specific properties. Here are some of the most common and popular options.
Quartz (Rose and Clear)
Rose quartz is known as the stone of “unconditional love.” It’s used to nurture and manifest love of all kinds—not just romantic. Clear quartz, according to Dr. Kim, is known as the “master healer” because it helps align all your chakras and energetically attune to all other crystals. It can help you access and manifest higher states of consciousness.
Amethyst is “known to help get rid of addictions and disruptive behaviors, as well as enhance your intuition,” shares Dr. Kim. “[It] calms rebellious neural signals to restore a sense of calm to your nervous system.”
Moonstone helps process change, patterns and inner cycles. It is believed to improve intuition and help the user access their inner wisdom.
Black obsidian acts like a shield, protecting your aura from negative energies. The reflective nature of obsidian also acts as a mirror or a screen to project lessons—or force us to see our negative tendencies.
How to Choose the Best Healing Crystal for You
Spruill recommends seeking out a credentialed holistic practitioner (online or in person) who specializes in crystal usage for spiritual and energetic healing. If you have trouble finding one, she recommends visiting a crystal shop and doing a visual meditation, then choosing a crystal to which you feel energetically connected.
“It is said that once you lose the crystal, its work with you is complete, and you are no longer in need of calibrating to that frequency,” adds Trevison.
Where to Buy the Best Healing Crystals
Crystals can be found online, in a practitioner’s office or in local crystal shops.