Crystals and gemstones are the exquisite fruits of the mineral kingdom, formed hundreds of millions of years ago beneath the Earth’s surface. Many crystals and coloured stones are now used in therapy.

Quartz effects

Crystals from the quartz family, with feldspars, make up 12 per cent of the Earth’s crust. Quartz, more than any other crystal, has an age-old reputation of being a healing stone and its applications are diverse. I would therefore suggest that your first experiences with crystals should be with one from this group. Popular types of this stone include clear quartz, snowy [white], smoky [brownish black], rose [translucent pink], amethyst [lavender-violet], citrine [brown, golden yellow], aventurine [sparkling green], tiger’s eye [gold, brown] or one of the large range of agates.

Quartz displays many fascinating physical properties. Among the most spectacular are the piezo-electric and pyro-electric effects. The piezo-electric effect arises when pressure is applied to the crystal and it produces an electrical spark [most pocket lighters are now powered this way]. The pyro-electric describes the result of variations in temperature, which cause an electrified state of polarity. As the crystal heats up, it first attracts and then abruptly repels the material around it, due to a build-up of electrical charge on its surface. But these are not the only important properties of quartz. When you feed a measured amount of electricity into a quartz crystal, the degree of vibration it produces is absolutely constant. This makes it ideal for use in radios and television sets, radar installations, computer systems… wherever accurate frequency is required. The watch you wear is a perfect example—its pinpoint accuracy is guaranteed because the chip of quartz crystal inside is vibrating under the stimulus of the battery.

Clearly then, one of the prime physical characteristics of crystals is that of energy transformation—the energy put into the crystal is not necessarily the same energy that comes out. Regular vibration and energy transformation are keys to the therapeutic use of crystals.

Choosing crystals

With the growing interest in complementary therapies, there are lots of stores and websites selling crystals and healing stones, sometimes offering a bewildering range of options.

While buying, consider what use you have in mind for your crystal. Do you want a personal crystal [a single point] or a sparkling cluster for more general influence? Perfect points and clusters are expensive but they make wonderful personal crystals or heart stones for the centre of the home.

Is it OK to buy damaged crystals?

Slightly damaged crystals are usually fine for home and office use, especially for ‘heavy work’ such as screening electrical radiation. There are different schools of thought about the value of working with perfect stones—for example, the ayurvedic tradition prizes perfection very highly, whereas the native shaman’s most powerful crystals are often extremely battered. Damaged crystals can sometimes remind us of the knocks we have all experienced in life and can bring an affinity with a crystal.

Your choice of crystal will often reflect aspects of your life journey. Thus, if you are learning to accept hurt, you can find great comfort in a crystal that appears to know suffering. The rainbows often seen within quartz crystals, caused by internal fractures in the stone, carry a special gift of hope and joy.

Caring for crystals

When you first acquire them, crystals need be cleansed well—both physically and energetically as they have likely been handled by countless people since they were removed from the earth.

Physical cleansing will usually involve washing the crystal in pure water—quartz crystals love sea water—but some may just need dusting with the finest brush. As all the salts and softer crystals will be damaged or destroyed by water, you need to check what you have before you get to work.

Just as important is the energetic cleansing, to clear old conditions that may be stored in the crystal [this applies if you buy or are given old jewellery too]. To do so attune yourself and the crystal to Source/Divine Power and visualise the radiance of that spiritual light clearing the crystal of any negativity or outworn conditions. This may then be followed by a prayer that the crystal works for the highest good.

Much used crystals should be cleaned regularly. Respect and love them.

Using crystals to heal

The regular atomic structure of crystals enables them to reorganise light and other forms of radiation. In crystal therapy, it is recognised that their pure light and radiant colour frequencies positively affect our own atomic make-up and subtle energies. Different crystals can be used to heal, unblock and revitalise the mind and body, sometimes in combination with visualisation meditations. Crystals are also very helpful during counselling sessions, easing painful emotions and facilitating integration.

In a typical crystal healing session, crystals and gemstones are laid on and around the body in different combinations, suitable to individual needs. The crystals work in co-operation with the patient’s energy system, strengthening and balancing physical and subtle energies. The therapy is deeply relaxing, pleasant and painless.

Crystal therapy is for anyone who would like to feel more vital, energetic, centred and with an increased sense of meaning. Crystals are helpful in treating fatigue and immune deficiency illnesses and for reducing symptoms of stress. They can also ease the symptoms of a wide range of physical conditions from arthritis to migraine by supporting the overall balance of mind and body.

Who should avoid crystal therapy?

I don’t recommend the use of crystals where the energetic state is in delicate balance [specifically in pregnancy] or with babies or very young children. Many crystals can be energetically ethereal and this is not helpful for the growing baby, just getting used to our denser material world. Rose quartz is an exception to this rule. It brings the unconditional love, care and gentleness of the Divine Mother.

Can you do your own crystal therapy?

I would recommend you visit an experienced crystal therapist to obtain the full benefits of crystal healing. However, wearing a crystal can strengthen and protect you from stress caused by the complex electrical fields that surround you, the pace of busy lives, emotional turmoil or debilitating ill-health. Remember, the wearing of a crystal is purely supportive. It is not a substitute for medical treatment, nor should be considered such. I don’t recommend wearing more than one crystal at a time. If you experience any unpleasant effect, like nausea or headache, stop using the crystal immediately. It may need some good cleaning, or maybe it’s just not right for you.

When you invite a crystal into your life, you will find that you inevitably become more open to the blessings it brings. It may seem whimsical, but your crystal becomes a companion, increasing your awareness of beauty and wholeness. At a practical level, it can help protect against geopathic and electrical field radiation, strengthen your energy field, ease physical pain and emotional heartache, comfort and console, bring courage, confidence and renew your trust in life.

Jacquie Burgess
Jacquie Burgess is the author of Healing with Crystals and Crystals for Life, both published by New Leaf, Gill & Macmillan. She lives in County Carlow in the Republic of Ireland and has a private practice working with crystals, herbs and psychotherapy. She also teaches meditation, herbs for health, and ceremony [Wheel of the Year, Celtic Spirituality].


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