Crystals are millions of years old and through the ages have been much admired for their beauty. In addition to their extraordinary beauty, they are also abounding with healing properties. The later has been harnessed by new age healers and has given rise to a new form of therapy - Crystal therapy. While modern medical techniques focus singularly on the alleviation of the physical symptoms of distress, crystal therapy perceives the individual as a functional, organismic whole that works to attain higher levels of growth and potentiality.
 Understanding Crystal Therapy
The individual is not seen as comprising isolated units, rather as a complete being, unique in his/her own way and with an innate capacity to achieve the higher levels of growth. Therefore the individual, his entire physical and mental being, level of biological maturity, environmental influences, coping mechanisms and adjustments are keenly studied and analysed before embarking on the line of therapy. In this sense crystal therapy, in principal, borrows itself heavily from the [[Gestalt School of Thought]] and particularly its views on human nature.
The presence of energies or charkas within the human system (and even outside it) forms the bulwark of almost all alternate healing therapies ( including Reiki, Healing Touch and Pranic Healing), and crystal therapy is no exception. It is believed that any kind of discomfort, physical or mental, is usually due to an obstruction in the free flow of this energy within the body. Hence the practitioner usually tries to realign the movement, direction or flow of this energy and create a harmonious environment for the body. This not only frees the body of the immediate physical discomfort, but very often the therapy reaches out to other unexplored territories and rids the body and mind of other toxins/ailments.
 Origin of Crystal Therapy
Crystals as an aid to healing has generated a lot of interest as also significance in the medical world. However the entire concept of using external aids such as these is not entirely new and has been in use since a long time. In legends, the people of the mythical land of Atlantis used crystals not just for the purpose of healing but also as a means for attaining spiritual growth. They used natural resources to produce remedies and were known to have harnessed the energy of naturally produced crystals to develop a line of treatment. They believed in the metaphysical notions of universal energy and presence of a field of energy around the individual which is electro magnetic in nature. This second self was called ‘auric body’ and it was as crucial as was the physical body. The curative methods were built keeping these crucial theories in mind. With the aid of crystals and other natural sources, they usually tried to heal the ‘auric body’ first with the belief that the physical body would follow suit.
Archaeologists have found various charms and amulets in the graves found in Egypt, Russia, Middle east and Africa. The fact that these gems were placed in graves is a pointer to the immense value they placed on the stones as providers of protection and good health. Crystal skulls were also in vogue in the prehistoric times and were rumoured to have enormous spiritual powers. In ancient Egypt, crystals were widely used and this is substantiated by a study of hieroglyphic papyrus from the year 2000 B.C. Stones such as Lapis, malachite, turquoise, tiger’s eye were not only used to treat various illnesses, they were also believed to have powers that drew out spiritual impurities and blessed the wearer with superior intellect. Crystal therapy was also very prevalent in the South East Asian countries as Tibet (which used a lot of turquoise to treat illnesses), China (which extensively used jade) and Japan.
In India crystal therapy was indeed very prevalent and astrological documents dated as early as 400 B.C, as well as verse from the Vedas record the use of crystals, along with flowers, fragrances, animal parts etc, as a means of treatment as well as for attaining higher spiritual powers. Even today, use of crystals to ward off the negative influences caused by certain planetary positions is indeed a flourishing trade. In addition, the indigenous population of America and Australia were also known to have used crystals is their healing processes.
 The Way Crystals Heal
The therapy is premised on the fact that the human body is a complex electromagnetic system and crystals are natural electromagnetic conductors. Hence whenever the energy flow or chi is obstructed, the person experiences discomfort. With the aid of crystals which are placed at strategic locations on and around the body so as to coincide and resonate with the energy centres present in the body, a certain kind of energy map is created. This helps to cleanse obstructed pathways, nourish those centres that are low on energy, redefine the pathways and finally refine the flow of energy. All this is achieved by inducing the body into a state of mental relaxation where deep seated issues come to fore and are addressed by the practitioner. The collaboration of the mental with the physical self is the cornerstone of crystal therapy and the real reason behind its success. The actual treatment lasts between one hour to one and a half hours. It may be given alone or in combination with other methods such as reiki. The recipient lies down on a massage table and crystals are placed at strategic locations according to the energy map. The whole body is treated as a singular unit and not as isolated parts. Most recipients report a warm tingling sensation in the body, especially in the area that is being treated.
For a crystal therapy session to be effective, it has to work on the underlying notions of energy existing in and outside the body. The physical energy present within the body, at various centres or charkas is solid while the aura is a fluid, light entity. Crystals have a definite vibration which affect the electro magnetic field and hence can be harnessed to regularise the flow of energy in the set way that it is supposed to follow. The energy field surrounding the individual is also affected by colour and hence crystals of various hues are used for the treatment of a variety of maladies such as depression, anxiety attacks, sinusitis, sleep disorders, migraines and other types of headaches etc.
Many a time the practitioner works on certain intuitions about the physical conditions of the patient. This is usually not akin to an intuition that a lay person would make. In fact this kind of intuition is done with a practised eye and is most often based on in-depth knowledge. Hence it can be called an ‘informed intuition’. After identification of the problem, specific crystal layouts are placed on the body as part of a cleansing procedure. Thereafter the body is recharged and revitalized by again placing the crystals strategically. At the end of the session, the patient is given a protective grounding of his energies so as to ensure that the positive effects do not wane away.
 Kind of Crystals Used
Crystals are known to have their own special life force or ‘prana’ and the therapist transfers the vibrations to the deepest recesses of a persons being which incidentally is thought to be the active breeding ground for many illnesses. The most commonly used crystals are the quartz crystals because the vibrations they emit are on a wavelength compatible to the cells present in the human body as well as those present in the mind. Hence they are ideal for altering the energy fields and are extremely beneficial to the patient undergoing the therapy.
Quartz crystals usually contain silicon deposits. However sometimes they also contain trace elements which alter their colour from white to purple or pink or blue. These trace elements again affect and alter the frequency of the vibrations it emits. The practitioner makes a judgement about the lacunae in the energy processes in and outside the human body and then proceeds to use crystals, sometimes of varying hues to produce the required vibratory level and frequency. Thus it is imperative that the practitioner is well versed about the nature of individual crystals and their effects on the human self. This is in addition to having an in depth knowledge about the overall position of the charkas and where the energy flow is restricted.
 Crystal Therapy - An Overview
There are of course people who are sceptical about the efficacy of this process and in the absence of scientific evidence to document the same, crystal therapy does face scepticism. Conservative medical practitioners believe that such techniques just pass on a momentary feeling of bliss that is often misread as symptom alleviation. Nevertheless, crystal therapy is a gentle, non-intrusive healing process that is fast assuming significance in today’s times where lifestyle diseases such as hypertension, high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety based disorders are prevalent. Alone or in consonance with other conservative methods of treatment, as well as other alternate healing processes as reiki, pranic healing or remedial massages, this therapy has proved to be very effective, especially to those who belief in its power to heal. It induces a deep sense of relaxation and recharges the tired body and mind of an individual. It is also useful for those who are not actually ill but are interested in maintaining a more positive and a healthy life because ultimately the therapy strives to teach the body to maintain a certain balance which is the main component for a happier, disease free life.
- Beyond the Rainbow
- Holistic Junction
- Positive Health Magazine
- Crystal Healing Arts
 Further Readings
- Vibrational Medicine, Richard Gerber, MD. Bear & Co., 1988.
- Human Energy Systems, Jack Schwartz. Dutton, 1980.
- Holy Ice, Frank Dorland, Galde Press, 1992.