Crystal Healing…is it real?

image crystal healing, holistic health
Crystal Healing and the balance between scientific research, ancient wisdom and the modern disconnect from universal energy systems

It is not uncommon that alternative and integrative healing systems evoke scepticism in people. Many of us (including myself) need validation, proof and scientific evidence about the safety, benefit and efficacy of a therapeutic modality. There is a lot of discussion, doubt and even ridicule about the authenticity and validity of crystal healing (and other alternative treatments) and to be fair, there are not many scientific studies that support the hypothesis, that crystals can heal or at least improve illness, or unblock energy.

We are experiencing some shift in this more conservative view in recent times as the trust we put into allopathic medicine and in particular the Pharma Industry is waning as a result of over-prescription of medication, severe side effects and non-transparency. That does not mean conventional medicine does not have an important role in our society but it also means that people are looking for more natural alternatives as well as a desire to tap back into Nature and the wisdom of our Ancestors.

A lack of studies doesn’t necessarily mean that an approach is not effective, beneficial or scientifically valid. All new advances, discoveries and innovations run through phases of doubt, uproar, ridicule and scepticism before they are accepted as the truth, a status quo:

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.”                         

              Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher

A historic overview of famous examples of scepticism and doubt:
image scepticism new inventions

Thomas Edison is regarded worldwide as the father of invention. More precisely, his ideas are at the core of many inventions we still use today. What many of us don’t know is that it took a lot of time effort… and yes, failure to get these results: Thomas Edison filed 1093 patents in the USA alone. A chief engineer for the British Post Office said that the “subdivision of the electric light is an absolute ignis fatuus” , a fraud and a sham. In 1879, Henry Morton, a leading scientific mind and president of the Stevens Institute of Technology, called one man’s (Thomas Edison’s) tinkering a “conspicuous failure.”

In 1928, Joseph Schenck, President of United Artists, seemed confident about one thing: talking pictures were a fad. He told The New York Times that “talking doesn’t belong in pictures.” (Movies) Though he conceded that sound effects could be useful, he felt that dialogue was overrated. “I don’t think people will want talking pictures long,” he said, and he wasn’t alone.

In 1973, a story about the new voicemail phenomenon noted that answering machines weren’t even allowed in most homes. Robert Howard, a spokesman for the New York Telephone Company, claimed that illegally installed machines posed a hazard to line repairmen. Since the 1940s, most companies have banned them, and AT&T said “There is no need for the device.” Even once answering machines moved from quasi-legal purgatory in 1975, the devices were still seen as a niche yuppie annoyance. That might be why it took until 1991 for the New York Times to reluctantly accept the voicemail device with a telling headline: “For Yuppies, Now Plain Folks Too.” (Edward, 2016)

Ludwig Boltzmann developed equations and formulas (1895-1900) which explain the properties of atoms and how they determine the physical nature of matter. Now it transpires that proposing a theory that disproves other laws of physics (and scientists) thought to be correct at the time does not make you particularly popular or appreciated. After years of fighting for atom theory to be accepted, Boltzmann committed suicide. This was only 3 years before Ernest Rutherford discovered the nucleus of an atom, proving Boltzmann’s theory. 

This next example has a very current connection and it illustrates perfectly, that the things we now see as given, particularly in a healing context, were not always this way:

Ignaz Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician working in Austria and described as the “Saviour of Mothers”, was a pioneer in antiseptic procedures. Semmelweis discovered (1847) that the incidence of puerperal fever (also known as “childbed fever”) could be drastically cut by the use of hand disinfection in obstetrical clinics.

Puerperal fever was common in mid-19th-century hospitals and was often fatal. He noticed that one hospital of his had very high death rates and came to the conclusion that this death toll could be lowered by surgeons simply washing their hands between patients. Semmelweis’s theory, as we now know, was correct.

One would think that his easily implemented discovery to reduce mortality would be welcomed. But quite the contrary: When Semmelweis talked about his findings to other medical practitioners, he was disregarded and accused of calling them dirty. After years of trying, he finally capitulated and ended his days in a psychiatric asylum. It wasn’t until around 20 years later that Louis Pasteur’s germ theory convinced more people to wash their hands often and Semmelweis was proven right. 

Why Crystal Healing should not be disregarded as a Healing Modality:
image crystal healing roots and wings
  1. The scientific studies around bioenergy, subtle energy etc are still in their infancy. New technologies are emerging, and just because there are not yet many representative and peer-reviewed studies, does not mean that crystal healing has no value to human health and wellbeing. It has been part of indigenous healing methods for thousands of years globally and much of the ancient wisdom is currently re-emerging with growing public interest, which might initiate more research in the area.
  2. There are various individual aspects of crystal and energy healing that are thoroughly researched and validated scientifically, including the piezoelectric effects, bioenergy fields and vibrational frequencies.
  3. Even though there are no large-scale scientific studies, there are many “case studies” and individual reports of the benefits of crystal healing.
  4. Crystal Healing often involves other relaxing and healing aspects, which can include meditation, aromatherapy, sound therapy, colour therapy, massage, acupressure and more. These complementary elements help to deepen the client’s positive experience and sessions have an overall, relaxing and healing effect on general wellbeing.
  5. Maybe you have heard of the saying: Where intention (or attention) goes, energy flows. We know that intention is a powerful tool for healing, and when both the practitioner and client combine their healing and connecting intention, there is a definite positive flow of energy. Intention setting can quite literally change our brain structure through a process called neuroplasticity – through repetition of intentional thought processes and behaviours, our brain’s highly complex, yet flexible, circuits, known as neural pathways, can be changed and rebuilt. The more often electrical messages travel down the same beaten tracks, the more established and solid the new neural pathways become. Mindfulness and other types of meditation are powerful tools to frame intention and focus awareness. In relation to EcoGem Therapy, intention setting towards human and planetary health and healing is an integral part of the approach, particularly in combination with other elements such as ecotherapy, mindfulness, colour and sound, art and sensory experiences etc.
  6. Psychologist Christopher French and his team presented one of the more comprehensive studies into the efficacy of crystal healing about 20 years ago in 2001 at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference in Glasgow. The study involved 80 research subjects who were divided into two groups. They were prepared for the sensations they might experience while holding crystals. The possible sensations included increased energy and concentration among others. One group was given real gemstones and the other fake plastic “crystals”. The researchers discovered that the groups’ reports on feeling the sensations previously described to them, were very similar. For the scientists this was a clear result:  It wasn’t the physical properties of the crystals that helped people, but the power of suggestion. Even though this study might disprove the efficacy of crystal healing, it led to a shift in the way crystal therapy is viewed:  crystals might not (according to this study) directly affect us physically, but they might be explained using the concept known as ‘placebo effect’:
  7. The Placebo Effect: Even the Critics of Crystal Healing agree, that there is a definite Placebo Effect from Crystal Healing sessions. The term  “Placebo Effect” still has a bit of a “dodgy” reputation and we might just class it as fake. Studies have proven though, that this phenomenon is “real” and the beneficial effects should be taken seriously.“The placebo effect is more than positive thinking — believing a treatment or procedure will work. It’s about creating a stronger connection between the brain and body and how they work together,” says Professor Ted Kaptchuk of Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, whose research focuses on the placebo effect.

Placebos won’t lower your cholesterol or shrink a tumour. Instead, placebos work on symptoms modulated by the brain, like the perception of pain. “Placebos may make you feel better, but they will not cure you,” says Kaptchuk. “They have been shown to be most effective for conditions like pain management, stress-related insomnia, and cancer treatment side effects like fatigue and nausea.”

The Power of the Placebo Effect, Harvard Medical School, 2021

8. Crystal Healing is a safe healing approach as it works gently with subtle energies as well as the practitioner’s and client’s own intention. The modality is usually combined with other healing and relaxation practices, making it an effective, safe and enjoyable addition to integrative approaches. Of course, it is crucial to educate clients about the limitations, always emphasizing that crystal healing is a complimentary method, NOT a replacement for medical care.

If you are interested in crystal healing, particularly in the context of ecotherapy, find out more about our crystal healing modality EcoGem Therapy here.

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