A guide to crystals for healing
Just literally everything you need to know about crystals for healing, according to the crystal and tarot expert Miranda Cook
words Megan Wallace
Whether you know it or not, you may well be a fan of complementary or alternative medicine. While we don't often use the official title, this umbrella term refers to plenty of stuff that we'd term as wellness which, for some, can have some serious positive results for mental health and wellbeing. Among them are crystals, basically stones made up of different elements, minerals or compounds which - in addition to looking pretty - are thought to contain special properties by some. Different crystals, have different uses and among the most intriguing are crystals for healing. Want to find out more? We've called up Miranda Cook, a crystal expert and the owner of the tarot card and crystal boutique The Wootique London, for answers.
So, without further ado, read on to get our guide to crystals for healing...
Crystals for healing: EYNTK
From how, exactly, crystals heal to how to charge and look after your crystals, here's your need-to-know.
What are crystals?
Let's start at the beginning with the most fundamental of questions: what is a crystal? When we talk about crystals in the context of wellness, the answer to this question is a little bit different than what a geologist might say - here's Miranda Cook's take: "Crystals are solid bodies with geometrical shapes that have their atoms arranged in a grid-like pattern. They’re formed from minerals that bond to create different crystalline structures and they’ve been described as the Earth’s DNA," so far, so scientific.
But what makes crystals so popular among the spiritually inclined? Well, it's this bit: "They’re also mystical, magical, sparkly rocks which are fascinating and hard to resist once you experience their wide-ranging benefits."
How do crystals work?
Supporters of crystal therapy suggest that crystals can provide us with healing energy, allowing it to flow into our bodies from crystals, and encourage negative energy to flow out. "The energy of a crystal comes from the atoms within their internal structure - which also determine the crystal’s type," says Cook. "These atoms are dynamic which leads to a great deal of internal molecular activity that gives each crystal its own individual vibrational frequency."
And interest in crystals appears to be growing, even among followers of traditional, Judeo-Christian religions: a 2018 Pew Research survey finding that 29% of Americans who go to church every Sunday believe that spiritual energy can be located in physical objects such as mountains, trees and crystals.
At this point, it's worth flagging that there is a lack of peer-reviewed studies suggesting that crystal therapy can have a positive impact on health. The perceived benefits of crystals have been attributed by scientists to a placebo effect.
However, it's important to note that many non-western approaches to medicine explore a concept called "mind-body" connection, which suggest that spirituality and attending to rituals and mental wellness can have positive overall health benefits. It's basically an approach which looks at treating the whole person in a holistic manner and studies have drawn parallels with forms of palliative care.
What about crystals for healing - what exactly do they heal?
Okay, now onto the big question: what do we mean when we talk about crystals for healing? According to Cook, all crystals can help us heal in some way or another. "Crystals can help us to shift energetic influences and patterns and restore our energetic balance," she explains. "Their effects are subtle but over time they can be transformational."
However, it's worth noting that different crystals have specific qualities and are said to heal in a range of ways. "We have crystal encyclopaedias because there are so many crystals available to us with new ones discovered every day," Cook adds. "Whilst all crystals have their unique properties many share similar properties and one way they can be classified is through colour."
Here's a little primer:
- "Orange crystals are associated with creativity and sexuality and can help to bring about gentle shifts in these areas. They lend us a more optimistic outlook on life and encourage us to be more assertive."
- "Blue crystals are associated with communication and intuition so they can help us to find our voice, speak our truth, enhance our intuition and develop our spiritual growth."
- "Black crystals can help us with empowerment, protection and detoxification."
You can also look at the names and varieties of crystals quartz, for example, is a great crystal for healing as it "amplifies all cleansing with its reflective powers."
How do you use crystals for healing?
Even if you're totally on board with the concept of crystals, you might feel a little bamboozled by how, exactly, you use them. Do you just bring one out whenever you're feeling tired? Do you speak to them? How, exactly, do you harness their fabled energy?
Well, it's all about proximity. "The healing can be activated by wearing the crystals, holding them, placing them under our pillows, using crystal-infused soaps or just having a crystal in our environment," adds Cook. "Placing them on specific areas of our body, for example our energy centres (chakras), can help to re-tune and unblock our flow of energy or qi. This is known as crystal healing."
And if you're looking for some redecoration tips, crystals can be a great bet if you are spiritually inclined. "Crystals can also be useful as home decorations as they can change the energetic vibration of our environment, aesthetically and spiritually," she explains. "For example tourmaline is just one of the crystals that I use for my home as it can help to remove any negative energies. People always comment on how calm my home feels."
How to charge crystals
Remember that you can't just take and take from crystals without giving back! If you've done any reading about crystal TLC and maintenance, you might be wondering how to charge crystals. You might want to enlist the help of a charging plate, but it's worth also remembering that there are distinct phrases of crystal charging including cleansing and activating the crystal.
"Crystals draw both positive and negative energy from people and their environment and they may have passed through many different hands absorbing all of these energies before coming to you," explains Cook. "For this reason cleansing your crystals is a must."
How exactly do you go about cleansing? Well, there's no one method - instead, there are a few techniques to try depending on the resources you have available. "I’ve been known to leave my crystals in a saucepan with a clear lid on in the garden overnight but there are many other ways to cleanse your crystals." says Cook. "You can hold them under tap water or immerse them in salt water, use sage or incense, visualise white light surrounding them, leave them out in sunlight or moonlight or cleanse them using other crystals. Whilst most crystals need to be cleansed, some, like citrine, don’t."
Then comes the next stage: activation. "We activate or charge our crystals by holding them and visualising the crystal being surrounded by white light. Then it’s necessary to programme the crystal by telling it aloud what you require of it," she says. "For example if you are looking for a new job, be clear on the type of job you’re looking for and when you’d like to have this job. Then see if you feel comfortable with your crystal. Once you’ve done this you can start using it."
Remember - this isn't a one-time fix. You've got to keep looking after, cleansing and charging your crystals as part of regular maintenance. "It’s important to remember to continue to cleanse your crystals at intervals to remove any unwanted energies that they may have absorbed in your day-to-day life."
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