By Jeremiah Lozier
In light of the New-Age movement, there has been a resurgence in the belief and popularity of healing crystals. Some people believe that various sorts of crystals have the ability to purge the body of “negative, disease-causing energy” (Palermo, 2017). The use of healing crystals falls under the practice of alternative medicine and is of ancient origins. Modern day crystal healing is primarily based on ancient Asian customs: the manipulation of a life-energy made manifest in the physical body that is of supernatural essence (Palermo, 2017). Despite the absence of scientific evidence, the belief in healing crystals is unequivocally prevalent in modern society.
Healing crystals supposedly have several different characteristics that influence the kind of healing they administer. A crystal’s power is dependent upon the structure, color, and elemental composition (Palermo, 2017). There are innumerous accounts of anecdotal stories of crystals altering one’s energy. In a particular story, a woman clenched two different stones in her fists where one helped bolster courage and the other influenced the “voice chakra” as she approached her boss to negotiate a raise. She managed to secure the raise thanks to the crystals (Marshall, 2018). On the other hand, in terms of healing crystals withstanding the ruthless refinement of science based experimentation, there is no evidence that healing crystals possess the power to influence such energies.
Although there is no scientific evidence that supports healing crystals having the ability to manipulate bodily energies, there is, however, evidence to support a placebo effect in those that use healing crystals. In the case of the woman who asked for a raise, it is very likely that she experienced an increase in confidence due to the mere fact that she was holding rocks that she believed to be influencing her state of mind. I would argue that people are misinformed about the healing properties of crystals, but that is not to say that crystals cannot help some people in some situations. The Placebo effect can be very powerful.
As culture continues to change and evolve, so will the beliefs of those that live in the context of a changing culture. Alternative medicinal practices have been steadily increasing with the birth of the New Age movement. Especially as more and more celebrities and people of influence latch onto and endorse healing crystals, the demand will continue to rise, and therefore, the supply must rise thus sustaining the popularity.
Because healing crystals are of ancient descent, there is an element of stagnation at play: the upholding and reverence of an ancient practice despite modern, contradicting evidence. In addition to stagnation, humanity as a whole yearns for meaning in life. The belief in healing crystals plays into the idea of the human soul that persists after physical death which is a psychological defense mechanism according to Terror Management Theory.
- Marshall, Lisa. “Can Crystals Heal? Separating Facets from Facts.” WebMD, WebMD, 16 Jan. 2018, www.webmd.com/balance/news/20180116/can-crystals-heal-separating-facets-from-facts.
- Palermo, Elizabeth. “Crystal Healing: Stone-Cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments.” LiveScience, Purch, 23 June 2017, www.livescience.com/40347-crystal-healing.html.