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Balance | Wellness

Do Crystals Really Work? On Their Healing Power And Placebo Effect

I rummage frantically through my purse to find the crystals a friend gave me as a ‘welcome back to the city’ gift: jasper, sodalite, and rhodonite. As I grip them in my hand, I feel something like an invigorating yet calming energy. I don’t want to put them down, and so I stick them in my bra, as I read Miranda Kerr does. 

According to crystal lore, sodalite is spiritually grounding, jasper promotes emotional healing, and rhodonite enhances creativity. And while I can’t say for sure that these stones are helping me do any of those things, I’m open to the idea that they could be.  

Currently, there is no hard, scientific evidence to support that crystals have any of these metaphysical properties. Studies suggest the healing benefits brought on by crystals depends on a person’s willingness to believe in them. 

If there’s no proof that crystals possess qualities to heal us or bring peace, then how did crystals get so popular? It seems that even without empirical evidence of a crystal’s purported effect, those who interacted with them still experienced many of the desired results. Do crystals really work?

Scientists are chalking it up the the power of placebo. In a study, half the participants were given a placebo stone, and the other half were given a real quartz crystal. The researchers conditioned them by saying that crystals can cause unusual sensations such as tingling. At the end of the study, even those holding the placebo reported having the same sensations as those who held the real crystal.

Before the study took place, participants took a survey with questions pertaining to their beliefs in the effects of crystals and their view of paranormal activity. Those who believed in both experienced the strongest sensations—even if they had the placebo. 

But a crystal’s purported claim must have originated somewhere, right? Both Hindu and Buddhist traditions have used crystals for centuries. But in 1880, Madam Curie’s husband, Pierre Curie, used crystals in an experiment to conduct electricity through pressure. This proved that some crystals not only absorb energy, they can transfer it too. That means the quartz you’re rubbing in your hand is actually interacting with your personal energy.

Each crystal is said to have its own vibrational energy. That means depending on which one you’re holding, it’s reacting uniquely with your own vibrational energy. Now let’s get back to that placebo study. It does prove the power of placebo, but it also proves the power of negative thinking. Those who did not believe in the healing power of crystals did not receive any healing. And this is true across the spectrum of healing tools. 

A 54-year-old woman once told me that each morning when she woke up, she looked herself in the mirror and told herself she was 40. She said that was her secret to staying youthful. And it was true, she didn’t look a day over 40. Now, I’m not saying that was all it took. She took care of her health, too. But a thought like that sparks our brains into making different choices for our lives. Just like me holding the rhodonite. Being more receptive to change allows it to flow more freely into our lives. 

What I love about crystals most is their individual natural beauty. Crystals and stones are natural elements. Connecting with natural elements is grounding and has a world of benefits all on its own. Simply seeing something natural and beautiful reduces stress and produces pleasant feelings. And if you have a crystal for no other reason than that it brings joy to you when you look at it—you should keep one close by, we all need more joy in our lives.  

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Photo: Costello, Vick, Krystal NG; Unsplash

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