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Crystal Therapy

Picture of an amethyst crystalWhat is Crystal Therapy?

Crystals such as quartz or other gemstones are sometimes used to enable ‘energy healing’. Crystal therapists claim that crystals can move, absorb, focus and diffuse healing ‘energy’ or “vibrations’ within the body of a patient. This, in turn, is said to enhance the self-healing ability of the patient. Illness allegedly occurs when the individual is misaligned with the ‘divine energy’ that is ‘the foundation of all creation’. The approach is not in accordance with our understanding of physics, physiology or any other field of science.

Crystal therapy therefore lacks scientific plausibilty. A treatment session typically involves the fully clothed patient
lying down. The therapist then intuitively identifies problem areas such as blockages of energy flow and places crystals over them to restore flow or re-establish balance. One treatment typically lasts for 30–60 minutes.

Crystal therapy is normally used by patients as an addition to conventional treatments. It is employed in the treatment of virtually all medical conditions, for improving the quality of health in individuals or for disease prevention. Therapists sometimes use crystal wands as part of aura therapy in order to cleanse a patient’s
aura.

Patients who believe in crystal therapy will often buy their own crystals and carry them about their person in order to treat minor conditions. Although healing crystals can be relatively cheap, healing crystal jewellery sometimes costs several hundred pounds.

What is the Evidence?

There is no evidence that crystal therapy is effective for any condition. The positive effects experienced by some patients are almost certainly due to expectation, relaxation or both.

Similarly, there is no evidence that the carrying or wearing of crystals is effective for any condition. If used as an alternative to life-saving treatments, crystal therapy would be life threatening, but there are no conceivable direct risks in this approach.

For More Information:

This extract is taken from “Trick or Treatment?” (Transworld), a book that contains a series of 1-page summaries looking at the evidence for and against a range of alternative therapies. The authors of the book are Simon Singh (founder of the Good Thinking Society) and Edzard Ernst (the world’s first professor of complementary medicine