Ultimate Guide on How to Use Crystals for Healing (2020 Update)
At a glance
- Everything you need to know about how to use crystals for healing.
- What is crystal healing? The history and science behind it, how to use crystals for healing.
- Cleansing and programming your crystals
- and more!
Millions of years in the making crystals have been thought of as a source of healing energy for centuries. Known as the "wisdom keepers," due to the fact that they have vaulted the Earth's history in them for millennia, many ancient civilizations from the Mayans to the Egyptians harnessed the power of crystals to clear, align and transform their spiritual and physical health.
Today however all this may sound a bit "woo woo" to some people, but there are countless accounts of people having benefited from healing crystals, by experiencing that shift in energy through learning how to use crystals for themselves. So much so that crystals have made a big comeback today. Adorned by celebrities and used by yogis and healers, to being displayed in homes or used in pharmaceuticals, these sacred stones are here to stay.
So before you head to any conclusions about whether crystals "work" or can, in fact, be used as tools for healing transformation, read this post all the way to the end!
In this post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about how to use crystals for healing. You'll learn what crystal healing is, the history and science behind it, how to use crystals for healing, cleansing and programming your crystals and more! So sit tight and read on.
Table of Contents
- What is crystal healing?
- History of crystal healing
- The science behind crystals - Does crystal healing work?
- How to use crystals for healing
- Practical ways to use crystals for healing
- Set your intention
- Meditate with your crystal
- Experience crystal therapy
- Put crystals on your body
- Immerse yourself in a crystal bath
- Boost your yoga workout with crystals
- Design a crystal grid
- Harness crystal power as you sleep
- Carry or wear your crystals
- Make a gem elixir
- Try a crystal wand
- Add positivity to your decor
- Create your own Zen space
- Travel safe with crystals
- Give some love to your plants
- Steps to Take Before Using Crystals for Healing
- Cleansing your crystals
- Burying in the earth
- Energizing your crystals
- Programming your crystals
- Choosing a crystal
- Key Takeaways
What is crystal healing?
Seen as an alternative medicine technique, crystal healing is the use of crystals to shift and balance energy which may help to heal and protect against an ailment. The premise being that crystals are a medium for healing — they serve as conduits allowing positive healing energy to flow in as negative ailment-causing energy flows out of the body.
So is crystal healing for you? Well, if you're one of those skeptics and are still on the fence about crystals having healing powers, you can't judge until you try. It really depends on your own personal experience. You have to consciously open your heart and your mind to the power healing crystals have. It takes effort on your part.
BUT...once you start to harness the power of crystals you'll understand that different crystals have unique energies and properties that can work with your own energy, depending on where you are in your life and what issues you're dealing with. For example, rose quartz can help you see things more clearly in a relationship and also help you activate self-love, and citrine is great for cleansing and rejuvenating your spirit if you're living in a toxic environment.
But, if you think getting a crystal will completely change your life, you will be disappointed.
Crystals may not magically fix a broken relationship, or help you attract your perfect match, but they will help to balance and align your own energies so that you're open to seeing if you are in fact in an unhealthy relationship giving you the clarity you need to make better decisions. No wonder Adele blames her disastrous performance at the Grammys to losing her crystals.
Get the idea?
History of crystal healing
Let's dive into a bit into history, to get a deeper understanding behind crystals and the impact they've had on generations before us.
Used as sacred stones in the form of talismans (thought to have magical powers), and jewelry such as amulets, crystals can be traced back to humanity's earliest civilizations, back to almost 30,000 years ago.
Dated to as far back as 6000 years ago, healing stones were used by ancient civilizations such as the Sumerians in Mesopotamia, which is now modern day Istanbul.
Egyptians used stones like quartz, carnelian, lapis lazuli in their adornments for healing and protection, and powdered malachite as eye shadow. In fact, when the famous king, Tutankhamun's mummy was discovered in the Valley of Kings in 1922, the outer coffins were plated in gold along with stones "such as lapis lazuli and turquoise."
A lot of the crystal names today originate from what the Greeks believed. For example, the word 'crystal' means ice in Greek, and hematite means blood as it turns red when it oxidizes. Amethyst is derived from 'not drunken' and so it was worn to prevent getting drunk.
Jade, the distinct green-colored stone, was the preferential gemstone of the Ancient Chinese thousands of years ago and is still very popular today as a "good luck" stone.
Asian cultures also believe that crystals can help to align chi/qi (life energy). Similarly, chakras, an important element of crystal healing today, date back to ancient Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, suggesting that crystal therapy can help align the chakras (energy centers of the body).
Playing a vital role in Ayurvedic medicine, crystals are commonly used to align the doshas (biological energies derived from the 5 elements).
Devised by ancient civilizations to balance, align and transform energy, crystal therapy is regaining popularity in modern culture for its ability to eliminate negative energy and replace with positive energy to relieve stress, create relaxation and aid in healing.
The science behind crystals - Does crystal healing work?
Although having been used by different cultures and civilizations for centuries, modern science does not support crystal healing as a type of medical treatment or healing modality. There are no real peer-reviewed articles to vouch for the healing benefits of crystals, and it is said that most who experience positive results from incorporating crystals in their life are most likely experiencing the placebo effect.
So does crystal healing really work?
“In a crystal we have clear evidence of the existence of a formative life principle, and though we cannot understand the life of a crystal, it is nonetheless a living being.”
— Nikola Tesla
Perhaps to understand this we need to see what science is saying about energy. Quantum physics has shown that everything in the universe is made up of energy. Even seemingly solid objects are energy vibrations at the most fundamental level, and behave in ways that baffle scientists.Healing crystals, just like everything else made of atoms, are also made up of energy.
Scientists have been able to harness this inherent energy in everything from technology to pharmaceuticals. Ground up into small particles, the minerals within crystals are crucial for the development of medications.
All crystals are made of silicon and oxygen — silicon is an excellent conductor of electricity and so crystals are crucial elements in the technological world and form the lifeline of all computer chips.
The energetic properties of crystals in modern technology called piezoelectricity (the ability to generate electricity under pressure) form the backbone of circuits, electronic systems, laser optics, and time-keeping devices such as your 'quartz' watch.
Even though no computer would run without crystals that form the essential silicon chip, we seem to have neglected the use of crystals in energy healing. Considering the fact that our bodies are always producing electrical frequencies and currents, the connection and impact crystals can have on us is pretty clear.
Just as crystals conduct and move energy in technological devices, they potentially have the ability to move, shift and transform energy when placed on the body. The vibration, pulse, and shift in energy will depend on the inherent energy of any particular crystal — this is why different types of crystals have different properties and healing abilities.
Think about it this way: if a small quartz crystal can separate and regulate radio channels, imagine how crystals can help you to align your own frequency and protect you from external frequencies.
How to Use Crystals for Healing
Crystals can be used to calm stress, improve circulation, build confidence, accelerate meditation, align your chakras, bring your mind and body into balance and so much more. The types of healing you can achieve from the 'right' stones is virtually limitless.
When you're thinking about how to use crystals for healing, think of crystals as information houses that radiate energy. Choose the right crystal and source the right information from it, and you can bring your body back into balance. The ability to heal is already present within you; crystals are tuning forks that help to channel the right frequencies to facilitate that healing.
Here are 3 things crystals can help with:
Clear negative energy
Healing crystals are excellent for dissipating and absorbing negative energy from your body. This can help lift the weight of your shoulders and bring calm and clarity.
Reinforce with positive energy
As they remove the negative energy, crystals help to push and encourage positive energy back into the body, mind, and spirit. Positive energy can be seen as benefiting vibrations and frequencies, affirmative intentions and positive thoughts.
Whether it's a beautiful flower, the open wings of a tropical parrot, or the human body, almost everything in nature is created and designed in symmetry and a certain energetic alignment. At times this energy may get out of balance. Healing crystals can help to harmonize areas that are misaligned, empowering you to feel centered and grounded.
Practical ways to use crystals for healing
There are many ways you can benefit from the healing properties of crystals. Below we'll get into each of these in detail:
1. Set your intention
If you're just starting out with using crystals, an excellent way to harness their healing power is by using them to manifest your intentions. Intentions are simply aspects of your life that you need help with, or what you want to create in your life. For example, your intentions could be to find a fulfilling career placement, get over a broken relationship, build self-confidence or simply attract happiness in your life. Whenever you hold your crystal, wear it as jewelry (preferably close to the skin) or place it in your surroundings, the powerful vibrations from the crystal pick up on the vibrational energies of the positive intentions you've been nurturing, and magnify and amplify these frequencies.
2. Meditate with your crystal
Meditation is one of the easiest ways to connect with your crystal. Simply by holding or touching a crystal as you meditate, you can tune in to the positive vibrations of the crystal and magnify your intentions. Start by finding a quiet place to meditate, where you won't be disturbed. Next, make sure that all electronics are turned off and won't disrupt or interfere with your Zen time. Now hold your stone(s) in your hands, or touch a larger crystal with both hands. Close your eyes and visualize your intentions. You may find that stating what you wish to manifest in your life out loud creates more powerful energy.
Allow yourself to breathe and slip into a peaceful state of mind. Specifically, focus on the areas in your life that need healing. For example, if you want to find relief from pain in a certain part of your body, focus on that area and let the positive vibrations from the crystal flow into that area. You may feel light, grounded or even get a tingly feeling depending on the crystal you're holding. If you don't feel anything, be patient and experiment with different crystals to see what resonates best with you. Through this process, you can intuitively receive remarkable insights and be more grounded.
3. Experience crystal therapy
One of the best ways of experiencing crystal healing is to go for a crystal therapy session. In the course of the session the therapist (or crystal healer), will have you lie down as he/she places different stones on your body, usually aligned with the chakra points, to impart positive energy and remove negative vibrations.
There are 7 chakra points on the body, and each point regulates energy flow in that area. The chakra points are the top of your head, center of forehead, throat, chest, navel, between the bottom of spine, navel and the perineum (tailbone area).
Strong and open chakras denote free-flowing energy that you can draw from, while blocked chakras can mean physical pain and illness, emotional issues, fear, stress, anxiety and more.
If you suffer from a physical ailment, the therapist may place crystals that have specific healing properties associated with that issue to alleviate that ailment. If specific stones are placed on the chakras, a crystal such as quartz may also be used to clear and balance the chakras.
To see what a typical crystal healing therapy session may look like, view this brief video below:
4. Put crystals on your body
You may not be able to attend a crystal healing session, but that doesn't mean you can't reap the healing benefits of these amazing stones from the comfort of your own home!
For example, if you feel like you're coming down with a headache, quietly sitting and meditating with a quartz crystal pointed at the spot of your pain can help.
If there are specific areas in your life that you are looking to heal you can place a stone that resonates with that chakra to rouse the energy in that area and bring out emotions that need healing. For example for guidance in relationships, you can place an aventurine on your chest, over your heart, to open up the heart chakra for healing to give and receive love.
5. Immerse yourself in a crystal bath
In the mood for a little pampering? Take it a notch up by adding healing crystals to your at-home spa treatments, by adding them to the water you use to wash your face or creating a healing bath ritual. Adding crystals to your bath allow the healing energies to absorb into your skin for deep healing. Choose the crystals based on your intention and the goals you want to achieve.
Fill your bath with water and place the crystals inside. Larger crystals can be placed on the rim or just outside the tub. You can also add in a few drops of aromatic essential oils for added benefit. Immerse yourself in the bath. Relax, meditate and release negative thoughts. Gently rub any problematic areas on your body with a soaked crystal. Soak in the bath for around 15-20 minutes. You'll be sure to feel a more renewed you emerge when done!
6. Boost your yoga workout with crystals
More than just a body workout, yoga is hands-down one of the best ways to keep your body, mind, and spirit active. Using different poses and breathing techniques, yoga brings calm, focus and helps to release both physical and mental tension.
Combining your yoga poses with crystals can help to activate and align your chakras. Placing crystals around your yoga mat helps create a sacred space to practice in, and adding a crystal on your forehead while lying on your back during the corpse pose (Shavasana) can open up the chakra for a deeper meditative state and is great for visualizing intentions.
Since yoga crosses the line from being just a physical workout to mental and spiritual activity, using crystals with it makes it just that much more powerful.
7. Design a crystal grid
Crystal grids may be more powerful than just using one crystal for your intended goal. You can make a healing crystal grid by intentionally placing stones in a symmetrical, geometric or predetermined pattern. There is no right or wrong way to design your personal grid. Simply trust your intuition and go with what naturally feels right to you.
The purpose of the grid is to direct, almost laser-target your energy towards a specific goal, by charging the crystals with your intention. The crystals work in sync to manifest your intention and the sacred pattern of the grid helps to accomplish the goal faster.
To start, visualize or write down your intention, this is critical for charging the crystals. Cleanse the area where you will create your grid using sea salt, burning sage or a crystal cluster. Lay out your grid keeping geometry in mind. The stone in the center of the grid or the "master crystal" acts as the main energy center of the grid. Relax and visualize your goal. End with gratitude.
Crystal grids are excellent for transforming the energy in a space. A great way to create a crystal grid is by following the principles of Feng Shui.
8. Harness crystal power as you sleep
One of the best times to benefit from the healing powers of crystals is when the mind is unconscious during sleep. When sleeping our mind enters the subconscious realm, making the body and mind more open to receiving healing vibrations from crystals.
When awake, your rational mind is usually plagued with worry, doubt or fear, and all of these emotions can be calmed as you sleep. Place crystals under your pillow or on your bedside table and pay attention to how you feel when you wake up. If you have trouble sleeping or have nightmares, amethyst can be especially helpful to calm your mind and drift off to sleep.
Sleeping with an intention in mind is also an excellent opportunity to heal or manifest a goal. The best way to do this is to program or charge a crystal with your intention and place it under your pillow or beside you. For example, you can use smoky quartz to alleviate feelings of depression, moonstone to find emotional balance, and aquamarine to help bring out your creativity for an important project.
9. Carry or wear your crystals
What better way to reap the healing power of crystals than by wearing them as jewelry or carrying them wherever you go? As crystals attract, ward off and transmit vibrations and energy, having the stones physically present on you can help to keep you balanced and grounded.
Another good reason to carry it with you is that the more contact you have with your crystal, the more attentive or conscious you'll be of its energy. Simply carry it in your handbag or pocket and pull it out whenever you feel you need to ground yourself or stay focused on your intention.
Crystal jewelry can be a great way to absorb the healing properties of crystals, while also enjoying their unique natural beauty. It's advisable to wear the crystal close to your skin, so a bracelet or pendant can be great!
10. Make a gem elixir
Infusing your drinking water with the energetic vibrations of crystals not only helps to purify water but the positive energetic vibrations transfer from the crystal to your being, instilling a sense of balance and peace and helping you benefit from the properties of that crystal.
This shift in energy can be immensely powerful. For example, if you want a more abundant life use citrine. For increasing self-love, go with a natural rose quartz crystal.
Experts suggest that to make your gem elixir, start by cleansing your crystal by leaving it in the sun or moon for 3 days, or soaking it in salt water for the same time. After cleansing, hold it in your palms and empower it with by visualizing an intention and place in the water overnight before drinking.
There is also an 'indirect method' which is safe and works just as well, as the vibrations radiate into the bottle, without the crystal touching the water. Fill a glass bottle with water and charge your crystals with your intention. Place the crystals at the base of the bottle (make sure they touch the glass). Leave this overnight and drink up the positive vibes!
11. Try a crystal wand
For added healing benefit and to direct energy where you need it, try using a crystal wand. A crystal wand is a powerful tool which can help to remove negativity from top to bottom and also clear negativity from the energy field and aura that surrounds you.
In healing practices such as Reiki, energy flow is directed with just a practitioner's hand. Using a crystal wand works the same way, but amplifies that effect. Crystal wands are great for removing negative energy, opening the chakras, and energy balancing.
To help you understand how to use a crystal wand for healing, watch this brief video below:
12. Add positivity to your decor
Do you feel a bit depleted in the space you inhabit?
There are times when negative influences can really bring a place down. If you've had a fight with your spouse, are super-stressed at work, or have a rebellious teen to deal with, that energy keeps lingering in your surroundings — and doesn't leave.
This stagnant stockpiled energy can lead to energy exhaustion, irritability, looming frustrations, and poor motivation levels.
Whether it's your home or office, allowing crystals to enter where you live and work can really help to shift the energy of that space, encourage good vibrations and transform energy.
The first thing you want to do when inviting a crystal to your home is to empower it with an intention. This is also called charging the crystal (giving it a job to do), so it can work its magic. For example, you may choose to place a protective stone such as a black tourmaline outside or just inside the entrance of your home for safeguarding and protection. Amethyst is great for dispelling negativity and emitting positive vibes, making it an excellent addition to any living or family room.
These large amethyst geodes are not only meant for adding good vibes, but add to your decor and make for jaw-dropping focal pieces!
13. Create your own Zen space
Dedicating an area to a sacred space can be a wonderful way to connect with your spiritual side, without ever leaving your home. In essence, a sacred space is just an area where you can relax, calm your mind, renew and let go. A place where you can center yourself and ground your emotions.
If you're thinking you need to convert an entire room in your house for this (although you absolutely can!) - a sacred space can be created anywhere. It could be a sacred altar, your favorite lounge chair, your patio or verandah, or a small corner in a larger room.
First physically clean the area of dirt and dust, and then spiritually clean by smudging with sage, using a singing bowl or simply clapping your hands to break up stuck energy. Now personalize the space using crystals, candles or any objects that hold meaning in your life. You can also choose to create a crystal grid here (as mentioned above).
Use this space for meditation, healing work or simply to pray. Over time this space will harbor positive energy vibes, and you'll actually notice that whenever you enter this space you'll automatically be calm and feel your stress levels drop.
14. Travel safe with crystals
Crystals can be used to shield and protect. When you're on the road, placing crystals in your car or truck will help you keep your eye on the road, and keep you focused as you drive, guarding you against potential accidents.
Garnet, for example, is an excellent protective stone that is also great for calming anxiety. Known as a warrior's stone, it protects against injuries and is known historically to protect travelers, by helping to "preserve health and honor, cure the wearer of all diseases, and guard him against all perils during the course of a journey."
As a crown chakra stone, placing amethyst on the deck of your car can help you stay alert during long drives. Plus these wonderful crystals will add a touch of decor to your ride!
15. Give some love to your plants
Have you thought about adding crystals to your indoor potted plants and even your garden? Crystals can immediately transform the visual appearance of your garden by adding color, sparkle, and personality. Pairing color-coordinated crystals with your flower beds will instantly turn heads. Think green aventurine or moss agate contrasted against purple or pink flowers!
But crystals don't only help to beautify your garden. If they can help energize and rejuvenate human beings, think what they can do for your plants.
Tree agate, an abundance stone, will help give your plants volume, and moss agate will help you connect with your plant friends. Ancient Egyptians considered malachite as a stone of fertility and healthy vegetation and will encourage your plants to flourish. As crystals come from the earth, combining plants with crystal energy just makes sense!
Steps to Take Before Using Crystals for Healing
Your crystal has taken thousands or millions of years to reach you, and it probably went through many hands before it reached yours. Chances are that during this process it was probably left sitting somewhere and was handled by others. This means it was exposed to and has likely absorbed a wide range of different energies, which will interfere with the healing work you plan to do.
So before you can start to work with your crystal, there are a few steps you need to take to prep your crystal for healing work — cleansing it, energizing it and programming it.
Cleansing your crystals
Cleansing your crystal is important to any energy work you do. In fact, cleansing is not limited to the first time you get your crystal but should happen on a regular basis, as energies and emotions build up as you use it.
Remember we are not talking about physically cleaning a crystal to make it sparkling clean, we are talking about cleansing it of built energies that it has accumulated so it is ready to use again. You should cleanse your crystal before and after use and there are several ways to do this.
Smudging involves the use of smoke to release the stored energies. You can do this by burning smudge or incense sticks and immersing the crystals in the smoke for around 30 seconds.
Sage is the most popular incense used as it is highly effective in dispelling negative energies from the stones, but you can also use other incense sticks such as cedarwood, copal, and sandalwood or frankincense resin. Use a feather or your hands to fan and envelope your crystals with the smoke.
This method involves soaking crystals in sea salt water. Submerge your crystals in a glass bowl (no metal, please) filled with a solution of water and sea salt. Leave them in here for a few hours or overnight. Rinse your crystals well under cold running water to remove any salt. Throw all the salt water away, and do not reuse it to cleanse other crystals, as this water has absorbed negative energies.
Although salt water is considered to be one of the best ways to cleanse your crystals, some crystals and minerals cannot be cleansed using this method as they may be porous or have metallic properties such as lapis lazuli, hematite, opal, pyrite and more.
Using the power of visualization is a great way to safely cleanse your stones. The way this technique works is to cup the crystal between the palms of your hands and imagine it filling up with a bright healing white light, literally passing through the stone and removing the stored energy as it passes through.
Visualize this until you're satisfied that the white light has done its job and the crystal is now shining brightly in your mind. This technique is perhaps not for beginners but once you're in tune with your own energy, it is one of the safest way to cleanse your stones.
Burying in the earth
Neutralize your crystals by making them one with mother earth, and instill them with powerful grounded energy. The way to do this is to simply bury your stones your garden.
Once you bury your stones make sure to mark where they're buried so you can locate them again! Leave them overnight or even for a few days. This helps the stones to eliminate unwanted energies in the earth and restores them to their natural state.
Energizing your crystals
Energizing your crystal after cleansing is important for it to be prepped to release its natural energies and positive vibes to be used for healing work.
There are a few ways to energize crystals, with some more popular ones mentioned below:
Simply let cool water run over the crystals to energize them. You can place your crystals in a glass bowl and let cool water run over them slowly for 10-15 minutes.
Make sure the crystal is fully submerged in the water. As mentioned above, use only crystals that are not porous or with metallic content for this energizing method.
Use the power of the sun and moon
One of the easiest and safest ways to energize your stones is to use the power of the sun and the moon. Leave your stones in the energizing light of the moon or the sun (after cleansing) for 1-2 days to fully allow them to absorb the natural radiating energies.
Please note that some stones may fade with exposure to sunlight — amethyst, citrine and rose quartz are a good example of this. So don't leave these stones in the sun for too long.
A good way around this is to place your crystals out just after sunset when the sun is not too strong and then leave them overnight in the moonlight and for a final few hours in the gentle morning sun. Many experts also suggest that a full moon is one of the best times to energize your stones.
Programming your crystals
Programming your crystal simply means charging it with your intention. It's basically giving the crystal a focus on how you need it to help you in your healing.
To start, remove any distractions such as electronics or your smartphone which have their own interfering energies. Then hold or touch the crystal with your palms, clear your mind (meditation works well) and use the visualization technique mentioned above.
Now think of what energy you want to program your crystal with. One thought works best. For example, charging rose quartz with love to support your relationships. Or charging bloodstone with the intention to intensify its healing abilities. End the charging ritual with a prayer or thank you.
Choosing a Crystal
Before you decide to enter a shop or choose a crystal online, decide how you would like the crystal to help you. Adjusting to a new job? A change in apartment? A sudden illness? Now trust your instinct, that as you browse the selection, the right crystal will speak to you.
Start by seeing which crystals you're most attracted to in terms of colors, textures or shapes. Which ones catch your eye? Which ones do you gravitate towards? Then do some research to learn more about the crystal.
Most shops or online stores will have information on the healing and meaningful properties of crystals. You may even decide to search which crystal is useful for a particular ailment and go that route. For example, lepidolite contains lithium and is beneficial for people who have bipolar disorder, or moonstone is excellent for boosting fertility.
- Crystal healing involves the use of crystals to shift, balance and transform energy
- Over 6000 years old, ancient civilizations all over the world have recognized the healing power of crystals for centuries
- Used in circuits, lasers, and computer chips, crystals have the ability to conduct and move energy in tech devices
- Crystals can amplify your thoughts and help you manifest your intentions
- Use crystals for meditation, place them on your body, harness their power as you sleep, wear them as jewelry, and place them in your garden and car
- Add positivity to your decor, create a crystal grid or design a sacred space to ground and balance with crystals
- Make sure to cleanse, energize and program your crystals before use
- When choosing a crystal, go with your intuition.
Please note that this post is not intended for use as medical advice.
How do you use crystals for healing? We'd love to know! Please share in the comments below.