Do Crystals Really Work?

Crystal healing is an ancient practice that has become wildly popular in the modern age. If you’re new to crystal healing or if you’re bemused by all the hype, you may be wondering: Is this real? How does it work? Is there any scientific truth behind it or is it all just woo-woo mumbo-jumbo?

Some people will try to convince you that there is a scientific explanation.  They will wave their hands and speak of vibrations and quantum physics.  Depending on the speaker, it may even sound “truthy” because the vast majority of us don’t want to admit how little we understand about the more esoteric realms of science. 

Some people will dismiss the science and say it’s all a matter of personal belief.  They will wave their hands and speak about vibrations and spirituality.  Depending on the speaker, it may feel relaxing because it doesn’t require us to think very deeply.

But I say again, that crystal healing is an ancient practice that has become wildly popular in a modern age

There can be no doubt of that.  It has a well-documented history that stretches back thousands of years.  The documents to prove this are widely available and can be found in any library.  Don’t take my word for it.  Go get a copy of Pliny the Elder’s Natural History.  It’s almost 2000 years old and includes all sorts of tips on crystal healing, such as Amber being good for diseases of the stomach.  Crystal healing is older than all the major religions.  It is older than concepts like chakras and yin/yang.  It evolved naturally in cultures around the world and has been practiced to some extent continuously.     

It originated at the very dawn of medicine and religion.  Back then, the line between science and magic hadn’t yet been drawn.  There was no distinction between the “real” and the “imaginary.”  There was only a desire to stay healthy and to figure out what works.

At its core, healthcare can be divided into two categories, the obvious, such as a broken leg or a cut; and the mysterious, such as a disease or a mental illness.  For obvious problems, the obvious treatment is some kind of first-aid.  But mysterious problems are more complicated. The basic rationalization for the mysterious is that something is wrong or out of balance and requires proper attention.  The problem may be spiritual or physical, but regardless of that, the primary question is always how to bring a person back to good health.  In layman’s terms – how do we FIX it? How do we HEAL it?  

Healing crystals, in the ancient and the modern world, are a tool to help us understand and heal the mysterious.

But today doctors understand the mysterious! We can properly diagnose diseases and have amazing medicines.  We believe in science! This is true.  This is undeniable.  But let me ask you two questions:  

  1. What is the atomic weight of happiness?
  2. What is the base unit of time that a mother should grieve after the death of a child?

Not everything can be described in scientific terms. Not everything is easily quantifiable. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t rational.

Happiness is real.  Grief is real.  All emotions are real, a messy combination of chemical responses in our brain and storytelling in our mind.  Those emotions lead to actions, habits, and deeply entrenched belief systems.  To understand emotions, scientists can study the chemical reactions of serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, adrenaline, and cortisol.  But the storytelling in our mind is more complicated and may not follow logical patterns.  How often have you met someone who “knows what they should do” but doesn’t do it?  There are some parts of life that requires a different kind of approach than pure science.

Sometimes we need an approach that is gentle and logical, but also has a little bit of magic and mystery.

Because in many ways, we are not so different from our ancient ancestors.  Cultures change and knowledge grows.  Civilizations rise and fall; the old gods and goddesses fade and new beliefs take their place.  But the human mind and heart remain distinctly human.  On a species level, we haven’t really changed in 300,000+ years.  We remain frustratingly beautiful, a unique combination of logic and illogic.  

There was a reason that our ancestors saw crystals as tools for healing.  There’s a reason that modern people do too.  It’s a big topic, but if you’d like to learn more, we can explore it together.

Coming in 2022
Who decides? Understanding how crystal properties are determined.
Why do some people “feel” crystal energy? A neurological perspective.

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