What Are Healing Crystals And How Do They Work?

What Are Healing Crystals And How Do They Work

A beginners guide to healing crystals

Recent discoveries in the field of psychology and the rise of self-care have led to a lot of New Age healing practices gaining popularity again. Healing Crystals have been no exception to this. 

While Healing Crystals have only recently seen a surge in popularity (thanks to social media platforms like Instagram and Tiktok), they have actually been used for thousands of years. We have evidence that crystals were used as far back as Ancient Sumeria. 

Crystals have been used as both emotional and physical therapy by many different cultures over the last few thousand years and are still used in some of the same ways today. In this guide, we are going to look at the history of Healing Crystals, why they are used, and how to use them. 

What are Healing Crystals?

What Are Healing Crystals

‘Crystal healing is a term that applies to a certain type of therapy which involves placing gemstones on your body or in nearby places to help draw out negative energy. Crystals have existed on earth for millions of years. They’re a tool which works with your energy field to absorb, focus and direct energies.’ – Devi Brown 

The use of healing crystals has seen a resurgence in the last decade. Whether this is because of social media platforms like TikTok promoting the use of crystals or because many celebrities have been open about their use of the gems – we don’t know. 

What we do know is that over the last 2 years, we have all had our lives turned upside down and many of us have turned to mindfulness techniques to stay grounded. Working with Healing Crystals is one of the oldest mindful techniques out there. 

After spending millions of years forming underground, the crystals are mined, polished, and used as a tool for energy cleansing, jewelry, and decorating. 

Crystal Healing is a form of alternative therapy that uses Healing Crystals to manipulate the energy in one’s body. Some fields of Crystal Healing use the crystals to remove negative energy and replace it with positive energy. While others use it to bring balance to the body. 

Let’s take a look at how Healing Crystals are used in the 21st century. 


Alternative Therapy 

Healing Crystals are key parts of practices like Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Reiki, and some forms of Hinduism. 

In these practices, the crystals are used to manipulate how energy flows through the body. 

Crystals are said to “have a stable and unchanging energy pattern, each with a unique frequency and energy field, or resonance,” this is what gives them their ability to heal, says Judy Hall, in her seminal work, The Little Book of Crystals.  

Some practitioners use the crystals to remove negative energy from the body and replace it with the positive energy that they have stored in the crystal. While some will just remove the negative energy to bring balance to the body. 

Some practitioners meditate with crystals and try to tune themselves into the healing vibrations that the gemstones produce. Judy Hall described Healing Crystals as tuning forks that allow us to bring stability to our energy fields and allow us to tune into a great source of energy. 


Alternative Medicine 

Crystal healing has long been believed to be a form of alternative medication. 

People have used gemstones to attempt to treat illnesses and diseases for thousands of years.

 Many people use them with the aim of reducing pain from chronic diseases and to cleanse their bodies of disease-causing toxins.  


When were Healing Crystals first used?

When Were Healing Crystals First Used

Crystal healing is an ancient art whose methods remain mostly unchanged today. To gain a full understanding of modern crystal healing, it is important to familiarize yourself with its past.


Ancient Sumeria 

Many people connect the idea of crystals and witchcraft together – some people even use healing crystals in their spells. This connection undoubtedly comes from Ancient Sumeria

It was in Ancient Sumeria where we found the first evidence of crystals being used for healing. The evidence suggests that they used crystals as part of their magic formulas.  

We see similar practices in Ancient India and Ancient China. The Chinese were particularly interested in the healing properties of Jade. We still see Jade used in modern TCM practices today. Some forms of Hinduism use gemstones to cleanse, heal, and unblock people’s chakras.


Ancient Egypt 

It is common knowledge that Ancient Egypt built its wealth thanks to the abundance of precious gems and minerals found along the Nile. We have a lot of evidence that they put great value on the cosmetic appearance of gemstones. 

However, there are also historical writings that refer to the Egyptians using crystals for both healing and protection. 

They would most commonly make amulets and rings out of the gems so that the wearer could keep the crystal close to them at all times. They used Peridot to protect them from night terrors and to purge evil spirits from their homes. They also used Clear Quartz to channel good energy.


19th Century 

Europe has long been skeptical about the power of healing crystals. In 1609, Rudolf II of Germany suggested that people seeing the benefits of using crystals was actually a trick played on them by bad angels. He said that the bad angels would use the crystals to make people think the stones had power rather than his god. 

A series of experiments were done during the 19th Century in Europe. These experiments saw subjects noticing physical and emotional changes after working with the gemstones. Some subjects even noted that they could sense changes in their taste and hearing after touching the crystals.


The 1980s 

In the 1980s, we saw a huge revival of traditional methods of healing. 

Many experts in the field were able to travel across the world and put together definitive works (like the Crystal Bible) that introduced the West to Crystal Healing for the first time in 100s of years. 

We saw practices like Yoga, Reiki, and Crystal Healing come back into fashion. While Yoga has stayed popular since then, Crystal Healing and Reiki had fallen out of fashion until the late 2010s. 

Crystal healing draws on methods that were used as far back as 10,000 BCE.


Benefits of Healing Crystals

The Benefits Of Crystal Healing

Now that you understand a little bit more about what healing crystals are and their historical provenance. We are going to take a deep look at the benefits of using healing crystals. 

There are so many benefits to using these gemstones that we wouldn’t be able to fit them all into one article. So, instead, we are going to cover the 5 most important benefits of crystal healing. 


Improves moods and emotions 

Healing crystals can be used to remove negative energy from our bodies. After having this negative energy removed, many people notice an immediate boost in their mood. Healing crystals can have this effect on our energy fields in both the short and the long term. 


Increased tranquility and positivity 

Stress is awful for our bodies, it can lower our life expectancy and leave us in pain every day. Over 75% of doctors appointments in the USA are because of stress-caused illnesses. Now, more than ever, we need more tranquility in our lives. 

Energy work with healing crystals can bring you this kind of serenity.


Increased focus 

Negative energy can leave us feeling exhausted, even after a full night’s rest. It can chip away at our self-esteem. It can even prevent us from acting on our habits and building self-discipline. 

Regular work with healing crystals can help to banish these negative energies and leave room for positive forces like focus and creativity.


Pain relief 

Finally, it has been claimed that crystal healing can be used as pain relief. 

Some people believe that we experience pain and illness because of a build-up of negative energy in our bodies. And that we can experience relief from this pain by clearing away this bad energy.


Where should you store your crystals?

Most practitioners have a different opinion on where we should be storing our crystals. 

Some people suggest that we should keep them in places where we can benefit from their effects. For example, you may want to keep Amethyst on your bedside table if you suffer from insomnia. Or you should keep Moonstone in the corner where you meditate and journal. 

Others disagree, stating that we have to be careful where we store our crystals because they absorb as well as emanate. You don’t want your crystals to be corrupted without your knowledge. This school of thought would have us store our crystals in opaque bags until we want to cleanse them. 

There are even guides to storing crystals on Wikihow… 

Devi Brown, founder of Karma Bliss had this to say in the subject, 

”People put crystals in interesting places but I like to keep them in a bag, which I’ll put in my handbag or pocket, but they also work well when tucked around the house, depending on what they do. Another great place to put crystals is on your nightstand because you can feel their energy while you sleep or behind your computer at work. It’s best to keep them in spots where you’re around them for a substantial amount of the day.’


How does Crystal Healing work?

How Does Crystal Healing Work

Let’s take a deeper look at how and why healing crystals work. 


Holds power 

To understand how crystals work, we need to think about the metaphysical side of our world. 

Everything in the world – including inanimate objects and living things (also known as higher vibrational bodies) – contain and are made up of energy. Some of this energy is positive, some negative, and some are neutral. The manifestation of this energy is often referred to as vibrations.

Crystals are no exception to the above. What does make crystals different is that they give off energy because the atoms inside of them are constantly vibrating, moving, and creating energy. Because of this, we can use crystals to purify and channel energy. Where humans have a flawed and unstable energy field, crystals are perfectly stable. 

Humans and other higher vibrational bodies tend to have unstable energy fields. Because of this, we are affected by everything around us. Everything we encounter in our surrounding environment affects our energy – the people we meet, the food we eat, the weather, and even the clothing we wear. As we touch them, our energy fields fluctuate. 

The stability provided by crystals means that we can program them to hold positive energy we can later draw from. We can also use them to remove negative energy. 


Carry a placebo effect 

Healing crystals have been proven to create a placebo effect in patients who are receiving modern medical treatment. 

What is most interesting about the placebo effect is that these studies suggest that the visualization that comes hand in hand with using healing crystals can actually cause patients to recover from treatments faster. 

There is a big debate about whether it is the gemstones or the visualization that is causing the placebo effect. We have no way to accurately measure the power of crystals. 

Remember, that doctors were dismissive of meditation for hundreds of years before new technology arrived and showed us that meditation allows us to rewrite neural pathways in our brains. 


Molecular Composition causes vibrations 

“Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. This is not philosophy. This is physics.”

-Albert Einstein

As we mentioned above, crystals have stable vibrations and energy fields that completely differ from our own. 

The vibrations of crystals come from their molecular composition. These molecules grow in geometric patterns and slot together perfectly. This is what gives crystals their famous shapes –  that include the straight lines that are very rare in nature. 

These molecules rub against each other in a fixed pattern that causes the crystals to vibrate with energy. This vibration can be harnessed and used to retune our own energy fields.


Chakra manipulation 

Many spiritual practitioners believe that our body contains 7 Chakras. Through these Chakras, we are able to interact with the energies of the world around us. 

However, the chaotic lives that we lead often attract negative energy to us. This negative energy can block and damage our Chakras. There are many who believe unbalanced Chakras can lead to both physical and mental illnesses. 

Energy work with healing crystals can be used to unblock and balance out our Chakras.


Popular Crystals Used For Healing

Popular Crystals Used For Healing

One of the most important parts of the crystal healing process is selecting the right crystal for the job. Every crystal has a different set of properties and uses. If you want to get the most out of your healing sessions then you need to make sure you are picking out the right gemstone. 

In this section, we are going to take a look at the 8 most popular types of crystal and what they can be used for. 



For meditation and tranquility

Amethysts are traditionally purple stones and they are usually associated with serenity. 

Amethysts are used to bring calmness to the mind by removing negative energy. By removing the energy you make room for humility and spiritual awakenings. They can also be used to fend off bad dreams and insomnia. 

They are also said to be able to regulate hormone production, relieve stress and muscle tension, cleanse the blood, and relieve pain.


Clear Quartz

For general healing of the mind and body

Anyone who is interested in crystal healing should have this gem in their collection. Clear Quartz is often referred to as the ‘master healer’ and is considered one of the most potent gemstones. They are used for all forms of energy work, including removing and storing all types of energy. 

Clear Quartz is commonly paired with other gems to boost their powers. 



For communication and protection from environmental pollutants

Turquoise is used for grounding and protection. The stone is traditionally blue and is seen as a symbol of good luck by many. 

It can be used to ward off bad energy and has been said to protect the user from illness and pollutants.


Rose Quartz

For love (including self-love)

Rose Quartz is a stone that can heal relationships. It is often associated with romantic relationships but it can be used on any relationship that is close to your heart. 

More importantly, regular work with Rose Quartz can strengthen your relationship with yourself and promote self-love.



For business, money, creativity, and happiness

Citrine is the stone to turn to when you want to bring joy and excitement back into your life. It can be used to convert negative emotions into positive ones – turning fear into excitement, for example. 

If you are having a creative block, you will also find Citrine incredibly helpful.


Black onyx

For grounding and banishing negativity

Black onyx stones can be used when you need a firm foundation in your life. They can ward off the negativity that is trying to bring chaos into your life. If you are looking to heal from trauma or grief you may want to work with black onyx.



For new beginnings and feminine healing

New beginnings call for inner strength and personal growth. Moonstone helps to bring the clarity we need to learn from our mistakes and become more successful. Moonstone is often linked with moments of intuition and finding the right path for your life. 

Moonstone is often paired with Clear and Rose Quartz. 



For health, harmony, and luck

We usually associate green with good luck, success, and health – this is thanks to China’s relationship with Jade. 

Jade is a nurturing stone that can take on emotional burdens and replace them with positive energy. 

Some people believe that the healing power of nature can be channeled through Jade and into our bodies.


How to use Crystal Healing

How To Use Crystal Healing

In this final section, we are going to talk you through how to use healing crystals. 

We are going to look at how to identify your issue and pick the right stones to treat it. Then we will look at how to cleanse, charge, and program your crystals. Finally, we will be looking at setting your intentions and using your crystals. 


Step 1 – Identify the issue and choose your stone

The first step in this process is to understand what issue you want to tackle and then pick a set of stones that can help you do that. 

For some people, the issues that they are having will be really obvious. They may be in pain, they may be about to make a big decision and want clarity. If you fall into this category then you can move straight on to picking out your stone. 

The rest of you may not be able to put a finger on what your issue is. There are a few ways that you can solve this problem. 

You can spend some time meditating or journaling about how you are feeling. After some work, the problem you are facing is sure to surface. Otherwise, you may want to talk to someone who you trust and admire. It is easier for others to notice our problems than it is for us to notice our own. 

Once you know what issue you are planning, it’s time to pick out your gemstone(s). 

Beginners may want to stick to using only one stone, while they are getting a feel for the process of energy work. More advanced practitioners may feel drawn to multiple stones. The good news is that crystals cannot negatively affect each other and instead work in harmony together. 

There is a guide above to the most popular types of crystals and what they can be used for.


Step 2 – Cleanse your gemstones

Every culture has a different way of cleansing its gemstones. It is worth noting that every form of crystal healing takes time to cleanse the crystals, so it is not something any of us should be skipping. 

Here are 7 different ways that you can cleanse your healing gemstones.


Running water – 

Submerging your gemstone under running water will allow you to neutralize any of the negative energy in the stone. You can take your stones to a natural source of running water or you can use a faucet if you are in a pinch. 

Submerge each stone for around 60 seconds. 

Do not use this method on porous and brittle stones such as malachite, selenite, halite, calcite, lepidolite, and angelite. 


Salt Water – 

Salt water can be used to cleanse wounds and to cleanse gemstones. The salt helps to draw out the negative energy in the stone and provides a buffer to prevent it from re-entering the gem. 

You can either use a bowl of seawater or create your own salt water (with tap water and some rock salt). Completely submerge your stone until you feel all the negative energy has left it. Then gently pat the crystal dry. 

Do not use this method on porous stones such as malachite, selenite, halite, calcite, lepidolite, and angelite. 


Natural light – 

Natural light is as good at cleansing crystals as it is recharging them. You can use the light of both the sun and the moon to cleanse your gemstones. 

You will want to set your crystals outside or on a windowsill. Leave the stone there for 10-12 hours. Be aware that leaving your crystals outside can change the appearance of your gemstones. 

You should avoid using this method on stones like Amethyst and Emerald, as the light can warp their vibrations. You should also be careful with your soft stones as they overheat and the weather can damage them. 


Sage – 

If you are interested in healing crystals then you are probably already well aware of the healing properties that Sage has and that it has been used to cleanse items for thousands of years. 

Using a fire-safe bowl, you will want to burn the sage and use the smoke to completely cleanse your gemstones. 


Brown Rice – 

You can also use brown rice to cleanse your crystals. You will want to completely submerge the crystal into the grains of rice and leave them there for 24 hours. 

Brown rice is known for its ability to absorb negative energy. This method will also allow you to remove the energy without attaching it to any of your other crystals. Do not eat the rice after you have finished. 


Tuning forks and chanting – 

If you have a collection of crystals that cannot be easily moved or carried around then you may want to use sound to cleanse them. There are different tools you can use to do this, we have found tuning forks combined with chanting to be the most effective methods. 

This method can take around 10 minutes and you must make sure that the noises you are making are loud enough to fully encompass the vibrations of your crystals.


Step 3 – Set an intention to program your crystals

We talked about the placebo effect earlier in this article and covered how researchers are coming around to its effectiveness. This research shows that will and strong intentions can have a notable effect on the healing process. Healing crystal practitioners have known this to be true for thousands of years. 

When you pick up your crystal you will be able to get an idea of its energy status. Does it feel light, almost static to the touch, can you feel the power radiating out of it? If so, then it is programmed and ready for your healing session. 

If the stone feels heavy and dull then it most likely needs recharging. You can do this in three ways. 

Firstly, you can lend the crystal some of your own energy, you can channel it through a deep breathing exercise, or you can sing to your crystal. 

Another option is to create an energy sharing grid between some of your other crystals and the gemstone you are looking to use. Clear Quartz is always a great source of energy for other stones. 

Finally, you can take your stone outside into nature and let it draw from the abundance of energy mother earth provides. 

Some people choose to charge their crystals in the moonlight. 

To set your intentions you will need to use two techniques – breathe work and visualization. 

You will want to take your crystal in your dominant hand and start to breathe deeply. When you start to feel your mind clear and a sense of heavy relaxation passes over you, then you are ready to start visualizing. 

Create a picture in your mind’s eye of the results you are looking for. Visualize yourself having a night free of nightmares, or the pain in your stomach disappearing. Allow that image to fill your mind and the energy it creates to flow into the crystal. 

You are now ready to move onto the final step.


Step 4 – Use your Crystal 

Every practitioner has a different approach to using their crystals once they have been programmed. You may also find yourself drawn to using your crystals differently depending on the type of crystal you are using. 

Some people who struggle with insomnia chose to sleep with Amethyst in their hands. Which IBS sufferers like to press their black onyx to their stomach.  Others prefer to sit in front of their crystals and meditate on their vibrations. 

We recommend that you trust your intuition at this point. Your body will make it very clear to you what methods are working for you and which ones aren’t. 

If you are new to crystal healing, you may want to ask someone you know or a professional to help you out with your first healing session. 



6 different crystals

 Whether you are looking for guidance, mental clarity, or to unblock your chakras – Healing Crystals may be the answer you have been looking for. 

If you use Healing Crystals then you are taking part in a tradition that dates back to many thousands of years ago. You can harness these ancient techniques to help you in your modern life. 

The first step is to start collecting crystals that will help you to heal.

  • Hi, Alex here I'm a spiritual teacher, therapist and an author. I specialize in the art of Crystal healing and have a passion for helping people improve their health and wellbeing.

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