Does Crystal and Gemstone Healing Really Work?

"What does this one mean?", my friend asked me when I showed them a gemstone encrusted piece adorning my neck, newly finished that week.  It used pink tourmaline, a gemstone that I revealed could help combat depression and stress.  It is also said to guide you on your path to enlightenment.  "Cool!", they said, "I need one for luck, I've got an interview next week".

The first thought that popped in my head was "oh, you'd be better off just preparing really well"... and I realized... do I not really believe in any of that stuff????  As a jeweler dealing primarily in crystals, precious gemstones, and semi-precious gemstones, it has been easy for me to get caught up in not only the physical make-up of a gem, but what the gem is said to do.  I always want to consume all the information available on my newest favorite gemstone!  You'll even find on our website that each listing includes the gemstone meanings for the most used stones in the piece.

The theory is, we have an energy running through our bodies - often called chi or chakras depending on the culture.  Gemstones placed or worn on different parts of the body can affect this energy, this chi, to create changes in you.  Unsurprisingly, there hasn't been much truly scientific study in this area.  One popularly referenced study has people meditating - half are holding a real crystal, half are holding a piece of glass that looks like a crystal.  Even the people holding the glass crystals said that they could feel warmth, vibrations, and tingling, showing that what's really at work here is a placebo effect.

"BUT!" a hopeful little voice in my brain tells me, "I think I read somewhere crystal quartz DOES actually vibrate!".  And it's true, crystal quartz is one of a handful of solid materials that is "piezoelectric" (word of the day!), which means that it can build up an electrical charge when subjected to mechanical stress and vice versa.  Although that might seem confusing, you actually know a really mundane place crystal quartz is used in this way - quartz watches!! 

Basically, the battery is supplying the electrical charge, and this causes the "mechanical stress", or bending of the crystalline structure of the quartz.  The bending back and forth is the vibration, and the vibration is converted into one second increments for time keeping!  Fascinating, right?!

If we apply that idea - the ability to vibrate and build up electrical charge - then it stands to reason that this could effect the energy of the body, or chi!  There are other products that support the power of the crystal, as well.  Vitajuwel (not a sponsor) is a company that uses crystal water bottles to treat tap water.  Third party comparisons that have been done to the water before and after treatment found that there was an "improvement in water quality, neutralization of harmful substances, improvement of the pH-value and oxygen content, increase in bioavailability of minerals, and an increase in energy balance".  (BHG online)

The unequivocal outcome of all these experiments, whether they were deemed "successful" or not, is that using gemstones and crystals in all sorts of ways usually affected the user in a mentally positive way.  Is this because their vibrations were affecting our energy?  Or was it just the placebo effect?  Does it matter?  I was discussing these findings with my nail tech earlier, and she mentioned that perhaps even the colors of the gemstones could be mentally effective - studies have shown that colors can have intense effects on our mood and disposition.

I say, use those crystals for luck, or to find love, or to help reach your deepest consciousness!  The mind is powerful, and if you believe they are aiding you, there's a good chance they are - just maybe not in the way you expected. 

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