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Crystal therapy, or crystal healing, is an alternative medicine technique that uses the energies of crystals to bring the body into balance.

Like Reiki, Yoga, Ayurveda, color therapy, and other alternative healing techniques, crystal therapy makes is generally associated with chakras, believed to be the energy centers within the human body that help to regulate its processes. The word chakra means "wheel" or "disk" in Sanskrit, and is a reference to the spinning wheels of energy or light believed to be located along the spine, from the base to the crown of the head.

When used, crystal healing is usually a complementary therapy, used alongside, rather than instead of, traditional, conventional medicine.

In describing crystal therapy, an article in The Therapy Directory asks the reader to "imagine your body with a stream flowing through it, with a small pebble in the middle of your body. The stream can't flow smoothly so this causes ripples around the small pebble, but remove the small pebble and the stream flows smoothly again. This pebble could represent something in your past that is holding you back, the reason why you have no confidence, or whatever the ailment may be. This is how the crystals and the chakras work together."

Crystals are solid objects, similar to stones, whose atoms, molecules, or ions are arranged in a highly ordered structure that forms a crystal lattice extending in all directions. Strictly speaking, table salt and snowflakes are crystals, but the type of crystals used in crystal healing are made of solid material.

The atoms within the crystals are constantly spinning, and the idea behind crystal therapy is that the chakras and the crystals either speed up or slow down the balance of the vibrations, thus removing the pebble, allowing the chakras to vibrate smoothing, returning the patient to a state of balance, which is experienced as peace and calmness.

Today, crystal healing is often associated with New Age spiritual movements, although crystal healing is alluded to in Plato's account of Atlantis, and the Ancient Sumerians are known to have used crystals in their magical formulas. In more recent history, the North American Hopis have long used quartz crystals to assist in diagnosing illnesses.

However, modern crystal healing philosophies are based on traditional Asian concepts, largely Chinese beliefs in life energy (chi or qi), the Hindu concept of chakras, and the supposition that crystals can be used to connect the physical and supernatural elements of the body. Crystals are used to interact with the body's energy field, promoting physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.

Although there are a variety of crystal healing methodologies, crystal stones are assigned various properties. For example, amethyst is believed by some to be helpful in healing problems with the intestines, while green aventurine is good for the heart, and yellow topaz promoted mental clarity.

During a session, a crystal therapist might place various crystals or other stones on the patient's body at locations believed to be aligned with specific chakra points. These often include areas just above the head, on the forehead, throat, chest, stomach, and genital region. The selection of crystals and subsequent positioning will generally be chosen for the symptoms reported by the patient, and heavily influenced by the therapist's understanding of the way in which the chakras related to energy imbalances and disease, and may differ widely from one therapist to another.

Believers in crystal healing may also wear crystals on their body or place them under their pillow to ward off sickness and negative energy, and to maintain wellness and positive energy.

Western medicine generally dismisses crystal healing as pseudoscience, attributing positive reports to placebo effects. Nevertheless, unlike some other alternative therapies, crystal healing is usually considered to be harmless when used as a complementary therapy.





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