Not only are gemstones beautiful, the radiant rocks are also said to impact your emotional states or ‘heal’ you. I’ve always believed with unadulterated emotionsthat certain stones have special powers in the same way that my star sign can impact my week. There is a meteoric rise in number of people exploring the possibility of crystals and if you’re not the one who ensures that they have their special stones around their neck or on their desk then somebody else in your friendship circle most likely will. There is no longer a ‘hippy’ stereotype correlated with healing gemstones; I’ve seen all genders, ages and professions joining the trend. But is the powers of gemstones fact or fallacy?

Healing crystals have been filling all social media feeds lately, but despite the surge in popularity science doesn’t seem to give them the time of day. Scientifically speaking, any kind of ‘healing’ you may experience is just imaginary or pseudoscience. However, for me and many others, this does not matter at all as the wonderful magical healing potential appears as soon as I become engulfed with a gemstone. I’ve also talked to some people who almost rely on the stones for a higher state of being in everyday life and charge their gemstones as they would a mobile phone.

In our technology driven world, I find it quite refreshing to see people seeking out natural ways to restore their energy just like the ancient Egyptians did. So, how are these healing gemstones supposed to work? Modern crystal healing is based on traditional Asian cultures such as ‘chi’ and the Buddhist concept of chakras which are said to be vortices of life energy that connect the supernatural and physical elements of the body. In sessions or treatments, a crystal healer may place gemstones on your body which are aligned with the chakra points – often chosen to help heal a symptom. Alternatively, many just choose to wear their gemstones as jewellery or place them under their pillows with hope that they will improve everyday situations. The chakra philosophy is generally dismissed by the West.

If you are not convinced by the idea of cosmic energy and chakra philosophy then you may still accept its benefits as a placebo effect. A placebo effect is a beneficial consequence of a treatment which can’t be attributed to the treatment itself, but results from the patient’s belief in the treatment. In relation to gemstones, a person may feel better after undergoing crystal healing or may believe that their crystals have brought them love or confidence despite a lack of scientific evidence or foundation to support their belief. Surely this does not make it any less effective! In my eyes, it is completely appropriate to judge crystal healing the same way you would judge placebo sugar pills; if you believe it to be a complete waste of time then the placebo will not work for you.

Placing an amethyst on a broken leg may not heal it or make a very negative person suddenly have a positive world outlook, but it could, for example, prove to be a great coping mechanism for stress. After all, ancient remedies have repeatedly stood the test of time and in the modern age, crystals aid more in finding peace or a refreshing alternative to other treatments. I also see it as a revival of people becoming more interested in connecting with mother nature and the earth when such a connection is becoming more challenging in our technology driven world. Then again, with millions of hashtagged images of crystals found daily on Instagram, the technological world of social media promotes and keeps us connected with crystals!

Whether you believe in the powers that crystals hold, it doesn’t seem like the sparkly trend is going away anytime soon. And for many, it doesn’t even matter if the crystals really heal or not because when you feel the energy from a gemstone in your hand then the magic supersedes everything else.

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