Using Crystals

Wear or Carry the Appropriate Crystal
The simplest way of gaining benefit from crystals is to wear them for a period of time. Some crystals, such as jaspers, work slowly and continuously, and you may feel you would like their ongoing support. Others may work faster and are best used in short bursts. Remove them if you start to feel uncomfortable, and make sure they are cleansed. If you are wearing them in the form of jewellery, they are best set in pure metal such as silver or gold, not plated base metal. Metals themselves are used in healing, and can affect the energy of the crystal. It helps to have them near or touching the area that needs healing, and they are more effective if worn in direct contact with the skin. If you are using a stone to treat a specific area, for example malachite for pain in the lower back, you can alternatively tape it on with Micropore (surgical tape). Be sure you select a relatively flat, smooth crystal, and cleanse it often.

Space clearing and Feng Shui
Crystals can be used to clear a room, create a sacred space, and to nurture and protect those within a home or building.
To keep an area clear and vibrant, a clear quartz or amethyst cluster can be placed in the room. Zeolites, such as apophyllite and stilbite will work well, too. 
You can also grid the area by placing a small clear quartz point in each corner. If the terminations are pointing towards the corners this will protect the room; if they are pointing inwards they will charge the energy of the room. This is particularly nice if you are using the room for meditation, but be careful of the size of the crystals used, as in this case size does matter, and too much energy can make everyone feel jumpy. If in doubt, experiment. Selenite or satin spar gypsum can also be used in this way. 
Gridding can be used in larger areas to protect or clarify property or help to prevent vandalism, and crystals can even be placed in the foundations of a new building. 
Most black, brown or deep red crystals are good for clearing electromagnetic "smog" generated by computers, televisions and your electricity supply. Also helpful are rose quartz, rutilated quartz, or a cluster or clear quartz or amethyst. Place near the area that needs clearing, or between you and the computer. With the exception of the clusters, which are self-cleansing, be sure to cleanse these crystals often, as many of them will absorb the unwanted energy. By carrying them with you, these crystals are also useful for self-protection, if you feel you are being bombarded by negative energy.
If you have an altar, crystals are a wonderful addition. Choose the crystals by what they symbolise to you. For example, you can use rose quartz if you want to attract or strengthen love, improve self-love, or if you wish to symbolise your love of the divine; clear quartz can indicate a spiritual connection, or symbolise purity.
You can also grid crystals around your bed. Use one on the floor by each leg (the bed's legs - not yours!). Rose quartz is good for nurturing in general, and especially good if you have a recently broken heart or are just in need of some TLC. Amethyst can help you sleep. Some of the green crystals, such as green tourmaline, chrysocolla or moss agate, can help to boost the immune system if you are ill. Again, experiment, and don't be afraid to try crystals in combination. Clear quartz and selenite are not recommended for the bedroom, as they might keep you awake.
Another aspect of gridding involves sitting in a stone circle for a period of time, preferably while meditating. This is not to suggest you plan a trip to Stonehenge, but to simply surround yourself with small crystals. Choose crystals by what you would like to bring into your meditation, and use any number from three upwards. The effect can be amplified by "activating" the circle. If you are used to energy work, you can channel energy and visualise it joining the circle together in a clockwise direction, possibly drawing the circle of light with your hand. Alternatively, use a wand or control crystal to do this. If you use this method, be sure to deactivate the circle at the end, using an anti-clockwise direction. All crystals can be used in this way. Rose quartz is very gentle and loving, prehnite and "new jade" are detoxifying, honey calcite can aid meditation, and black tourmaline can help you feel protected, and can also help you to move on when you're feeling "stuck". These are just a few suggestions. It is useful to combine crystals as well. If you use crystals with terminations (such as clear quartz or amethyst points), the points can be aimed in different directions to varying effects. You can point them away from you, towards you, clockwise or anti-clockwise around you, or even in patterns, such as a spiral or Star of David. Try out different stones, and see how they work in combination. Smaller crystals are preferable, but this is by no means a rule. Many small crystals can be purchased for very little, so expense shouldn't hinder you. 
It can also be helpful to hold a single crystal in meditation to gain self-knowledge and insight, or information about the crystal itself. 
Laying on stones
This is an effective method of treating others, and involves placing stones directly on the body. There are many, many different methods, but possibly the easiest method to try is a basic Chakra Layout. Please see the article on Chakras if you are unsure of the positions and colours.
You can try this on yourself, but it's much more effective to treat another. Choose a crystal for each Chakra, with the right corresponding colour, such as red garnet for the Root Chakra, orange carnelian for the Sacral Chakra, etc. Make sure the crystals are cleansed before you begin. Have the person receiving the treatment lie comfortably on their back, on a bed, the floor, or a treatment table. Place the crystals in order from the Root Chakra up, until you reach the Crown Chakra. If you are placing a crystal in a sensitive area, you might ask the person receiving the treatment to place it (and later remove it) for you. Leave the crystals on for a period of time, say 10-20 minutes, and let them do their work. This can be further enhanced by channelling white light into each crystal, or directing a wand or control crystal in a clockwise motion around each crystal in turn. Again, begin with the Root Chakra and work your way up. Check with the person every so often to see what they are experiencing. At first they may be aware of particular sensations around the area of certain crystals, but when the Chakras have balanced, they should be relatively unaware of the crystals on their body. If there is a long-term energy blockage, it is not always possible to balance all the Chakras in this way. If this is the case, use your intuition and discretion to judge when to finish the treatment. When removing the crystals, start with the Crown Chakra and work your way down. Make sure the person is grounded before they get up. If in doubt, hold their ankles, and ask them to imagine their energy flowing down their bodies, into their legs, and pooling in their feet.
Gem waters and elixirs
The fat-free mass of our bodies is made up of approximately 70% water. This varies with age and sex. It has been long believed that water carries vibrational energy, which can be affected by the use of trees and flowers (such as the Bach Flower Remedies), as well as the area in which the water exists. Biophysicists have recently proven this as fact (see Messages from Water, published by HADO Kyoikusha Co, Ltd, and Love Thyself, published by Hay House, Inc, both by Masaru Emoto). Gem elixirs work in a similar way to flower remedies. See separate article for methods.
Use of Wands, Points, and Control Crystals, Wands and Points
Wands and clear quartz points are used to amplify and direct energy. Use these with care and intent. A double terminated quartz crystal (possessing a point at each end) will allow the energy to flow both ways.
Massage wands are carved so that one end comes to a point, and the other is smooth and rounded. These can be used with the rounded end as a massage tool, to break up and dissipate energy blockages. This is best done with training and experience, using a very gentle pressure.
Control Crystals
This is a method of crystal healing favoured by Dramis West and Geoffrey Keyte, who first introduced crystal healing to the UK. It involves using a large clear quartz crystal to do most of the work, and to direct other crystals to work in harmony. The Control Crystal is used more like a conductor's baton than a magic wand, and it is seen as an extension of the self. The advantages of this system are neutrality and detachment of the healer, and the gentleness of the healing itself. Attunement to a control crystal should be learned through a teacher. It involves deep meditation techniques and a period of nightly work with the crystal.
Crystal Massage
Recently many massage therapists have started using stones in their treatments, and not only in hot stone therapies. There are a number of carved crystal shapes specifically designed for use in massage, including flat palm stones, lenses, stylus shapes, spheres, massage wands and massage tools. Tumble stones are also very effective, and even rough crystals and points can be used (with care!).
It is best to learn this through a teacher, but there are also books available on the subject (eg. Crystal Massage for Health and Healing by Michael Gienger, published by Findhorn Press). If you have some experience with massage, you can try working intuitively. Always use a very gentle pressure, as the deep work is done by the vibration of the crystals. Because of this, many massage therapists use this method if they are experiencing RSI or arthritis in their hands and fingers.
Spend time in the right place
Rocks that form through volcanic, sedimentary or metamorphic processes each have their own qualities and implications in healing. To bring about strong transformation and healing, try looking at geological survey map. Choose an area with the right type of formation, and plan a stay in that area for a few days. This method was first researched in Germany by Michael Gienger. (See Crystal Power, Crystal Healing by Michael Gienger, published by Blandford)
Igneous Rocks
Rock formation through volcanic eruption and magma; a liquid substance becomes solidThink of this as a super-saturated sugar solution, such as when making jam. The sugar dissolves easily in the liquid when it's heated, but as the solution cools the substances within may begin to separate. If the jam cools too quickly, sugar may crystallise on top. Igneous rocks demonstrate a crystallisation process based on cooling and solidification, and represent potential and predisposition; each igneous mineral symbolises an aspect of spiritual potential, and can support and encourage their development.
Sedimentary Rocks
Rock formation caused by weathering and breaking down of already existing rocks. They are transported by wind, landslides or by water. This is followed by sedimentation. Sedimentary formation demonstrates the influences of environment, and represents the shaping of our personalities and belief systems due to experiences in our past and upbringing. Sedimentary rocks can help us to recognise and become aware of this shaping, and gradually let go of old patterns 
Metamorphic Rocks
Formed in the lower part of earth's crust under extreme heat and pressure. The metamorphic process includes the formation of mountains, and metamorphosis and transformation into entirely new rocks. This demonstrates the spiritual process of transformation, and represents the burning off of anything that is not necessary. Metamorphic rocks stimulate inner transformation and encourage critical self-reflection.
© Janelle Scialla - May 2007
How Does Crystal Healing Work?
This is a frequently asked question, and one that has a huge variety of answers.
The Weight of History
For thousands of years crystals have been used to bestow protection, strength and healing. There is evidence dating back 60,000 years that pebbles, fossils and ivory were worn as ornaments by ancient man, and there are medical treatises written from 12th - 18th centuries, detailing the use of crystals in treatment of certain ailments and mental conditions. Many of the qualities and meanings we attribute to crystals today have been recognised for hundreds, or even thousands of years.
Colour Therapy
The most basic form of crystal healing involves colour therapy - a form of healing that uses the vibrational frequency of colours to elicit change and rebalancing within the body. In colour therapy, the client will be asked to wear certain colours of clothing, or to sit for a period of time in a darkened room with a light box, and bathe in a particular colour of light. Colour Therapy is based on the Chakras and their corresponding colours, although other colours may be used, and the colours chosen will reflect a perceived weakness in one or more Chakras. For additional information, please see section on Chakras.
Crystal healing works on a similar level. Crystals will be chosen according to colour, and correspondence with the Chakra system. In simple terms, let's use as an example a person suffering from an intestinal problem. The intestines fall within the area around the Sacral Chakra, whose corresponding colour is orange. Therefore, carnelian, which is also orange, may be used to treat it. Having said this, sometimes, when the problem is created by a blockage in the flow of energy from another Chakra, it is best to treat the blockage, rather than working directly on an area already made sensitive by irritation. Always take a gentle approach to crystal healing. Remember you're working with powerful tools!
Colour frequency is a form of vibration, but in addition to this, the crystals themselves vibrate. Many people are surprised by a tingling sensation in their hands when holding crystals.
The molecules in most solid substances are organised in a random manner and are free to move around one another. The individual molecules and atoms of a crystal are drawn together as close as possible during their formation, partly because of strong electromagnetic forces, and also because of the extreme pressure, deep in the earth, around many of them as they form. Because there is no space to be wasted, the molecules arrange themselves into exact geometric patterns, known as 'crystal lattices'. These patterns govern the shape the crystal will eventually become. It also means that the molecules are not able to roam about freely, and therefore vibrate in place. The vibrational frequency can be measured as an exact number of vibrations per second.
Certain crystals, such as members of the quartz family, possess piezoelectricity, a quality that allows electrical impulses to pass through a crystal in a pre-determined path. This makes quartz useful in the manufacture of silicon chips in computers, and helps to keep watches accurate. Therefore, clear quartz is used in crystal healing to transmit and direct energy. In healing terms, this means that the vibrational energy can dissipate an energy blockage, or direct and amplify healing energy.
Chemical Composition
The vibrational frequency of the elements that make up crystals is also used in crystal healing. 
To understand the importance of the chemical make-up of minerals, let's look at a few examples: " Calcite (CaCO2), you will find by looking at the periodic table, is a calcium carbonate. Most people will know that calcium is the main constituent of the skeletal system, and therefore calcite is often used in crystal healing to help mend fractures of bones. " Hematite (Fe2O3) is an iron oxide. Iron helps to maintain healthy red corpuscles and oxygenate the blood, and hematite is frequently used to treat anaemia as well as circulatory problems." Malachite (Cu2(CO3)(OH)2) contains mainly copper, which draws off heat, and can therefore be used to reduce inflammation. This is the idea behind the use of copper wrist bands to treat osteoarthritis.
Crystal Systems and Geometric Shapes
Natural crystal shapes have been divided into seven groups or systems. Each system is determined by the crystal's axes (plural of axis), and the angles at which these axes intersect. Please see separate article on Crystal Systems for more detailed information.
The correlation between geometric shapes and certain physical, spiritual, or emotional qualities was first recorded by Plato, although there is evidence that this was recognised long before his writing. An example of this is the cube, which represents the element Earth. Cubic crystals are very good for 'grounding'. To illustrate this, try holding a natural pyrite cube the next time you feel in need of 'grounding', instead of the more traditional smoky quartz or black tourmaline. Michael Gienger, in Crystal Power Crystal Healing (published by Blandford), notes that different personality types are often attracted to one particular crystal system. In more advanced forms of crystal healing, the crystal system can be used to facilitate healing.
This will also work with carved crystals, which may be carved into intricate geometric shapes for specific meditation and healing work. Examples are the Flower of Life and the MerKaBah, but spheres are also used in this way. 
© Janelle Scialla - May 2007