Healing approaches

A beginners’ guide to crystal healing

Crystal Healer Offering Selection Of Tumbled Healing Stones

By Debbie Walmsley, crystal healer and reiki practitioner

Humans have worn and used crystals since time immemorial. In fact, crystals have been on the Earth since the beginning of time, long before we came to share it. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds have all been used as body decoration for thousands of years and have traditionally been highly valued due to their beauty and rarity.

But ancient cultures also believed crystals had a natural healing power that could be used to promote emotional, physical and spiritual balance. While we may never learn how they accessed such knowledge, we do know that crystals were considered an important part of their civilisation. For example:

  • Ancient Romans used crystal talismans and amulets to enhance health, attract desirable objects to themselves, and provide protection in battle;
  • Ancient Egyptians lay quartz on the forehead of their dead when they buried them, believing it helped to guide the departed safely into the afterlife. Pharaohs carried cylinders filled with quartz to balance the Ba and Ka energies of the body. Royal women laid crushed lapis lazuli stones on their eyes to promote enlightenment and awareness;
  • Ancient Greeks often rubbed crushed hematite on soldier’s bodies prior to entering battle as they believed it made them invincible. Interestingly, the word ‘crystal’ is thought to derive from the Greek word ‘krustullos,’ which means ‘ice’, and until the 1500s, many people believed stones, such as clear quartz, were everlasting ice that had been sent from the Heavens;
  • Chinese medicine practitioners commonly use healing crystals in their treatments, which include crystal-tipped needles in acupuncture and Pranic healing sessions. These traditions hail from nearly 5,000 years of practice;
  • Aryuvedic medicine practitioners in India consider crystals valuable for healing emotional and metaphysical imbalances. The use of various healing crystals is documented in the pages of the Hindu Vedas, which also refers to each stone’s specific healing properties. For example, sapphires are thought to bring astuteness, clarity and mental balance, while jasper is believed to bring harmony, sexual vitality, and balance the base chakra;
  • Ancient Japanese cultures commonly undertook scrying, which is similar to looking into a crystal ball as some psychics still do today. Crystal quartz spheres were considered to represent the heart of a dragon and signified their power and wisdom.

Today though, we also rely on crystals in lots of ways without even realising it. Much of our modern technology would not be able to operate without them. For instance:

  • Quartz crystals are used in computers to record time as well as in our fridges’ cooling systems. When an electric current is passed through a quartz crystal, it vibrates at 60 hertz (60 times per second), and quartz clocks uses these vibrations to measure time;
  • Liquid Crystal Displays are found in flat screen TV’s, digital clocks and electronic picture frames;
  • Silica crystals are used to absorb odours in everything from cat litter boxes to the insides of fridges;
  • Magnetite is used to find the North and South Poles;
  • Rubies are used in lasers;
  • Fluorite is used in fluoride toothpaste;
  • Hematite is used to make nails for construction purposes;
  • Chalcopyrite is used to create copper wires.

Young woman receiving crystal healing

How do crystals work?

So what exactly are crystals anyway and how do they work in a healing context? A crystal is an organised grouping of atoms, or molecules, each with different properties and shapes. For example, sugar crystals are oblong and slanted at each end, while salt crystals are cubic.

Each crystal’s unique structure affects how it resonates, the kind of energy it attracts, and the way it clears negativity by either repelling or absorbing it. These unique properties mean the crystal vibrates at specific frequencies, which give them their ability to aid in healing.

While most people are familiar with the different functions of their physical body, the same is not necessarily true of their body’s subtle energy systems. Seen from an energetic perspective, we are all made up of layers of vibrating energy, each of which has their own specific vibration and purpose.

The physical body though consists of energy that vibrates very slowly, which is why it appears to be solid. Compare this with ice, which is a solid structure made from water that is vibrating very slowly. This means that it likewise appears solid. But when its atoms vibrate more quickly, the ice becomes liquid again. Faster still and it turns to steam.

Quantum physics indicates that atoms consist purely of energy waves with their own invisible force field. These energy waves can be measured and their effects seen, but they are made up of electricity. Science is now embracing the idea that we, and the universe, are created out of this energy.

So crystal healing operates by working with the body’s innate ability to heal itself. Crystals are amazing energy conductors and, when used in healing, enable the body’s energy to move around in order to find its natural flow. When our energy is balanced, we experience wellbeing, which supports us in evolving and developing emotionally, physically and spiritually.

Crystals treat the whole person, as well as their integrated energy system, in a non-invasive way. The body’s meridians are the pathways through which our energy flows, and where these pathways cross, an energy ‘hotspot’, or chakra, is created.

Rainbow Flower of Life

Channelling universal life force energy

The chakras channel universal life force energy – which is known under a variety of names depending on the tradition, such as chi, prana, ki, or spirit – in and out of our physical and spiritual bodies. They are considered both transmitters and receivers of energy.

When these pathways are clear and open, we are physically and emotionally well and feel good. But when our meridians and/or chakras become blocked, we are likely to feel fatigue, sickness, pain or mental unbalance.

Chakras move in and out of balance naturally each and every day. Depending on what is happening around us, they respond to the highs and the lows of everyday life. Stress, minor illnesses, emotions and even your thoughts affect the balance of your chakras. If they stay out of balance for too long, your body will experiences dis-ease, which is a state of not benefiting from ease or wellbeing.

During a crystal healing session carefully chosen crystals are placed either on your chakras and/or around the physical body. These crystals absorb, focus, direct, detoxify, shift and diffuse energy as they interact with vibrations within the body’s energy field, helping to bring the mind, body, spirit and environment back into harmony and restoring the body’s natural rhythm and inner balance.

Healing using crystals can occur at various levels:

  • Physical: The deep relaxation generated is an effective antidote to stress, anxiety or depression, and is helpful in maintaining general wellbeing. It can help to relieve the physical symptoms of stress-related illnesses, provide pain relief by relaxing muscle tension and may assist with immune disorders. It has also been shown to be helpful for insomnia, chronic fatigue, raised blood pressure and sleep problems;
  • Emotional: It can help to stabilise moods and enhance self-esteem;
  • Mental: It may assist in providing clarity and enhancing focus and can be used to transform unwanted behaviours, thought patterns and addictions;
  • Spiritual: It can help to enable an acceptance of, and create harmony with, all aspects of being, leading to a more peaceful and centred life.

Wearing crystals may enable you to experience their healing and spiritual properties, while placing them in your home or office can help to clear negative energies or leave a room feeling more calm and relaxed. Crystals may also be used for meditation to help focus and clear the mind.

Some – although not all, so do exercise care – can even be used to create an elixir to drink. They work from the inside out, or can applied directly to the skin.

A key thing to remember though is that crystals work on a continual basis. Each balances specific elements, whether they relate to mind, body or spirit, so if you feel drawn to a particular stone, it is probably for a reason. Just pick it up, hold it or play with it and notice how you feel.

Put another way, crystal healing aids wellbeing, whether it is physical, mental, emotional or spiritual. And wellbeing naturally comes about when our energy flows freely and is in balance.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley is a reiki practitioner, crystal healer, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association. Debbie has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman.

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Healing approaches

Reiki: Healing with universal life force energy

Reiki
Reiki symbols

Reiki, in case you are unsure what it is, is energy healing. The word Reiki comes from the Japanese word, rei, which means ‘universal life’ and ki, which means ‘energy’.

At its simplest, Reiki is the transfer of life force energy from one person to another in a process that promotes balance and harmony in the spirit, mind, emotions and body, thereby stimulating wellbeing in the recipient.

While I appreciate that this may sound a bit ‘woo-woo’ to some or a bit out there and strange to others, please bear with me. As an energy healer, I am often met with curiosity, fascination and a bit of scepticism when I tell people what I do for a living.

But for millions of years, ‘traditional’ cultures have defined the human body as a ‘wholistic’ energy system with the innate ability to heal itself. From shamanism, which is thought to be one of our oldest spiritual practices, to India’s ancient spiritual tradition that is more than 5,000 years old, people spoke of a universal energy. Called ‘Prana’ in Sanskrit, it is the breath of life that moves through all forms of existence and gives them life.

The Chinese, in the third millennium BC, meanwhile, also referred to the existence of a vital energy that they named Ch’i. All matter is composed of this universal energy, which consists of two complementary forces: yin and yang.  When the yin and the yang are in balance, a living system exhibits physical health.

Even in our own culture, spiritual healing has been around for many centuries too.

But let’s start at the beginning. Reiki was first developed as a healing system in Japan early in the last century by Mikao Usui (1865-1926). Usui was a seeker of knowledge and spiritual understanding. He studied history, religion, medicine, psychology, and metaphysics, and broadened his worldview by travelling to Europe and China.

Although he faced many challenges in life, he is said to have met them always with equanimity and perseverance. Students described him as a gentle man who was always smiling.

Kurama, Japan
Kurama, Japan

Spiritual method of healing

Usui was a lifelong follower of Tendai Buddhism and Shinto, but also underwent three years of Zen Buddhist training later in life too. It is believed he first received Reiki energy in 1922 while meditating on Mount Kurama, a mountain sacred to both Buddhist and Shinto practitioners. He is said to have achieved enlightenment, or ‘a state of no fear’ at this time.

Although Usui declared Reiki to be a spiritual method of healing, it is not associated with any single religion. In fact, today it is practised throughout the world by people of many and varied faiths and cultures.

But Reiki is slightly different in nature to the spiritual healing that you may have come across elsewhere – even though both harness life force energies and both depend on a ‘healer’ to serve as a channel. Here are a few of the main differences:

  • Reiki practitioners undergo special training to learn the various philosophies, techniques and rituals that are part of the practice. Spiritual healers are intuitive healers who heal through their own connection to spirit;
  • A Reiki practitioner goes through a prescribed process of connecting with the energies, while spiritual healers follow a personal process based on their own experience and how they feel inspired;
  • Reiki is based on a defined approach, which involves asking a patient to lie or sit down. Spiritual healers do whatever they feel is appropriate in that moment.

As a Reiki energy healer, I strongly believe that all matter is composed of universal life force energy and, when this energy flows uninterruptedly through the body, balance is restored and individuals display physical, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing.

Indeed, science is finally catching up with what ancient cultures have known for years by uncovering scientific evidence to support these ancient concepts. Quantum physics, for instance,  puts forward the idea that human beings have energy fields. As a result, modern technology has developed equipment and techniques to measure the electromagnetic field emanating from the physical body.

Scientist Albert Einstein, meanwhile, was able to prove that all matter, which includes human bodies, are made up of atoms – which are nothing more than interacting fields of energy. In other words, energy healing is not a new age fad – it has stood the test of time and has, in fact, been around for centuries.

Life force
Life force

Good vibrations

Without consciously knowing it, we transmit and absorb energy all the time. When you say someone “feels good to be around”, you are really talking about their vibrational energy. Happy people vibrate on a higher energy frequency, which means you can feel their positivity.

Have you every walked into a room in which a confrontation has taken place only moments before? Did you experience a dense or negative feeling that made you want to leave right away?

Or if have you been on a trip to the beach recently, can you remember how good it made you feel? Air by the coast has a light energy due to the salt it contains, which is a natural energy cleanser. The fact that the air tends to be moving also means it vibrates at a higher frequency and that helps us to feel good.

Another interesting point is that, as humans, we unwittingly use our hands to help either ourselves, or others, all the time. It is a very natural, instinctive thing to do. For example, if you experience back pain, your hands immediately go to touch the affected area. If a child falls over and hurts their knee, you instinctively rub it gently to make it feel better.

The same instinct to touch applies when you meet someone you know and like, and you give them a hug. At work, you may shake someone’s hand or pat them on the back to acknowledge a job well done. Pregnant woman likewise tend to rub their tummies to connect with their babies.

So one way or another, we all enjoy touch, but why? It is because, in using our hands, we transfer energy, which helps us, or someone else, to feel better. It is an instinctive reaction, an innate and inherent ability that we all have.

Reiki then is simply an exchange of energy but of the highest kind – and as it is transferred with positive intention, it intensifies and amplifies the power of touch. This means that Reiki increases balance, harmony and wellbeing emotionally, physically, spiritually and intellectually.

It is a simple, natural and safe method of healing that can be used to complement all other medical or therapeutic techniques, benefitting not only people of all ages but also our four-legged friends.

Debbie Walmsley

Debbie Walmsley has been a natural healer all her life, having first discovered the power of healing in her teenage years. She has studied various forms of energy healing, which included spending a month in Peru with a shaman. Debbie is a Reiki practitioner, master hypnotherapist and Three Principles facilitator. She is also a member of the International Alliance of Holistic Therapists and the Complimentary Medical Association.

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