From new age belief to the hottest healing trend, gemstones and their purported therapeutic abilities are going mainstream. But is it all in your head?
As I’m lying back in a darkened room, my eyes shut and a deep chat fills the silence. I flinch as cold crystals are placed from the top of my head and along my body to just below my waist. As the numinous sound continues, an energy fills the room. In particular, I feel it in my throat. It’s like a subtle vibration, and I relax into the moment. Living in a city that never stops, my hunt for inner peace has led me to the art of crystal healing. After receiving a mesmerizing, multidimensional angel aura quartz with a rainbow sheen from my sister at the beginning of the year, I embarked on a journey to discover the true brilliance of these gemstones, and why they are becoming ever more popular.
“I use crystals to balance chakras. I also use crystals for color therapy,” says Yogmitra, a “spiritual healer and teacher” who visits Dubai-based wellness center Illuminations every few months. “The theory is that our lives work in accordance with chakras, so we use crystals to help restore the balance.” Yogmitra incorporates gemstones, colored cloth, and vedic mantras to help improve clients’ mental and health issues. During a one-hour session, clients lie still, focusing on their intentions as Yogmitra purports to release and balance the energy through the flow facilitated by the crystals used.
For those who are cynical towards the practice, proponents believe there is some scientific theory – as yet unproven – behind it. Sheikha Fatima Al Sabah, co-founder of body care line Prismologie, says, “About 60% of the human body consists of water. Liquids are less stable than solids because their atoms are less tightly packed, so their vibrations are less stable and steady. We know energy transforms. Our emotions and thoughts affect our energy levels and vibrations. When we put a crystal near, on, or around a human body, it is believed that the vibrations of the body could change to match the vibrations of the stable gemstone.”
Al Sabah incorporates gemstones in many of her products, believing that their energy helps to activate the formulations. In oils to balms and lotions, “the effect of gemstones can be felt with the tiniest piece of crystal, because they store great amounts of energy,” she says. Following color therapy, each collection includes a different crystal for its healing properties. “Diamonds can help you focus, sapphires are cooling, and jades are restorative,” Al Sabah believes.
Other brands are following suit. Australian skincare label Sodashi uses crystals for anti-aging purposes. “Our Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Elixir is a unique alchemy of 15 pure botanical ingredients, enlivened with rose quartz crystals,” founder Megan Larsen explains. “We believe this gives this precious face oil a vibrational quality that helps boost skin cell energy and alleviate stressors that cause cellular ageing.” The line, which is created in small batches, has been picked up by some of the world’s most prestigious spas, including The Four Seasons and Burj Al Arab in Dubai. Larsen believes their success also comes down to the intention that goes into each product. The team at Sodashi meditate together every working day in the belief that it will help ensure the energy used in creating the formulas is as its purest.
Larsen uses this philosophy throughout her daily life too. “I have crystals throughout my home and I also have a few that I always travel with. I use them for support, strength, clarity, and to help diffuse the effects of electromagnetic energy that is all around us.” This practice isn’t new. “Amulets have been cherished for their perceived protective and healing powers for thousands of years,” Al Sabah says. Gold amulets dotted with gemstones placed on the crown of the head were thought to connect royalty with higher powers.
Celebrities have also joined the crystal craze, including Adele, Madonna, and Victoria Beckham. “Aura crystals have become very popular,” says Megan Mosqueda, co-founder with Erika Duron of The Earth’s Gems, an online store featuring rare gemstones. “One reason people started purchasing them is because they are so unique and beautiful.” But when crystals can cost up to thousands of dollars, it’s not just their beauty that plays a part. “Many of our clients are surprised when they receive the crystal, because they are so attracted to the energy,” Mosqueda says. When it comes to choosing the right crystal for you, Duron says to look for something that calls out to you. “Look for something that has energy you can feel. A lot of times, the crystal picks you.” It’s best to do this in person, she explains, especially for first-timers, since it offers and opportunity for better understanding. Yogmitra agrees. “Whichever crystal is calling out to you, or you feel attracted to, that crystal is for you.”
Fans of crystals also believe the stones can be “energized,” especially under a full or new moon. “We keep the crystals under the full moon with Himalayan salt and then take them back in the morning and put intentions into them,” Yogmitra explains. As with any calming ritual, this moment of good intention has offered me solace in times when I was feeling overwhelmed. While I still pick some crystals based on their beauty, I believe the amethyst on my desk and rose quartz rattling around in my bag have indeed delivered me serenity.
Originally printed in the November 2017 issue of Vogue Arabia.