Crystal therapy is a form of alternative or non-traditional medicine that is used to heal individuals and restore a sense of balance to their lives. It is closely tied to Hindu and Buddhist traditions centered around the concept of the seven major chakras, or energy centers in the body, which act like vortices to connect elements of a person's being to the outside world. By placing appropriate crystal forms on or near these energy centers in the body, a practitioner of crystal therapy attempts to balance the flow of energy in a holistic manner to create harmonious emotional, physical, and spiritual states of being. Legends trace the use of crystal therapy back to prehistoric times and ancient civilizations like that of Atlantis that are believed to have harnessed the power of crystals for purposes that are beyond current understanding as of 2011.
Each of the seven chakras contained by the human body has an associated color with it, and crystal therapy matches these colors with appropriate gemstones for treatment. Lepidolite, for instance, is usually a semi-precious violet gemstone that is associated with the crown chakra, representing pure consciousness. Crystals like malachite or green tourmaline are associated with the heart chakra, which is viewed as a green energy vortice that represents the male-female union, as well as the functioning of the immune system. Healing with gemstones, therefore, involves laying the appropriate type of stone over the appropriate chakra to open up the flow of energy and to balance it. Therapy sessions last between half-an-hour to an hour, and are usually started by using clear quartz crystal to channel the energy flow through the body before specific chakra regions are concentrated on.
While the scientific evidence for the value of crystal therapy is controversial, the practice is based upon some fundamental scientific principles. The chakra system is literally a series of overlapping electromagnetic fields, and the human body as well as that of animals does produce its own natural electric charges. Crystals of all types are also known to vibrate to electrical fields at specific frequencies, and this knowledge is used in many forms of technology, from radios and computers to security system sensors. Written records of the use of crystal therapy for healing and stress reduction exist in ancient Egyptian papyrus, as well as in Indian and Chinese traditional medicine.
Among the types of therapy or types of crystal healing for which the practice is said to be beneficial are the relief of emotional anxiety and a lessening of strain from muscular pain. Using crystals is also believed to reduce the length and severity of colds and to restore balance to the reproductive and urinary tract systems in the body. The most common use for crystal therapy, however, is to provide a renewed sense of vigor and energy to the body and to relieve individuals of negative emotional or energetic states of mind.