Crystal Healing Guide for Beginners: The Meanings and Properties of Crystals

Updated on July 29, 2018
Tessa Buchin profile image

Tessa is a science writer and registered yoga teacher. She used crystals to heal holistically after a major sports injury.

Crystal Healing Is a Personal Journey

When you explore the depths of yourself in a time of crisis, you open the door to healing.
When you explore the depths of yourself in a time of crisis, you open the door to healing. | Source

Everything You Need to Know About Crystals

  • Why Crystal Healing?
  • Defining Trauma and Transpersonal Healing
  • The Science Behind Crystals—It's All Energy
  • My Journey: Which Crystals I Used and Why
  • How to Use Crystals: Intention and Programming
  • Guided Crystal Meditation

Rose quartz gifted to me after the passing of a loved one.
Rose quartz gifted to me after the passing of a loved one. | Source

How Crystal Healing Changed My Life for the Better

We've all experienced trauma, and many times our biggest struggles in life bring about change. When I was 24, I was healthy and active—surfing, running, biking on the daily. I took my mobility for granted. Then one day all that changed. After a severe foot injury which resulted in surgery, bed rest for three weeks, crutches for three months, physical therapy for six months, and learning how to walk functionally again, I felt lost. The prognosis? Chronic arthritis or a second bone fusion surgery. Goodbye high heels and bare feet.

I had a lot of time on my hands to circulate my emotions and I wasn't used to being still. The identity crisis was heavy and idle time left me frustrated and angry—I knew something needed to change.

Post-Operative Images

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Post-operative radiograph. Lisfranc injuries are complicated injuries characterized by ligament tears, fractures, and the dislocation of bones in the midfoot.Surgical site
Post-operative radiograph. Lisfranc injuries are complicated injuries characterized by ligament tears, fractures, and the dislocation of bones in the midfoot.
Post-operative radiograph. Lisfranc injuries are complicated injuries characterized by ligament tears, fractures, and the dislocation of bones in the midfoot. | Source
Surgical site
Surgical site | Source

Defining Trauma and Transpersonal Healing


Transpersonal therapy aims at digging much deeper than our thin external personality layer and into the depths of our emotional, psychological and soulful worlds to find resonance, truth and healing.

— Pioneering crystal healer, Kate Mantello

What Are the Different Manifestations of Trauma?

Trauma happens on many levels. Trauma can be physical, emotional, spiritual, psychological, and energetic. Trauma also manifests across these planes. Physical trauma becomes emotional trauma, psychological trauma becomes physical trauma. We are complex beings and healing requires a holistic view. I was so caught up in the mechanical aspects of healing from my orthopedic injury that I neglected my emotional, psychological, spiritual self. This is where crystals and transpersonal healing changed my outcome.

I do believe we arrive where we are needed at just the right time. So there I was one day hovering my hands through beautiful shelves of minerals in Ocean Beach, California. I came across "The Crystal Bible" by Judy Hall. This guide is essentially all a beginner needs to peek into the world of crystal healing. So, with a collection of several crystals that "spoke to me" and the guide under my arm, I dove in head first and never looked back.

My Family of Crystals

I cleanse my crystals by placing them in salt water under solar and lunar energy.
I cleanse my crystals by placing them in salt water under solar and lunar energy. | Source

The Science Behind Crystal Healing—It's All Energy

Not only are we made of fundamental particles, we also produce them and are constantly bombarded by them throughout the day. . . . About 99 percent of your body is made up of atoms of hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. . . . Scientists believe that almost all of your body’s mass comes from [this] kinetic energy.

Ali Sundermier, Symmetry Magazine

So how do crystals affect our energetic bodies? To be alive is to be receptive to energy. Energy transference is one mode of healing crystal healers use on their clients. Even chemical changes from a simple crystal meditation, promoting positivity or relaxation of the mind, energetically and biologically transforms the body.

Crystals have been incorporated in healing by ancient civilizations for centuries but the exact evolution of crystal healing is non-linear (i.e. carnelian stone, lapis lazuli, turquoise, obsidian, jade). Nevertheless, humans have adapted crystals for use in modern medicine for decades. Some common usages for crystals include ultrasonography, doppler pressure monitors, and ultrasonic scalers (dentistry), just to name a few.

What is Piezoelectricity and Pyroelectricity?

Piezoelectricity (piezein in Greek, to squeeze), first discovered in the 1880s by Pierre and Jacques Curie, is a form of energy generated by applying mechanical stress to a substance, in this case a crystal (quartz). Similarly, if electricity is passed through quartz, it vibrates at a specific frequency.

The phenomenon is due to the asymmetric structure of the crystals, that allows ions to move more easily along one axis than the others. As pressure is applied, each side of the crystal takes on an opposite charge, resulting in a voltage drop across the crystal.


Pyroelectricity (pyr in Greek, fire), too, is the demonstration of electric charge generated by heating a crystal. Pyroelectricity was first noted in 314 B.C. by Aristotle's successor, Theophrastus, in his writings on lyngourion or tourmaline. He noted that lyngourion attracted sawdust. In 1747, Linnaeus later termed tourmaline "the electric stone."

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What Is the Power of Intention and How Can We Use It?

The emission of light particles (biophotons) seems to be the mechanism through which an intention produces its effects. . . . It has been shown that the energy of thought can also alter the environment. . . . Cases of spontaneous cures or of remote healing of extremely ill patients represent instances of an exceedingly great intention to control diseases menacing our lives. The intention to heal as well as the beliefs of the sick person on the efficacy of the healing influences promote his healing.

Bonilla E., "Evidence about the power of intention"

In human medicine, we literally refer to first intention and second intention healing to define various stages and conditions affecting wound closure. Setting an intention, to most, is comparable to setting a goal with a desired outcome. An intention can be a very powerful thought and even shift the body biochemically. Yogis incorporate intention, Bhuddists incorporate intention, prayer is a form of intention, and many individuals set intentions for change for example, weight goals, savings goals, etc.. An intention, however, does not need to be contingent upon an outcome. One can set the conscience intention of being cognizant of the present-moment. In my circumstance, I became conscious of the many negative emotions I was experiencing in this new phase of my life. All it took was the proper meditative tool to address them. Below is a table of the various stones/crystals I attributed to my many ailments. I set the intention of addressing each ailment and working on them through energetic and meditative use of the crystals.

The Crystals I Used Post-Surgery

As listed in the table below. Counter clockwise starting at 12 o'clock: three carnelian, dendritic agate, orange calcite, red and brown tiger's eye, kyanite, bloodstone, and Herkimer diamond center.
As listed in the table below. Counter clockwise starting at 12 o'clock: three carnelian, dendritic agate, orange calcite, red and brown tiger's eye, kyanite, bloodstone, and Herkimer diamond center. | Source

Which Crystals I Used and Why

Crystal *dual use
Bone injury
carnelian, tiger's eye*
Stimulates healing of bone and ligaments
Clarifies perception
Banishes negativity
Acceptance of the cycle of life
Poor circulation
dendritic agate, bloodstone*
Stimulates circulation
Aids in preserverance
Centering in times of strife
Deepens connection to earth
Stimulates tissue healing and calcium uptake
Stimulates insight
Hope and motivation, enhances emotional intelligence
Amplifies and cleanses energy
tiger's eye
Helps for repairing broken bones
Alleviates depression and lifts mood
Resolves internal conflicts
Enhances psychic abilities
Herkimer diamond
Attunes healer and patient
Enlivens, energizes
Brings soul's purpose foward
kyanite, carnelian*
Encourages communication, dispels anger
Aligns the chakras, promotes spiritual integrity
Stagnation/reluctance to change
Stimulates the flow of lymph
Accepting chaos precedes transformation
Dispels confusion, revitilazing
Energy cleanser, enhances spirituality
Reference: "The Crystal Bible," by Judy Hall

How to Use Crystals for Energy Healing

Use your intuition to select a crystal or stone. You may have visualized a certain mineral before even seeing it. You may have dreamt about a color or a pattern that is replicated in a crystal. You may find yourself hovering a hand over a collection until you find the crystal that speaks to you. Or, you may recruit the help of a healer or specialist to help prescribe crystals for your particular needs.

There are many options for using crystals. I frequently arrange an altar on my nightstand or somewhere protected yet visible in my living space. The stones I select are often influenced by my intentions, the season or anything requiring immediate attention in my life. There is no right or wrong way to use crystals. After all, the journey is a personal one and you can incorporate anything you wish in your assembly.

Alternative methods for crystal healing include physical utilization of the crystal. Crystals can be worn as jewelry (rose quartz, a heart stone, close to the heart), they can be placed under your pillow (flat stones preferably), they can be used as sprays (caution that some crystals should not be used cosmetically), and they can be used to charge water for consumption. I'll even carry a crystal in my bag or pocket depending on the circumstance. A simple placement on a windowsill will do, too. You may also want to try a guided meditation.

Advanced crystal work is often done by crystal healers and may incorporate the assembly of crystal grids in a room or around the body, bodily placement for chakra alignment, and body work with wands to cut out spiritual disharmonies or to assemble a protective shield. Some professional healers offer sound baths with crystal bowls. The possibilities are numerous and come down to personal preference and exploration.


How Do You Program a Crystal?

So you have a crystal or stone. How do you program it? Programming your crystal is much like setting an intention. Below is a basic step-by-step method for programming:

  1. Neutralize. Make sure your crystal is energetically neutral (see resources below on how to cleanse your crystal). I prefer smudging my crystals with sage or bathing them in salt water baths under moonlight or sunlight.
  2. Hold the crystal in your dominant hand or both hands (as I like to do) and neutralize your mind and energy.
  3. Gaze at your crystal, direct your energetic intention towards it. You might feel an electrical surge through your arms as you do this. You can visualize this surge, too.
  4. Verbally acknowledge the intention. You can recite your intention outloud, whisper, or mentally sound your intention. Some programming examples include recitations of "love," "tranquility," "fertility," "clairvoyance," "equanimity." You may also recite variations. For example, "I dedicate this crystal to bring joy into my life and those around me."
  5. Harmony. You should feel a sense of harmony once the crystal is successfully programmed. The programming is complete when you feel it is complete.

The Personal Journey of Healing Is Continuous

As with most crystal work, the length of time you spend on intentioned healing is personal. Having my crystals visually available in my living space served as a constant reminder to be conscious in the present moment. I could more closely address and experience my feelings of anger and frustration, which eventually more readily helped those emotions to resolve and pass. With enough time invested, I was able to accept the evolved version of myself. I would not have welcomed positive additions into my life had I not been receptive to the transpersonal transformation before me, catalyzed by the use and aid of crystal healing.

I have since gifted crystals to those who are close to me including teachers, employers, friends, and family. I am especially keen on gifting crystals to individuals who are battling illness or are terminally ill. Crystals helped me and my loved ones process the passing of my dad and a childhood friend, both of whom lost their fight to cancer. It is amazing how much positivity crystal healing offers someone in a time of hopelessness.

Education and passion are key ingredients to success as a crystal healer. As of 2018, I received my practitioner's certificate in transpersonal crystal healing from Evolve Holistic Healing's accredited 6-month program. I am so excited to continue this journey.

Remember, crystal healing is all about intuitive exploration. Let yourself guide the way and enjoy!


How to Use Crystals for Meditation

Let's do an exercise. Perhaps you have a crystal or mineral in your home. It can be a piece of jewelry, a rock (mineral), ideally a crystal, or simply an object that commands your attention. Set an intention for this meditation. For example, "I intend to open my heart to universal love," or "I intend to release any negative beliefs I have about my physical body." Look within and get deep.

  1. Placement. Place this object in a comfortable plain of view. Throughout this meditation, your head should be held in a neutral posture in relation to your body.
  2. Get comfortable. Make sure you use props, cushions, or any sort of physical assistance to keep you comfortable in the moment. Immerse yourself in the space free of distraction.
  3. Find your drishti (Sanskrit), a gaze, your point of attention. Direct your view towards your chosen item. Your gaze should not feel forced, but rather soft and relaxed. Keep your intention in mind.
  4. Allow your thoughts to wash through you. Your mind may be calling out to you about a pinched nerve in your back, or the appointment you have later this afternoon. Your dog may be barking, or the street cleaner sweeping. If the you are sensitive to sensory overload try ear plugs or soft instrumental music.
  5. Acknowledge your thoughts. Interruptive thoughts are natural as we begin to meditate. It is important to acknowledge a thought as "there," but to let it pass, like flipping channels on a television, or watching a set of waves wash in from the ocean.
  6. Accept and surrender. We do not define right or wrong thought process here. You are simply allowing yourself to be present and attuned. Let your mind be.
  7. Redirect and focus on breath. Prana, or life force, is quite literally the energetic flow of the universe in your body. That's why yogis use pranayama, or breathing technique, to focus their energy into their whole being. If you feel yourself slipping out of focus, redirect your attention to the body by visualizing and experiencing your flow of breath.
  8. Gently return. Whether you set the soft bell of a timer or naturally feel your meditation is complete, gently return to your surroundings. Allow yourself time to adjust. Some meditators choose to conclude with a prayer, a blessing, a bow, or any closure you see fit for your practice.


Are you a good candidate for crystal healing?

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Advanced Techniques by Expert Crystal Healer Kate Mantello

Resources Below

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Tessa Buchin


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