Crystal healing is an alternative medical technique in which crystals and other stones are used to cure ailments and protect against disease. Proponents of this technique believe that crystals act as conduits for healing — allowing positive, healing energy to flow into the body as negative, disease-causing energy flows out.
But despite the fact that crystal healing has seen an upsurge in popularity in recent years, this alternative treatment is not popular with most medical doctors and scientists, many of whom refer to crystal healing as a pseudoscience. Scientifically speaking, there is no evidence that crystal healing can be used to cure diseases, because diseases have never been found to be the result of a so-called energy flow in the body. Furthermore, no scientific studies have shown that crystals and gems can be differentiated by chemical composition or color to treat a particular ailment.
Nevertheless, healing crystals remain popular at health spas and at New Age health clinics, sometimes incorporated into related practices of massage and Reiki. The use of crystals in such environments may help induce relaxation, although this effect is also not backed by scientific evidence.
Crystal healing proponents believe that crystals and gemstones have properties that facilitate healing. Many sites promoting crystal healing allege that the history of this practice is ancient, dating back at least 6,000 years to the time of the ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Ancient Egyptians are also referenced on such sites as being among the first people to have adorned themselves with crystals — including lapis lazuli, carnelian and turquoise — to ward off illness and negative energy.