Updated: May 27
The popularity of wellness-based lifestyles has been surging in the last few years and is now influencing a multi-billion dollar industry. We partly attribute this increase in popularity to many factors, including a rising tide of new age beliefs that is pervading various industries.
As covered previously in our series on wellness trends, 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.
In this post, we will dive into the rise in popularity of healing crystals within the wellness space, and analyze how this increase in demand will translate to evolutions within consumer products.
Any conversation about trends in health should be accompanied by an analysis of the underlying science, and while we have discussed the science of healing crystals in previous posts, we will take a specific look at the topic and how it relates to trends.
Last, we will cover how these new lifestyle trends are manifesting in the crystals themselves and cover a broad spectrum of popular crystals and the perceived benefits of them on one’s daily life and wellness rituals.
Why Healing Crystals are a Popular Lifestyle Trend
Google searches for “crystal healing” have more than doubled in the past 5 years, fueled by endorsements from celebrities like Katy Perry, Kate Hudson, and Adele, who clutches one during performances to fend off stage fright.
Himalayan salt lamps marketed as mood boosters and magnetic bracelets billed as pain relievers, and such consumer products are easily found on Amazon and at Walmart. In fact, a Himalayan pink salt lamp was one of Amazon’s best-selling home improvement products over the holiday season among the company’s Prime subscribers.
U.S. consumers spend about $30 billion a year on complementary and alternative medicine. Scientific evidence supports some forms of alternative medicine, like meditation and yoga, but this industry is highly complex and influenced by celebrities and social trends.
Alternative healing centers from San Francisco to New York City are bursting with well-educated millennials from the real estate, finance, and tech industries. These customers pay high prices per hour for a session of crystal or “flower essence” therapy, which uses tinctures dropped under the tongue, or Reiki, a Japanese spiritual relaxation technique accomplished through a process known as "palm healing.”
“We get a lot of people who come to New York to work, realize they need some tools to stay healthy because life is really intense, and say traditional medicine is not meeting their needs,” says Lisa Levine, a licensed acupuncturist and the founder of the popular Maha Rose Center for Healing in Brooklyn.
A one-hour Reiki session at the Maha Rose Center for Healing costs between $100 and $175, and a palm-sized labradorite healing crystal checks in at $30.
How Wellness Trends Influence Consumer Products & Brands
The popularity of this pure “wellness” pseudoscience has been surging in the last few years, and is now influencing a multi-billion dollar industry. We partly attribute this increase in popularity to eBay, Goop, and Amazon, but there is also a general rising tide of new age beliefs that is pervading various industries.
The popularity and mainstream adoption of “wellness” may be related to a resurgence in New Age beliefs. For example, a 2018 Pew survey found that 62-percent of US adults believed in at least one New Age belief (spiritual energy can be located in physical objects, psychics, reincarnation, astrology). This was true for both those who do and do not consider themselves members of a mainstream religion (although the lowest belief group was atheists at 22-percent). The modern healing crystal healing phenomenon and trend dates back to the 1970s.
How do alternative medical techniques affect the products we buy?
Wellness products and ideas have already gained root in countless homes and family lifestyles. Fors starters, market analysts have predicted that consumer demand for “natural” baby products in the United States will grow exponentially in the coming years. Nearly 70-percent of pregnant women in the United States (and nearly 12-percent of children) use what researchers call “complementary and alternative medicine,” defined as healthcare used along with or in place of more traditional Western medicine.
Complementary and alternative remedies can include everything from amber necklaces and oils, to homeopathy, healing crystals, yoga, herbal medicine and special diets. And children’s use of such remedies, like yoga and meditation, has risen significantly in the past decade.
Why Science Challenges New Age Lifestyle Trends
The discussion about the science behind alternative medicine and its usage within homes has been extremely mixed. On one hand, supporters are ardent about the efficacy and complementary nature of the techniques. On the other hand, scientists point to a lack of evidence for the techniques yielding tangible benefits.
For instance, many parents are using Baltic amber necklaces for teething infants and toddlers, believing that the amber itself will help to take the teething pain away, similarly to the use of other gemstones to cure other ailments.
According to Healthy Children, there is no scientific evidence that the amber works to subside teething pain. There are two theories that explain how the amber supposedly works: one is that a pain-relieving substance (succinic acid) is released from the amber by the heat of the baby's skin and is absorbed through the skin into the blood stream, and the other is that the amber stimulates the thyroid gland to increase drooling and reduce inflammation in the ears, throat, stomach and respiratory system.
In response to these notions, John Snyder, a pediatrician who wrote an article about amber necklaces on the website Science-Based Medicine, listed several claims that are made about amber necklaces and how they may help lessen pain. The only claims that Snyder said were plausible were that Baltic amber contains succinic acid, that these molecules may be absorbed through the skin. Even so, succinic acid in the amber exists in minuscule amounts. There is also little to no evidence that body heat contributes to releasing energy from amber or that succinic acid produces a therapeutic effect.
Furthermore, the primary concerns with the necklaces are strangulation and choking, and several documented cases exist. A 2016 letter to the editor published in the Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health by Alexandra Hudson, Kim Blake and Robyn McLaughlin discusses these types of dangers related to amber necklaces and argue that the cons outweigh the very slim potential of benefit. The authors point out that both the Canadian Pediatric Society and American Academy of Pediatrics advise against the use of amber necklaces and recommend that parents are properly educated about teething and the use of alternative medicines such as healing crystals.
Types of Healing Crystals
Regardless of the science or business underlying healing crystals, they are a popular lifestyle trend, and there are a number of different types of crystals, each identified for their unique abilities for the mind, body, and soul. These healing crystals are said to promote the flow of positive energy and help cleanse the body and mind of negative energy, leading to physical and emotional benefits.
Historically speaking, the concept of healing crystals are touted as ancient forms of medicine, with philosophies evolves from Hinduism and Buddhism. While there is no scientific evidence to support the medical use of crystals, people are still tantalized by their scintillating colors and timeless beauty.
For those who adopt wellness rituals, the key to indulging in this self-care experience is mindfulness, reflection, and acceptance.
Clear quartz - this healing crystal is said to amplify energy by absorbing, storing, releasing, and regulating it. In addition, it is connected to the healing of concentration and memory. Physically clear crystals are said to help stimulate the immune system and balance one’s entire body.
Rose quartz - this healing crystal is said to help restore trust and harmony in all different kinds of relationships while improving their close connections, providing comfort and calm during times of grief.
Jasper - this healing crystal is said to empower the spirit and support an individual through times of stress. It is claimed to protect one from and absorb negative vibes while promoting courage, quick thinking, and confidence.
Obsidian - an obsidian healing crystal is said to help create a shield against physical and emotional negativity. The crystal is also claimed to help rid one of emotional blockage and promote qualities of strength, clarity, and compassion, which helps one discover a true sense of self.
Citrine - a citrine healing crystal is said to help one release negative traits from life, feelings like fear, and in turn aid to encourage optimism, warmth, motivation, and clarity. In addition, the healing crystal is also claimed to enhance certain qualities of the mind, such as creativity and concentration.
Turquoise - generally, turquoise healing crystals are seen as good luck charms that can help balance one balance emotions while finding spiritual groundings.
Tiger's eye - a tiger’s eye healing crystal is said to help rid one’s mind and body of fear, anxiety, and self-doubt. Notable, tiger’s eye is also said to help guide one to harmonize and balance and thus lead to clear, conscious decisions.
Amethyst - amethyst is claimed to help rid the mind of negative thoughts and bring forth humility, sincerity, and spiritual wisdom. Amethyst is also said to promote sobriety, as well as sleep, through supposedly aiding in insomnia relief through the understanding of dreams.
Moonstone - moonstone is said to encourage inner growth and strength, as well as promote positive thinking, intuition, and inspiration while bringing forth success and good fortune.
Bloodstone - a bloodstone healing crystal is said to cleanse the blood by drawing off bad environmental energies and improving circulation. Form a mindfulness perspective, bloodstone encourages selflessness, creativity, and idealism while helping one live within the current moment.
Sapphire - sapphires are claimed to attract prosperity, happiness, and peace while opening up the mind to accept beauty and intuition.
Ruby - rubies are said to help restore vitality and energy levels, improving areas of life such as sensuality, sex, and intellect. It’s also said to help bring self-awareness and the realization of truth to one’s mind. In ancient times, rubies were often used to remove toxins from blood and attempt to improve the overall circulatory system.
How to Select and Treat Healing Crystals
When selecting a healing crystal, many suggest that one identifies a feeling of loss or an area missing from life before looking into what stones can provide in terms of benefits. This exercise ideally helps one to indicate what’s going on within oneself before depending on outside sources. From there, selecting a healing crystal is about allowing one’s intuition to choose what is best.
It is said that on can hold a healing crystal under cold, running water from a tap or rinse it in a natural source of water. Washing and adding a bit of sea salt to the cleanse or opting to burn sage to is claimed to help it get rid of unwanted energies. When using a healing crystal, people suggest that you can also leave it out to dry in morning sunlight or full moon light to let the light filter through.
Treating healing crystals are a reflection of how one can treat oneself - and it’s not just about physical care. For crystals to truly work their “magic,” one must mentally remove the negative energy or skepticism one may have about their capabilities.
The Bottom line
The origins and history of crystal healing can be traced back to the first known human civilizations in ancient Sumer and continued throughout history in many other cultures who all adapted the practice to their own needs.
Healing crystals are still in demand today and among the go-to remedies when traditional medicine does not meet our expectations. However, there is much more to unfold about how healing crystals will continue to interact with popular lifestyle trends in health and wellness.
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