Rocks, stones, crystals—whatever you call them—it’s hard to argue their beauty. As a child, I enjoyed picking up interesting stones from forest paths, and I still do. My mom taught me that those with rings wrapping around their circumference were called “friendship rocks,” representing the connection we have with close friends. I had pieces of pyrite, fluorite, and clear quartz from the nature center and natural history museum. These rocks and minerals filled me with a sense of wonder and a great respect for the natural processes within the planet.
At university, I worked in the geology lab and took courses in geochemistry and mineralogy. Learning how the elements, the building blocks of all matter, were created by fusion within stars amazed me. In mineralogy, we studied the bonds between some of these elements that formed crystalline structure as temperatures cooled and pressure changed. We learned about the formation and structures of minerals such as quartz, olivine, feldspar, and calcite. When my professor assigned a research project, she warned us against information from websites promoting the healing properties of these minerals.
Although I didn’t encounter any of these sites during my research, what she said sparked something in the back of my mind. I remembered the sense of wonder I felt in the presence of these stones as a child. Since then, science and the scientific method became more important than my intuition as I pursued higher education. A solid scientific foundation is extremely important to climate research and, as I continued my studies, to forensic science, where accurate findings are vital for closure and justice.
But as I continued on my health journey, I returned to my inner feelings and intuition as I looked for ways to ease my suffering. A few months after my professor warned against these websites, the yoga studio I frequented offered a crystal healing class and I was intrigued.
In class, our instructor told us about the benefits of certain crystals and emphasized the importance of intuition when choosing crystals to support well-being. My classmates and I formed pairs and she showed us how to lay crystals on our partner’s body and add a healing intention. I felt a bit guilty being in the class, so far removed from the Earth Sciences building, but I thought of my childhood wonder and kept an open mind. Nature had always been a place of peace and healing for me, so maybe these stones from the Earth could offer something similar.
After class, my friend and I practiced what we had learned. When I finished her session, she exclaimed how great she felt, telling me I had a natural talent. I was flattered, excited, and my inner-skeptic began to quiet. I also practiced with a friend dealing with chronic symptoms after a traumatic brain injury who also had pain in her elbow. I placed crystals on her body and placed my hands over them, intending to support her well-being. Afterwards, I asked what it was like for her. She said that her elbow and arm had felt cool while her forehead and neck had felt warm. We were both amazed that her pain had reduced and she felt more grounded and peaceful. I also practiced on myself, after which I felt more balanced and hopeful about my future. Although scientific studies didn’t exist, I saw my own evidence that people felt better after having a session with crystals, and that was the proof I needed.
I have come to understand that not everything beneficial and worth pursuing can be explained by science. Yet. Science is beginning to explain our energetic experience in quantum physics and biofield theory. The more science explores the nature of reality, the more incredible and mysterious it seems. And we realize how much more we still have to learn. One day, science may reveal a mechanism of action for crystal healing, but until then, I won’t argue with experience.
Since that first crystal class, I have continued learning about their benefits, incorporated them in my self-care routine, and offer them to support the well-being of those who ask. Once again, I am in awe of these stones, not just for their beauty and how they form within the Earth, but for their offerings of balance and greater well-being. We evolved amongst the trees, streams, deer, birds, rocks, and crystals. We are innately connected to the natural world and when we connect to these gifts from nature, a part of us wakes up—a part of us heals.
Do you remember collecting stones as a child? Are you still connected to that sense of wonder?