The Growing Problem of Misinformation
Crystals and the Rise of Misleading InformationIn recent years the popularity of using crystals for their healing properties has skyrocketed. With this surge in interest has come an alarming amount of misleading and inaccurate information.
Social media is flooded with claims and beliefs regarding their purported healing properties. There is no scientific evidence to support this.
Crystals have been used for this purpose for thousands of years. A significant decline in the use of crystals for healing took place during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
In the 1960's with the emergence of the New Age movement that changed.
The New Age movement was a time of enlightenment, harmony and spiritual awakening. Followers explored an alternative path that focussed on personal growth, inner transformation and recognition that mind, body and spirit were interconnected.
They sought to expand consciousness, pursue holistic well-being and achieve peace and love within themselves, others and with the natural world.
Alternative therapies including meditation, yoga, tarot, astrology and crystal healing were widely practised and encouraged.
The movement peaked in the late 1970's to early 80's but by the mid 90's had pretty much run its course.
The latest surge of using crystals for healing has emerged due to a growing interest in holistic health and wellbeing.
Over the last twenty years there has been a dramatic increase in the use of complementary and alternative therapies. During this time crystals have steadily grown in popularity because of their perceived metaphysical properties.
With the growth of the internet and online shopping information has became far more accessible. Online marketplaces and video technology has given enthusiasts the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and recommendations.
This has made buying crystals from around the world easier than ever.
As someone whose business is crystals rocks and minerals it's great to see this level of interest but at the same time it's worrying that so much inaccurate and misleading information is being spread.
It's now getting to the point where it's incredibly difficult to find reliable and accurate information on collectable rocks and minerals. Search online for any of the most popular stones and the only thing you'll see is websites and videos that talk about their metaphysical healing properties.
Although many people find a deep senses of peace, harmony and inspiration from using crystals, the spread of misinformation has taken the industry to a whole new level. Lines are now being blurred between anecdotal experiences and scientific evidence.
Many medical professionals agree the amount of unsubstantiated information being shared regarding the ability of crystals to heal is becoming a cause for concern.
Those who speak about their metaphysical properties have a genuine deep-rooted belief in their ability to heal.
It's widely accepted that prior to using a crystal for healing purposes it must be programmed. This means setting an intention for what you want to achieve. For some this will involve repeating a mantra.
This is where the placebo effect begins.
You only have to look at hypnosis to see how powerful the human mind is. The same goes for what can be achieved during the deepest states of meditation.
The one thing many of these practices have in common is the power of suggestion. Positive suggestion has a positive effect on the mind.
Science has proven conclusively that alternative therapies such as yoga, meditation, hypnosis and crystal healing can improve mental health and wellbeing. They do however have limitations.
Do Crystals Vibrate?
Within crystal healing circles it's believed crystals and humans have an energy field that's caused by a vibrational frequency. Different crystals are said to vibrate at different frequencies.
There's no scientific evidence to support this and scientists argue these energy fields and vibrational frequencies do not exist.
So how did the theory come about?
Everything in the universe is constantly vibrating at different frequencies. That's because atoms are continually moving.
A curious phenomenon occurs when objects that vibrate at a different frequency come into close proximity with each other. After some time they can begin to vibrate at the same frequency.
Quartz, topaz and tourmaline are the only crystals that are piezoelectric. This means they produce energy. Scientists have a good understanding of how and why this occurs.
This phenomenon has been manipulated to the point where it's believed all crystals vibrate. It's also believed they can tap into the vibration produced by the human energy field.
In doing so chakras can be realigned to improve health and wellbeing.
A study carried out by eminent research scientist Marcel Vogel is often used to support the theory that crystals can heal.
During the latter part of his career Vogel became interested in the occult and alternative therapies. In one study he claimed a quartz crystal had a metaphysical ability to store human thoughts.
Many of his claims could not be reproduced and no scientific evidence has ever been found to back them up.
The Danger of Misinformation
Many articles and videos online that talk about healing crystals make some pretty outlandish statements.
Here's some examples;
"Lapis lazuli and garnet are associated with recovery from a stroke. They offer pain relief, lower blood pressure and assist in restoring higher brain function"
"Shungite alleviates heart difficulty, eases allergies, slows down cancer cell growth, soothes skin diseases and slows down HIV/AIDS"
"Tourmaline assists in the recovery from paralysis by encouraging nerve regeneration"
The author of this next article states in large bold letters "The following crystals can be used to heal mental illness".
What they go on to write is not only incorrect from a geological perspective but also misleading and frighteningly dangerous.
"Mental health plays an important role in human life. Crystals are fossilised minerals that possess healing and restorative properties. Many are known to have some unique curing properties. Religious leaders often used them to align chakras to help your body cure different diseases."
The Crystal Bible one of the most widely used and respected references on crystal healing widely promotes their ability to heal on a mental and physical level.
Whilst science has shown crystals can definitely improve some conditions through the placebo effect, there's no evidence to support them being able to slow down serious illness. Nor can they cleanse blood, improve kidney function or reduce swelling and bruising.
Crystals cannot restore poor eyesight or promote the absorption of nutrients from food.
A diamond cannot treat glaucoma. Pyrite cannot alleviate asthma and bronchitis and lepidolite cannot treat epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease.
The Crystal Bible claims malachite can lower blood pressure, reduce growths and stimulate the liver to release toxins. It says blue lace agate can treat brain fluid imbalances and hydrocephalus as well as arthritis and other bone deformities.
As a business we frequently receive calls and emails asking what crystals can be used to treat certain medical conditions. It's not possible for us to answer these questions the way most people would like.
Maybe I'm far too honest but I cannot tell someone with cancer that a certain crystal may help to slow its growth. Nor can I recommend a stone to help with kidney disease or to ease the symptoms of painful arthritis.
In days gone by someone giving this kind of information was known as a snake oil salesman.
Healing crystals are not "quack remedies" because some level of "healing" can absolutely be experienced by some people. However the degree of effectiveness must be kept in perspective.
This is the outcome of a complaint raised with the Advertising Standards Authority. It relates to information published on a website belonging to a UK based business.
This is the outcome of an investigation into a similar complaint raised in New Zealand;
For many years I worked in markets and would often be asked what crystal could be used to treat a particular condition. I remember speaking to a couple who were looking for a crystal for anger management. The lady looked terrified of her partner.
Many people I spoke to had deep rooted issues or were dealing with matters that could never be resolved through the use of a crystal. Some would return week after week always hoping their latest purchase would be the stone that changed their life.
Many would spend money they didn't have and would often buy larger more expensive pieces in the hope the energy would be stronger. Despite encouraging them to work with the crystals they had there was no changing their mind.
It was a difficult situation because as a business I was there to sell yet had no interest in selling false hope. The first rule of business is to be open and honest. That can be difficult when you're selling a product that's widely marketed around the world for its ability to heal.
With many celebrities and social media influencers endorsing and promoting crystals prices of some have risen dramatically. This doesn't deter people from buying them because of their belief in their powers.
The chemical composition of rocks and minerals is the same irrespective of their grade. Therefore whether a crystal is low grade or top grade it's purported healing ability will be exactly the same.
Don't think for a moment that crystal healers use the finest grade stones because they don't.
I found this rose quartz in an influential online magazine. The second photo is an almost identical piece from our collection.
The colour of rose quartz can vary depending on where it's mined. It rarely has a significant impact on value. Rose quartz be heated to enhance its colour.
The rose quartz in the magazine may look more beautiful but that's down to the skill of the photographer. They state each piece is unique so the crystal you receive may not be exactly the same.
I've seen this on social media and on several websites that sell crystals.
Although I rarely comment on social media posts I couldn't stop myself on this occasion.
Note how many likes and shares this post has;
Pink opal is a type of common opal. It's the same family as precious opal. Opals do not have a crystalline structure meaning they're not made up of crystals.
This geological structure whatever it is is clearly crystalline.