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The Growing Problem of Misinformation

Crystals and the Rise of Misleading Information

In recent years, the popularity of using crystals for healing has exploded.  With this surge in interest has come an alarming amount of misleading and inaccurate information. 

Social media is flooded with claims and beliefs regarding the ability of crystals to heal, yet there is no scientific evidence to support it. 

Crystals have been used for healing for thousands of years but their use declined significantly during the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

That changed in the 1960s with the emergence of the New Age movement.  

The New Age movement was a time of enlightenment, harmony and spiritual awakening.  Followers explored an alternative path focused 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 the natural world. 

Alternative therapies, including meditation, yoga, tarot, astrology and crystal healing, were practised and encouraged.

The New Age movement peaked in the late 1970s and early 1980s but had run its course by the mid-90s. 

The latest surge of using crystals for healing emerged due to a growing interest in holistic health and well-being.

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 healing properties.

With the growth of the internet and shopping online, information has become far more accessible. Online marketplaces and video technology have given enthusiasts the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences and recommendations.

This has made buying crystals online from around the world much easier.

As someone whose business is crystals, rocks and minerals, it's great to see this level of interest but I also find it worrying that so much inaccurate and misleading information is being spread.

We're now at the point where it's incredibly difficult to find trustworthy information on rocks and minerals. Search online for any of the most popular stones, and the only results you'll see are websites and videos that discuss their metaphysical healing properties.

Although many people find a deep sense of peace, harmony and inspiration through the use of crystals, the spread of misinformation has taken the industry to a whole new level.  Lines are now blurred between anecdotal experiences and scientific evidence.

The medical profession agrees the amount of unsubstantiated information being shared regarding crystal healing is becoming a cause for concern.

It's widely accepted that before using a crystal 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.
setting an intention for a crystalThe one thing many alternative therapies have in common is the power of suggestion.  Positive suggestion has a positive effect on the mind.

Science has proven that yoga, meditation, mindfulness, hypnosis and crystal healing can all improve mental health and well-being. However, they do have limitations.

Do Crystals Vibrate?

exclamation mark in a red triangle(*)

Those who practice crystal healing believe crystals and humans have an energy field that's influenced by a vibrational frequency.  Different crystals are said to vibrate at different frequencies.

No scientific evidence exists to support this and scientists argue these energy fields and vibrational frequencies do not exist.

So, how did this 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 piezoelectric crystals.  Piezoelectric 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 now believed all crystals vibrate.  It's claimed this vibration can tap into a vibration produced by an energy field that surrounds the human body.

In doing so, chakras can be realigned which improves health and well-being.
tumbled stones laying on a piece of paper with a heading that says Chakras. A cotton pouch is laying next to the stones. A study 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 could metaphysically store human thoughts.

Many of his claims could not be reproduced, and no scientific evidence has ever been found to support them.

The Danger of Misinformation

Many online articles and presentations about healing crystals make statements that are totally irresponsible.

Here are 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 is 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 use 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, promotes crystals' ability to heal on a mental and physical level.

Whilst science has shown crystals can improve some conditions through the placebo effect, there's no evidence to support their ability 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.

Diamonds cannot treat glaucoma, pyrite cannot alleviate asthma and bronchitis, and lepidolite cannot treat epilepsy and Alzheimer's.

The Crystal Bible claims malachite can lower blood pressure, reduce growths and stimulate the liver to release toxins. It also says blue lace agate can treat brain fluid imbalances and hydrocephalus as well as arthritis and other bone deformities.

As a business that sells crystals, rocks, and minerals, we frequently receive enquiries from potential customers asking what crystals can be used to treat certain medical conditions.  Unfortunately, we cannot answer these questions as most people would like.

Maybe I'm far too honest, but I cannot tell someone with cancer that a particular crystal may help slow its growth.  Nor can I recommend a stone to help with kidney disease or to ease painful arthritis.

In days gone by, someone who gave this kind of information became known as a snake-oil salesman.

Healing crystals are not 'quack remedies' because some people can absolutely experience some level of healing. However, the degree of effectiveness must be kept in perspective.      
text recommending certain crystals to ease certain medical conditionsThis 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.Outcome of a complaint raised with the advertising standards authority

This is the outcome of an investigation into a similar complaint raised in New Zealand;
article regarding a crystal shop being fined
I worked in markets for many years and would often be asked what crystal could be used to treat a particular condition.  I remember speaking to a couple looking for a crystal for anger management.  The lady looked terrified of her partner.

I often found myself speaking with people who had deep-rooted issues or were dealing with matters that could never be resolved through crystal healing.  Some would return week after week 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 I was there to sell as a business, yet had no interest in selling false hope.  The first rule of business is to be honest.  That can be difficult when you're selling a product widely marketed around the world for its ability to heal.  

With many celebrities and social media influencers endorsing and promoting crystals, prices have risen dramatically.

The chemical composition of rocks and minerals is the same regardless of grade.  Therefore, a crystal's purported healing ability will be the same whether it's low-grade or top-grade. 

I supply stones to many crystal healers and can assure you they don't all use the finest-grade material. 

I found this rose quartz carving being advertised 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.  This rarely has a significant impact on value. Rose quartz can 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 and post-production editing.  Programmes like Photoshop enable digital images to be altered and beautified in many ways.  

The retailer states that each piece is unique, so the rose quartz point you receive may not be the same.

After many years of dealing with rocks and minerals, I can say one thing with certainty.  This rose quartz carving is not worth anywhere near that amount of money. 
rose quartz freestanding point being offered for sale onlineopaque rose quartz crystal in the shape of a terminated point

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