Can crystals make the human body and mind tick? Time Out gets a little clarity in a Bahrain workshop
There’s a tangible buzz in the air when I arrive for my appointment with Julie Lomas; it’s 30 minutes since her crystal-healing workshop ended, but attendees linger, chatting and asking questions. I have a few of my own for while I am not averse to holistic therapies, I have filed crystals in the slightly-too-New-Age-for-me category. So, while I wait, I scout around for other opinions on the matter.
‘I attended one of Julie’s workshops just over a year ago and I’ve been using crystals ever since,’ says Sarah [Al Shafei], a Bahraini novelist. When she attended the first workshop, Sarah says she was feeling mentally blocked and depressed, but crystals helped her both creatively and emotionally. ‘I began wearing citrine when I was feeling down and noticed an improvement in my mood so I started using other crystals such as amethyst to boost my confidence and jade to deflect an oncoming temper.’
‘Crystals are living beings made from earth and fire that store and emit energy,’ Julie tells me, ‘and since our bodies are also made up of crystalline substances – water, blood, minerals – they affect and resonate with our own energies. Crystals can therefore be used to amplify and balance our frequencies or clear negative energy.’ It occurs to me that I’ve often referred to someone’s ‘bad energy’ without really thinking what I’m saying, how just being around someone can affect my mood and that sometimes I’m the one emitting the ‘negative vibe’. If all it takes is a crystal to keep my emotions on an even keel, I’m in, but can an apparently inanimate object really achieve this?
Julie instructs me to step into the centre of a circle of pink gems. It feels a bit ‘witch’s coven’, but I obey and after a few minutes, I start feeling light and floaty. I tell her. ‘Right answer,’ Julie says; rose quartz is meant to be uplifting. She asks if I can recall being in a place where I’ve felt light and happy for no particular reason, or in another where I’ve felt very grounded. Yes. Chances are, she says, that in the former case there was a prominence of clear or rose quartz in the earth, and in the latter, grounding haematite or granite, which can be useful in calming a chaotic mental state. She reels off a list of other stones thought to treat various mental and physical ills, whether worn as jewellery, placed in the home or used in meditation (amethysts for migraines, fluorite for digestive problems, detoxifying malachite…).
For stress relief, Julie recommends holding clear quartz over the solar plexus and breathing evenly. I give it a go and it is calming, but I wonder if this mightn’t have more to do with the deep breathing. Clasping a crystal certainly has more appeal than popping pills, but I’m still not inclined to place my health entirely in the hands of a pretty rock. ‘I’m not saying you should,’ says Julie. ‘Crystal healing is a complementary therapy used in addition to mainstream medicine, although many people do attribute their recovery from various illnesses wholly to crystals.’ For all the success stories however, there is no hard scientific evidence to support crystal healing power, and many share the view expressed by Lawrence E Jerome in his book Crystals: The Ultimate Placebo Effect that their success rate is more to do with the power of the mind than that of the stones.
‘It’s true that there isn’t any concrete scientific proof of crystals’ healing effects,’ says Julie, ‘but perhaps that’s because they work in ways that the scientific community simply hasn’t worked out yet; the results speak for themselves.’ She suggests I try chakra balancing, ‘a particulary effective way of tapping into crystals’ natural energy’, so I lie down and she aligns a colourful array of gems with my energy centres. I begin to tingle and my heartbeat quickens. Perhaps it is the placebo effect at play, and I feel something shift inside because I know I should and I want to. But whatever it is, I’m left with an enhanced sense of inner calm and wellbeing.
Resident in Spain, Julie will be running a two-day workshop on chakra-balancing in Bahrain on March 27-28. Cost BD95. For info, call Karen on 39 543 127; www.conscious-connections.com