Originally Posted HERE
By Madeleine Burry | Mar 27, 2018
It’s a gloomy, chilly evening, and I’m lying on a spa-style bed in a gray-colored room at Modrn Sanctuary, a wellness center in New York City. My head rests on a pillow, and my feet dangle slightly off the bed, which emits a low heat. Next to me, on a table, is a pair of headphones and an eye mask. Above me is a row of crystals, and standing beside me is Edgar, who is going to administer my first-ever crystal bed healing treatment.
How did I wind up here?
If you’ve scrolled through Instagram lately, you may have noticed that crystal healing is a big trend lately. Adele is said to be a fan, as is model Miranda Kerr. And at a party the other weekend, a woman I met took out a small velvet bag from her purse and introduced me to all of her crystals, telling me each of their purposes. I had to fight to keep my eyebrows from arching in extreme skepticism. I’m not a believer in this alternative medicine, which posits that crystals have a healing energy. What I am, though, is extremely curious. So, I made an appointment.
Before I tell you all about my session, let’s take a step back: What exactly is crystal healing?
Devotees believe crystals can help with matters physical, spiritual, and emotional. “Crystals act as a tool to create a tangible shift in my energy—an overwhelmingly good one,” says Heather Askinosie, crystal expert, co-founder of Energy Muse, and co-author of Crystal Muse: Everyday Rituals to Tune into the Real You.
“Crystals are an amplifying machine. People wear them to protect or feel or energize,” says Alexandra Janelli, certified hypnotherapist, life coach, and owner of Modrn Sanctuary. Askinosie points out that use of crystals dates back to ancient times when they used in healing ceremonies and offered as gifts to protective talismans.
Crystal bed therapy—which starts at around $120 for a 45-minute session—builds on these principles of crystal healing and the idea that harnessing crystals’ energy can be helpful. “The treatment is said to release stress, soothe anxiety, and [help practitioners] reconnect to the self,” says Askinosie.
I’m unable to find any scientific or medical studies affirming the benefits of crystal healing.
Scientists, however, beg to differ. Despite my due diligence, I’m unable to find any scientific or medical studies affirming the benefits of crystal healing. In one article I found, the authors explain that crystals are closer to charmstones than medicine, and say that any perceived benefits of crystal healing can be attributed to the strong placebo effect.
My crystal healing session
When I arrive for my session, I’m handed a sheet showing the different frequencies, measured in hertz, that can be emitted by the crystals during a session. (Crystals conduct energy naturally—that’s why you’ll find them in radios, computers, and watches.) I opt for a session with 174 Hz, labeled as “liberate,” which should “reduce pain” and “give my organs a sense of security, safety, and love, encouraging them to do their best.” (Other options on the chart have labels like “resolve,” “love,” and “elevate.”) I figure it can’t ever hurt to do something that may help my body function better.
Next, I head into my treatment room and lie down on the table—very similar to the $9,000 Quantum Resonance Crystal Bed that’s currently being sold on Etsy. Edgar talks me through the process as he swivels the row of crystals down close to my body. There are seven of them—red, orange, yellow, green, light and dark blue, and purple—suspended on a metal arm that reminds me of something you’d see at a dentist’s office. Edgar aligns the crystals over my body and sets a machine so both the crystals above me and the ones in the bed will emit 174 Hz.
Then, Edgar sets up the binaural beats and accompanying water sounds, which I will listen to through big headphones during my session. Some sound relaxing, others somewhat tense, like a guitar string held too long. I’ve never heard of them before, but Janelli tells me they help train the mind. “They’re two frequencies played in harmonizing ways into the brain to help harmonize the brain wave lines. As you begin to relax and go into a meditative state, you’ll go through various brainwaves—alpha, beta, theta, gamma—that will help open your mind to be more receptive,” she explains.
With all the components of the treatment in place, Edgar lowers the overhead lights in the room, hands me an eye mask, and departs. I’m left lying on the bed in the room alone. At first, my mind whirrs: I’m very conscious of the blister on my right foot and the items on my to-do list. But eventually, the soothing sounds coming through the headphones and the delicious heat that emits from the bed help me relax. I drift for a while, and about 20 minutes later, Edgar re-enters the room and gently touches my shoulder, signaling that the session is over. He hands me a glass of water, turns up the lights a bit, then leaves the room. I make my way out to reception and back into the busy New York City night.
“If you believe that crystals will help you on an energetic and vibrational level, they will.”
So, did it work?
I enjoyed my crystal bed treatment—in the sense that it’s a novelty. Also, the crystal bed is comfortable, and at this point, anything that forces me to disengage with the internet and my phone feels worth paying for. As for my organs, they seem, well, the same. But according to Askinosie, what I get from the session is solely based on my mindset.
“If you believe that crystals will help you on an energetic and vibrational level, they most certainly will,” says Askinosie. “If instead, you’re thinking, ‘They won’t work since science hasn’t proven they will,’ you’re still correct—they probably won’t work for you,” she notes.
So yes, crystal therapy is all about the placebo effect. But maybe that’s not so bad! “Sometimes the best thing is a placebo. It gives you that possibility of change and hope” says Janelli. Plus, in our always-on world, getting an opportunity for thoughts to elevate and dissipate, can be hugely beneficial, points out Janelli. “The thoughts can be present, but they don’t have to have so much impact on you,” she says.
As a participant in our often-stressful world, something is appealing about that. However, I remain firmly skeptical about crystal’s healing abilities, and that’s OK, Janelli says. “For some people, this is going to be an amazing resource; other people, it’s just going to be an experience they have.”