History of Crystal Therapy: From Prehistoric to Modern Usage

History of Crystal Therapy

Using crystals for emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental therapy is an age-old tradition dating back thousands of years ago. Many crystals are thought to possess magical attributes. For thousands of years, they have held honored positions within mystical ritual and ceremonial rites. Evidence clearly suggests that crystals were used throughout all of the earliest human civilizations currently known. From Sumaria to Ancient Romans, Egypt, to early Greece and China, the history of crystal healing had a prominent place in ancient communities as one of the key methods for ideal health and well-being.

Prehistoric Uses of Crystals and Gems

The earliest literature describing the use of crystals can be found in ancient Sumerian text, from around 4 millennium B.C. The author describes how the mystical crystals and gemstones were used in magical spells and elixirs. Additionally, Amber from 30,000 years ago was found by researchers as far away as Britain (900 miles), which led researchers to believe that the crystals were considered to be of such great value that they reached such vast distances.

Researchers have also found crystals buried with the ancient dead throughout various prehistoric communities. Some of the earliest human fossils were found in tombs and graves that were lined with different stones and crystals. This led researchers to conclude that these early humans thought the stones would protect their dead and guide them in the journey across the afterlife.

Some graves – including those found in Switzerland and Belgium – had crystal beads that were fashioned into bracelets and necklaces, which meant that the tradition of adorning the body with healing crystals had already been observed by the paleolithic era.

While there are still some questions regarding the reason why ancient man used crystals, their fundamental benefits cannot be disregarded. This is proven by their continual popularity all through the earliest human civilizations.

Historic Uses of Crystals and Gems

In Ancient Roman times, first class citizens had amulets or protective talismans made of crystals. Usually they were used to attract good health, fortune, prosperity, or good outcomes during battle.

Egyptians loved crystals and used them frequently in rituals – particularly when burying the dead. Their energetic power was believed to help them find their way in the afterlife. Additionally, crystals like lapis lazuli, turquoise, carnelian, emerald, and clear quartz were embedded into art, armor, and fashioned into jewelry to protect its wearers. Topaz and peridot were applied to purge evil spirits causing nightmares. Malachite and Galena was powered and used and used as eye showed. Lapis lazuli, which was strongly associated to one of Egypt’s prominent sky goddesses, Isis, was usually crushed and worn by women of power since it was believed to enhance awareness and insight.As a side note, Cleopatra would often crush lapis lazuli and wear it as eye shadow, making it the most expensive eye shadow to date! Egyptian dancers would place a single ruby on the naval since it was believed to increase sexual appeal. Additionally, green stones represented the heart of the deceased.

Ancient Greeks also had quite a few uses for crystals. One of the most noteworthy purposes they found for hematite was to crush it and rub it on the bodies of the warriors prior to battle, since it was said that the stone could protect against injury and invincibility. Additionally, the word crystal comes from the Greek word ‘krustullos’, which means ice. Many ancient cultures believed crystals (like clear quarts) were eternal ice from the heavens. In addition, amethyst – which literally translates to ‘sober’ – was believed to help with ancient hangovers.

Towards the East, healing crystals had a much more therapeutic use.

Early Chinese medicine frequently used healing crystals, such as when they fashioned small crystal tips into acupuncture needles which was said to help balance out energies in the body. The use of crystals in Chinese medicine began around 3000 B.C. and they continue today!

In ancient Japan, Japanese used crystals frequently when trying to connect to psychic energies Usually they would ‘scry’, which means using a crystal ball to see the future and foretell events. Crystal quarts spheres were considered representative of the heart of a dragon and signified their power.

The most investigated use of crystals was done in ancient India. Ayurvedic medicine  considers crystals and gemstone invaluable to counteracting the effects of astrology and karma. In one of the oldest Hindu scribes, the Vedas, healing crystals are documented with their specific healing properties. There are probably no other cultures that has used crystals as extensively as the Hindus.

The Decline in Crystal Use

While crystal healing was practiced for millennia, they did have a decline in popularity. During the renaissance, crystals became widely used in healing practices and for protections. Priests believed that these gemstones possess what they called virtues – properties that allowed crystals to have potent effects on the human body. If a stone were handled by a sinner, or if one were unable to properly execute the process of crystal healing then the stone would lose its virtues, making it useless and corrupt.

Priests and mystics from the Renaissance were careful to use these stones, making sure that only those with knowledge and experience would hold them. Aside from that, they had also developed a method of consecration, which was performed to make sure that the stones were properly cleansed and prepared for the healing process. This would guarantee that no negative energies or corruption would alter the intended outcomes.

To this day, the process of consecration is still observed. This is done under the belief that crystal can maintain some of the negative energies they absorbed during a healing session. Although much less tedious, the process of crystal cleansing is still widely practiced by modern day mystics and can often be done with much simpler techniques Note: We will go through this in a later post.

It was also during the renaissance that a man named Thomas Nicols largely influenced the mentality of people. With his work – Faithful Lapidary – he made people believe that crystals were not as effective as they were believed to be. In fact, he had even gone a step further to tell everything that crystals had no effect on the human body whatsoever, because they were inanimate objects.

After Nicols had torn down the practice of crystal healing, there were may who continued the practice these people were considered mystic healers during their time, and their use of crystals was branded a pseudoscience with no actual proven benefits.

Resurgence of Crystal Use

As the years flew by, modern people started to rediscover the practices of crystal heal. Authors started writing books on the science behind crystal healing and the reasons for benefits that people might feel refreshed after a session.

These books became popular in the mainstream and the practice would soon see a boom in prominence across the world. Today, crystal healing my not be as popular as it was before Nicolas’ iconic text, but it does have quite a large following that makes it a formidable alternative against traditional healing methods.

Since the last hundred years or so, humans have been researching the structure of the atom. The research revealed that everything in the universe is made of energy. Energy is present in all objects, living things, and pretty much anything you can think of. At the most basic level, even a solid object like a table is essentially made of vibrations on energy. The naked eye cannot see it, but all the cells in your body and the atoms present in the healing crystals are made of the same energy.


Societies throughout history, including those I mentioned above, used crystals for their healing properties. This practice continued through the ages, although it lessened during the Renaissance period, when people believed the healing properties of crystals came from either good angels or bad angels. In the past 100 years or so, crystals and their ability to heal had made a comeback. Science has proven that crystals vibrate at difference frequencies and hat they can both influence and be influenced by the energy around them

About the author

Hi! My name is Autumn and I currently reside in Casper, WY. I am originally from Billings, MT, and honestly, I miss it. I hope to return to MT in the next couple of years.

I think I technically became a crazy cat lady in the past 3 months. I now have 4 cats, Zoe, who is 15, Ami (pronounced Emmy) who is 13, Avery who is 9 months, and Eevee, who is 10 weeks. I am currently leash training Avery. I take him for walks around my neighborhood, and we also go on hikes around Casper mountain a couple times a week. He is still really skittish around strangers, though.

I also have the privilege of living with my mother and my younger brother. We all have disabilities, so it is nice to be able to rely on each other to fill in the gaps where we need it.

I have struggled with my mental health for my entire adult life and most of my childhood. Because of this, I have tried many types of medications which would work initially, but eventually they would stop working. I eventually turned to alternative types of healing out of desperation. I researched and learned a lot about crystals and energy healing. I hope to share my knowledge with you.

Thank you!

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