Recovery from addiction requires the unification of the whole person. Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health all intertwine, which is both the reason that addiction is so challenging to overcome and the reason that a holistic approach to treatment is so necessary. Western medicine, like medically-assisted detoxification, is crucial in any effective treatment program, but many people in recovery have also enjoyed the benefits of Eastern mysticism and healing techniques. Crystals offer a way to connect spiritually with yourself and can have a substantial influence on the healing process.
Crystals by Culture
Although crystal healing may appear to be a new-age fad, it actually has deep and ancient roots in multiple cultures. Throughout history, humans have attempted to connect to the Earth through the use of crystals. Here are five cultures that have woven crystals into their lives.
1. The Greeks and Romans
The Romans and Greeks greatly admired crystals. The English word for crystal is derived from the Greek krystallos, which means “ice” and came from kuros, which means “cold.” According to Pliny the Elder, ancient Romans believed that quartz crystal was simply ice imbued with magical properties that prevented it from ever thawing. Pliny’s work also tells us that doctors of the time believed crystal had immense healing properties.
Rose quartz was of particular interest to the Romans, who used it as a seal that signified ownership of items.
2. The Egyptians
Ancient Egyptians used various crystals in a multitude of roles ranging from the practical to the spiritual. Their favorite crystals you might easily recognize today include:
- Lapis Lazuli: This stone was prized even more than gold and was buried with the dead due to its protective energies.
- Peridot: This green stone was also thought to endow protection on the wearer, and was popular in jewelry made for healers.
- Malachite: This stone was respected for its grounding influence, and was even powdered for use in make-up.
- Emerald: Royalty sought after emeralds as they were considered to be a gift from the god of wisdom, Thoth.
- Garnet: The Egyptians believed garnet protected and promoted good health.
- Tiger’s Eye: This crystal was placed in amulets and believed to channel power from the sun god Ra.
These are just a few of the many crystals and gemstones preferred by this well-known ancient civilization.
3. The Chinese
In Chinese, the word for quartz is Shi Ying, which means “outstanding stone.” In traditional Chinese medicine, it is believed that quartz conducts energy, or Qi, helping to potentiate other stones through that conductive ability. Quartz is used to amplify the effects of other crystals, helping to heal ailments brought about by imbalances in the organs and bones. Crystals are used in multiple modalities, such as crystal-tipped acupuncture needles.
4. The Hindu
The Hindu system of Ayurveda is one of the oldest healing methods in the world, having been practiced since the second century B.C. Crystals play a central role in Ayurvedic healing, as they are believed to contain healing energy that can be channeled through wearing them as ornaments or infusing them into water.
Gems bolster the chakras — the body’s energy centers that influence every aspect of physical and spiritual health. Crystals in the Ayurveda are closely linked with astrology and can be used to enhance or counteract the effects of planets in a person’s birth chart.
Most crystal healing methodologies draw in part or in full on the Ayurvedic method and philosophy.
What Exactly Are Crystals, and How Do They Work?
Crystals are objects made of natural minerals with a lattice structure that repeats atoms perfectly and consistently throughout the entire shape. While crystals can be made from a single mineral, many more are made from combinations of minerals. Diamonds, for example, are composed purely of carbon. Quartz is a foundational mineral in many crystals and healing stones. It is composed of silica and oxygen and can be found crystals such as Tiger’s Eye and Jasper.
Almost all crystal healing methodologies rely on the “vibrations” of the stones involved. Quartz, the cornerstone of crystal healing, can generate electricity. If you were to rub two quartz crystals together in a pitch-black room, you would see small flashes of light from the electricity produced.
This electrical capability can be harnessed with a mechanical energy discharge method called “piezoelectric,” which is the same technology used in gas grill ignition buttons and some cigarette lighters. Quartz is also used in applications like watches because it keeps a very consistent and precise frequency standard.
It’s clear that crystals like quartz have applications that involve the conduction of energy, and theories of crystal healing suggest that they help us conduct the energy within our own bodies to restore balance and revitalize the spirit. Because addiction is such a deeply spiritual affliction, it stands to reason that those in recovery should be able to derive healing benefits from crystals.
Crystal Healing for Marijuana Addiction
Marijuana addiction can be complex to treat because many people don’t believe it’s a real addiction. However, now that it’s becoming legal in so many states, more and more people are finding that it’s very possible to develop a dependence on cannabis. Around one in 10 people who use marijuana will go on to become addicted, and that number rises to one in six among people who begin using it before age 18. Quitting marijuana can lead to withdrawal symptoms that last for the first several weeks of recovery, including:
- Lack of appetite
- Mood swings
- Loss of focus
- Feelings of depression
Carnelian is one of the best crystals for marijuana addiction. It is a vibrant orange form of quartz that is said to confer energy on its users. Anyone recovering from this addiction knows that low mood and lack of energy are serious problems that can get in the way of participating in treatment or reclaiming your life. Carnelian is a protective crystal that can inspire users to live life to the fullest. It can also help bring positivity after a swing into depressive feelings.
Carnelian is often used in conjunction with azurite. The bluestone is believed to help stimulate the mind and open pathways to new forms of perception and perspectives. It may also help attempts to let go of negative emotions such as stress, anxiety and sadness, making it a good crystal to soothe the mind before bed. These qualities together can help people in recovery clear their minds and focus on learning or applying recovery tools.
Crystal Healing for Alcohol Addiction
More than 86% of people ages 18 or older drink alcohol at some point in their life. A further 26.9% engage in binge drinking, and 7% report engaging in heavy alcohol use. Yet, very few people seek treatment for alcohol addiction, and they often struggle with stigma when they do. One of the hardest things about recovery from alcoholism is being beset by alcohol at every turn.
After-work get-togethers and office parties become minefields where someone can offer you a drink at any moment. Even staying home and watching TV becomes an exercise in self-control thanks to the prevalence of ads, shows and movies featuring alcohol. Crystals can help impart a feeling of balance that allows people in recovery to let go of triggers more easily and quiet cravings.
The Greek word for amethyst translates to “not drunk,” and it is a good crystal for all types of addiction. The Greeks used to say that by keeping an amethyst in your mouth, you could drink all night and still stay sober. While this is undoubtedly an extreme hyperbole, multiple cultures have stories of the clear-headed calmness bestowed by this purple crystal. Amethyst is also associated with divine wisdom, which recovering alcoholics may wish to tap into to stop powerful cravings and make smart decisions.
Celestite is thought to have a powerfully soothing aura, which can help manage the stress that often precedes cravings for alcohol. It is associated with healing and mental clarity and is used to reduce anxiety and stress. Celestite may also promote communication, a skill that those in recovery should always strive to practice more.
Crystal Healing for Cocaine Addiction
Cocaine addiction comes about when people become too obsessed with the feelings of energy and euphoria the drug produces. People struggling with cocaine addiction crave the sensation of feeling like they can do anything at light speed, and have trouble with the often monotonous structure of life in recovery.
Selenite, the crystallized form of the mineral gypsum, can be an excellent crystal for people recovering from cocaine addiction, as it promotes mental calmness in addition to honesty. When you feel calmer, you’re better able to cope with the racing thoughts that accompany cravings, and selenite helps cleanse the body and environment of negative energies. This crystal can also be a good influence on relationships with friends and family by promoting harmony in difficult times.
Aventurine is sometimes called “fairy stone” and can be helpful for users wishing to attract new and different opportunities for success. As you rebuild your life during recovery from cocaine addiction, aventurine can be of assistance by providing the energy needed to break unhealthy habits and form healthy new routines without drug use.
Crystal Healing for Heroin Addiction
Heroin is one of the strongest and most addictive drugs, and breaking free from the clutches of heroin addiction is extremely challenging. People initially become dependent on heroin because they seek euphoria that the drug provides in spades. Learning to live without heroin involves learning to accept yourself and your current emotional state, which is always easier said than done.
Lepidolite is one of the better crystals for helping with recovery from heroin addiction. The opaque purple stone promotes hope when life’s circumstances feel hopeless, imparting tranquility and enhanced ability to accept self and circumstances. Lepidolite is said to help stabilize emotions, which can be especially invaluable during the volatile early days of recovery. It can also be beneficial for those working with a dual diagnosis of addiction and a condition like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The other crystal especially well-suited to heroin addiction recovery is rose quartz. It is an appropriate choice for any addiction, but its ability to promote emotional healing and reduce the symptoms of a troubled or overactive mind is particularly helpful in managing the unique mental and emotional turmoil associated with recovery from heroin addiction.
Crystals for All Addictions
Most crystals can provide energies that result in benefits for people recovering from addictions of all types. While every individual experiences addiction and recovery differently, there are some benefits to crystals that anyone can use to their advantage.
Ruby, the sparkling red gem, is thought to be even more energizing than carnelian. The use of ruby can stimulate self-awareness and clarify how our decisions make impacts and ripple effects on others in our world. Ruby is also thought to facilitate detoxification on physical and emotional levels, making it a good crystal to start with at the outset of recovery.
Amber, the warm and mysterious stone, is not a true crystal. Instead, it’s fossilized tree resin. However, many people see positive effects when incorporating it into their healing practices in the same ways as a crystal. Amber helps draw in feelings of fulfillment, accomplishment and satisfaction with oneself. All people in recovery struggle with feelings of low self-esteem and amber can help restore it.
How Are Crystals Used?
There are many methods for incorporating crystals into the addiction healing process, and some are more complicated than others. For example, to learn all there is to know about crystals in the Ayurvedic tradition, you must undergo numerous years of study. Luckily, there are other ways to use crystals that are far more accessible to the average person.
1. Wearing Crystals
The most common and simple way to benefit from crystals is to place them on your person or carry them with you in a purse or pocket. Jewelry made with crystals can provide you with the reassuring feeling of having the energy in near-direct contact with your skin, and allows you to benefit from the healing influences wherever you go.
If you’re not someone who wears jewelry or who doesn’t want to attract attention to yourself with flashy crystals, making a small travel pouch of your crystals is a good option. In times of stress, it can be comforting to pick one or two out of the bag and hold onto them while you dispel the negative emotions using your healthy coping mechanisms of choice.
2. Changing Your Environment With Crystals
Crystals don’t have to be placed on your person or carried around to impart their benefits. Decorating your space with your crystals of choice can influence the energy you feel in various rooms. You can use principles of feng shui to decide on the placement of your crystals, or you can simply experiment with configurations until you find the composition that feels most conducive to cleansing.
Popular areas to place healing crystals include mantles, desks and bookshelves. Some people choose to scatter crystals evenly around the home, while others prefer to focus their collections in specific areas like a home office or exercise room.
3. Infusing Water With Crystals
There’s no overestimating the importance of adequate hydration for recovery, and infusing your drinking water with crystals can deliver the benefits of the stones in a portable package. Referred to by some as “crystal elixirs,” infused water aims to spread the unique vibrational energy of your chosen crystals throughout your water and deliver the benefits to you through ingestion.
There are specially made water bottles, often featuring rose or smoky quartz, that you can purchase. However, they tend to be cost-prohibitive. You can make your own crystal water at home by simply leaving your choice of crystal in a sealed receptacle for at least 24 hours. However, because many crystals are either toxic or can be low quality, it is recommended that homemade elixirs made from crystals other than quartz be used only for revitalizing your bathwater.
4. Meditating With Crystals
The calming and focusing energy of many crystals can help facilitate meditation, a practice which many people in recovery find effective. To use crystals in meditation, you must first cleanse them of the negative energies they accumulate between uses. You can do this in several ways, but the simplest is by running them under room temperature water.
To incorporate crystals for addiction into your meditation, all you have to do is hold one, wear it or place it near you. Think of the crystal as a vessel for your excess energy, and visualize the energy draining from your body until your mind empties. You can then visualize energy flow back and forth or through the crystal, depending on your desired outcome.
For example, if your goal is relaxation and inner peace, it may help to envision the energy of the crystal enveloping you. Or, if your goal is to clarify a problem or situation, try visualizing energy penetrating the deepest parts of your mind.
Where to Get Your Crystals for Addiction Healing
You can get crystals from a wide variety of places, including at gem shows or even your local science center. However, choosing a reputable source of crystals is important since you’ll likely be handling them frequently. Your best option is to look up your local new age or metaphysical store. These establishments are well-versed in the use of crystals for healing purposes as opposed to just decorations and can advise you on the particulars of the pieces you’re interested in.
Walking into a new age shop can be overwhelming as there are likely to be hundreds of different crystals you can choose from. The best course of action is to quiet your mind as much as possible and see if you can identify which crystals seem to be calling to you the most. Feel free to pass your hand over bins or boxes, and hold the crystals in your hand as you make your selections.
Most people are surprised by how affordable crystals actually are, so you should be able to get a handful of different types for a reasonable price.
Crystals as Part of a Successful Recovery
Healing crystals for addicts come in a huge array of types, colors and sizes, but they all have one thing in common — they can help you tap into positive and healthy energy you can use to support your efforts in addiction recovery. However, crystals are only a supplemental tool. To reach recovery and receive the potential benefits offered by crystal healing practices, you must first put in the work at a reputable addiction treatment program like Tranquil Shores.
We are a dedicated addiction treatment center with a variety of treatment programs to address the needs of unique individuals. We provide evidence-based treatment, including medical detox and multiple forms of therapy. If you are ready to turn your back on addiction and make the journey to recovery, call Tranquil Shores at (727) 888-6623 to learn more about how to take your next steps. With effective treatment in a rehab facility and holistic practices like crystal healing in your life after the program, you can build true mind-body wellness to sustain your sobriety for the long term.