Sunday, February 5, 2017

Can turquoise and other crystals heal fear of public speaking?


Crystals look pretty and colorful. But can they heal fear? Back on October 4, 2009 I blogged about Crystal Therapy for stage fright? In that post I mentioned a suggestion that you hold a crystal (like Golden Topaz) in your hand, wear it as a pendant, or drink water it had soaked in (gem water or gem essence). Of course there also is crystal massage (the art of rubbing people with pebbles).  

On January 15, 2017 a blog post by Edzard Ernst titled Crystal healing “empowers us to lead a more meaningful life “ quoted a web site called Beliefnet which mentioned that turquoise could calm public speaking nerves. A web page there by Wesley Baines titled 9 Powerful Healing Stones and What They Can Do For You had said:  

As a healer, turquoise is powerful, giving peace to the spirit and well-being to the body. This stone induces a sense of serenity, keeping physically harmful stress and inflammation at bay. Holding turquoise can bring back focus and restore vitality.

Turquoise is also a stabilizer, and can calm the nerves when working on a difficult problem, or when performing or speaking in public. It is known for its effectiveness in alleviating the fear of flying.”

I searched Google to find where this claim first appeared. A tourist attraction called The Turquoise Museum in Albuquerque, New Mexico had a web page about The Healing Powers of Turquoise that said:

“In the world of crystal healing, Turquoise is supposed to be a stone of communication. New Age healers recommend it for people who have a fear of public speaking. They believe it has the ability to make a speaker more eloquent, loving, creative and honest. But it is also improves the mental state overall by increasing all of the following positive mental characteristics: serenity, creativity, empathy, positive thinking, sensitivity, intuition, happiness wisdom all of which result in a calmer state that leads to greater self-realization. It is also considered a stone of friendship. As a communication stone, the New Age believers say that it opens up the connections between friends and allowing love to flow in those communications, which strengthens the friendship bond. Further, they believe it has the power to strengthen convictions, courage and personal power.”

What other crystals have been claimed to help?

Blue lace agate is one. New Moon Beginnings sells an Anger and Stress Relief Gemstone Set where it is described:

“As a support crystal, Blue Lace Agate assists those who fear speaking in public or sharing thoughts and ideas with strangers. It is a great stone for those who communicate for a living, such as workshop directors, lecturers, teachers, or anyone who must connect in a clear, intelligent manner. Blue Lace Agate also tranquilizes and relaxes the mind of executives, and calms stress in postal workers.”

The Natural Healing Shop web page on The properties of Crystals discusses Celestite Blue and Tiger Eye Blue: 

“Celestite is a powerful healing crystal. Bringing mental calm and clarity in the midst of any chaotic circumstance. Celestite can relieve stress, anxiety and obsessive behaviours. Its energy will alleviate any type of stage fright or nervousness. Celestite gives courage to those who suffer from agoraphobia (fear of crowds) or public speaking.” 

If you are nervous about giving a presentation or speaking in public, keeping a piece of Tumbled Blue Tiger Eye in your pocket can help relax your Throat Chakra, clear any blockages, and form a strong connection with the Brow Chakra, allowing for easier access to the intuition. It enables one to expand their horizons, often leading to better opportunities.

Hibiscus Moon has a web page on 4 Totally Rockin’ Ways to use Crystals for Fear and Anxiety which mentions Chrysocolla:

Chrysocolla – this stone has a very feminine & soothing vibration. It gently calms your heart chakra when its beating with fear. It will also give you more confidence when you’re gripped with fear when having to communicate to others your needs or when you simply need some security in social situations of any sort. It’s a great one to keep in your pocket when doing any public speaking.”

Goop has a web page on The 8 Essential Crystals which mentions lapis lazuli:

Have a fear of public speaking? Use lapis lazuli as your worry stone: Hold the stone in your left hand when practicing your speech, the day of your speech, and when it’s your turn to get up to the mic. Let your anxieties release into the stone.

How about arranging several types of crystals to form a grid?

Crystal Vaults sells a Conquer Fear Grid Kit  - a set that has three types of crystals to be arranged in a hexagonal pattern as shown above:

“THE FOCUS STONE: Before you can conquer your fear, you must accept it. By owning your thoughts and feelings, you have taken the first step in gaining control. Your Focus Stone will be a Blue Chalcedony Crystal. Its soothing light blue rays will surround you with energies of acceptance, faith, and belief.

THE WAY STONES: You must take the action to defeat your fear, but also have confidence and strength in doing so. Your Way Stones will be Crystal Ruby. Their deep red colors will motivate you to take action and have dedication.

THE DESIRE STONES: Your Desire Stones will be Aventurine. Green Aventurine is a Seeker Transformer. Seeker Transformers are talismans used when the desire is to find a way to transform a part of ones life to a more desirable state.  Its dark green rays will aid you in conquering your fear, and will bring the energies of healing, and growth. “

But they don’t take that concept to the next level, which would be arranging those hexagons in an array to tile a surface (as shown above), an idea you can find discussed on Wikipedia under tessellation. (Squares or equilateral triangles also would work).

Does healing with crystals work, or are we just fooling ourselves?

Unfortunately it is likely that we are fooling ourselves.  On May 28, 2006 Jeffrey Shallit posted about Debunking Crystal Healing at his Recursivity blog. He discussed some experiments done by a psychologist, Christopher French reported in 2001.

Kyle Hill also blogged about those experiment on September 11, 2011 in a post at Science-Based Life titled Crystal Healing: Magical Cure or Just a Rock?

More recently on January 20, 2015 Elizabeth Palermo wrote about Crystal Healing: Stone-Cold Facts About Gemstone Treatments at LiveScience. She described how:

“In 2001, French and his colleagues at Goldsmiths College at the University of London presented a paper at the British Psychological Society Centenary Annual Conference in Glasgow, in which they outlined their study of the efficacy of crystal healing.

For the study, 80 participants were asked to meditate for five minutes while holding either a real quartz crystal or a fake crystal that they believed was real. Before meditating, half of the participants were primed to notice any effects that the crystals might have on them, like tingling in the body or warmth in the hand holding the crystal. 

After meditating, participants answered questions about whether they felt any effects from the crystal healing session. The researchers found that the effects reported by those who held fake crystals while meditating were no different than the effects reported by those who held real crystals during the study. 

Many participants in both groups reported feeling a warm sensation in the hand holding the crystal or fake crystal, as well as an increased feeling of overall well being. Those who had been primed to feel these effects reported stronger effects than those who had not been primed. However, the strength of these effects did not correlate with whether the person in question was holding a real crystal or a fake one. Those who believed in the power of crystals (as measured by a questionnaire) were twice as likely as non-believers to report feeling effects from the crystal.

‘There is no evidence that crystal healing works over and above a placebo effect,’ French told Live Science. ‘That is the appropriate standard to judge any form of treatment. But whether or not you judge crystal healing, or any other form of [complementary and alternative medicine], to be totally worthless depends upon your attitude to placebo effects.’ "

Wikipedia and the Rational Wiki have articles on Crystal Healing that mention some other references.

An image of gem pebbles came from Wikimedia Commons.  

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