Gemstone Therapy 101: Overview, History, and Modern Practice
Gemstone therapy is a healing practice with historic roots all around the world. In this introductory article, we discuss the history of gemstone therapy, how it’s used today, and which gemstones and crystals correspond to each of the seven chakras.
Note: This article is written according to metaphysical beliefs.
The History of Gemstone Therapy
Dating back thousands of years, gemstones have been thought to possess energetic healing properties. The ancient Egyptians associated gems, crystals, and other materials with various spiritual and healing applications. In traditional Chinese medicine, stones were thought to assist in channeling and healing Qi or chi-energy. They are still featured prominently in Chinese homeopathy and feng shui theory today.
Robust traditions of gemstone therapy were also documented by the Ayurvedic healers in the Indian subcontinent. This research can be found in ancient Vedic texts, including Brihat Samhita and Garuda Purana. Ayurveda is a system of healing that incorporates many techniques and theories and relates to planetary vibrations, astrology, and chakra theory.
Modern Gemstone Therapy Practices
Today, modern practitioners have adopted these methods, sometimes combining Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions for a full palette of gemstone healing resources. Various schools of thought and approaches have emerged. For example, some people believe that spherical gemstones have the greatest healing properties due to an ability to radiate energy in all directions.
Others believe gemstone rings have a different effect depending on which finger wears the ring. The thumb is associated with fire, the index finger with ether, the middle with air, the ring finger with water, and the pinky with earth.
Gemstones are also sometimes placed inside the home to promote positive energy flow, while others believe that gemstone tinctures can facilitate healing. Gem tinctures are made using a similar process to herbal tinctures: gems are soaked for a set amount of time (depending on the gemstone) in a 50%-100% alcohol solution.
Of all gemstone and crystal healing therapy methods, warming gemstones in the hand and then placing them onto the body is among the most common. To try this, start by holding a crystal in your hand until and wait for it to reach the same temperature as your body. If you are sensitive, you may begin to feel vibrations. Then, depending on the stone and which chakra you’re hoping to heal, place the stone on the corresponding part of your body.
Crystals and Gemstones for Chakra Healing
For each of the seven chakras, there are corresponding gemstones and crystals. Different practitioners will have different advice about how to apply these, but here is an overview of which gems go with which chakras.
Root Chakra (Red)
The root chakra is associated with being balanced and grounded. Located at the bottom of the spine, it is your foundation. The gemstones thought to heal the root chakra are:
- Red jasper
- Black Obsidian
- Red Zincite
- Black Tourmaline
- Smoky Quartz
Sacral Chakra (Orange)
Creativity, pleasure, and excitement are the domain of the sacral chakra. Located just above the root chakra in the lumbar area, it is also thought to govern your libido or sexual energy. Stones used for gemstone therapy on this chakra include:
- Dark or brown citrine
- Orange aventurine
- Orange calcite
- Tangerine quartz
- Imperial Topaz
Solar Plexus Chakra (Yellow)
The solar plexus chakra really lends itself to gemstone therapy. Its Sanskrit name, Manipura, actually means “lustrous gem,” and many treasures are thought to be found in this chakra. Some believe it houses your centering powers of confidence and intention. Commonly associated gemstones include:
- Yellow jasper
- Gold tigereye
- Golden calcite
- Yellow apatite
Heart Chakra (Green)
Unsurprisingly, the heart chakra is the home of love. It governs not only romance, but also self-love and friendship. Both green and pink gemstones are used to heal the heart chakra. These include:
- Green tourmaline
- Green moss agate
- Rose quartz
- Watermelon tourmaline
Throat Chakra (Blue)
The throat chakra is associated with your voice and connected with the regions of your jaw, neck and mouth. Some people work on healing this chakra by lying down and placing crystals and gemstones on the throat, or by wearing them around the neck. Here are the most commonly used stones:
- Blue sapphire
- Blue calcite
- Lapis lazuli
Third Eye Chakra (Indigo)
The mystical third eye chakra is associated with spiritual vision and awakening. Holding gemstones during third eye chakra meditation can be a great way to unblock and liberate this chakra and your associated powers. Here are five excellent gemstone options:
- Lapis lazuli
Crown Chakra (Violet)
The crown chakra is the conduit of consciousness. Fully opening the crown chakra is thought to lead to bliss, enlightenment, or Nirvana. Understandably, it is a favorite among yogis and devout spiritual people. Gemstones associated with the crown chakra include:
- Clear quartz
- Light amethyst
- White topaz
- Herkimer Diamond
- White Hemimorphite
- White Calcite
- White Danburite
- White Howlite
Hopefully, this discussion of gemstone therapy has been informative and useful for you. If you would like to explore spiritual wellness further, check out this discussion of aura colors and their meanings.