Since antiquity, crystals have served as symbols of wealth, representation of status, and displayed as art. Modern-day technological advancements such as computers, surgical tools, automobiles, and aircraft have also benefited from the use of crystals. These beautiful gemstones have been used to facilitate shifts in energy, facilitate physical healing, and balance one’s mental state of mind. Despite their prevalent use, science has yet to provide adequate research data supporting their use, particularly in physical health and mental wellbeing. This article will expound upon my personal experience with the healing power of crystals. This piece will also explain the intricate relationship between gemstones and balancing the nervous system’s response to stress and healing.
What is the nervous system, and what are some of its parts?
The nervous system is the command center for your entire body. Your thoughts, action, and emotions are all influenced and affected by this system. According to Marieb and Hoehn (2019), The nervous system is divided into two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS), which composes of the brain and spinal cord and peripheral nervous system (PNS), the nerves extending from the brain and spinal cord. The PNS transmits impulses from the central nervous system to the muscles and the glands.
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is part of the PNS. The ANS (which is self-regulating) controls functions such as digestion, heart rate, breathing, hormone regulation, and liver function, to name a few. The ANS is further divided into the sympathetic nervous and parasympathetic nervous systems. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS) is activated when the body responds to stress, threats, or emergencies via the fight or flight response. The parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), in contrast, allows the body to recover after a stressful event and allows for more restorative functions such as digestion, relaxation, rest, and healing.
How does emotional stress impact the sympathetic nervous system?
When we are emotionally stressed, our fight or flight response is triggered. The sympathetic nervous system (SNS), in combination with stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol, initiates a sequence of changes in the body. Some of these changes include increased heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and perspiration. These changes increase blood flow, oxygen, nutrients, and any chemicals that the muscles need to combat a threat. Increased perspiration allows the body to cool down so that energy can be burned more efficiently. Digestion also slows down, and blood is redirected to the muscles and the brain. Sugars, fats, and blood clotting chemicals are released into the bloodstream to provide fuel and assist with any physical trauma the body might sustain.
Though our fight or flight response is designed for emergencies, the body responds to stressful, non-emergency situations in the same way. And their-in lies the issue in our modern-day societies. Whether you are being attacked by a dog, having relationship issues, or experiencing problems with your finances, this wonderfully designed response gets activated. Unfortunately, however, constant activation and duress of the sympathetic nervous system can lead to adverse health conditions such as elevated blood pressure/ hypertension, stomach ulcers, diabetes, and even cancer.
How is the parasympathetic nervous system affected by emotional stress?
The parasympathetic nervous system works in perfect contrast to the sympathetic nervous system by providing a means thru which the body can rebalance, regulate and conduct other healing functions. Therapeutic effects such as a decrease in heart rate, breathing, and perspiration are activated by the parasympathetic nervous system. The PNS also allows for blood flow back to the internal organs from the large muscles. The culmination of therapeutic effects triggered by the PNS restores balance and homeostasis (a state of physiologic stability and equilibrium) to the body while providing a sense of calm, tranquility, and control back to the mind.
How did these crystals interact with my autonomic system to manage my emotional distress?
When my body initially reacted to the emotional distress I was experiencing during a particularly stressful day, my sympathetic nervous system (SNS) was immediately triggered, activating the fight or flight response. As a result, I physically felt my breath, heart rate, and perspiration all increase, which are effects of an activated fight/flight response. As mentioned earlier, these effects were also accompanied by other symptoms of the response, though they were too subtle for my awareness.
While all of this was happening, I was intuitively guided to pick up certain crystals and hold them for a short period. I held one crystal in my right hand and the other crystal in my left hand. Approximately ten minutes into holding the crystals, I noticed my respiration and heart rate started to decrease. I also realized I wasn’t sweating anymore, and I had an urge to use the bathroom (#2 to be exact. Lol!) that wasn’t present before holding the crystals. My emotions were also more stable, and I was significantly calmer than I had been. This moment was when I realized my parasympathetic nervous system (PNS) had been activated by the crystals, which deactivated the fight/flight response I was previously experiencing. I was amazed that this was occurring because activities such as breathwork, sound healing, and yoga, to name a few, have been proven to elicit the activation of the PNS. However, I’ve yet to come across adequate research supporting the use of crystals to accomplish the same response. My body’s response to the electromagnetic field of the crystals while holding them blew my mind and had me even more in awe of this magnificent biotechnology we call the human body.
What crystals were used when my parasympathetic nervous system (PNS)?
The crystals I was intuitively led to use to manage the emotional distress I was experiencing were the Brandenburg and Malachite crystals. Brandenberg crystals contain energetic qualities of Amethyst, Smoky Quartz, and Clear quartz. This crystal is considered a master healing crystal, energetically restoring balance on a physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional level. According to Hall (2018), Brandenberg crystals promote cellular healing, resetting the immune system, and optimal body functioning. This crystal can also assist with releasing old energetic ties, energetic depletion, karmic cleansing, and the reprogramming of new energetic patterns (Hall, 2018).
Malachite crystals are also powerful healing crystals, and their use dates back to ancient Egypt. The Egyptians used this gemstone in paste-form to treat eye conditions, such as cholera and infected wounds. This gemstone also has a reputation for dissolving dis-ease from the body on a physical and soul level. It has been known to assist with effectively managing arthritis and inhibit pathogen growth due to its antibacterial effects (Hall, 2018). Hall (2018) also shares that Malachite is an outstanding karmic and soul cleanser, eliminating etheric residue of traumatic events from childhood or past lifetimes. It is important to note that large quantities of Malachite can be toxic. If using these stones for healing purposes, please use smaller, polished pieces, and be sure to thoroughly wash your hands after use!
In conclusion, crystals have been used by humanity for many purposes and applications. Their documented use in technological advancements and as a reflection of socioeconomic status is prevalent. However, the physical, mental, and emotional benefits they provide the human body have not been as extensively written about, though many societies have used them for balancing, maintaining, and healing the somatic body. I experienced the therapeutic effects of crystals on the autonomic nervous system and was so profoundly impressed that I felt compelled to write this piece. I hope that medical and scientific professionals publish more written works about crystals and conduct adequate trials and research to validate their use in the world of health, healing, and wellness.
Marieb, E.N., & Hoehn, K.N., (2019). Human Anatomy & Physiology (11th ed.,)
Hall, J. (2018). The Crystal Seer. Fair Winds Press.