Those who know me will be familiar with my love of crystals. I’ll stand for ages in markets, holding on to stone after stone to find one that ‘feels right’. Crystals have been combined with chakra massage across a number cultures for thousands of years. The gemstones are placed across key points of the body, and the massage is usually performed using an oil, butter or herb blend.
My love for crystals and belief in their ‘magic’ doesn’t come without a lot of scepticism and scoffs from the people that have heard me talk about them. I understand the mistrust; convincing someone that you cleared a headache or have stopped worrying about something just because you’re carrying a stone around is a tough gig.
In 2016, the day before I was due to fly away to a jam-packed two week itinerary in Mexico, I was diagnosed with Bell’s Palsy. After 3 days of waiting it out to see how bad it would get, my doctors gave me the green light to re-book my outgoing flight, on the condition that I traded my busy schedule for a fortnight of lying about on a beach. With my face in agony, and with a hefty sized steroid prescription, I made the 11 hour trip to meet my friend who had gone ahead. We settled on Tulum, a lazy town a couple of hours South of the heavily commercialised city of Cancun.
Despite the pain, tiredness and lack of movement in my face, the off-road traveller in me was becoming restless after just two days. Under strict instruction not to drink alcohol and get plenty of rest, I decided a spa treatment was well deserved (future Sarah could deal with the Tulum sized credit card charge later). I spoke with numerous spas, eventually settling on a local woman, recommended to me by our hotel. “It’s a bit of an intense experience”, she warned me, explaining that the massage had made her cry. When I pushed her further, she told me that her masseuse had said that an intense emotional release was common. Tears were particularly common for people that had a tendency to emit a tough persona.
I went into my massage with little concern for tears. I just wanted my back rubbed. My massage was delightfully set up in a little beach hut, burning sage hanging from the ceiling, and the sound of the waves crashing on the beach nearby. I lay for an hour, somewhat disappointed. I thought I was going into a massage for a really good muscle rub, instead, I had laid there dozing whilst my healer pressed down on different parts of my body and moved crystals from my hands, to my head, to my stomach. It felt pleasant, but I certainly didn’t want to cry.
As things were wrapping up, I was starting to feel a little cheated. My masseuse (a kind looking Mexican local) opened my hand and placed a stone wrapped in palm leaf, closing it again over the stone afterwards. She placed a quartz on my forehead, covered my eyes lightly with her fingertips, leaned down and said gently in my ear, “I will give you 5 minutes.” With that, she tapped another stone against the crystal on my head and I burst into tears.
My tears were uncontrollable, big fat raindrop dollops pouring down my face. I lay there for the full 5 minutes trying to pull myself together, sitting up and apologise profusely when she came back into the room. “Do you need a hug?”, she asked me. I did. She stood and hugged me for a couple of moments whilst I continued to apologise, asking her why I was so upset. “Sometime people just need the release”, she told me in her broken English.
I stumbled back down to the beach to get our room key from my (alarmed) friend. I went back to our little beach hut and cried for a good half hour solid. I have no idea why. I didn’t feel upset, I just needed to get it out. The feeling afterwards was like nothing I’d ever felt before. I felt hauntingly calm, like I’d taken some kind of magical drug that made every little problem melt away. That night as we went for a stroll across the beach, my friend passed comment about the scary silence that had come over me as I happily floated down the beach.
I can’t explain how my crystal chakra made me feel the way it did. One theory is something called the piezoelectric effect. Essentially, it works on a similar practice to quartz watch. When bent slightly, a small piece of quartz puts out a constant voltage that keeps a watch running with spectacular accuracy. It’s thought that crystals and stones do the same for us, putting small charges that work with our bio-magnetic fields. It’s speculated that the charge prompts harmony and balance. Whatever it did that day, it very much solidified by enthusiasm for them.
Whether this be the case or not, and for those challenging it, I would argue this: even if it is just a placebo effect, does it matter if it does the job?
Have you ever had a crystsl chakra massage? Do you believe the hype, or are you sceptical about stones and the use of them? Let me know your thoughts.