08 February 2008

Romancing the stone

Intrigued by the non-invasive possibilities of crystal healing, Health24's Carine van Rooyen went in search of a healer who could sort out a persisting sinusitis problem.


Mankind’s fascination with gemstones can be traced back to ancient times. And through the ages, our attraction to beautiful crystals hasn’t diminished. Just consider for a moment the multi-million-dollar diamond industry.

Practitioners of crystal healing believe that the energy in semi-precious and precious stones can heal both body and mind, and that crystals can sometimes be used in diagnosing underlying disease.

Specific stones are used to treat specific ailments, for example the aquamarine is used by healers to treat throat infection while the amethyst is sometimes used to relieve headaches.

Intrigued by the possibilities of this non-invasive approach, Health24 writer Carine van Rooyen went in search of a crystal healer who could help treat a persisting sinusitis problem:

What it felt like
Because I am a crystal-healing novice, the first thing healer Markus van der Westhuizen did was to test whether I responded to crystals and to energy healing in general.

He asked me to sit down, palms facing up, while he placed two minute opals in the centre of my hands. I was surprised to immediately feel a heaviness, particularly in my left hand, and it was as if the stones tingled. Markus explained that the body’s energy flow is from left to right, and that the reason why I was feeling more in my left hand was because this side was at the “receiving” end of the energy.

Next, I lay down on my back (thankfully keeping all my clothes on!) while Markus “tuned into me” with the help of a Herkimer diamond – an “attunement” stone. During this step, I was merely aware of the fact that he cradled my feet in his hands.

I was asked to relax and breathe deeply while he gently packed an array of crystals on my body. I remember being aware of stones placed on my forehead, cheekbones, throat, chest, stomach and legs. While most of them stayed put, one or two crystals rolled off and Markus decided to leave them be as "they clearly didn't want to be there".

Intertwining Reiki techniques with crystal healing, he started to focus on more specific areas, gently pressing some of the stones where “work needed to be done”. He also raked my hair with a crystal (I must admit that I found this bit somewhat strange) and rearranged some of the stones, noting that some of them “sweated” more than others – an indication that they’ve been transferring energy.

Apart from my sinusitis problem, Markus impressed me by picking up several other disturbances in my body: he noted that there was “a great sadness” in my heart, that I had digestive problems, and that I had pent-up creativity – all issues that did indeed apply to me. He also said that I had good intuition, a characteristic that has been confirmed by a Myers-Briggs personality test.

However, Marcus failed to pick up other, more pertinent health problems.

Throughout the 1½-hour session, I must admit that I couldn’t feel much, apart from feeling slightly dizzy from time to time and also feeling somewhat claustrophobic (I despise having to lie still).

Of course, halfway through the session, poor Markus had to undo all his hard work to let me run to the loo (perhaps the copious amounts of tea I had before the session wasn't such a good idea after all).

But apart from this minor hiccup, I felt marvellously relaxed and “lighter” at the end of the session. My earlier sinusitis headache had also cleared.

The verdict
As a firm believer in the power of the mind, I must say that I remain a little sceptical.

Although I could definitely feel something when Markus first tested my response to the stones and even though I felt better afterwards, I still can’t help wondering whether it worked because I wanted it to work.

As Markus also combined crystal healing with Reiki, it was difficult to tell which of the two therapies worked best for what.

And, unfortunately, the sinusitis headache was back the following day. However, Markus explained that treating sinusitis would normally involve an integrated approach (involving, for example, the use of a saline nasal spray) that could stretch over several weeks.

Maybe I'm just not cut out for crystal healing, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're not. And I do love the beautiful moonstone that I now keep in my handbag - just in case.

For one crystal healing session, expect to pay R200.

For more information contact:
Markus van der Westhuizen
Registered Reiki Master Teacher (RMASA) and Crystal Healer
Cell: 072 952 3630



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