As a yogi, you’ve likely picked up a crystal or a mala—and maybe hoped it could help you cultivate what you lack. But would you buy into crystal healing as an alternative therapy?
Crystals have recently gone from hippie headshop staples to mainstream (check your Instagram feed for evidence) for more than just their looks. The stones are being used in more and more healing treatments, including crystal light bed therapy, which we saw pop up in 2017. As a yoga teacher and wellness writer, I’m no stranger to alternative healing treatments. You name it, I’ve tried it: acupuncture, meditation, floating, reiki, the list goes on. But I was dubious whether a glorified nap on a rainbow light bed could really open my chakras and balance my energy field as promised.
What IS Crystal Light Bed Therapy?
I went to Modrn Sanctuary, a wellness center, owned by Alexandra Janelli, in the center of NYC’s bustling NoMad neighborhood to find out. The elevator opens on the ninth floor to a beautiful zen den with high ceilings, calming music, luxe furniture, including a Somadome meditation pod, and sleek bar of tea and crystal-infused water.
Edgar Monseratte, the crystal light therapist whose calming voice immediately put me at ease, led me to the treatment room, a true sanctuary decorated with plants lining the walls and more crystals. At first glance, the bed looked like a standard massage table at any spa. But on closer inspection, I saw chambers filled with amethyst and tourmaline stones embedded within it and an infrared mat to heat the top. Besides balancing your energy and opening your chakras, Quantum Resonance, the Sedona, Arizona, company that makes the crystal beds, claims “other possible benefits include deep meditation/relaxation, reduced inflammation, easing sinus and migraine issues, better sleep, increased mental clarity, balanced pH levels, and detoxification.”
According to Modrn Sanctuary, a small white machine attached to the side of the bed vibrates in rhythm with the frequencies of the crystal lights. It also plays binaural beats, which research shows can help induce a restful state in experienced meditators. Above the bed hang seven quartz crystals, which are lit to correspond to the colors associated with the root, sacral, solar plexus, heart, throat, third-eye, and crown chakras.
Monseratte explained that the treatment (available in either a 25- or 45-minute sessions) works best by choosing what you’d like to release and/or bring in by setting an intention. Once I settled into the space and set my intention, he handed me a color-blocked list to match my intention to one of the seven chakras. As I had suspected, my intention best aligned with the heart and solar plexus chakras.
I settled onto the bed, as Monseratte set up the treatment area, cautioning that “some people have strong emotional responses” during the session. He explained that he would exit the room during the treatment and use a soft touch on my arm to indicate its completion.
The Theory Behind Crystals’ Healing Power
According to crystal expert Judy Hall, author of The Ultimate Guide to Crystal Grids (Fair Winds Press, 2017), crystals’ color, vibration, and energetic resonance can bring disorganized energy back into harmony. “Each crystal has its own unique vibration,” Hall explains. “Quantum physics demonstrated that everything in the universe is energy and vibration and that that energy can be transmuted and changed, even across vast distances.”
IBM scientist Marcel Vogel, who created LCD (liquid-crystal display) screens, looked at the healing power of crystals through a scientific lens, drawing connections between the spiral structure of the quartz crystal lattice and human DNA and between the silica composition of quartz crystals and the human body. He went on to design specific quartz cuts said to collect, amplify, and direct energy. The “healing” frequencies of Vogel crystals’ vibrations are measured in hertz, according to the menu Modrn Sanctuary presented me. And according to Quantum Resonance, its crystal light beds are adjustable to these specific frequencies to influence the user’s overall health and well-being. As explained on their website: “Many of these frequencies are done through sound while other are done through light and magnetics. The frequency generator allows us to make new frequencies. These frequencies are carried into the Vogel crystals and changed into scalar, or zero-point energy—an extremely effective way to shift the subtle bodies.”
The theory is that if the body vibrates at specific frequencies, then it opens and becomes receptive to those frequencies. But Vogel did not study whether crystals’ (or any other) energy waves directly interact with or heal the human body in any way. Still, like Hall, many crystal experts believe there is a connection.
What Crystal Light Bed Therapy Was Really Like
Within minutes of soothing sound, gentle vibration, light, and the warmth of the bed, I felt super relaxed and almost loopy (what I imagine being high is like). Think: Combining the calm clarity of a deep meditation session with the physical sensation after an amazing massage. I almost felt as if I was floating, yet with a pulsating energy gently moving through me in waves. Approximately midway through the session (I’m guessing, as I had no sense of time whatsoever), I experienced a lucid, dream-like state where I visualized a reel of faces, some familiar, some strangers. Soon after, Monseratte returned with a gentle pat and glass of water. He then left me to collect my things—and my thoughts—and met me in the lobby, explaining that I might feel the effects emotionally of the treatment more significantly in two days.
I practically levitated to the subway home, feeling loose, calm, and as if I just had an out-of-body experience. That evening, I slept like a baby. Two days later, I did feel more emotional than usual. I channeled the energy into creating a new vision board. And, since it was the evening of a full moon, I made sure to “charge” the rose and clear quartz crystals I picked up on my windowsill, under the moon’s protective glow. After all, it can’t hurt to have extra healing and balance.