Perhaps you’ve seen people wearing crystal necklaces or magnetic bracelets, stating that such jewelry helps them heal mentally and physically. Maybe you even wear this kind of jewelry yourself, enjoying the comfort it provides.
But do these accessories really help you heal? Is wearing the likes of chakra-balancing crystals or pain-improving magnets just a bunch of hype, or is it beneficial?
Here’s a closer look at both sides of the story when it comes to healing jewelry.
Some background: Alternative versus traditional healing methods
There’s always been a debate of sorts between alternative healing methods—be it turning to essential oils or wearing crystals—and traditional measures such as taking prescription drugs and various other medical treatments.
At the very least, those on the alternative side of the fence say that their methods are safer and more natural, while those in favor of traditional methods maintain that their ways (unlike alternative approaches) are truly proven to be effective. At times, both groups may be on board with what’s known as complementary medicine, which means that alternative healing methods may be used in conjunction with more traditional healing approaches in order to support or enhance overall effectiveness.
Still, much debate remains over the effectiveness of alternative approaches, despite the growing interest in them.
Healing jewelry: why it’s hype
Most medical professionals consider the likes of healing crystals “pseudo-science,” meaning that they feel their abilities are unfounded and false. They point to the fact that studies have not proven the effectiveness of healing jewelry, saying that various gem colors and chemical composition have no effect on well-being. Furthermore, they often state that while they may create a sense of relaxation, it’s important not to confuse calm feelings with a false sense of improved physical health.
Using depression as an example, the Mayo Clinic notes that alternative mind-body therapies can be explored, but they also say that such therapies are not always reliable and that they’re typically not enough to stand on their own as a means to improve constant sadness.
When it comes to magnetic bracelets, since blood contains iron and magnets attract iron, the thought among those wearing these therapeutic bracelets is that it can help purify the blood and heal the body. Not so, say health experts. In a nutshell, the magnetic field in such bracelets—which are also referred to as “energy bracelets”—is too weak to penetrate the skin and make a significant difference.
Even a large study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal stated that “The evidence does not support the use of static magnets for pain relief, and therefore magnets cannot be recommended as an effective treatment.” Another study regarding magnets mimics the aforementioned study’s findings; it states that there is “no evidence that they work.”
Healing jewelry: why it’s helpful
At the opposite end of the spectrum to those who believe that healing jewelry isn’t very beneficial, there are people who swear that wearing these pieces boosts their mental and physical health.
An article published in the Scientific Review of Alternative Medicine noted that some people turn to therapeutic magnets to help alter their bioenergetic fields or the energy around them. Others maintain that magnetic jewelry increases blood flow, which is imperative in healing tissues and improving injuries.
Further, many other people point to the fact that such jewelry has strong roots in history, which they feel makes a strong argument for their continued use. For example, ancient Sumerians of Mesopotamia and ancient Egyptians have been said to be among the first to wear healing jewelry—and to experience positive results.
In fact, several organizations like the non-profit National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (which involves alternative healers) are popping up in droves. Add to this the fact that therapeutic bracelet sales around the globe are approximately $1 billion annually, and it’s easy to see that many people are advocates of their healing powers, or are at least interested in alternative healing techniques.
It often boils down to your attitude about the specific jewelry and its ability to heal; in other words, what you believe can often alter your outlook about a certain health condition. For example, many people who know that certain crystals have been said to diminish fatigue or ease joint pain gravitate towards these crystals to improve their own similar conditions. It’s not unusual for people to report developing warm, soothing and peaceful feelings in the presence of healing gems or magnetic jewelry and—scientific basis or not—isn’t such reassurance a welcome result for anyone?
Also Read: The Beginner’s Guide to Crystals