Writeup – Heather Doran & Sonia Watson – What Would Crystal Healers Have You Believe?

Heather Doran is a ‘Project Oficer, Research with Public Engagement’ at Aberdeen University. Her PhD is in Medical Science/ Pharmacology. Sonia Watson is a PhD Student in Physiology/Neuroscience at Aberdeen. They organise Aberdeen Skeptics in the pub. The subject of their talk was Crystal Healing. They proved to be an entertaining and informative double act.

Heather showed a slide of her Qualification in Crystal Therapy, gained after much time and effort. The time spent getting the qualification is proudly noted on the certificate; 0.05hours of study. The means of tuition? Google Search Engine!

Heather and Sonia wanted to experience a treatment first hand. Heather presented as the patient prone to eczema. The therapist was keen to stress the procedure was not medical, but, says Heather, it felt like one. She had to complete a huge questionnaire on her medical history. The experience was relaxing, but it did nothing for the eczema.

How does crystal healing work? There doesn’t seem to be much agreement among practitioners. Sonia’s research showed wildly differing lists of conditions for which specific stones were supposedly efficacious.

But does it do any harmn? One problem – claims are made for crystal healing as a treatment for. Ilegal claims. The consensus among the audience, as much as between the presenters, seems to be that although regulation could protect the vulnerable, it could confer legitimacy, so causing more harm through false perception. It is also expensive. The crystals are expensive, but they can be cleansed by logging-on to YouTube!