Health and wellness touch everyone’s life differently. This is one person’s story.

I remember holding my grandmother’s hand as we entered our local metaphysical store when I was young. She told me to close my eyes, graze my hands over the various crystals, and see which one called to me.

As I grew older, trust in my crystals also grew. I used moonstone for my ever-irritable GI tract, celestite to help calm my anxiety before bed, and rose quartz to practice self-love.

It wasn’t until recently that I realized my healing energy was inside me and not my crystals. They were acting almost like a placebo effect. The crystals helped me focus and relax.

To calm my mind and body, I usually turn to writing, yoga, meditation, or crystal healing.

My crystals are some of my most precious possessions. Not only do they remind me of my childhood growing up as a third-generation New Age energy healer, but I’ve also learned how to identify and categorize them, love and care for them. I personify each one as an ailment, emotion, or desire. I learn from it and practice healing, guidance, self-assurance, and self-love.

I’m more than aware that modern “witchcraft” or New Age practices aren’t everyone’s cup of tea — especially when it comes to medicine. But I do encourage you to think about the mind’s ability to heal. Just look at the placebo effect.

Researchers have studied this interesting effect. They claim that the placebo effect is a form of interpersonal healing that’s different from natural spontaneous healing and healing from the aid of medication or medical procedures.

Those researchers consider the placebo as neither a homeopathic or pharmaceutical treatment. It’s something else entirely that can help treat conditions and disorders just the same. Harvard Women’s Health Watch also reports that even when a person knows they’re taking a placebo, they still often feel better.

These studies suggest that the placebo effect is real and powerful. How can we harness this power of the placebo to enhance healing?

This is my personal routine. I honor the time in meditation and incorporate crystals as a tool. Although there hasn’t been any scientific research on this process, I’m hoping you’ll see the importance in quiet ritual.

While my routine is always changing depending on what my heart and body need, there are a few important steps I always make sure to take:

1. Identify what’s wrong and choose a stone

Maybe I’ve entered another phase of battling my IBS. Through time and experience, I’ve come to identify that stress upsets my stomach more than any food ever could. Or maybe I feel sad, lost, and can’t find an origin to the unhappiness. Maybe I’m breaking out!

Really focus in on what you need. Any local metaphysical store should have an array of stones and crystals with descriptions and purposes. Personally, I rely on my grandmother’s and other spiritual healers’ advice. They’re like a personal encyclopedia for stones. It’s awesome.

And me? Here are the stones and crystals I use most often:

Moonstone: For my stomach. Moonstone is known as a stone for new beginnings and as a fantastic treatment in alleviating stress. Once, when shopping for crystals, I was pulled to this beautiful white moonstone in the corner, suspended on a delicate silver chain.

Its description? “Known to help aid the digestion system.” It’s like the stone knew my stomach can be especially difficult at times. And at those times, I keep the moonstone around my neck to encourage positive healthy beginnings.

Celestite: For sleep. Celestite is known to be uplifting for the spirit yet calming for the mind and body. It makes sense to keep this beautiful blue stone on your nightstand. It helps put me in the perfect mindset for having a peaceful and healing sleep.

Black onyx: For grounding. My grandmother gave me this stone when I was leaving for my first long trip away from home, and I gave one to my sister upon starting college. Black onyx is known to transform negative energy and stabilize happiness.

Disclaimer: Different sources will provide different meanings for your crystals. This can seem confusing, but in a way, it’s really freeing. Remember, you have the power to choose a focus for your healing and drive your healing in a specific direction depending on what your body and mind need.

2. Respect and cleanse the stones

In my personal practice, I believe it’s important to remove any prior negative or stale energy from your healing tools to make sure they’re ready to aid you as much as possible. This can be done simply by just rinsing them with cold water or burning sage. Sage is believed in the metaphysical world to bring about clean, fresh energy.

Lighting the end of a sage bundle is all you need to manifest some good smoke. Then run the stone through the smoke to cleanse it of all staleness.

3. Set an intention

Here’s where the famous placebo effect comes into play. We’re living in an awesome time of discovery in the spiritual world — even researchers are observing how spirituality is a creative, productive solution to health issues. So get this:

You’re going to will yourself to heal.

Personally, I like holding the crystal to the part of me that I wish to heal. If I’m using moonstone for my stomach, I’ll meditate with the moonstone literally resting on my stomach. If I’m using any of my emotional stones, I’ll place them up to my forehead. The most important part is that you set an intention for what you wish to heal and encourage your mind and body that it can be done.

Whether you’re a third-generation witch, energy healer, or total nonbeliever, you can work on your will, set intentions for positive changes, and get into quiet meditative states to improve your health. It’s the practice of a positive outlook.

Brittany is a freelance writer, media maker, and sound lover located in San Francisco. Her work focuses on personal experiences, specifically regarding local arts and culture happenings. More of her work can be found at