Who doesn’t have at least one quartz crystal, turquoise pendant, jade figurine, or amethyst geode? You probably have a strand of beads, too, maybe aventurine, bloodstone, citrine, coral, garnet, or sodalite. What you may not realize is that, according to crystal enthusiasts, these items can help both you and your dog improve your health, balance your emotions, and enhance your quality of life.
Whether they’re novelty items or elegant jewelry, crystals – precious and semiprecious gems as well as humble stones and river rocks – have been valued for thousands of years for their healing and aesthetic properties. The more people explore the use of crystals, stones, and gems, the more their dogs, cats, horses, and other animals are likely to benefit from this branch of energy medicine. Your pets can sleep near crystals, wear them, drink water that has been “charged” by crystals, and in other ways receive the energy that is said to be unique to each type of stone.
Crystal healing is especially popular in the United Kingdom, where practitioners match human and animal clients with stones that best support their conditions. Sara Hope Brown, who lives in Fife, Scotland, designs clip-on crystals that attach to a dog’s collar. Her own white Standard Poodle, Jody, was a rescued dog with many emotional problems until Brown fitted her with quartz clip-ons. She reports that as a result of wearing the crystals, Jody is now calm and self-confident.
“Rose quartz is the crystal that balances the emotions,” she says. “I recommend it for rescued pets, pets who are on their own a lot, and animals who are nervous or worried. Amethyst crystals help animals deal with physical problems such as illness, skin conditions, arthritis, and the slowing down that accompanies old age. Clear quartz crystals produce positive changes in pets that improve behavioral problems like excessive barking or aggression.”
Do the crystals work? Brown’s satisfied clients think so. Consider Cleo, a three-year-old German Shepherd mix who was nervous and aggressive. According to her owner, Jean Beveridge, “One week after wearing the rose and clear quartz crystals, she has become much calmer and more at peace with those around her.”
Many users report that after wearing crystals, their dogs became relaxed, more amenable to training, and even friendlier. Angela White says that her dog, Jasmine, refused to go out for walks, didn’t like strangers, and never seemed to have much fun. That all changed when she began wearing a rose quartz crystal. “Now she happily goes for walks and even wanders over to people,” says White. “She often runs about playing, which she rarely did before. I was very skeptical about these crystals working, but they have made a difference to Jasmine.”
Christine Waddell bought an amethyst crystal for her 11-year-old Bichon, Biggles, who suffered from aching joints in his legs and hips. “Since putting the crystal on his collar,” she says, “his pain and discomfort have improved dramatically and he is moving much more comfortably. Recently the crystal fell off and within a short period I noticed that Biggles’ discomfort and pain had returned, though not so badly as previously. Needless to say, I had the crystal replaced and now have a happier dog because of it.”
Other guardians report improvements in eczema, rough skin, dry flakey skin, abscesses, sores, allergic reactions; and stress and anxiety.
“Energy healing works upon the electromagnetic field that surrounds us,” explains Brown, “which includes the emotional, mental, and physical bodies. Disruptions in the normal flow of energy eventually lead to physical illness and psychological symptoms. Pets who wear all three of my clip-on crystals are kept emotionally, physically, and mentally balanced, and results are seen in a short time.”
Hundreds of stones and crystals are used to improve health and happiness, so it makes sense to consult a reference book or crystal healing practitioner for help in selecting the right one for your pet.
One way to impart crystal energy to your dog is by attaching or placing a stone or crystal in a corner of her crate, on top of the crate, under her bedding (be sure that any sharp crystal points are padded so they don’t irritate), or on a sunny window sill. Stones can also be placed on the floor near your sleeping dog.
“Simply placing crystals in your home environment can help you and your pet reduce stress and fear, balance emotions, energize the physical body, clear energy blockages, calm the mind, and reach expanded states of consciousness,” says lapidary artist Michelle Buckler of Lewes, Delaware, who uses gold and silver wire to wrap or frame stones and crystals, making them easy to hang from or attach to crates, walls, windows, or furniture.
Because dogs are so sensitive to energy, she says, it’s important to be balanced, centered, and grounded yourself before positioning crystals. Introduce crystals in a quiet, comfortable environment, take some deep breaths, relax, and enjoy the experience. Watch for signs of stress in your dog, such as changes in ear or tail position, rising hackles, or turning away.
“Crystal healing can sometimes be too fast for the animal to integrate, or so intense that it causes pain and other discomfort,” she explains. “As crystal energy promotes rapid healing, easing off can help alleviate the stress caused by a healing crisis. When the healing is going well, the dog will show signs of comfort and affection, such as eyelids drooping, sighing, and a general softening of muscle tissues.”
An easy way to apply crystal energy to your pet, Buckler suggests, is to warm a crystal in the sun, then hold it a few inches from the injured or affected area and rotate the crystal clockwise. “Take your time,” she says. “Go slowly and breathe gently and evenly. If you are using an ice bag to reduce swelling, try adding a few tumbled smoky quartz crystals to the ice to help unblock over-active or inflamed areas.”
Vibrational animal healer Chris Anderson of Kittridge, Colorado, prefers river stones, which are often called balsamic stones when they are used in spas for “hot stone” massage therapy. “I warm the stones in hot water and then use them as an extension of my hand to massage the dog,” she says. “These stones have their own healing energy, and by going in deep with that extra warmth, you can really help sore muscles and arthiritic conditions. Look for your own smooth, flat river stones or buy them from a massage supply store.”
Another way to use crystals is to leave them in your dog’s water bowl or bucket, making sure they can’t be swallowed. The crystals are said to leave their energy signature in the water so that when the water is ingested, the energy goes where it is most needed. Note that some crystals, such as malachite, are for external use only; they are toxic if swallowed. Use only stones that are known to be safe in your dog’s water dish. Consult an expert if you aren’t sure.
As mentioned in “Canine Energy Healing Techniques” (WDJ November 2007), gem elixirs or crystal essences can be made and used the same way as flower essences.
Clearing and charging
It’s easy to think of stones and crystals as static and unchanging, but according to energy experts, rocks and minerals are alive in their own way. Stones can transmit or give off energy, absorb energy, channel and redirect energy, or simply support other stones.
Over time – in some cases a very short time – crystals that absorb or give off energy can lose their effectiveness or wear out. As a result of exposure to electromagnetic pollution, physical pain, negative emotional energy, or other imbalances, they may become darker, feel sticky to the touch, change color, or develop cracks, fissures, bubbles, cloudiness, or spots. On an energetic level, crystals feel weaker and less lively as these changes occur..
Fortunately, there are ways to cleanse or “clear” crystals, stones, and river rocks. Any of these methods can be used when you first obtain the item and again whenever needed. They include holding a crystal in both hands under cold running water for half a minute or more, burning dried sage leaves in a bowl or shell and passing the crystal through its fragrant smoke, soaking or dipping crystals in sage tea or salt water, breathing on crystals by exhaling slowly through the nose, leaving them out in the rain or sun, burying them in the earth for a few days or weeks, gently washing them with soap (not harsh detergent) and warm (not hot) water, or simply leaving them in the open air. To prevent damage to crystals that might be adversely affected by salt water or long-term soaking, try a brief soak or dip followed by a plain water rinse and air drying.
Crystals worn by dogs should be cleared often, such as every day, and stones used in massage or healing sessions should be cleared after every use to maintain their effectiveness.
To “charge” crystals with positive energies, clear them first and then repeatedly exhale on the crystals, leave them in direct sun for several hours, place them under a pyramid for a day or two, leave them outdoors in snowstorms, thunderstorms, or other dynamic weather conditions, or simply charge the stones with your concentrated intention, affirming that they are filled with love and a positive life force. Sara Brown charges her clip-on crystals with positive energy before sending them to clients, then recharges them daily by sending healing thoughts to animals wearing them.
In Minneapolis, Minnesota, Mary Ann Field, a canine massage therapist, craniosacral therapist for humans, and Master of Crystalogy, has turned crystal collars for pets into a thriving business.
“The whole idea started 10 years ago with one of my Australian Shepherds,” she says. “She had so many physical problems that I wanted to find a way to help reduce her chronic pain. I knew a crystal expert and had already gotten good results for my own pain by using stones, so I thought crystals might help.”
Her husband, Brink, helped Field make crystal collars by stringing beads on cotton cord attached to copper wire clasps. Their two Aussies tested collars until the results were sturdy enough for daily wear.
“Both dogs were rescues,” she says, “and this gave us a chance to experiment with stones that addressed their emotional issues. We worked with our own dogs until we got the results we wanted, and then we started sharing the collars with friends.”
Now the Fields’ business, Pelli’s Castle Works, sells a variety of collars made for dogs of all sizes. These collars typically contain two or three types of stones that work well together, she says, sometimes using the dogs’ birth month as a guide.
“It’s interesting how at dog shows, people who pick up the different collars can feel their differences, even when they are new to crystals. Some of the collars feel calming, some are energizing, some are serious, and some just feel fun. Moss agate and blue lace agate are both soothing as well as pretty. Some of the heavier dark stones, like hematite or jasper, are grounding. Others, like tiger’s eye and citrine, are happy stones that channel positive energy. Whenever possible, we suggest showing different collars to dogs so they can select the one they want. You can also do this at home with individual stones.”
In addition to making birth month collars, Field custom-designs collars for dogs with specific issues. For dogs with separation anxiety, for example, she favors agates for their calming influence, red tiger’s eye for increased confidence, tiger iron for a feeling of safety and security, and lapis lazuli for the instantaneous release of stress.
“I’d use a lot of the same stones that people use when meditating,” she says, “like kyanite and chrysoprase. Then I’d add jasper. There are many kinds and colors of jasper, and they each have their own application, but they all support and strengthen the physical body. Because anxiety is often linked to blocked energy in the body, I’d finish with bloodstone to help clear the blocks.”
For dogs competing in agility or other sports, Field emphasizes howlite, a stone associated with communication. “It helps dogs concentrate and focus,” she says, “plus it helps them work well with their handlers, and it reduces the goofiness and distractibility that can interfere with competition. I’d put fluorite in there, too, because fluorite is called the IQ stone. It really assists the thought processes. Zebra stone is great for athletes because it helps with stamina, endurance, and support of the physical body. I’d probably add some protective stones like black onyx and hematite to help prevent injury.”
Field’s goal is to include as many appropriate stones as possible without making the collar overwhelming. “That’s why I check intuitively with the animals, to know what they’re comfortable with and what they can take,” she says.
She advises humans to keep an open mind when it comes to energy medicine. “Our attitude toward energy healing affects how it works. Dogs are extremely sensitive, and if you disapprove of this technique or know that it isn’t going to work, your dog will pick up on that and it will change the outcome.”
When dogs don’t like crystals
While most dogs take to crystals right away, not all of them do. Some dogs turn away from crystals and don’t want anything to do with them; some become restless and uncomfortable if a crystal is attached to their collar or they are fitted with a crystal collar.
“The first time this happened with one of our collars,” says Field, “the dog responded with extreme fatigue. Within five minutes, she laid down and couldn’t raise her head. It was as though the collar became extremely heavy. This dog was diagnosed with cancer a short time later; I assume her illness contributed to this extreme reaction.”
When a second dog showed a similar response, Field was ready. “What I learned was that when the stones absorb so much negative energy so quickly, the best way to use the collar is to put it on for a few minutes, then clear the stones for 24 hours or so, then put it on again for a few minutes, and clear them again.”
The second dog had serious health problems, but by following this strategy, he was able to wear the collar for a few more minutes each time. After two months, he was comfortable wearing it all day.
Field notes that in some cases, crystals trigger physical symptoms similar to homeopathy’s healing crisis – for example, a dog with a history of ear infections or hot spots might suddenly show these symptoms – in which case the crystals should be removed, cleansed, and reintroduced gradually.
“Best crystals” for dogs
If you’d like to experiment with crystals, consider these eight stones, which are highly recommended for dogs.
“Rose quartz is number one,” says Field. “It’s all about love and balance, and it’s very powerful. If you have five or six dogs and there are territorial issues, put rose quartz in their water dish.”
Amethyst, she says, is the second most powerful healing stone. “It’s very protective, soothes the emotions, and stimulates physical healing.”
Field’s third choice is fluorite, the IQ stone. “It helps with focus and concentration and it also absorbs and dissipates electromagnetic stress from our indoor and outdoor environments.” Quartz is next on the list. “There are several kinds of quartz and all of them protect, rejuvenate, energize, balance energy, boost immunity, and support the animal,” says Field. “I like quartz clusters rather than individual crystals because they’re more concentrated and effective.”
Citrine belongs in your dog’s crystal collection, says Field, because it gives off positive energy. “It’s all about happiness, well-being, prosperity, and everything that’s fun and upbeat.” Her next recommendation is blue lace agate, a soothing, calming stone that quickly releases stress. “Blue lace agate belongs in any house with multiple animals or wherever conditions are stressful. Like most of the stones on this list, it works wonders in the dog’s water bowl.”
Rhodochrosite, she says, is important for those with rescued animals. “It helps heal emotional and physical trauma.”
Her final recommendation is malachite. “This is especially good for dogs with physical injuries,” she says. “It helps relieve physical pain. Place it on the sore area and hold it there for a few minutes, then clear it, then reapply. It works almost like icing an injury. Do this for five or ten minutes at a time two or three times per day. Just remember that malachite is toxic if swallowed, so don’t leave it in your dog’s water bowl and never let your dog play with malachite crystals.”
Healing with Mother Earth
Since time began, animals have lived in direct contact with the earth. Their feet were always on the ground, they always breathed open air, and the sun and moon illuminated their days and nights.
Even after their human companions moved into houses, most dogs lived outdoors. Now people and their pets are indoor creatures. Sure, dogs go for walks and enjoy other outdoor activities, but, like most of us, our dogs often spend more than 20 hours a day inside.
According to energy experts, indoor living takes a toll. For one thing, it disrupts our exposure to unfiltered natural light, which is needed by the hypothalamus and other glands for endocrine balance and optimum health. Whenever possible, give your dog access to natural light by letting him stay outdoors or near an open window or on a screened porch. The location doesn’t have to be sunny; in fact, shade is preferable. What matters is that nothing interfere with the full spectrum of natural light, such as glass windows or patio doors.
For a fascinating look at the health benefits of unfiltered light, see Health and Light: The Effects of Natural and Artificial Light on Man and Other Living Things by John Ott. A pioneer of time-lapse photography, Ott discovered the vital role that natural light plays in the lives of plants and animals. Without it, plants can’t set fruit, animals have reproductive problems, and humans and animals develop a variety of modern illnesses, including cancer.
Indoor lighting adds to the problem. Glass windows screen out ultraviolet light, which is a crucial part of the spectrum, but fluorescent and incandescent bulbs are incomplete in other ways. Any lights that change the appearance of colors, so that red lipstick looks black or other colors look distorted, are an extreme example, but even “sunlight” bulbs that look white because the yellow part of the spectrum has been removed can adversely affect the body. It’s ironic that the fluorescent lights being touted for their energy efficiency may, according to light researchers, create a host of new health problems, while none of the bulbs labeled “full spectrum” include the complete spectrum of natural light.
For your dog’s continuing or improved health, outdoor natural light is best, followed by indoor window light, followed by standard incandescent bulbs, followed by “natural light” or “full-spectrum” fluorescent tubes or incandescent bulbs, followed by tinted fluorescent or incandescent lights, with energy-efficient fluorescents last on your shopping list.
Another way in which 21st century people and dogs are disconnected from Mother Earth is by modern building materials. When we stand barefoot on bare earth, grass, sand, gravel, or concrete, our bodies absorb a constant flow of free electrons. When we’re indoors, in our cars, or walking on rubber-soled shoes, we’re insulated from the earth’s energy flow.
“Disrupting the natural flow of energy from the earth may have negative biological effects,” says health researcher Dale Teplitz of San Diego. “That’s because the earth’s free electrons are essential for synchronizing biological clocks, hormone cycles, and physiological rhythms.”
There may be a link between our lack of direct contact with the earth and common inflammatory conditions like arthritis, allergies, heart disease, diabetes, digestive disorders, hormone imbalances, and others.
If your dog spends most of the day and all of the night indoors, do what you can to increase his time outside. Resting or playing in a fenced yard is perfect, as are long walks, hikes, and swims. Direct contact with the earth may be especially important at night, when the earth’s effects on human and animal health is said to be most powerful.
For those not able to sleep on the ground, EarthingTM technology products provide contact with the earth even when you’re indoors. Bedding products containing conductive materials are connected to the earth by a wire that transmits the earth’s free electrons. Medical thermal imaging has shown in before-and-after photos of human subjects that Earthing significantly reduces inflammation in painful joints and increases blood flow to circulation-impaired hands and feet.
Earthing bed pads fit across a bed’s bottom sheet so that the sleeper’s bare feet rest on the pad, which plugs into a grounded outlet. Many who have used these washable bed pads report reduced pain and muscle tension along with improved sleep.
While a pet version of the Earthing bed pad is not yet commercially available, in the summer of 2007 Teplitz conducted an eight-week preliminary clinical trial of a prototype pad for pets. Questionnaires completed by caregivers showed that in most cases, indoor dogs with arthritis, back pain, fatigue, anxiety, hip dysplasia, chronic coughs, old injuries, or other common problems experienced improvements in energy, stamina, flexibility, muscle tone, calmness, pain levels, and sleep.
One trial participant is Chip, an eight-year-old retired racing Greyhound belonging to Roberta Mikkelsen of Pearl River, New York. Chip limped because of old racing injuries to all four legs and he was anxious and afraid of thunder, fireworks, and other loud noises.
After three weeks of sleeping on an Earthing pad, Chip stopped panting, pacing, shaking, and hiding during storms. Instead, he calmly walked into the bedroom and fell asleep. He even slept through Fourth of July fireworks. Because of leg pain, Chip couldn’t get into the car or jump onto the couch for an entire year. “Now, thanks to the Earthing pad, he does both all the time,” says Mikkelsen. “He’s more playful, jumps and runs more, limps much less, tolerates longer walks, and has far more energy than before.”
“Earthing is a new technology,” says Teplitz, “so we’re still collecting information, but it’s safe to suggest that any dog will feel better if he or she spends more time walking, playing, or resting on the bare earth.”
CJ Puotinen, a frequent contributor to WDJ, is the author of The Encyclopedia of Natural Pet Care, which describes several energy healing techniques. See “Resources,” page 24, for more information.