Crystal therapy or healing is an alternative medicine technique that employs stones and crystals.
In one method, the practitioner places crystals on different parts of the body, often corresponding to chakras; or else the practitioner places crystals around the body in an attempt to construct an energy grid, which is purported to surround the client with healing energy.
A charmstone is a mineral specimen believed by adherents of certain cultural or religions traditions to have healing, mystical or paranormal powers or energy.
The mineral specimen can be either natural and complete or cleaved from a natural stone; in some cases, the article may be entirely manufactured as in the case of certain Mayan pottery finds.
For example, the Miwok and Pomo tribes of Northern California have left thousands of charmstones in the bed of Tolay Lake in Sonoma County. Charmstones are evidenced by the Shalagram and lingam in the Hindu tradition and by maban in the indigenous Australian tradition.
Jigme Lingpa in the Vajrayana tradition wrote a treatise on charmstone usage which Namkhai Norbu mentions. Charmstones were used in prehistoric Native American ceremonies for broad spiritual purposes including securing of productive harvests.
Today charmstones remain very popular among certain subcultures within Western society, such as the New Age movement, particularly in the form of crystal healing. However, belief in the powers of charmstones is criticized as baseless by scientists and medical professionals who point out that there is no known scientific basis for a crystal healing effect.