Get Stoned Like a Shaman: About Stone Medicine

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Stone Medicine Treatment

Humans have always been surrounded by stones. Arguably, one of the first tools ever was a rock used for smashing open otherwise hard-to-get food items. Imagine Grok seeing a nut, stomach growling, looking at the ground at opened shells from birds and other animals. Next to the tree is a rock, and after grabbing a handful of nuts, Grok begins pounding a stone into the shells to reveal a proteinaceous snack. “Eureka!”

Rocks are everywhere. We even call our planet the “3rd Rock From The Sun!” Here at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness, we are a stone’s throw (pun intended) from the world-renowned Siesta Key Beach which sports a shoreline of naturally occurring 99% quartz crystal sand. Ancient cultures, from the Aztecs to the Zulus, adorned themselves in gem jewelry and rock wear – especially those of high status, nobility, and achievement. Precious minerals and metals have been celebrated for ages and are employed in modern technology. You can thank quartz crystals for the functioning of microchips and quantum hardware, even gold has been found in spacecraft since the inception of the space program.

Did you know that Chinese Medicine has engaged with the healing properties of stones, gems, minerals and metals for thousands of years? In fact, we have ancient materia medicas (herbal medicine catalogs) that describe the scientific characteristics of Stone Medicine. A modern version of the Chinese Materia Medica written by Li Shizhen in 1578 C.E. catalogs 1,892 medicinal substances with 355 of those being mineral substances. Is it really that much of a stretch to believe that humans have used minerals as medicine for millennia? Zinc, magnesium, chromium. These are all GRAS supplements, or Generally Regarded As Safe. We eat minerals, read: ROCKS!

Let’s Get Stoned!

Here is a brief list of commonly found stones for use as medicinal allies. You may have some of these gems in your home, on your necklace, or in your pocket. If you have anything with a microchip, you already have this first one …

Clear Quartz Crystal

Called Shi Ying, or “outstanding stone,” clear quartz crystals are the great harmonizers of Classical Chinese Mineral Medicine. They simply conduct Qi, or rather activity, which make them perfect companions for your meditation practice or when you are contemplating (reflection and introspection). They have a desire for the soles of the feet, said to be our connection with the Earth, our grounding pads. One application is to roll your foot over a quartz crystal, particularly over the area just to the side and back of the ball of the foot. This is Kidney 1, Yongquan or “Bubbling Spring,” and it will stimulate Kidney or Water energy in the body. The Kidneys govern growth, development, and maturation. They are the source of original Yin and Yang in our bodies. The Kidneys are warehouses of Jing, our foundational essence, literally the “stuff” we are made of. Clear quartz crystals will bring clarity to meditation and contemplation, so use it when needing assistance to clear the mind and spirit space. If wearing clear quartz crystals on your body, know that it acts as a buffer or filter for negative energy (smokey quartz is stronger in this action.)

Garnet

Garnet includes a group of silicate minerals with a shared crystal structure. Generally speaking, garnet is great for hormonal imbalances as it strives for stability and a desire to nurture. It is said to “not want ‘entanglement’ but wants to remain uncluttered, unbounded.” Garnets also invigorate and nourish the blood making them great for those convalescing or in a weakened condition. They are said to support Heart – Kidney communication “to resolve conflicts between the Self and the world.” This is your birthstone if you were born in January.

Lapis Lazuli

Known as “celestial blue stone” or “clear gold stone,” Lapis Lazuli clears the emotions and calms the Shen. Shen can be translated as “mind,” “consciousness,” or “spirit.” Some researchers define it as the light we emanate from within. The state of the Shen is most readily observable in the eyes or “reflectors of the soul.” This stone has an affinity to the Heart, Liver, and Brain. It can be a remedy for hypertension and hyperthyroidism. For any use, it is best to have direct skin contact with this gem. At the center of the axilla (armpit) is Heart 1, or Ji Quan meaning “Highest Spring.” Lapis Lazuli calls to this point, so try placing it there to encourage the functioning of your Heart, Brain, and Blood dynamics. Remember Kidney 1 (“Bubbling Spring”) at the sole of the foot? Place this stone there as a therapy for Bone level conditions such as lower limb joint pains and aches.

Tourmaline

Di Qi Shi, or “electrical Qi rock,” is aptly named for its pyroelectric and piezoelectric properties. It will produce an electric charge if heat or pressure, or both, is applied directly to the stone. Tourmaline crystal needles were originally used in the nascent acupuncture years. A primary function of this stone is to “promote the ability to tolerate the negativity we encounter in the world.” This includes toxic energy in all external forms, from people, from food, from the environment. It also pulls deep stagnation and poisons from our subtle energy body. Of great benefit to those undergoing radiation treatment, Tourmaline is said to “enable the physical body to adapt to radiation and eliminate excessive radioactivity.” This is an immunopotentiating stone which regulates immune functioning and can also be used during a crisis situation or emergency.

Eating Stones

Let’s get this disclaimer stated first and foremost: Always seek the advice and guidance of a licensed and trained herbalist when starting any herbal program, or changing up your current herbal regimen. Herbs are very forgiving, especially when compared to pharmaceuticals, still to be safe, cautious, and effectively get a professional on your team. Self-diagnosis is a slippery slope and practitioners, like those at our clinic, are driven to not stop at getting you just healthy, but vibrant and radiantly healthy to pursue your personal potential.

 

Hematite, called Dai Zhe Shi in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) meaning “red stone that perpetuates the generations,” is a Wind herb in our pharmacopeia. It’s primary action is to calm the Liver, clear Fire, and anchor floating Yang. Symptoms include dizziness, headache, and tinnitus. It secondarily directs rebellious Qi downward, which means it can be a remedy for vomiting, hiccup, belching, and even wheezing.

Zi Shi Ying, or Fluorite, is a Shen herb in TCM. The primary function of this stone when ingested is to sedate the Heart, settle tremors, and nourish Liver Blood. With that, it may be a useful remedy for disorientation, insomnia, and palpitations from anxiety. It also warms the Lung to treat a cough from cold pathogens and warms the womb in cases of bleeding from cold invasion.

Most are familiar with Talcum powder, known as “baby powder,” it is made from Talc – one of the softest minerals on Earth. In TCM it is called Hua Shi meaning “slippery stone” and is known as a Drain Damp herb. Primarily, it functions to promote urination, drain Damp Heat, and relieve strangury (blocked Urinary Bladder.) It can be an effective treatment for dysuria (painful or difficult urination,) burning urination, or inability to urinate. Topically, it can treat rashes and sores from eczema or toxic skin reactions.

Chinese herbs are rarely used singularly, and herbal formulas are a staple in practice. In this way, herbs are combined to enhance all the positive effects while minimizing or nullifying any negative effects. Remember an herbal formula is like a winning team, some players are exalted by the supporting cast so that strengths are optimized, and any weaknesses are shored up. The edible stones above are listed as an example to demonstrate the creativity and versatility of this powerful medicine.

Smudging for Stone Work

Regardless of how you choose to employ your mineral mates, let’s get a dose of native sensibility. The indigenous tribes of North America, really all over the world, would perform a ritual, a practice, an art … smudging. Simply, this is the burning of specific herbs to cleanse a space, person, or object. If you have ever experienced Moxibustion in our clinic, you were part of a medical smudging practice backed by thousands of pages of research spanning centuries. So, what is this actually doing? If you have ever stepped outside after a storm, the air breathes in with a purity that is visceral. You feel the “charge” in the air; by the way doing any energy cultivation practice (yoga, qigong, meditation, prayer) after a storm is fantastic! Why? Ion transfer. Positive ions have been cleared and negative ions have been replenished in abundance. Smudging has this very same effect! Tip: Always have a window open when smudging. You must vent the positive ions, *ahem*, “bad spirits” away from the space.

Cleaning and Charging Stones

There are numerous methods of “washing” stones to clear any past energies attached to them, or to recharge their powerful energetic effect. If you are using them for healing if you just obtained new stones, or if you just feel the call, here are a few ways to wash your rocks.

Sea Salt Submersion: Simply place your stones in sea salt for approximately 3 hours. Yes, it’s that easy. If you prefer, leave them in a sea salt “bath” overnight. Go a bit further and do it on a new moon evening to clean them, or a full moon evening to charge them. Dispose of the salt when complete, do not reuse the salt for any purpose!

Water and Sun: If you live near water, allow nature to cleanse your stones. Whether it is a creek, river, lake, or ocean; in a pinch or away from flowing water, use the faucet or tap. Run water over the stones for as long as you feel they need. This can be one minute to one hour to one day. Afterward, let the rays of the sun work for you. Have the stones outside in direct sunlight for about 30 minutes. Finally, use a white cotton cloth to gently polish the stones and they are ready for use.

Earth Embrace: Bury your rocks. They came from the Earth. The Earth is ladened with negative ions. These are the “feel good” ions. They are the reason why at the base of a waterfall we feel exuberant. They are the reason why rock salt lamps feel nice to be near. You may wrap your stones in a natural fabric, hemp or cotton, and simply cover them in Earth. This can be your backyard, or even a container filled with soil if you live in a high-rise condo on the Lower Eastside. Tip: Choose your Earth, soil, wisely. Soil from a well cared for garden, or soil from the foothills of a mountain, or even sand from the shore of the sea or lake bed.

AcuStoned

The ways to bring stone medicine with awareness in your own journey are endless. When harnessing the subtle energies of these stone generators and healers, your own intuitive powers are your best friend. A level of discernment is needed as there may exist contradictory recommendations depending on who you inquire upon. The above are truly and only suggestions all based on careful analysis and experimentation from wisdom keepers and medicine workers from ancient to modern moments. Did you know that Chinese Medicine through the use of Acupuncture, Herbs, and Food Therapy can enhance your personal intuition, consciousness, and awareness? The power of the points do not end at the physical level. Chinese Medicine IS multidimensional and touches our being on every level of existence. The skilled practitioners at Lakewood Ranch Acupuncture and Wellness near Sarasota, FL have been trained to expertly facilitate healing and growth. If you feel inspired by this information, if you feel a connection, call us today! Let’s set you up for success in your health quest!

Sources:

  • Bourgault, Luc. American Indian Secrets of Crystal Healing. Quantum Publishers, England: 2010.
  • Franks, Leslie. Stone Medicine: A Chinese Medical Guide to Healing with Gems and Minerals. Healing Arts Press: 2016.
  • Kim, H.B. Minibook of Oriental Medicine, 3rd Edition. Acupuncture Media: 2015.
  • Raphaell, Katrina. Crystal Enlightenment: The Transforming Properties of Crystals and Healing Stones, Volume 1. Aurora Press, Sante Fe: 1985.