Romancing the Stone: Gems Brighten Up Spa and Salon Menus
Everything old is new again, a saying that’s demonstrably true when it comes to spa treatments. For centuries, people have ascribed various powers to gem stones, and now in spas and salons across the country, new treatments, products and equipment tap into their beneficial properties.
Gem therapy has its roots in Ayurveda, the 7,000 year-old Indian system of holistic medicine and rejuvenation. Related to Vedic astrology as well as color therapy, Ayurvedic gem therapy prescribes different stones or color groups of stones to ameliorate “imbalances” which result in various ailments. For example, Lapis Lazuli was thought to strengthen the eyes as well as the mind, body, and consciousness. Bloodstone, actually quartz with red flecks, helped with anemia as well as liver and spleen disorders. Rubies were thought to improve mental concentration, while amethyst could tame the emotions. And Hematite, said to be closely tied to the blood (probably due to its high iron content), is said to aid the kidneys’ blood cleansing function, speed tissue regeneration and contribute to the overall health of the blood. Hematite has also been credited with boosting low self-esteem.
According to Michael Katz’s book, Gemstone Energy Medicine: Healing Body, Mind and Spirit, over 100 therapy protocols using gem spheres, from aromatherapy massage to facial massage, have been developed. Crystal wands have been used in full body massages and quartz crystals can assist in guided imagery meditation, while precious stones placed on chakras have a restorative effect, bringing body and spirit into balance.