When I got an email with the subject line "Crystal Bed Sessions for Travel + Leisure," I was skeptical. Not only did I not know what crystal bed sessions were, I didn't even know what a crystal bed was.
After a little digging, I got a small bit of insight: it's basically a bed with a set of seven quartz crystals that are meant to hang above a patient positioned on a massage table. Each crystal is lit up a different color to correlate with the body's chakras — a Sanskrit word referring to different sections of spiritual power held by the human body, according to The Chopra Center.
Crystal Bed Therapy Explained
The whole treatment was created by a man named John of God, a spiritual healer living in Brazil focusing on the alignment of energy in a body to help treat disease and other illnesses.
While there isn't a ton of information out there around crystal bed therapy, there is a website called JohnOfGodCrystalBed.com that sheds some light (sorry, not sorry) on what it's supposed to achieve: each crystal, which is specifically cut to send off a specific frequency, radiates a specific color matched with a chakra to help align the patient's energy. The idea is that you'll leave the session feeling revived and refreshed.
Upon meeting my therapist, Dr. Julie Von — a celebrated acupuncturist and eastern medicine practitioner — I could tell she was one of those people you feel immediately connected to. She cut past small talk and asked me about my daily stresses, what was going on in my life, and if I had any deep questions I had been mulling over.
After removing my shoes and hopping on the massage bed, I finally got a good look at the crystals. Almost as if it were an X-ray machine, the tall lamp of crystals can be moved around the room, making it easy to place over someone's body when they're laying down.
For my session, Dr. Von created a personal blend of essential oils to accompany my meditation. She also inserted a few acupuncture needles to get rid of any energy blockages inside my body. This was my first time doing both crystal bed therapy and acupuncture — the latter of which I wasn't totally expecting, but luckily I have no real issue with needles. She placed these hair-thin needles in my feet, ankles, hands, ears, and forehead. I immediately felt what I can only describe as a warm, tingling sensation (mostly in my hands).
Once the needles were in, I was directed to enjoy the energy from the crystals. For me, that was closing my eyes and imagining how badass I looked with a needle popping out of my forehead. At least, that was the first two minutes of my 30-minute session. With soft music playing in the room, it was easy to drift off and do a bit of meditating.
Dr. Von suggested a specific meditation for my time: Imagine yourself in 10 years, and really focus on how you look and what's different about you — let the other details flow in naturally — and ask your future self for her opinion on your deepest questions. It was a wonderful exercise in remembering that you are always the best person to ask for advice.
For anyone who is wondering: I didn't feel a thing when she inserted the needles. Maybe a tiny pinprick for one of them, but the majority of insertion was completely pain-free. And once they were in, I could have walked right out of the room without noticing they were there.
At the end of my session, Dr. Von asked if I wanted to share any insight from my meditation, chatted with me for a while, and sent me off with a small bottle of my essential oil mix and an individual acupuncture needle to celebrate my first time doing it.
I did feel completely relaxed at the end of my session. Even walking out into the bustling SoHo neighborhood wasn't as alarming as it usually is. And Dr. Von was an incredibly calming presence. Not only did she open herself up for advice, but she made sure I was comfortable every step of the way. I also discovered that I carry my tension in my jaw, and the best cure for that is a few acupuncture needles right underneath my ears (boy, did I sleep well that night).
It's an expensive treatment. For one crystal bed session with Dr. Von, expect to shell out $250. Remember, you truly are paying for what you get. She's an incredibly successful therapist, and also specializes in fertility (take a look through her Yelp reviews for a look at how much she is not only recommended, but loved).
I would try it again, even if it were only a chance to relax in a quiet space away from the bustle of a loud city. The acupuncture was the true stand-out part of my session. My joints felt looser, my jaw hasn't been tight in days, and my headaches have lessened. For a stressed-out millennial, I'd say anything that can take away those "I stare at a screen for 80 percent of the day" headaches is well worth the money.
For more information on Dr. Julie Von, head to her website.