Stone Medicine: A Chinese Medical Guide to Healing with Gems and Minerals
Book Review by Brana Crystal Cosmopolitan
Author: Leslie J. Franks
While there are numerous books on the market for crystal beginners (see our reviews), there are very few for advanced energy healing practitioners, and even fewer that present crystals in the context of an established healing tradition, such as Chinese Traditional Medicine. Since I have been using concepts of Chinese Traditional Medicine in my healing practice for a number of years, I was immediately drawn to the book Stone Medicine: A Chinese Medical Guide to Healing with Gems and Minerals.
Parallel with the development of acupuncture and herbalism in ancient China, using stones in a therapeutic and medicinal way has been an important aspect of Chinese Traditional Medicine, originating more than 2000 years ago.
The material in this book is based on the teachings of Dr. Jeffrey C. Yuen, an 88th generation Daoist priest from the ancient lineage of the Jade Purity School, which dates to the Han dynasty, 206 BCE. The author of this book, Leslie J. Franks, has been a student of Dr. Yuen since 1995 and the book is a “distillation of knowledge” that she received from him over the course of her study as well as her own experience.
This encyclopedic 466-page book is structured in three large sections. The first one presents a 77-page primer on Chinese Traditional Medicine; the second section provides an introduction to the general aspects of crystals, their energetic signature, how they affect the human body, and how to care for them (including cleaning, cleansing, and recharging, which are discussed as separate practices); the third section discusses the properties and therapeutic application of individual crystals, starting with 15 different Quartz-based stones, 17 types of Agates, 6 types of Jaspers, and then going on to include more than 150 stones, and differentiating according to color, whenever appropriate (for instance, the specific applications of differently colored Fluorites).
While there is an introduction section titled “To the Layperson”, the sheer volume and depth of information may be too much for a complete beginner, especially because it continually references terms related to the Chinese Traditional Medicine (such as various types of Chi – Wei, Yuan, Ying; various conditions – Damp, Heat, Wind; meridians, etc.). However, for an advanced practitioner, Stone Medicine: A Chinese Medical Guide to Healing with Gems and Minerals is an amazingly detailed and comprehensive resource that was long overdue and will be greatly appreciated by those who want to deepen their knowledge of how crystals can be used for therapeutic medicinal purposes.