If you’re one of those people who explore holistic approaches to healing and holistic alignment, these 10 healing books, or rather books that have an alternative approach to healing may prove to be useful.
I take you from chakras, crystals and green witchery tips on using herbs, oils and plants to the ancient practice of Ayurveda, Native American healing and benefits of activated charcoal and beyond.
Let’s start with chakras and gemstones, an ongoing fascination for me.
Better understanding our chakras and how they work, we can better understand how we feel, most importantly, how to keep ourselves feeling healthy in mind and body. If you’ve done any chakra work, you know that there are seven chakras in the centers in our bodies in which energy flows through.
Blocked energy in our seven chakras can often lead to depression, anxiety, illness, so it’s important to get more clarity on what each chakra represents and the types of things we can do to keep this energy flowing freely and smoothly.
Each chakra is actually associated with an organ in our body or an endocrine gland so knowing how they’re performing is important.
There are practitioners who specialize in energy work who use crystals and gemstones as one way to get our chakras in balance, often combined with another healing modality. I have written about a couple of them in the SF Bay Area recently, Amy Maloon who integrates crystal work with acupuncture and Tanya Corona whose work is founded on the Crystalline Grid method and uses crystals with Reiki.
Crystals for Energy Healing by Ashley Leavy has souped up a comprehensive sourcebook with 100 essential crystals for energy healing.
Packed into this useful guide is practical information as well as history and other useful data on each stone, from their attributes, and holistic benefits to their specific powers so you can better balance your inner and outer self.
One of the things that makes this book unique is that she includes a small section under each gemstone for Legendary Uses as well as “How to Use.”
She provides quick references as well for each stone, like its physiological correspondence, its psychological correspondence and keywords that are associated to it, i.e., connection and observation for Quartz and Protection, shielding and space clearing for Pietersite as two examples.
Ashley also gives you step by step instructions for setting up a crystal grid for emotional healing — what you’ll need and what to do. She does the same for intuitive guidance and physical healing as well as for shielding and protection.
It is more comprehensive that other books on crystals in that she’ll go through each layout with exactly what crystals you’ll need and where they go. Find it over on Amazon.
In The Book of Chakra Healing by Liz Simpson, she guides you through a list of things you can do for yourself at home to help keep your chakras aligned, from understanding the power of gemstones and crystals, creating an altar, and identifying patterns we may have embedded into our neural pathways to meditation, gathering more knowledge through reading and keeping a journal.
She also asserts that affirmations can be helpful, which can disrupt and change old, inappropriate patterns of thought and behavior that are no longer serving us.
Liz takes readers through each chakra, outlining what each chakra is aligned with and is concerned with, after which she provides tips and insights to help keeping that chakra in flow.
She’ll also give you meditations you can do for each of the chakras as well as examples of items which could work on an altar, personalized by you and what you’re trying to clear.
For example, the Solar Plexus Chakra, which is located between the naval and base of the sternum is connected to the color yellow, the element fire and has Mars and Sun as its ruling planets. You start to see just how much is connected – our chakras with our bodies, our souls, everything around us and even in the Universe.
When the Solar Plexus is too open, we may get angry easily, become controlling or tend to be judgmental more often than we should. If its blocked, we may be fearful of being alone, insecure and in need of constant reassurance. When balanced and the chakra is in equilibrium, we have a respect for others, can step into our personal power and are uninhibited. This can also show up physically. For example, if you’re digestive system and muscles are not doing well, it will likely show up in your energy system. You can find it on Amazon.
The Complete Guide to Crystal Chakra Healing by Philip Permutt provides energy medicine for the mind, body and spirit. He walks you through what crystals and minerals are, their power and how they can work for various types of healing, both energetically and physically.
Philip includes symptoms charts, illustrations, exercises and case studies as well.
He guides you through healing each chakra, its color association and even essential oils that can be useful. He accounts for both emotional and mental healing.
For example, with the sacral chakra, which is connected to natural cycles and those of the universe, he asserts that just like a child child, when open and working smoothly, it allows you to better experience living in the moment full of surprise and wonder in that innocent kind of way.
Taoism refers to this state as an “uncarved block”.
When the sacral chakra is balanced, you’re better able to tap into opportunities that come your way, making decisions with flow and ease.
For example, a stone I just picked up called Ametrine which is also very inexpensive, can help to remove physical, mental and emotional blockages, and is also great for creativity and artistic pursuits. It is meant to boost the aura and balance your yin and yang energies. Physically it can help with muscle tension.
There are more unusual gemstones in his book than in some of the others I have read, such as Anhydrite, which I had never heard of. It’s most commonly found in Mexico and can help to promote strength and stamina as well as relieve water retention and swelling. Hessonite was also on the unusual list for me, which is more commonly known as the Cinnamon Stone and hails from Madagascar. It’s all about courage and diffusing negative energy and the victim mentality.
There’s also a sidebar on how to tell if you’re sacral chakra is out of balance, from mental mood swings to physical symptoms. It’s available over on Amazon.
Since crystals and gemstones are such an integral part of chakra balancing, be sure to check out the next book we’ve been reading, entitled The Ultimate Guide to Crystals and Gemstones. This guide is a practical path to personal power, self development and healing by Uma Silbey.
While we have some of the crystal books by crystal and gemstones maestro Judy Hall (and I personally access all three of her Crystal Bibles frequently), we find it useful to tap into other writers’ perspective since each author has a unique way of presenting their world of gemstones and their power.
In this useful guide, there’s an interesting section on discovering what is stored in a Quartz Crystal or Stone, i.e., prior vibrations for example. Sometimes a crystal or stone has information stored in it that may be useful or need to be cleared.
Some people believe that there are crystals where certain information has been programmed from advanced beings or other universes or higher planes of existence which can be useful to us. Fascinating stuff.
Because of this, Uma suggests ‘selective clearing’ once you have decided if you want the stone or crystal to save any of this embedded information if you like. She also provides tips on how to practice feeling the vibrational field of stones as well as a section on how to ground with rocks and stones.
I can’t emphasize the importance of grounding if you’re doing any kind of spiritual or energy work, and gemstones can be one way to do this. Grounding creates an attachment and connection with the Earth, permitting the flow of energy from the earth to move through your feet and up through your body. You can feel the difference when you’re grounded, at least that’s the case for me.
Smoky Quartz is a useful stone for this, as is Black Tourmaline, Obsidian and Hematite. There’s also a step by step to calming the mind through breath and meditation as well as details on how crystals can be used, for clearing, calming or yes, even teaching.
From teacher crystals, devic temple crystals and channel crystals to what they refer to as Cathedral Crystals, Bridge Crystals, Pyramid stones and Record Keeper crystals, you learn more than you ever imagined in his book. Imagine doing astral travel with crystals?
Uma suggests that this is possible once we are able to control our dreams. She asserts that when we are more conscious of our astral body, i.e., such as in the lucid dream state, our astral body floats about in the astral currents, meeting other astral bodies. Here is where additional learning can happen.
There’s even a section on Golden Light Body Healing. Uma, who lives in Hawaii, has a masters in counseling psychology and has trained with shamans, indigenous healers and medicine people. Head on over to Amazon to pick up a copy of this very useful book.
Crystal Bliss by Devi Brown is another amazing read on crystals and gemstones.
While most crystal books will hone in on a crystal’s magnetic energy, what we love about this book is how specific it gets on a stone, i.e., Moonstone for GODDESS energy, or Carnelian for Supreme VITALITY.
The book also provides physical healing powers and mantras for each, which is one of the things I really love about Oracle Cards. This book tries to weave in some of the magnetic energy of cards into its chapters.
For example, with Serpentine, which touts Regenerating the BODY, they focus on the chakra as well as a mantra. In this case, it is “I utilize the energy and beauty of nature to recharge my mind and body.”
For Moonstone, for example (one of my favorites), it is “I open myself to the power of the sacred Goddess energy that resides within me.”
It guides you to select, prepare and use crystals for meditation and energy healing. With the help of Crystal Bliss, you can learn how to boost your own energy, beat back negative vibes, open your heart to love, manifest wealth, and promote good health.
Bravo — find it over on Amazon.
Ayurveda Made Easy by Heidi Spear addresses the healing powers of life in an Ayurveda world, which addresses the vitality of your entire being — body, mind and life-force energy. Ayurveda is translated to “the science of the life” which helps you run your body and mind in harmony, aligning yourself with what’s natural for you, i.e., your own natural rhythms.
For those familiar with Ayurveda, you know just how old it is, stemming from India over 5,000 years ago.
Holistic in nature, they often refer to it as a ‘whole medical system.’ Most of the people I know who follow Ayurveda ‘by the book’ have a very unique diet that focuses on their own system which they feel keeps them more in balance energetically.
The book gives you signs (both mental and physical) to see just how aligned and balanced you are, whether anxiety and fear is a driver or love and acceptance. There’s a useful five minute check in which you can do daily to see how you’re doing, which includes breath work, so core to any holistic and spiritual practice.
Heidi suggests practicing and becoming aware of how something they refer to as Vata, shows up for you. By being aware of your Vata, you can keep it balanced by being proactive. Vata time of day is 2-6 pm and 2 to 6 am, these are the times of day they suggest, to avoid activities that can make you stirred up or anxious. Breath work and yoga is what is suggested for that time of day, which is often hard for most of us who work at a desk in the afternoon.
There are herbs and drinks you can take to help with this process, as well as stretches, meditations and more. Warm oil massages are also suggested. Next up is determining whether your Pitta is out of balance, which can show up in anger bursts, jealousy or control issues.
Foods that can help to balance pitta for example tend to be sweet, bitter, and astringent in taste. It’s available on Amazon in an easy small size that can fit in your purse – I have found it to be very useful and have plenty of notes and stickies throughout for easy access to tips later on. See our piece on Turning Negatives into Positives Centered around Anxiety as well.
The Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hiscock is a fun and short read on the natural magic of herbs, flowers, essential oils and more. Witchery you say? Green Witchery extends far beyond where your mind may be right now. The way of the green witch is really the path of the naturalist, the herbalist and the healer and sadly, how many women in ancient times were burned by the Church as it was so misunderstood.
In Arin’s useful book, you’ll get recipes, herbal blends that can help with emotional and physical balance, exercises, ritual suggestions and even basic things, like taking hikes, gardening, and connecting to stones and the earth on a regular basis to get and stay grounded, all of which helps to align your system and keep it healthy.
Kitchen recipes so to speak, include the energies and properties of fruits, flowers and even craft vinegars.
There are steps of healing, from using natural sources like essential oils, bath salts and restorative elixirs to healing teas, how to care for your garden inside and out, and healing stones.
I love her section on how to live closely with the Earth. I grew up in nature so am a huge believer in the power of nature to heal and calm your system, making you more aligned with what’s right for you. She explores what’s behind the Sun, the Moon and the Stars and their effect on you during different times of the year, i.e., at the new moon, the full moon and so on.
Better understanding astrology and where you fall into it is part of this – see my review on an astrologer who integrates both astrology, natal charts and gemstones to tell you a more complete system.
There’s also magic in trees for those who haven’t yet learned their power. Try to hug one occasionally and see if you feel different over time, as crazy as this sounds. She also has some useful seasonal rituals, meditations for different times of year and seasonal cycles and energy. Get it over on Amazon.
Crossing Into Medicine Country by David Carson is a journey in Native American Healing. While we haven’t done much on Shamanism yet, we plan to cover it more in the coming months. Because he grew up in Indian country in rural Oklahoma, he became absorbed with Indian culture early on.
You’ll learn about ceremonial healers and medicine women, where he learned about everything from the power of plants (which ones and why), medicine animals (yes, really), and how to manipulate the layers of energy surrounding human beings.
BTW, those on alternative healing speak of the power of auras, seeing and reading them as a way to heal as I pointed out above in two of our book reviews today.
You’ll even learn about sacred tobacco, what it’s used for and when in ritual, curing and divination. Asserts David, “there’s an alternative reality in which health and illness express the balance between man and nature, and Western notions of physics do not operate.” Head on over to Amazon to get an inexpensive copy of his book in paperback. Also see our article entitled: Connecting to Spirit Medicine is Connecting to Ourselves, which you an find useful.
Lastly, we were fascinated by the title of this book so decided to get it in. Activated Charcoal for Health by Britt Brandon.
Charcoal, say what? I know, that was my reaction too. This very short but super useful read gives you 100 amazing and unexpected uses for Activated Charcoal for healing and enhanced health.
Apparently activated charcoal has been used to detox the system, improve your skin, can aid in soothing digestion, whitening your teeth, treating bad breath and body odor, preventing hangovers (yes, really and I had heard of this one before) and disinfecting wounds.
It is also known for cleansing hair and exfoliating the skin (you’ll likely find it in some of your masks that you use at home). This all-natural powder has a lot of antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties.
There’s an interesting section on the history of charcoal as well, which apparently dates back to around 3,750 BC. Back then, it was used by the Egyptians and Sumerians to make bronze, as well as a preservative. The Egyptians apparently used it in their embalming processes as well.
Activated Charcoal for Health is available over on Amazon and is an easy and quick read.
Note: I am not suggesting that any of the things we reviewed, talked about or are in the book will heal any symptom or issue you have. I am merely talking about the book and its sections, as well as what they provide in the various chapters. As always, consult your medical practitioner for assistance on your health situation and use common sense. This is merely a section on book reviews.