FoCo guide to holistic healing

Sarah Ehrlich

You may have heard of crystals, reflexology, smudging and other holistic practices and asked yourself, “does it really work?”

a statue and crystal decor.
Crystals are inclusive of all spiritual beliefs. Buddhists and Christians alike have used crystals to help with prayers and meditation. Not to mention crystals make for beautiful decor in your home. (Sarah Ehrlich|Collegian)

Thankfully, in current times, people are paying more attention to their mental health, as it can eventually take a toll on physical well-being. Fort Collins is a place that welcomes these types of practices with book and crystal stores, meditation and yoga studios, and people who specialize in holistic medicine, like Fort Collins resident Elizabeth Carroll.  


Carroll has been doing energy work at the Earth Star Healing Center since 2009, but felt she has been capable of helping both people and animals with healing processes since she was young. 

“I have always been intuitive but didn’t have a way to understand that,” Carroll said. “I learned about reflexology and the use of essential oils and started learning about energy and frequency. So, whenever we feel an illness, mental or physical, that means our body’s frequency is lowered.”

Continue reading for some practices you can try to improve mental health.

Healing crystals

Not only are crystals beautiful, but they hold certain frequencies and properties that allow us to become closer to the Earth. They help you hold the thoughts and intentions you have about life and pick up on your unique vibrations.

rose quartz sits in a bowl
There are many stones with different frequencies (MHz) to draw out low vibrations from the body that may cause discomfort. (Sarah Ehrlich | Collegian)

Choosing a crystal is entirely up to what you wish to change in life. A popular crystal is quartz, which is part of the Earth’s crust and is used in modern day technology. It helps promote feelings of clarity and protection. Amethyst is great for stress reduction, and if you’re wanting a little more prosperity and open-mindedness, try citrine.

CSU Computer science major Samantha La Fleur uses crystals to align chakras, where she can pick and choose what she wants to improve.

“Laying a corresponding crystal at certain points will center each energy and balance out the chakras through the body,” La Fleur said. “Each crystal has its own properties and different ways it affects the body. Like hematite for example, it grounds the body and makes you feel more stable. Rose quartz bathes the body in a healing energy based on love.”


Do you want to make your home a place of peace and relaxation? Sometimes negative energy can be trapped in your space from previous owners or experiences you have had. Smudging is the process of clearing negative energy and low vibrations through burning various plants like sage, tobacco or Palo Santo.


Unwanted spirits and energies are then sent to their proper home, on Earth or elsewhere. Smudging can also be done with holy water, depending on the beliefs of your home.

sage and palo santo bunches
Smudging is the burning of plants like sage and palo santo to cleanse negative energy from spaces. (Sarah Ehrlich | Collegian)

 “When there are energies or entities in your home, the first thing to do is find out who they are and why they are here,” said Carroll, who regularly performs house and business clearings for Fort Collins residents. “We have a long history in Fort Collins, so when we go to thrift stores or estate auctions we want to make sure we aren’t bringing home spirits, and that’s where smudging comes in.”

Tarot and affirmation cards  

These two sets of cards have a pop culture stereotype of fortune telling but are actually more similar to a map than a crystal ball.

To find the right tarot deck, look for a design that you connect with. Drawing certain cards do not always mean what they say. A death card drawn could simply mean death of a friendship or mindset. These cards are meant to give new perspectives on events in life and suggest pathways. 

Affirmation cards are similar to tarot in that you should choose one that speaks to you. These cards are simply affirmative phrases and pictures that include a booklet of deeper discussion as to what each affirmation means.

collection of crystals and rocks
Crystals come in all shapes and sizes and can be worn as jewelry. (Sarah Ehrlich | Collegian)

Northern Lights Crystals, Books and Gifts employee Jodi Merrill explains that there is something for every mindset.

“Some people are truth seekers and want to find their own spiritual path,” Merrill said. “We are all on parallel paths, so find what is going to serve you best.”

“Some people are truth seekers and want to find their own spiritual path. We are all on parallel paths, so find what is going to serve you best.” -Jodi Merrill, Northern Lights Crystals, Books and Gifts employee

Many people wonder if these practices can be effective. Call it what you will, but it is important to remember it depends all on the person, and it takes an open mind to experience these things. 

More information is available at the Earth Star Healing Center and Northern Lights Crystals Books and Gifts.

Collegian reporter Sarah Ehrlich can be reached at and on Twitter @sarahehrlich96.