Tourmaline is a type of colorful semi-precious stone which occurs naturally in various regions around the world. It was originally discovered in the early 18th century in Sri Lanka but since then large deposits have been found in a number of countries including Madagascar, Brazil, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and also in various African countries.
Tourmaline’s colors have many different causes. It’s generally agreed that traces of iron, and possibly titanium, induce green and blue colors. Manganese produces reds and pinks, and possibly yellows. Some pink and yellow tourmalines might owe their hues to color centers caused by radiation, which can be natural or laboratory-induced.
COLOR: All colors
REFRACTIVE INDEX: 1.624 to 1.644
BIREFRINGENCE: 0.018 to 0.040
SPECIFIC GRAVITY: 3.06 (+0.20, -0.06)
MOHS HARDNESS: 7 to 7.5
Tourmaline is a birthstone for October, along with opal. Tourmaline is also the gem of the eighth anniversary. There are a number of processes used to alter the color, apparent clarity, or improve the durability of gems.
Some tourmaline gems, especially pink to red colored stones, are altered by heat treatment to improve their color. Irradiation is almost impossible to detect in tourmalines, and does not, currently, impact the value. Heat treatment is also used to enhance tourmaline. Heavily-included tourmalines, such as rubellite and Brazilian paraiba, are sometimes clarity-enhanced. A clarity-enhanced tourmaline (especially paraiba) is worth much less than a non-treated gem.
Apart from simply looking good, tourmaline which is also known as ‘Electric stone’ is considered to be one of the most effective energy providing crystals on the planet. As far back as 1880, laboratory experiments were conducted by French scientists who found that tourmaline generated an electrical charge.
This charge allowed the gemstone to produce far infrared photons, alpha waves and negative ions. Indeed, it is one of the very few minerals with the ability to emit far infrared rays and negative ions. Tourmaline can produce its own electrical charge when put under great pressure and also if it is heated and cooled to extremes.
Tourmaline has a growing reputation for its health benefits especially its ability to help the body’s detoxification process and to boost the immune system.
As well as its detoxifying effect on the body’s tissues and organs, proponents suggest that tourmaline can also have a powerful detoxifying effect on the body’s nervous systemwhich has a variety of knock on benefits in terms of emotional wellbeing such as stress relief and ability to concentrate more effectively and for longer periods and may also help you to sleep better.
HOW DOES TOURMALINE WORK FOR YOUR HEALTH?
As we have already mentioned, tourmaline can produce negative ions, far infrared rays and alpha waves all of which can exert powerful healing properties on the body. Let us take a detailed look at how these three factors can help our body and mind.
1) NEGATIVE IONS
If you have ever stood near the base of a beautiful waterfall or relaxed in the vicinity of a natural spring, you may well have noticed how reinvigorated, refreshed and alive it makes you feel. You may experience similar feelings when you take a walk through the woods or just after a heavy dose of rain. There is actually a good reason for these positive emotions and that is because of the abundant presence of negative ions.
In order to understand the beneficial effects of negative ions, it is perhaps easier to explain by noting the negative effects that positive ions can impart on our body. The high concentration of positive ions combined with a shortage of negative ions is linked to negative environmental conditions.
These conditions include daily pollutants like traffic fumes, pesticides, cigarette smoke, cell phones and power lines. Many of these pollutants are difficult to avoid in the modern day but they create positive ions which produce harmful free radicals that can cause cellular damage and ill health.
The negative ions produced by tourmaline helps convert the air’s moisture into beneficial negative ions which neutralizes the potential harm caused by those free radicals the positive ions create. Because of the high levels of negative ions that tourmaline produces, it may have similar healthy effects to those found in nature.
More and more of these positive effects are now coming to light including the following:
It can strengthen the immune system
Tourmaline can regenerate cells
It helps stabilize blood pressure
It can improve circulation by dilating the blood vessels
It can purify the blood
It reduces the pulse and improves cardiac function
2) FAR-INFRARED RAYS
Tourmaline also produces far-infrared rays but why are they important for our health? Well, according to experts these invisible waves of pure energy can penetrate the body very deeply getting beneath the muscles and tissues and right into the bones. For more information on Far-Infrared benefits–read here.
These rays also help improve blood flow and circulation by dilating the capillaries responsible for transporting blood around the body. This improves oxygenation, regenerates and cleanses the blood and helps detoxify the body’s organs. According to experts, this detoxification works at a very deep level and enables the toxins present in the blood to be effectively dissolved.
The warming therapy provided by the far-infrared rays has numerous beneficial effects on the body including the following:
It promotes circulation and blood supply.
It purifies the blood and helps to eliminate harmful toxins.
It can reduce muscular spasms by warming the muscles.
It improves metabolism.
It helps to strengthen the immune system.
It helps provide relief from anxiety and stress.
It boosts energy and reduces fatigue.
It regulates the nervous system and relieves nerve damage and pain.
It helps promote a good night of sleep.
3) TOURMALINE PRODUCES ALPHA WAVES
Another reason that tourmaline is so beneficial to your health is its ability to generate alpha waves. This is important because according to experts the human brain can generate several energy waves that pulsate at differing frequencies.
Alpha waves in the brain are slow and research has demonstrated that when people are in an alpha state, their brains tend to receive more oxygen which in turn allows them to relax better and sleep more deeply.
Scientists from Japan and Germany found that tourmaline radiates an energy which precisely matches the alpha wave frequencies found in the brain. When people are exposed to this particular wave frequency, the human brain is able to enter its alpha state more readily. This has numerous benefits in terms of rest, sleep and emotional wellbeing.
These positive effects include the following:
It helps strengthen the brain and improves intellect.
It can help to improve focus and mental clarity.
It can help slow down the aging process.
It improves the body’s ability to heal.
It reduces stress.
It improves sleep patterns and quality of sleep.
SOME FUN FACTS ABOUT TOURMALINE
Some professional athletes have noted that their performances improved significantly after using tourmaline including the Olympic swimming champion from Sweden – Glen Christiansen. Christiansen claims that wearing a tourmaline necklace gave him strength and allowed his body to recover quicker following workouts.
Tourmaline is said to have libido enhancing abilities. According to many people, it can increase sexual energy and desire in men (Glen Christiansen is a famous proponent).
Women have also claimed that it improves their sexual energy.