Thursday, July 30, 2009

Old Wives' Tales

And who better to talk about old wives' tales than an old wife?! I actually had a particular one in mind: the health benefits of copper jewelry. What do you think?

I'd heard about stuff like magnets and copper, as well as other metals, in jewelry for some time. You know what I mean--the claims that wearing particular metals help ailments such as arthritis. I was always a skeptic. Here's the basic theory behind the health claims:

"Copper, when in contact with the skin, forms chelates with human sweat (sometimes seen as a green deposit under the bracelet) and is thus absorbed into the skin," writes Dr. Ray Walker, of the University of Newcastle, Australia. And what does that copper do for a person? Well, according to Dr. Helmar Dollwet, copper is an essential element of an enzyme necessary for the production and regeneration of the cartilage lining the bone surfaces. Copper (and zinc) he explains, are also essential to Super-oxide Dismutase (SOD) which cleans up superoxide radicals that can be destructive to human body tissues.

Yeah, whatever. Sounds like a bunch of bull to me.

Several years ago, Hubby and I were on a driving vacation in Oregon when I had a flare-up of what I thought was probably arthritis in one of the joints of a finger in my right hand. I had brought an applique project with me to work on in the car, but my finger hurt too much to sew. Some days were a little better than others, but the pain was always there to some extent.

One day, we stopped in a little touristy town and walked along the main street's shops. In a gift shop, I saw some pretty bracelets--turned out they were made with copper and other metals. The one I liked best was rather delicate appearing and looked like this:


I decided to buy it. I thought that if nothing else, at $15 it would be a fairly inexpensive reminder of a fun vacation, and if there was anything to the copper/arthritis "myth," maybe it would help.

As I mentioned, I'm really a skeptic when it comes to health claims. Imagine how surprised I was when the pain in my finger joint subsided a day or two after I started wearing the bracelet. Really weird and unexpected. But I didn't think it would last.

I'd had the same pain on and off for a couple years before--usually not as bad as this time, but definitely noticeable. So, when it went away after I started wearing the bracelet, I fully expected it would return at some point. Nope. Not really, and it's been several years now. I'll say that at most, I've felt that joint get a little achy a couple times.

I don't really wear jewelry, but I ALWAYS wear that bracelet. And I'm thinking about getting another. (Click HERE if you're interested in seeing some of the other styles this company makes.) Seriously, I don't know how, but the bracelet seems to work--and I don't think it's a mind over matter thing because I didn't expect it to be successful.

Have you ever tried copper jewelry or "proved" another old wives' tale to be unexpectedly true for you?

8 comments:

Kelly Ann said...

I've always wondered if the cooper thing really worked...now if I could find a bracelet for my knees...now wouldn't that be cute...NOT!!

Ila said...

My brother tried the magnet thing. The only finding he had for his experiment was that he felt strangely attracted to the refrigerator!

paula, the quilter said...

I have a copper and magnet bracelet that I wear all the time. The hand I wear it on has had CTS surgery plus surgery for trigger thumb. It seems to help the wrist. but the thumb still aches if I do too much.

Granny Lyn said...

My mother always swore by her copper bracelet! she wore it for the last 15 years of her life! and it helped her shoulder so much! She bought one for all of us girls, (and I thank you for reminding me to put it on,) maybe it will help my shoulder?

Eileen said...

I've heard that copper thing for a long time. Never wore one but I also don't have that much arthritus pain. Now if a copper belt would work on my back I might try it.

Mad about Craft said...

I have an arthritisy thing going on - sore hands and wrists as well as back and foot problems.

Like you I am a skeptic but I started wearing a magnetic bracelet a good few years ago. I didn't think it really worked until one broke and I didn't have one for a good while. I started have problems in my right wrist. I bought another bracelet - the pain went away. At that time my hand problems weren't anything like as bad as they are now so I'm not sure whether it is really helping now but I feel there is nothing to lose so I carry on wearing especially as I like bracelets and it gives me an excuse to wear one for work when I otherwise couldn't - lol

Gran said...

I am a bracelet girl and have noticed your bracelet, now I know the rest of the story.

Your story is very interesting. I am with Eileen, but it is my feet that sure need something. That would be cute I wonder if they have ankle bracelets....

Heckety said...

I first damaged one hip as a teenager, then playing the double bass in orchestras for too many years, and finally giving birth (weird, I know). The Hub bought me a magnet bracelet when the physio had to be ditched (too expensive) and it sure works for me, I walk straight , drive, teach. Don't play the bass much any more though...