Friday, October 15, 2010

Therapeutic Jewelry or Big Pharma?

Therapeutic jewelry isn't going to cure cancer or improve the longevity of HIV patients, but I'm very interested in it at the moment.  In the interest of disclosure, I neither have cancer nor HIV.  Besides, if you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you'd surely know if I did!

This is going to sound like I'm turning into a full-on crunchola, but I've been researching therapeutic jewelry to help relieve some light physical complaints.  Specifically, hazelwood necklaces for the heartburn that I've been suffering lately and amber necklaces for the migraines that used to cripple me several days out of every year.  Okay, husband, you can stop laughing at me now. . .oh, come on, please stop it!

I've been intrigued by therapeutic jewelry for years.  When I was a very little girl (under five for sure), I recall my grandmother wearing a copper cuff bracelet.  I assume that she wore this bracelet to help with arthritis pain or something similar, but it seems like all she got was a green wrist for her trouble because she stopped wearing it and I never saw that copper cuff again.  A former co-worker began to wear a magnetic bracelet to help relieve knee pain.  You know, he complained of pain and limped whether or not he wore that magnetic bracelet. 

At one point in my life, I wore hematite to help deal with the anger that was the root cause of depression.  Nothing but a lot of talk therapy helped with that.  I wore rose quartz to heal a deep emotional hurt.  Only time healed that wound.  Even more ridiculous in hindsight, I sought to relieve my migraines by using amethyst.  And essential oils.  And aromatherapy.  And acupressure.  Guess what?  Migraines still knocked me on my ass until I finally asked for a prescription from my doctor.

I'm embarrassed that I actually believed in foolishness over pharmaceuticals.  I suffered needlessly for over ten years by dicking around with alternative migraine treatments before I asked for help from my doctor.  I hate that I wasted so much time suffering needlessly.  My migraine medication does something that amethyst, essential oils, aromatherapy, and acupressure could not do - it works to quickly relieve my migraine pain and it allows me to live a normal life.

And yet, here I am all these years later, looking at necklaces that are purported to relieve a physical symptom.  A physical symptom that is already adequately managed and a physical symptom that can be easily managed!  My ability to place hope in new age horseshit is truly staggering, isn't it?

Why am I interested in trying an alternative therapy?  Well, besides the obvious answer that I'm being a total ding-a-ling?  Because I would prefer a natural remedy to my ailments if possible.  I'm willing to bet that my husband just rolled his eyes at that last statement. 

Why do I prefer a natural remedy?  Again, I guess it's because I have an endless ability to place hope in new age hippie horseshit.  Maybe it's because Big Pharma is consistently demonized, primarily because they want to make profits. . .just like every other business, including businesses selling "natural" or "organic" remedies.  Or homeopathic remedies.  Or therapeutic amber and hazelwood necklaces.  Or essential oils.  You see where I'm going with this?

On one hand, I feel that I should just go with what definitely works, what has been proven to work, and STFU.  After all, I know for sure that I'll be getting relief after spending my money on my migraine medication or heartburn medication.  I can't say the same for the new agey rip-offs that I've tried in the past.  But, on the other hand, I guess I really buy this "natural" hype and the testimonials are so dang compelling.  Seriously though, why am I placing anecdotes over evidence?  Snake oil salesmen over scientists?  Maybe I really am a hippie at heart - at least on some level?

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Can jewelry be beautiful and therapeutic?  Can wearing a necklace made of hazelwood beads really restore your acid/alkaline balance?  Does amber really help relieve a laundry list of pains?  Have you tried any of these types of therapeutic jewelry?  If so, please share your experience!

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