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Copper has a fascinating history of healing. Labeled an "unproven remedy" by the American Arthritic Foundation, copper has an extensive history of relieving aches and pains in arthritic joints. One of the world's ancient recorded medicinal texts contains instructions to treat "inflammations" with pulverized copper. Celtic tribes fashioned copper bracelets and wore them to avoid rheumatism, a debilitating disease. Inca and Aztec tribes believed that the Gods dictated that copper should be worn by warriors in battle. The reason for this was increased agility and prowess in the field.
The records do not end here. Copper is also believed to have many empowering qualities. Tibetian elders keep copper bracelets as holy relics. Sheperds in Arab states believe that their bracelets store and release power as needed. There are references in Greek literature to copper cuffs worn by gladiators. Copper's power as a talisman is noted in everything from African literature to Sanskrit.
When in contact with human skin, older copper ornaments would often create green films on the flesh. These chelates, formed by the intereation of copper alloy and human sweat, are noted to have many healing qualities once absorbed by the skin. "Copper chelates are the next progressive step towards relieving the symptoms of rheumatism and arthritis," states a Medical Journal from 1972. Copper creates an essential enzyme for the regeneration of cartilage and bone. It also flushes destructive radicals from body tissues, known as superoxide radicals.
Medical debate regarding the usefulness of copper in treating illness is fierce. Experiments contrasting copper and aluminum bracelets on arithmetic patients show that copper reduces swelling in joints under all atmospheric conditions. Other experiments indicate that bones heal more quickly when exposed to copper salts. But is this medical fact, or are patients just responding hopefully to a placebo? Records from Europe indicate that copper was used to ward off warts, hysteria and witches in the dark ages. Chinese medicine believes that copper is effective in helping the flow of "chi," or life energy. The possibility that copper is just an exciting mental inspiration exists, but this possibility should not be underestimated. The use of copper for the stimulation of neural healing processes poses new and exciting pathways for medical science and natural healing.
The most recent advances in copper therapy are as follows: live fields of copper ions that the patient can place an affected limb into, copper cuffs and bracelets that can be painlessly sealed to the wrists and ankles of the elderly and arthritic, and copper pieces that can be placed inside the wrist or ankle itself to further reduce swelling. And in the near future, who knows what's in store? It's possible that braces of copper may reduce swelling in teeth and gums during mouth surgery. Copper chelates may be collected and harnessed into an elixir for the bloodstream. Copper bits may be used in tatoo-removing surgery to regenerate skin while lasers burn it away. Most importantly, copper may become an accepted and recognized member of the reconstructive community.