Wearing copper bracelets for medicinal benefits has a long history, all the way back to ancient Egypt, reports the "Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine." You may find copper bracelets in health food stores and holistic healing centers today. Despite their popularity, scientific data backing up the claims of healing are lacking. For those who advocate the use of copper bracelets, proposed benefits focus on reducing joint inflammation and easing pain. Unless you have an allergy to the metal, a copper bracelet is unlikely to have detrimental side effects and you may be pleasantly surprised.
The use of copper bracelets centers on reducing the joint pain and stiffness associated with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. For believers, this translates into more freedom of movement and joint flexibility. Although worn on the wrist, manufacturers report the bracelets are beneficial to stiff joints throughout the entire body.
In addition to easing joint stiffness, adherents wear copper bracelets to reduce the pain associated with arthritis. While theories as to why copper bracelets are beneficial vary, the "Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine" mentions that some advocates claim the copper emits anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Although no scientific evidence backs this up, some bracelet wearers report feeling better after using the copper bracelets.
Researchers at Scientia Press advocate the healing properties of copper bracelets, attributing their benefits to the body’s absorption of trace minerals into the bloodstream. Through a process called transdermal micronutrition (TDM), Scientia Press explains that microminerals of iron and zinc, present in the copper, combine with sweat on the skin. From there, the body absorbs these minerals, and if the patient was deficient in these minerals to begin with, he may now feel better.
In theory, the microminerals absorbed through the sweat are stronger than minerals taken in supplement form because they go directly to the bloodstream and they bypass the liver. In addition, Scientia Press reports that a low constant dosage of these microminerals in the blood provides immediate and long-term benefits for the tissues and the joints.
Until scientific corroboration of these claims exists, wear your copper bracelet as a supplemental treatment to ease the pain and stiffness of arthritis or other joint disorders. Don’t discontinue your conventional treatment plan without talking to your doctor first.
- “Gale Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine, Volume 2”; Jacqueline L. Longe; 2005
Glenda Taylor is a contractor and a full-time writer specializing in construction writing. She also enjoys writing business and finance, food and drink and pet-related articles. Her education includes marketing and a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.