Let me start off by saying I’ve never been a big fan of medicinal drugs. I hate the idea of taking low-dosage Tylenol even if I have a splitting headache, and will only take a Midol if my monthly visitor has rendered me an invalid (yes, my cramps get THAT bad). I’m not sure what my aversion is to taking over-the-counter painkillers…maybe it’s just because swallowing pills throws my gag-reflex into overdrive? But beyond that fact, I just don’t like the idea of man-made chemicals flowing through my bloodstream. I know that plenty of people take them on a daily basis without experiencing any adverse side-effects, but I guess I’m a little eccentric when it comes to fearing consequences of acetaminophen build-up later down the road (any medical doctor will probably tell you I’m nuts).
The bummer is, when it came to relieving my aches and pains I didn’t really believe in homeopathic/herbal/all-natural remedies either. Talk about being stuck between a rock and a hard place. On a daily basis I would get searing headaches that would make me want to spontaneously throw hard objects at innocent people; I wouldn’t want to take a measly ibuprofen no matter how bad they got, but at the same time I dismissed herbal remedies like feverfew, skullcap, and ginkgo biloba as a bunch of voodoo that wouldn’t really do anything to help me. Needless to say, I was spending a majority of my time in a pain-induced fog.
Then, when I started working at circle ME (www.circleme.me), I learned about Baltic amber necklaces that were used to treat and soothe inflammation. circle ME sells the Baltic amber teething necklaces to help babies who are experiencing the pains of those incoming teeth, and also adult-sized necklaces, bracelets and anklets to help grown-ups with common ailments such as headaches, carpal tunnel, and other discomforts associated with inflammation. I’m not gonna lie, I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing out loud. I thought it was yet another “homeopathic” gimmick created to get gullible people to spend copious amounts of money. I thought this for only a short while, as I started to notice that mamma after mamma would come in and buy the necklaces for both her and her babies. Still unconvinced, I figured it was the placebo effect that was making the moms feel better…but I couldn’t quite explain what excuses they’d make if their kid didn’t stop wailing through the night even with the amber wrapped securely around their neck.
Then, a line-backer-sized dad named Bryce came into the store and made me believe in the legitimacy of Baltic amber. He had come in the day before and, in the act of complete and utter desperation, purchased a teething necklace for his four-month-old daughter. She hadn’t slept through the night for four nights in a row and he and his wife, who had tried everything in the books to relieve their daughter’s teething pain, were one step away from completely losing their minds from sleep-deprivation. Now, here he was again, with the necklace in his hand storming towards the front desk.
I was sure he was about to return the necklace, dissatisfied with the fact that his daughter had caused every one on the house to lose another night of sleep, but instead he exclaimed, “I need to exchange this for a slightly smaller size. This thing is a God-send.”
“Oh wonderful!” I said, truly elated for him but also fairly shocked. “We can exchange that for you, no problem at all.”
“My wife and I couldn’t believe it,” he continued, “but she slept through the night for the first time, and didn’t cry throughout her feeding. I thought it was a bunch of witch-craft…but this thing actually works!”
As Bryce left the store with a smile on his face, I stared at the display of amber necklaces and thought, “Well, worst-case scenario is I spend a little too much money on a really stylish, beautiful necklace for myself.” So I grabbed a necklace I had been eyeballing for the past couple weeks and placed it around my neck…and that was the last day I had one of my killer headaches. Call it the placebo effect, call it coincidence, call it whatever you want: my headaches are gone and innocent people everywhere are safe from my violent, pain-induced mood swings. And I didn’t have to swallow a single, yucky pill!
I’ve never really been one to care about exactly how things work: if my car gets me from point A to point B, I don’t feel the need to know what’s going on in the engine. But for those of you who aren’t satisfied with just knowing that Baltic amber works, but need to know how, here’s some scientific-y explanation from the Inspired by Finn website:
When Baltic amber is worn on the skin, the skin’s warmth releases trace amounts of healing oils from the amber. These oils contain succinic acid and are absorbed into the skin.
Baltic Amber has some of the highest concentrations of Succinic Acid found in nature, and this is what makes it so special. Succinic Acid is a natural component of plant and animal tissues, and it’s presence in the human body is beneficial in many ways.
How can Baltic amber help us?
- Pain Relief –
Baltic amber contains analgesic properties and helps take the edge off of many types of discomfort associated with dental issues, headaches, joint pain, etc.
- Strengthens the body’s immune system –
In many different and subtle ways, succinic acid helps boost the body’s own natural healing ability and immune system.
- Restoring Energy –
The human body naturally produces succinic acid. The salt of succinic acid (succinate) is one of the most active substances in the processes of cellular respiration and intercellular energy creation. Succinic acid restores oxygen and energy supply to depleted cells and helps the body return to a normal, functioning state.
Succinate is a raw material and a catalyst in the Krebs Cycle which is one of our main sources of energy. During the Krebs Cycle, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins are metabolized for energy.
- Maintaining Wellness –
When the human body reacts to stress, the body’s cells begin to use oxygen more quickly. Oxygen plays a central role in the intercellular creation of energy, and a lack of oxygen can result in feeling lethargic.
Oxygen is alkaline-forming in the blood and maintaining a slightly alkaline blood ph helps keep us healthy. Whenever the body functions in a state of low oxygen, it is much more susceptible to illness.
- To help break a cycle of (chronic) inflammation
Where chronic inflammation is present, disease lurks.
When the body’s cells are chronically inflamed the human body’s immune system response is to increase production of free radicals. Chronic overproduction of free radicals results in inflammatory-related disease. Chronic inflammation is a common denominator of many seemingly unrelated diseases.
In conclusion, while wearing a piece or two of Baltic amber jewelry may not cure all that ails you, it has been a proven benefit to many! And, at the very least, it sure is pretty!