Baltic Amber, From a Skeptic’s Point of View

This blog post has taken a long time to write.  Why?  Because I was a skeptic.  I never expected that wearing a string of amber around my neck would alleviate most of my back pain.  But, can I hear a “woop woop”?  It did!

Let me start from the beginning.  I first heard about people putting “teething necklaces” on their babies from a fabulous group of “crunchy” moms I know.  I also have a wonderful customer, whose perfectly adorable little one, wears hers all the time.  It’s cute, but I wondered how it could be safe for a baby to chew on the necklace.  I also wondered how a hard stone could actually help with teething pain.  My curiosity got the better of me and I looked it up.  Thanks Google!  And boy did I get schooled!

Here’s what I learned:

  1.  Amber Teething Necklaces are NOT meant for chewing on.  The necklace must be short enough so that the baby can’t get it into their mouth.
  2.  They are cute.  Ok, I didn’t really “learn” that, that’s just what I noticed.
  3.  Amber necklaces, bracelets, anklets and “backlaces” can be worn by adults for a wide variety of ailments.
  4.  The lighter the color of amber, the higher the concentration of succinic acid.
  5. Amber is fossilized tree resin that consists of succinic acid.

That last one I had to look up.  I was worried that people were hanging acid around their necks!  As it turns out, Succinic Acid is basically a special, fossilized sugar cube.  “Succinic acid is a naturally-occurring dicarboxylic acid used in the manufacturing of many everyday products”.   I had to learn more, and I dove into a mess of info on the uses of amber and bio-amber.  I had to know if we could be harmed in any way from wearing it and why it worked.  After quite a bit of research, my head hurt from all the chemistry jargon.  To simplify the chemical mumbo jumbo; amber has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments and it won’t hurt you.  Got it?   It is similar to the many uses and healing properties of honey.  Funny how they are the same color…<ponders the thought>.  Hmm.

I have ongoing back discomfort from a bit of scoliosis.  If my spine were straight, I’d be even taller (for those of you that know me in person…whoa!).  Add to that the pain from a terrible car accident.  I was pulled out of the opposite end of a totaled, T-boned car, strapped to a board.  So NOT fun!  I had several  years of back therapy after that.  Oh, the notorious “battle of the disk bulge”.  Oy!  It’s been 10 years and I still have pain.  The icing on the cake was tingling and numbness in my hands and arms while I was pregnant. It got so severe that I had to seek out a prenatal massage therapist.  The lady I found was phenomenal.  I’ve seen her regularly ever since.  Sadly, for her, since wearing my amber necklace, I’ve not needed any help. <Insert apologetic, “I miss you” face here>

 

So, now it’s time to take you on my little “this can’t possibly work for me” experiment/adventure.

I asked my favorite group of “crunchy” mamas who their favorite and most trusted sources for amber necklaces were.  I got two answers from about 200 ladies: Inspired by Finn and Hazelaid.  I’ve now ordered several necklaces from each and I will say I am quite pleased with both!

I first went to Inspired by Finn, but they were sold out of the size and color I had my heart set on.  As it turns out, the necklace I wanted is VERY popular.  I emailed the company and asked to be placed on a waiting list for them.  For full disclosure, I also mentioned that I have a blog and was generously offered a discount on any in stock item in exchange for a post.  But I was planning to purchase, at full price, a necklace anyway.  Since my size was unavailable, I ordered a necklace for the Pink Princess.  It arrived within days of my order.

I had the necklace shipped to the PO box that I use for business purposes.  I just LOVE the people that work there!  It’s like having a whole extra set of employees!  And they are always curious to see what the diaper lady is getting in.  I couldn’t get the package opened fast enough!

Even though it was sized for my little girl, it fit around my neck quite nicely.

What I first noticed, and I thought must have been my imagination, was a faint “amber” smell when I put the necklace on.  The other ladies at the store didn’t smell anything, but I still swear I could smell something as the stones heated up to my body temperature.

I slipped the necklace back on after getting the “sniff test” from everyone in the office and headed out the door to carry on with my busy day talking about the wonderful world of cloth diapers.  It was a full two days before I realized my hands stopped going numb, and the funny spot on my neck that always tingled hadn’t acted up when I sat down to work on my computer.  It’s all in my head, I thought…and kept right on going.

A few days after receiving the necklace for my daughter (that I was wearing), the necklace that I had ordered for myself arrived from Hazelaid.  I ordered them at separate times.  Both arrived within a few days of their orders.  I let the Pink Princess put on her own piece of jewelry and donned mine.  I had also ordered a hazel wood necklace.  It arrived at the same time.  More on that later.

Now, remember when I mentioned that this post took a long time to write?  It took about 7 months.  I was SO sure that I might be in the 30% of people that were not going to be helped.  In fact, I was positive that all I was going to end up with was a cute necklace that I might wear every once in a while, if it matched my outfit.  No “surfer dude” necklace was going to cramp my style!  But in the interest of scientific research, and investigating all the hype, I wore my necklace almost all the time.  It was the “almost” part that finally convinced me.  Ouch!

Rather then have me explain in detail my entire experience, let me recap a few of the most note worthy things I have noticed since wearing amber.

  • My daily headaches are GONE!  Halleluiah, they are GONE!   

  • Getting out of bed is no longer painful.  I still don’t spring out of bed like a happy morning person, but I no longer toss and turn trying to find a comfortable position that doesn’t send screaming pain up and down my spine.  We’ve tried the “big purchase” mattresses.  Nothing helped except the amber.
  • Going on vacation always seems like a good idea at first.  You get to see family and friends and spend days and even weeks away from home…on someone else’s or a hotel mattress…I have ALWAYS taken PM pain medications with me on trips.  It’s the only way to be able to function in the mornings and through the rest of the day.  I have now experienced the exact SAME beds that have previously given me SO much trouble.  It’s like a night and day difference.  I will NOT travel without my amber now.  I’m convinced.
  • Ah, the life of a WAHM.  I’m on the computer and at my sewing machine a LOT.  I do my best to get up and move from one task to another, so I don’t get too stiff in one position.  But I have always had pain, tingling and numbness.  There was a time, pre amber, that I could no longer sit in my computer chair.  My body would start to scream at me the second I started to sit down into my all too familiar desk chair.  Pain traveled from my neck to my toes.  Ugg.  But I have work to do!  Thank you, Amber…you saved my sanity and business.  Really.
  • And possibly the most convincing thing for me was the giant knot I had at the base of my neck and shoulder that spazzed out while I was driving my car.  It was so bad I almost got into an accident before I could pull over.  Massage therapist on speed dial!  HELP!!!  It literally brought tears to my eyes and had me crying in agony.  But then, as if by design, my therapist’s schedule did not coincide with mine.  Ahh!  And when it finally did, about a week after wearing my amber…the pain didn’t feel so bad.  She ain’t cheap, folks.  I really should see her more often, but I can’t always stomach the cost.  I know, I know…but I canceled and haven’t called her in 7 months.  Well, I did let her know that I still love her and NOT to tell the rest of her clients about the healing properties of amber…that would ruin her business!

Now a funny thing, about that sore, crazy spot, the one that nearly caused the accident…it didn’t disappear right away.  It just simply stopped bothering me.  I figured, when I could scrape together enough to have another appointment, I would.  But every time I thought about it, my hand would go, instinctively to “the spot” and I noticed, over time, that “the spot” was gone.  Funny that!  I’ve had that knot for YEARS!  Like, at least 10.  And in a few months…gone.  I suppose, the same way a muscle relaxer allows your body to heal, the amber allowed my body to relax enough to allow healing.

Now, I won’t say that relief will come for you the moment that you put your amber on.  It won’t.  It takes time; anywhere from an hour to a few days for me.  At first the relief was mild, but hey, that’s something!  Then, over time, I started noticing other, more major pain issues had begun to feel better.  Am I 100% better?  No.  But that’s ok.  ANYTHING was better than how I felt before.

I also noticed, if I let what little fashion sense I have get the better of me, and take off my necklace, I will start to experience the tingling, numbness and pain again.  It slowly comes back as the amber wears off and out of my system.  So you know what I do?  I slip my necklace around my ankle or my wrist and wear it as a bracelet.  Fastened together with my daughter’s necklace (that she only sometimes wears…sigh…the Pink Princess prefers large plastic baubles and sparkly jewelry), the long strand of beads look like a super cute and very trendy bracelet.  What do you think?

Now you may be wondering, where can I get my hands on some amber?  First, please be advised, imitation amber is prevalent.  You MUST make sure to get REAL Baltic Amber.  There are many online retailers that sell it.  My favorite two are Inspired by Finn and Hazelaid.  I have gotten several more necklaces from both companies as gifts and I love both of these companies.  Their customer service has been top notch, informative and generally very personable.  I like companies with personable people…I also like saying the word, “personable”…  Go ahead, say it.  Then make sure to “like” them on Face Book.  That way you can keep your eyes open for fabulous deals and discounts.  Healing Baltic Amber for less?  Oh yes!

I hope this post has been useful and informative for you.  Do I highly recommend that you give amber a try?  Is the sky blue?  Is this mama greenYes!

Here is a short list of ailments Baltic Amber can help with.  If you’ve got any one of them, don’t wait for Santa to bring you a necklace.  Order your own right now!  You can thank me later.

Arthritis

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

Headaches and Migraines        Order your Baltic Amber from the Green Mommy right HERE!!!

Neck & Shoulder Discomfort

Tendonitis

Joint Pain (associated with Chemotherapy)

Menstrual Cramping

Teething Discomfort

Sensory Issues

Growing Pains

Restless Leg Syndrome

TMJ

Orthodontic Brace Adjustments

 

Ooh!  And here’s a little update from The Pink Princess herself!  Click here!

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Comments

  1. Pam says:

    Shannon Green truly is a walking billboard for the amazing results from wearing Amber!!! I have personally seen such an improvement in her quality of life in the past seven months!

    • Veronika says:

      Most dealers are not eeucatdd enough to know the difference between natural amber and treated amber – or don’t want to know. ”Very few people actually can tell you what is genuine amber no less tell a fake from the real thing when they look at it,” according to Gary Granai of the Poland Chamber, Inc. ”This includes people who are selling amber.” For most it is just sell, sell, sell. The truth and the facts are secondary. And the gullible public believes every word.

  2. Tina says:

    What a great blog! You were so informative and entertaining. :) I love my Inspired by Finn amber and always seem to notice how well it works when we forget to put it on! Ouch. Why do we forget? It just takes one night of a fussy baby and we won’t forget again for a long time!

    • Laurita says:

      Considering the massive spulpy of Baltic material available in comparison to Dominican and Chiapas ambers, is it any wonder that the purveyors of Baltic fossil resin want to maintain their domininion of the amber market? Then there are those who feel that succinite is only true amber. If only more people knew about Dominican and Chiapas material, the price would skyrocket in my opinion.

  3. Meg says:

    This is a wonderful story! I found out about hazelaid amber through a friend after she found out I had chronic migraines. When I bought myself one, I also got one for my daughter- who has Severe Aplastic Anemia. A side effect is constant bone/joint pain. I was also on a waiting list for the necklaces I wanted, and they were at my house only two days after being sent out. My daughter wears hers every day (not in the tub! I see lots of Momma’s who don’t remove the jewelry before bath time.) and she hardly ever complains of pain now. I also wear mine daily and my headaches have subsided. Now I need to get another for my newborn before she starts teething. (:

  4. Thanks for the wonderful post! You are totally right about the scent that amber has. Whenever I open my packages of amber, I always am struck with the lovely piney smell. I’m a WAHM who makes genuine Baltic amber teething necklaces and adult jewelry, right here in the states! I specialize in custom orders and super fast shipping. So, for those of you who don’t want to wait for an order to arrive from overseas, or who want a custom necklace made to your specifications, check out my Etsy shop! I also have custom “add-ons” such as genuine turquoise, rose quartz, and carnelian which you can choose to add to your necklace. All of my amber comes directly for the Baltic region, and I perform several authenticity tests on my amber to be sure it is genuine. I’ve been featured on many eco/green/mom blogs and have done lots of giveaways. Check out my facebook page for special offers and promotions. http://www.facebook.com/angelasamber

    http://www.angelasamber.etsy.com

    • Oh, and I guarantee that ALL of my amber is genuine, since I personally perform several authenticity tests on the amber. Also, in response to the post above regarding Dominican and Chiapas amber, the reason that Baltic amber is so highly prized for its medicinal value is that Baltic amber ALONE contains succinic acid, the active healing ingredient. No other amber in the world contains succinic acid.

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