Copper for Pain: The Theory of Trapped Electricity

23 Apr

by Heather Grace, IPJ Staff Writer

An innovative area in pain research involves reducing trapped electricity in the body to help achieve pain relief.

The ‘Theory of Trapped Electricity’ is a concept that focuses on electricity as the cause of much chronic pain. A damaged nerve traps electricity in your body, and can cause pain, burning, redness, loss of appetite, insomnia, headaches and more.*

How Copper Works

Copper as well as magnets attract electricity, helping to pull it from the body.

For centuries, Egyptians, Native Americans and Mexicans have used copper jewelry for medical, religious and spiritual rituals. These bracelets were often tools of ancient healers. Today, we know the benefits of pain relief they can provide.

Copper, often found in the form of a bracelet, can be an effective means of reducing pain. Is it a cure? Probably not. However, regardless of the severity of your pain, copper can be one of many tools used to bring down your pain to a manageable level. Copper can be considered an augmentative therapy as well; it can help other treatments work more effectively. Best of all, wearing copper is not known to cause any drug interactions or lasting side effects!

Merely wearing copper jewelry benefits many people with minor aches and pains. For more targeted relief, you may also consider rubbing copper over the pain site. Copper can provide instant results — try it for yourself!

Directions: Copper for Different Types of Pain

Minor Pain: For those with minor pain, wear as you want to, for unlimited periods of time. However, for more severe, chronic pain, wear for up to one hour at a time, paying attention to how you feel.

Electricity and Intractable Pain

Note that people who have conditions that cause constant pain, i.e. Intractable Pain, one hour may prove far too long… Copper can sometimes be too powerful. Keep in mind that constant pain literally means there are pain signals constantly being sent throughout the neurological system. This can produce an incredible amount of electricity.

If you notice any throbbing, aching, heat or pain, as a result of wearing the bracelet, it may be pulling large amounts of trapped electricity through the body. Try wearing copper for shorter periods (20 to 30 minutes max). Or, for best results, people with Intractable Pain may choose to simply rub copper over the pain site for several minutes, twice daily. Try starting with 5 minutes at a time, and see how it goes.

Too Much Electricity?

If you experience any of the adverse effects described above, you can discharge the excess electricity! How? Discharge electricity by walking barefoot on dirt/grass outside. Walking barefoot on carpet should have a similar effect. Walk barefoot for several minutes, until the symptoms subside.*

Even when copper has not been used, walking barefoot outdoors or on carpet can help Intractable Pain sufferers cope with the excess electricity constantly flowing through the body. Give it a shot!

ONE FINAL TIP: It’s ok to experiment with brass or magnets, as well, using the same directions explained here. Both have shown similar promise in combating trapped electricity.

Copper: One Woman’s Perspective

Before I was diagnosed with Intractable Pain, I would’ve probably dismissed the use of copper as little more than superstition! I’m not the type to over-exaggerate for emphasis, I tell it like it is.

So, I was introduced to the use copper at my physician’s Intractable Pain clinic. I was speaking with my doctor, as my boyfriend was swirling the lid of a copper tea kettle over my neck and back.

I expected nothing to happen; how wrong I was! In less than 2 minutes, I began to feel less tension in my back. It was as if some magical sense of calm flowed over my neck muscles, which are always in knots.

I would’ve said something about the difference the copper made–my pain had gone from an 8 to a 7, very quickly–but my doctor was still explaining his thoughts on copper. Apparently, before a patient brought the idea to him–his feelings were a lot like my own. Then, he described how many patients were making copper a part of their pain control regimen… How effective it was…

Another few minutes had passed and, suddenly, I started to feel funny–hot, like heat was swirling within my spine and rushing up to my back and neck. Before I could say anything, my doctor motioned to my boyfriend to stop. “Whoa!” was all I could muster. I was shocked that a tiny piece of metal could have such an impact in FIVE SHORT MINUTES!

Even though I was a tad freaked out, my doctor was impressed. He had never seen such an immediate reaction to copper. He asked me to take my shoes off. As I walked barefoot on the carpet, I immediately started to feel better. In addition to getting hot, I had also apparently gotten very red. My face, neck, shoulders were all showing just how much trapped electricity I was dealing with!

Because of the level of pain I experience, the nerve damage as well as the multiple levels of my discs that are degenerating, I am an electrical storm, internally. I wasn’t aware of this until I tried the copper out. I never wouldve guessed it had so much power!

What I Learned: My Copper Routine

I still use copper, but only by rubbing it over the pain site(s) for approximately 3 minutes, a maximum of three times a day. Having a bracelet on causes my wrist to ache. Why? The copper draws the electricity right to that spot. It’s just too intense, given the seriousness of my symptoms.

I have learned to respect the way that my nerves conduct electricity, constantly. My pain is intense and so is its signal! I also realize that copper interrupts this process, attempting to normalize electricity levels. It seems that the more I use copper, the better it works, keeping trapped electricity levels lower than they would normally be, for someone like me.

I have also experimented with brass and like to switch between the two. Additionally, I have used copper cream*, something that targets trapped electricity, but is less intense. (You can make this & other creams using the reference materials noted, below.)

The most important lesson I have learned? Copper can go from effective to TOO effective, very quickly. Realize that it is always best to work up to an optimal level. Take it slow, and realize that you always have a way out. Or, the electricity does… through your feet. Take those shoes off, and discharge!

For More Information…

Want more great info on electricity and pain? The May, 2011 issue of Practical Pain Management has a review of electromagnetic treatments for pain management. It includes an article on fellow IP patient/friend, Radene Marie Cook’s experiences with trapped electricity! It’s from her book The Pain Factory, in a chapter called “Electrical Me.” The Pain Factory is due out in late 2011.

* Source: 2009 “What To Do While Looking For A Good Pain Doctor,” at: -and- 2010 “Dr. Forest Tennant’s Pain Control Guidelines,” online at:

Looking for the most comprehensive ‘how to’ guide for life with severe, chronic or constant pain? Now available online at no cost, please download “The Intractable Pain Patient’s Handbook For Survival” at

(Some of the links above are PDFs. If you need the Adobe Acrobat Reader–it’s free. Visit Adobe’s website at

Heather Grace is an Intractable Pain Sufferer, Writer & Advocate. She Co-Manages Intractable Pain Patients United (, has been a Guest Speaker at For Grace’s ( Annual Women in Pain Conference and is a California Leader for the American Pain Foundation (

© 2011 Intractable Pain Journal & Heather Grace. All rights reserved.


6 Responses to “Copper for Pain: The Theory of Trapped Electricity”

  1. Adrianne July 31, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    I had to smile as I was reading this blog. I, too have tried copper for intractable pain with some success. My pain management doctor had prescribed a little copper gadget for me to use on parts of my body where I experience pain. At first I was skeptical (as most people would be), but soon learned how wrong I was. I doesn’t take the pain away completely, but it sure brings the pain level down which is more than what other methods have done for me. I now keep my hand-made copper roller handy and when I have severe pain in one area I use it periodically throughout the day.
    Adrianne Johnston


  2. Libby Jones May 19, 2013 at 9:30 pm #

    I have pain daily. My daughter was just diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I got us both copper bracelets. Her skin is turning green. Will that hurt her? And why would it do that? Mine isn’t turning yet.


    • thepainjournal March 15, 2014 at 1:32 am #

      Libby: So sorry I’m just replying, I feel awful. I guess my old web browser kept me from seeing some comments? Eek. Anyway, it’s oxidation caused by something like soap, lotion or perfume most likely. As long as it’s pure copper and not copper PLUS other metals, that’s what does it. Remove all jewelry before bathing/swimming/using perfumes & lotions if it’s 100% copper or bronze… especially if it’s for medical use. If the jewelry contains a mix of other metals, that can cause oxidation too. As long as the skin in the area isn’t red, swollen or irritated, it shouldn’t be an issue. I’m sure your daughter will let you know if it’s bothering her. See more at


  3. Daphne February 9, 2015 at 5:18 am #

    I bought some copper wrist bands, with 87 percent copper-lined material and 13 percent spandex. I swore not to think about them and to believe they would not work… and yet they are working. The carpal tunnel in my one wrist has not bothered me since I started wearing the darned things. If this is a placebo effect, it is the most stubborn and recalcitrant placebo effect ever to have placeboed. I’m sold on copper.


    • thepainjournal February 26, 2015 at 8:05 am #

      Glad to hear it–me too. Copper is great. Brass isn’t bad, either. Give it a try by buying a piece of brass pipe at the hardware store and rub over problem areas, as needed. Or, search for brass jewelry (may be harder to find). Best wishes & good health always, HG 🙂


  4. Southern Seshet April 13, 2015 at 1:21 am #

    Reblogged this on Southern Seshet and commented:
    While doing some studying, I realized that my neck was aching me pretty badly. I’d known copper to be good for pain, so I put a copper necklace on and Googled “copper and neck pain”. I found this blog entry/article interesting. Sharing…


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