I recently met a man who told me about a problem I had never considered before. His sister works for a funeral service provider, where they sometimes discover that a deceased person has a lot more jewellery than their relatives realize. It takes the form of body piercings.
‘Basically, wherever it’s possible in the human body to pierce a hole, they’ve seen someone who’s done it’, he said.
A dilemma for funeral workers
In many countries, the decision about whether to leave jewellery on the person’s body during cremation is made by the family. It would be dishonest of the funeral staff to keep the metal piercings, even if they did so purely to avoid shocking the relatives.
So the strategy that this particular company has come up with is to put all the items in a little bag and give it to the next of kin after the cremation ceremony. This method of dealing with the issue also avoids polluting the environment with toxic vapours from metals that melt during the cremation process.
Body piercing statistics
‘This doesn’t happen very often, though, does it?’ I asked.
‘Oh yes,’ he said, ‘It happens all the time!’
I checked out body piercing statistics and, sure enough, it says that 14% of Americans have a piercing somewhere other than their earlobes. Of these, the majority are women (72%), the most common areas are the navel (33%) and the nose (19%), and 2% have had their genitals pierced.
A Huffington Post article from 2012 puts the figure even higher, at 36% of Americans, which includes 56% of millennials aged 17-25. I had no idea it was so widespread.
People who have body piercings no doubt consider them to be desirable. But apart from the predicament they can cause to funeral workers and the surprise they can give relatives after death, there may also be health effects during life that they are not aware of.
Body piercings and electromagnetic radiation
Metal is a wonderful conductor of electricity, which is why it is used in wiring. However, metal anywhere on the body amplifies the amount of electromagnetic radiation (EMR) that is conducted through the tissues, and we are exposed these days to very increased levels of EMR from all the electrical equipment and devices that we use, as well as from ambient WiFi, radio signals, TV signals and radar. It was fine to wear metal close to the skin in pre-industrial times but not such a good idea now.
EMR affects human tissues in a number of ways, from inhibiting DNA repair processes to interfering with melatonin production and cellular communication (see Biological Effects of Electromagnetic Radiation).
Some people have surgical metal implants for health reasons, so I’m not suggesting they should be removed. The benefits will usually far outweigh the EMR effects. But it would certainly be preferable to use a non-metallic material if such an alternative is available, and adorning your body with metal when there is no health reason to do so really makes no sense at all.
Body piercings and acupuncture meridians
Body piercings are nearly always located in places that correlate to acupuncture points on the body’s meridians of energy. Acupuncturists use these points to insert fine needles for short periods of time to modify or unblock energies that are causing health problems, so having a permanent metal piercing there is certainly going to have an effect.
There are a few documented cases of healing results where a body piercing happens fortuitously to have been placed at the exact location where it stimulates an acupuncture point that corrects an imbalance. But I have yet to meet an experienced acupuncturist who recommends permanent body piercings. They can play havoc with the flows of energies through meridians, especially those placed on or close to the centre line of the body, such as the navel, nose, tongue or chin. Even wearing a necklace with metal components or glasses that have a metal bridge across the nose can cause problems, and dental fillings certainly can.
Dental amalgams are made of 50% mercury with varying quantities of silver, copper, tin and sometimes zinc. Many people have recovered from debilitating health issues as a result of having amalgams removed, and this is usually attributed to the fact that they are no longer inhaling toxic mercury vapours. But many dentists and acupuncturists I have talked to believe that another reason for this is that each tooth is connected to a meridian of the body. Removing the metal from a tooth allows the meridians to regain their full function, which restores health to all parts of the body located along that meridian.
A personal experience of this I once had is that I cured an ingrowing toenail by tracing the meridian line up to a tooth in my mouth and asking my dentist to check it. It looked fine externally and was not giving me any pain but, sure enough, an X-ray revealed internal decay, and after dental surgery my ingrowing toenail corrected itself.
Body piercings and metal allergies
I’m venturing into territory where I have no personal experience now, so I’m simply going to include here links to two sites that contain advice about the safest metals to use and those to avoid:
Avoid these metals for first piercings
What is the safest metal for piercings?
Body piercing verdict
Body piercing is not new. Ötzi, the oldest mummified human ever to be found, had pierced ears, and he lived over 5,000 years ago. Some Egyptian mummies have them too, and earrings were fashionable in ancient Roman times. Nose piercing is still practised in some Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries to this day.
But the wild variations we now see in the West mostly began in the hippy era of the 1960s and gained more popularity in the 1990s, when the trend was adopted by fans wanting to emulate the navel piercings of celebrities such as Naomi Campbell and Madonna. It started out as a statement of youthful non-conformity and has become a fashion trend. Millennials, in particular, see it as a cool thing to do.
But how clever is it, really? If you’re thinking of having a body piercing, I hope this article gives you pause for thought. And if you already have one, consider removing it if you’ve developed any chronic health problems at all.
Clutter clearing jewellery
Copyright © Karen Kingston 2018