About the year 1000, the monks of Mount Athos got a black woollen knit with fifty four knots cordon and braided its two ends to a cross. They called it praying chaplet of Virgin Mary because they did prayers to the Virgin. Some called it chaplet because they used it as a prayers’ tool. Those who disdained this chaplet they called it komboskini (i.e. knit with knots cordon). But most called it komvoloi because the believer touches each knot (komvos in greek) and says (legei in greek) a prayer. The composition of the words komvo+legei spawned the name komvologion – kompoloi in demotic.
It is clear that the komvologion - kompoloi has nothing to do with the garland we hold today, as this new garland is not a knit tied on knots and we do not even use it to pray.
It is interesting to see how we came to say a rosary a garland that is not rosary but it is:
• The path of creative imagination: It is scientifically accepted that if the beads or the silk tassel are caressed by the owner’s hand while focusing or thinking on an idea, then the body and the nervous system are relaxed! Worry beads can activate the right hemisphere of the brain, awakening vision, intuition, creative imagination and other synthetic cognitive functions!
• A creation to keep our hands busy: hence practicing them and making them more skillful.
• An accessory to release stress: when the beads and the tassel are caressed, the fingers reconfirm their texture and shape and release the body from anxiety, without any side effects. Also, the satisfaction from hearing, touching, the sight and smell of worry beads all offer additional relaxation.
• A natural remedy: because when the beads are made of amber and natural crystals they can balance the concentration of ions in the body and help dissipate static electricity. Modern neuropsychiatric accepts that massage on the fingertips using beads can reduce anxiety and relaxes the nervous system.
• A medium for ecstasy: because caressing the beads and the silken tassel of worry beads has the same effect as when babies caress a soft cloth or a teddy bear.
• A cure and prevention of bad habits: such as smoking and nail eating.
• An Amulet: when they carry symbols of faith and good luck.
• Pieces of Jewellery: when they are handcrafted from noble metals and the beads are made of natural materials such as amber, semi-precious stones, corals, pearls etc. (Or when women wear worry beads as a necklace).
• A symbol of heritage and prestige: when they are sophisticated, expensive, impressive and collectible.
• A mirror of our personality; when worry beads are used to express the owner’s aesthetics, personality and culture.