The Health Benefits of Negative Ions
Do you ever wonder why getting into nature just feels so good? There’s something about hearing the crash of the waves, the crunch of leaves under our feet during a forest hike or simply marveling at a majestic view of a colorful mountain range. It all just feels beyond ourselves.
We can’t deny that the beauty of nature that we can see, hear and feel is magnificent and can change our perspective, but is that what’s really feeding our soul? The answer is YES AND it’s also something else called negative ions.
Negative ions are just the opposite of what we think, they actually have a very positive impact on the air, our health and that feeling of well being. Negative ions are good for us, while positive ions are, well, not.
What are Negative Ions?
Scientifically, negative ions are molecules that are floating in the air that have gained one or more electrons and have become negatively charged, while positive ions have lost one or more electrons resulting in a positive charge. Negative ions are created from UV rays from sunlight, wherever water collides or produced in the normal growth process for plants. So basically, they are abundant anywhere that nature exists and they circulate in air in the tens of thousands, imagine that! In contrast, negative ions have registered to be a flat zero in office buildings and massive cities.
Negative ions mostly enter our bodies through our respiratory or skin pathways, the exposure leads to powerful and pleasant effects and this is due to the chemical reactions that the ions have with our neurotransmitters in the brain, our tissues and our DNA. Negative ions neutralize free radicals, kick start cell metabolism, enhance our immune system, detox our blood and balance our nervous system which helps with out sleep and digestion. And lastly, negative ions have a special relationship with the neurotransmitter or neuromodulator serotonin. Serotonin works with melatonin in many ways; controlling the sleep/wake cycle, how we perceive pain and can enhance our sexual desire. Increased serotonin supports a happier, calmer mood.
How to Increase Negative Ions
Columbia University ran a successful study with participants who suffered with chronic depression, they found that ion generators relieved the depression as much as antidepressants. Unfortunately, other studies have not been quite as successful so the jury is still out on purchasing expensive ion generators or ion enhancing air purifiers.
One less expensive way to increase your negative ions is by taking a hot shower! The steam produced from the heat of the shower generates negative ions!
Another inexpensive way is by purchasing a calming and beautiful salt lamp! Salt lamps have become a thing in the last 10 years or so, as well salt caves! People love the calming look of them and when the salt heats up it generates negative ions. Most people like to keep one near their computer- while the computer is generating positive ions, at least the salt can generate some negative ions to balance things out.
Another benefit that negative ions have is the ability to clean the air free of pollens, dust, and mold spores which can certainly benefit people with allergy and asthma problems.
To sum it up, get into some nature on a daily basis, it’s free and provides so many benefits, besides a brisk walk or jog can get those endorphins going too!