Do you like to surf the ocean or raft down a river? How about just standing in front of a waterfall? The fresh air, the soothing sound of rushing water, and that cool misty spray can be exhilerating. Or maybe you like to step outdoors after a thunderstorm. Remember how happy and invigorating it can make you feel to breathe in that cool musty air? Not only is the air that you breath cleaner and fresher, there is also a higher concentration of electrically charged particles called negative ions. These tiny submicroscopic particles are created by Nature and may be beneficial to our health in numerous ways. In controlled studies, it was shown that negative ions may:
IMPROVE MENTAL FUNCTION
There have been numerous studies that indicate that negative ions may help balance the serotonin levels in the blood stream, which may help lift mood and alleviate symptoms of depression. Some people exposed to high levels of negative ions also report feeling more relaxed with improved mental clarity and concentration. Negative ions have also been shown to help people sleep more deeply.
IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH
Some research suggests that negative ions may increase our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen, thereby improving overall health and endurance. Russia has been secretly using negative ion generators for decades to improve athletic performance. In fact, ionization of the air is mandatory in many of their hospitals. Treatment of burn patients with negative ions has produced dramatic improvements in healing and reduction of pain. There is also evidence that suggests that negative ions may help boost the immune system by increasing the production of immunoglobulin A.
Ions are found pretty much everywhere in the air you breath, but it is the proper balance between negative and positive ions that's important. Fresh country air normally contains an average of 1000 to 3000 negative ions per cubic centimeter with about the same number of positive ions. This ratio is considered healthy. Even higher levels of natural negative ions can be found at waterfalls and lightning storms. With the highest concentration of negative ions in the world, Niagara Falls and Yosemite have around 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter with only a few thousand positive ions. In metropolitan areas where there is pollution and heavy traffic, the negative ion count can drop as low as zero while the positive ion count can remain in the thousands. This may be detrimental to health.
Even if you do live in the country, you can still be exposed to an excessive amount of positive ions inside your home or office. Some people who sit too close to the T.V. or operate a computer for long hours at a time may develop a case of the VODS or Video Operator Distress Syndrome; a common affliction that effects millions of workers who use video display terminals. Symptoms include fatigue, headaches, irritability, anxiety, depression, and other symptoms. The cause has been linked to monitors that contain CRT's or cathode ray tubes. Any monitor that contains a CRT, will develop an electrostatic charge of several thousand volts on the face of the video screen. Although this is not in itself hazardous, the real culprit that causes VODS are positive ions that are created by this electrostatic charge.
Photo courtesy of PdPhoto.org
Photo courtesy of GeekPhilosopher.com
CLEAN OUR ENVIRONMENT
Negative ions can reduce harmful airborne particles such as dust, pollen, bacteria, viruses, and smoke. They can also neutralize bacteria and fungi growing on surfaces. But most importantly, negative ions can counter the detrimental affects of positivily charged ions, which are known to cause depression, irritibility, stress, fatigue, and sleeplessness. Polluted air, hot winds, heating and air conditioning ducts, television sets, computer monitors, and various electrical equipment can all generate high concentrations of positive ions.
IMPROVE PLANT GROWTH
Negative ions can stimulate and augment the various metabolic processes that take place within plant cells. Seedlings subjected to negative ionization grew fifty percent faster and larger with increased turgor pressure in their leaves. Fruits and vegetables treated with negative ions will stay fresh longer than if untreated.
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