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The Positives of Negative Ions

In every Kinesiology session I will check a patient's body for a balance of ions - why? Because ionic regulation is an important part of homeostasis, or a balanced body and mind.

“Ionisation” refers to the balance, quantity and the quality of electrically charged particles in the atmosphere. We breathe these particles into our lungs where they enter the bloodstream and help regulate our pH and increase oxygen absorption. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our energy levels.

Because the phenomenon of ionisation is usually generated by natural occurrences; if you find that you are over affected by weather patterns such as thunderstorms, that may be an indication that you need to take positive action to restore your ionic balance.

In our modern world, we are often overwhelmed with positive ions, which are emitted by lightning, fires, UV rays and radiation. Also, the electronically driven "concrete jungle" in which most of us live can disrupt natural ionic balance in profound ways. With the amount of screen time we are consuming and the effect that positive ions have on lower serotonin levels, it's no wonder that anxiety and depression are the biggest health problems of our generation.

Enter negative ions! We inhale these invisible odourless and tasteless molecules in natural environments that are conducive to evaporating water - think mountains, beaches, rainforests, river flats and waterfalls. Unfortunately, as we spend less and less time outside in nature, we no longer absorb as many negative ions as we did in days past.

In fact, one study (1) from Columbia University looked at a cross-section of people with chronic depression and, using negative ion generators, were able to relieve depression with as much success as with antidepressants. The best thing about this is that there were no drug-related side effects.

Body-based Benefits

As mentioned, negative ions increase oxygen carrying capacity in the body, particularly to the brain, improving the release of serotonin and other feel-good neurotransmitters. They have also been shown to boost immune system function, which is a real plus in this day and age.

According to Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Centre for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C. 'Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,"

Ways of Generating Negative Ions

The human body is a balance of positive and negative ions, however it's the larger amount of positive ions to negative ones that seems to be problematic. I'd like to share a few simple ways to create ionic balance:

1. Get back to Nature

Although a wave crashing against a reef can create more negative ions than a babbling brook you will still receive the benefits of negative ions produced by the evaporating water, particularly in environments dense in lush vegetation and decent tree cover. The best way to really soak in the benefits of a negatively charged ionic environment is to really immerse yourself in the regenerative power of natural environments. But for many of us, that's easier said than done. Never fear! Even walking barefoot on wet grass or sitting under a tree and reading a good book will give you the opportunity to absorb some quality negative ions and boost your immunity and energy, so get outside and suck in those ions whenever you can.

2. Hit the Showers:

Every home has a built in natural ioniser -- the shower. Although showers don't have the power of a waterfall or a crashing wave, you will still receive the positive benefits of ionisation from taking a shower. So if you're feeling out of sorts, or a little low, take a break and jump in the shower for an accessible mood booster.

3. Salt Lamps

Made from a block of pure pink salt crystals and lit from within, the bulb inside the lamp warms the salt, releasing negative ions in the process. According to a study by the University of Karachi, Pakistan, exposure to a salt lamp can increase the levels of tryptophan and serotonin, which are associated with regulating mood, easing symptoms of anxiety and depression. Although the jury is out on the true efficacy of salt lamps and the evidence to support these health claims in relation to the quantity of negative ions they produce can be somewhat lacking, these lamps have a unique look and the warm pinkish glow can help create a soothing atmosphere, promoting relaxation. You can also replace brighter lights around the home with the softer lighting of a salt lamp, creating a relaxing atmosphere conducive to sleep.

4. Kinesiology Sessions

The importance of balancing ionisation is well understood in the field of Kinesiology.

I muscle test each of my patients to determine whether their ionisation levels are balanced, and correct accordingly before continuing with the rest of the session. While extreme imbalances in ionisation usually have to be corrected with supplementation (calcium or potassium depending on which ion is dominant) there is a simple breathing technique that corrects a normal imbalance.

According to Yogi teachings, A positive ionic current flows through the right nostril and negative current flows through the left nostril, therefore we simply balance ionisation through a controlled breathing technique.

  1. Close the right nostril with your finger and breathe IN through the left nostril.

  2. Close the left nostril and breathe OUT through the right nostril.

  3. With the left nostril still closed, breathe IN through the right nostril.

  4. Switch and repeat this process for several minutes with slow, even breathing.

If you feel that an ionisation balance is something that would benefit you, book a session and we can address this quickly and easily for you.


(1) Michael Terman, PhD, Columbia University, New York. Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author, The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research, director of research, Centre for Applied Cognitive Sciences, Charlotte, .N.C. Harold Nelson, MD, professor of medicine, National Jewish Medical Center. Denver.

The Secret Therapy of Trees: Harness the Healing Energy of Forest Bathing and Natural Landscapes © 2016 by Sperling & Kupfer Editori S.p.A, © 2018 by Mondadori Libri S.p.A for the imprint Sperling & Kupfer. Published in English in 2019 by Rodale Books, an imprint of Penguin Random House.

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