What are Ions?
peoples recognized that the air is "electric," so to speak, but it is
thought that the formal study of ions did not begin until fairly
recently. In 1899, two German scientists, Elster and Geitel, discovered
that there are particles in the atmosphere that carry electricity.
These particles were later named "air ions" by the British scientist
Faraday. The word "ion" was taken from the Greek language, in which it
means to "go" or "wander about."
are invisible particles, either molecules or atoms, which bear an
electric charge. Atoms, for instance, consist of an atomic nucleus that
contains neutral neutrons and positively charged protons, as well as
orbiting electrons that are negatively charged. When an atom is in a
neutral condition, the number of protons (+) and electrons (-) is
equal. When the number of protons and electrons is not the same, the
particle becomes an ion that is either positively or negatively
charged. Generally speaking, positive ions are harmful to the human
body, while negative ions are beneficial.
Ion: an atom (or molecule) that has lost one or more electrons due to a high-energy impact. Natural forces that generate
positive ions include the decay of radioactive minerals, radon gas, forest fires, lightning and ultraviolet rays.
Negative Ion: an atom (or molecule) that has gained one or more extra negatively charged electrons. Negative
ions are naturally generated by evaporating water.
Electrons are highly sensitive to shock, impact, electric current and atmospheric change. Air pressure or heat, for
instance, can cause electrons to escape from atoms and dissipate, increasing the number of positive ions in the air.
mentioned above, the balance of negative and positive ions in the air
is easily disturbed. A good example of this can be seen in the changes
in ion levels associated with storm activity. Several hours before a
thunderstorm, for instance, low atmospheric pressure causes the number
of positive ions in the air to increase dramatically, to levels that
sometimes exceed 5000 ions per cm³. In contrast, during a storm,
negative ions increase to several thousand per cm³ while positive ions
decrease, often to below 500 per cm³. (You can detect similarly high
negative ion concentrations near waterfalls - see the chart below.)
our daily lives, as well, we can directly experience the electricity of
ions in the air in the form of static electricity - especially in
winter, when the air is dry. Static is caused by a high ratio of
positive to negative ions because of a lack of moisture in the air.
Ratio of Negative to Positive Ions is Crucial to Health
ratio of negative to positive ions is crucial, because negative ions
are able to neutralize the harmful effects of positive ions. At the
beginning of the 20th century, the ratio in the atmosphere was 1.2
negative ions for every positive ion. However, in recent years, the
ratio has reversed and now there are 1.2 positive ions for every
negative ion. This is due to environmental hazards such as air and
water pollution, electromagnetic fields, and other factors.
and negative ions also exist in our bodies, and the ratio of ions in
the air we breathe influences the ratio in our bodies. Ions enter the
body through the lungs (inhalation) as well as through the skin -
especially through meridian (acupressure) points, which have weak
electronic resistance. Then they travel through the blood and lymphatic
systems to cells throughout the body. Wearing Anion products may
increase the number of negative ions absorbed through the skin.
Harmful Effects of Positive
were first linked to human health by a Japanese medical study in 1910,
which showed that patients with arthritis experienced greater pain when
weather fluctuations elevated the percentage of positive ions in the
atmosphere. As a result of this and other research, in Japan the close
relationship between ions and health has long been widely recognized.
fronts and low pressure systems increase the percentage of positive
ions in the atmosphere, leading to a decrease in the number of negative
ions in our bodies. Doctors in Japan report that under such conditions,
the symptoms of their asthma and arthritis patients are aggravated, and
the number of strokes increases.
In North America, the relationship between positive ions and asthma has also been studied. Positive ion winds (in
which there are extremely high concentrations of positive ions) in Calgary, Alberta, southern
California, and other places around the world have been found to
coincide with increased incidence of asthma attacks (Guy Cramer,
"Advanced Research on Atmospheric Ions and Respiratory Problems",
Certified Medinex Website, Sept. 2, 1996,
in recent years a number of doctors in Japan report that high levels of
positive ions in the immediate environment - due to electromagnetic
fields generated from computers, cell phones and other electronic
devices - can both impair brain function and suppress the immune
system, leading to a host of ailments. Symptoms include headache, lack
of energy, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, nausea, stomachache,
breathing difficulty, vertigo (dizziness), poor concentration and
mental performance, and sleep disturbance. When blood or urine samples
from individuals reporting such symptoms are analyzed, extremely high
levels of the stress hormone serotonin are detected. This hormone is
known to be potentially harmful to the body at high levels, and it is
thought that positive ions may work to increase serum serotonin.
(Negative ions, on the other hand, cause the body to convert excess
serotonin into a harmless compound).
ions turn into free radicals in the body, oxidizing cells throughout
the entire system. They damage healthy cells and increase the acidity
of the blood. When cells are oxidized, lactic acid levels rise
drastically, resulting in a variety of maladies, including cancer. The
balance of the endocrine, immune, and autonomic nervous systems is
thrown off, and blood and lymph circulation declines. As a result,
aging processes accelerate, and premature aging occurs.
is said that 2% of the oxygen we breathe turns into free radicals in
our bodies. When these free radicals combine with free radicals
produced by other sources (such as heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria,
viruses, and positive ions), they become even more harmful. Negative
ions work to prevent oxidation by neutralizing the free radicals in our
cells. As a result, cells are revitalized, and immunity and resistance
are strengthened. Negative ions also work to balance the autonomic
nervous system and improve gastrointestinal function. They can relax
the mind and body, promote deep sleep, increase metabolism, stabilize
appetite and blood pressure, enhance recovery from physical exhaustion,
and help one feel refreshed and invigorated. Negative ions are
essential to overall health. Below is a summary of the healing
properties of negative ions.
Healing Properties of Negative Ions
Recovery from physical exhaustion or fatigue - by increasing oxygen levels in the blood and facilitating more efficient
oxygen utilization, negative ions help accelerate recovery from fatigue.
Stabilizing brain function - by promoting abundant oxygen levels in the blood, negative ions help normalize
brain function, resulting in relaxation and calmness.
purification - by increasing the levels of calcium and sodium in the
blood stream, negative ions help restore a healthy (slightly alkaline)
pH balance to the blood.
- by stimulating the exchange of electronic substances in cell walls, negative ions help increase metabolism.
Strengthening the immune system - high levels of negative ions promote
production of globulin in the blood, resulting in stronger resistance to illness.
Balancing the autonomic nervous system - negative ions can calm and relax taut nerves by balancing the
opposing sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.
better digestion - by counteracting over-arousal of the sympathetic
nervous system, negative ions help ease tension in the stomach and
intestines, promoting the production of digestive enzymes and enhancing
Cell rejuvenation - negative ions help revitalize cell metabolism,
enhancing the vitality of muscle tissue and strengthening internal organs.
For overall health - negative ions can rejuvenate and revitalize all of the body's systems and cells,
promoting a stronger overall constitution.