Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Negative ions

I spent the weekend at the Jersey shore. As we were lying around relaxing, someone suggested that this relaxed feeling might be because of the high concentration of negative ions at the beach.

What are negative ions?!

Negative ions are molecules with a negative charge (i.e. gain of an electron). This happens when molecules run into each other and break apart. They're present in higher concentrations in places like beaches, waterfalls, and showers. 
Could the presence of these invisible particles help explain why the beach is so relaxing?

This study at Columbia University looked at people with seasonal affective and bipolar disorder and found that high density negative ion generators actually improved symptoms of depression.

Columbia University researcher Michael Terman, PhD, explains in this article:
"The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”
According to researchers, negative ions may increase oxygen flow to the brain and lead to improved alertness and energy.

Where can we find negative ions? 
  • By turning off the air conditioning and opening the windows
  • In the shower 
  • At beaches, mountains, waterfalls 
  • After rainstorms
  • By buying a negative ion generator

1 comment:

  1. I think the message that most yogis should take from this is: shower!
    Also, I believe there was a study that found an increase in negative ions while one is grooming (trimming, shaving, plucking etc.) In fact, grooming while showering is even better. Perhaps that's a second message yogis can pull from this interesting post of yours: good grooming will keep you happy and healthy!