In a study published by the National Institute of Health, researchers found negative air ions had a positive effect on the physiological parameters of blood pressure and heart rate, as well as neuronal activity, when applied to a group of rats. It was observed that the negative air ions significantly decreased heart rate and the blood pressure. These findings suggest negative air ions can influence health through the inhibition of neuronal activity.
Negative ions may sound like something unhealthy, but in fact they have quite the opposite effect on the body. Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. And recent studies suggest breathing air rich in negative ions can have a very positive effect on a person, both physically and mentally.
Negative ions are commonly found in natural places close to moving water. But they can also be felt in the air after a thunderstorm. You know that taste noticed near a beach or waterfall, or after a strong thunderstorm? These are all examples of negative ions saturating the air. Negative ions can clear the air of pollutants like mold, pollen, pet dander, bacteria, dust and foul odors. They do this by attaching to positively charged particles, causing air pollutants to become too heavy to stay airborne. Once they become too heavy, they drop to the ground, which prevents them from becoming respiratory pathogens.
There are numerous health benefits to negative ions. This is why it is suggested negative ionizers be used in the home and office. Negative ions are inhaled and once they are in the bloodstream, they produce biochemical reactions that can increase the chemical serotonin, which helps manage stress and depression. Negative ions also help increase the flow of oxygen to the brain. This can eliminate drowsiness and increase alertness and mental clarity.
The effects of ionization have been studied for decades. Many people claim to feel irritable or they may develop headaches or sinus problems when storms are brewing or approaching. Many elders claim to be able to “feel” the weather in their bones. Scientifically, this equates to the changes in electrical states within the atmosphere that typically accompany storms. In the 1970’s, researchers began measuring metabolic changes in rodents in response to concentration of ions in the air. The studies showed when the rats and mice were exposed to positive ions, they became agitated, aggressive and more prone to respiratory conditions. But these changes were not observed when the rodents were exposed to negative ions.
The best way to experience the positive health effects of negative ions is to spend more time in nature. Stepping outside after a thunderstorm blows through, walking along the beach or even going for a hike in the mountains are all ways of getting exposure to negative ions that can ultimately lead to good health and a positive attitude. If none of these things are possible, adding a Himalayan salt lamp to the home, is another great way to shift the mood. Regardless of how it’s achieved, absorbing negative ions can be a game changer.
There is a large variety of meditation to choose from. It isn’t all just sitting cross-legged with your eyes shut. Let’s explore types of meditation.
Types of meditation include Buddhist practices, transcendental, zen, mantra, chakra, sound, guided and active. How can someone choose where to start? Think about the type of person you are overall, the amount of time and dedication you have, and where your interests lie. What do you intend to get out of meditation?
Here are some benefits from practicing:
The goal of meditation is to quiet the mind and bring your consciousness to the present moment. In addition, meditation helps one connect with the inner self and increases connection to others and the whole of creation. Meditation eases persistent mental noise, improves focus, creativity and is calming. Almost any activity can be meditative if it absorbs your attention and keeps you present. Let’s consider some meditation exercises:
Qigong, tai chi, yoga - These exercises cultivate “life energy” and promote the circulation of energy (Qi) through the focus on breathing and movement. In particular these exercises circulate oxygen and blood. If you are interested in one of these, seek out a qualified instructor.
Activity mindfulness - Walking or doing other enjoyable activities such as sports, art, music or writing promote activity mindfulness. Doing dishes, gardening or cleaning can also be considered a meditation if we are focused and present while enjoying the experience.
Guided meditation - This type of meditation is where one sits and focuses on specific imagery given by an instructor or through audio. This form of meditation is often used in healing, as one can focus on specific parts of the body.
Sound - The focus of this meditation is on a sound, repeated mantra or vibration.
Mantra - Mantra meditation is repeating a mantra such as “Om” or “Om mani padme hum.” transcendental meditation, a very popular and well-known practice includes a mantra and is usually practiced about 20 minutes twice a day. It might be a good idea to seek out an instructor for transcendental meditation, as it has specific techniques that might require a higher level of assistance.
Sitting - Sitting meditation is very common and can incorporate focus on sound, a mantra or breathing. Practices tend to originate from Buddhism, and established positions, such as the lotus, have been taught to encourage deeper inner connection.
Binaural Beats - This is a modern addition to the meditation circle. Binaural beats are special frequencies that put the brain into meditative states such as alpha or theta. The frequencies, which synchronize brain waves, have benefits such as increased awareness. Binaural beats tend to quickly enhance mood. They can be found easily using an Internet search.
If you are ready for meditation, start slowly with one that looks enjoyable. Better yet, start right now by looking around you or going through every part your body with thoughts of appreciation.
Did you know shushing someone might actually may be beneficial to your health? There are six healing sounds known to Taoist qi gong practice that vibrate specific organs and promote emotional and physical well-being.
It has been shown sound vibrations promote healing and provide a type of massage to the organs. Six main organs that benefit from this sound vibration include the liver, heart, spleen, lungs, kidneys and triple burner. These are known as yin organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine and are associated with wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The key to vibrational healing is a relaxed attention to the organ to release stuck energy and emotion. It is not even necessary to voice the sounds; a whisper will do or even a mental rendition of the sound. There are many methods of qi gong practice for sound healing. You can explore more on YouTube or seek a qi gong teacher for more specific practice.
Liver: The emotion associated with the wood element, is the liver. The organ associated with the liver is the eyes. When someone is very angry, they tend to get bloodshot eyes due to rising energy. Visualize the liver and send love and attention to it. The sound of the liver is “sshh” (xu in pinyin). Give a nice breathless “sshh” down to your liver, releasing all the air in your lungs, relaxing and releasing any anger. Repeat five times.
Heart: The heart, a fire element, can get overwhelmed with frustration, hate and strong emotions. The heart’s emotion is joy, and the heart is involved with circulation and mental clarity. Visualize the heart in red and send down love and attention. The sound of the heart is He, pronounced “haaaaa” with the mouth wide open. Repeat five times, releasing all the air from the lungs and sending an inner smile to your heart.
Spleen: The spleen, the earth element, is involved with digestion and transformation of food. It can get bogged down with overthinking and worrying, anxiety and weight gain. Send the color yellow to your stomach area and give a breathless “hooo" (a guttural sound from the throat, not as in ”who” or “woo” but as in “hoe”), Hu in pinyin. Repeat five times, sending love to your spleen and stomach area, releasing all the air from your lungs.
Lungs: The lungs, the metal element, take in oxygen, circulate it and breathe out the old. The lungs are especially sensitive to external factors in the environment. The lungs are adversely affected by grief, sadness and depression. Send the color white to the lungs with an inner smile, release any sadness, and sound out “sss” with your tongue behind your teeth (si). Repeat five times.
Kidneys: The kidneys are associated with reproduction, sexuality, longevity, bones, urination, and your basic constitution. The kidneys are the water element and are associated with fear and phobias. Trauma will affect the kidneys, so visualize the kidneys in a dark blue or black and release fears with the sound “chooo" (chui). This is the whispered sound of blowing out a candle. Repeat as above.
San Jiao (Triple Burner): This meridian covers the top, middle and lower part of the body and is involved with irrigation and regulation of fluids. The sound associated with the triple burner is “sheee” (xi), a breathless sound to move the heat from the top part of the head down through the feet. Visualizing this heat moving downward helps boost sexual energy and warms the lower body.
The key to sound healing is to expel the old and bring in the new energy physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Seek out a teacher if you are interested in adopting these exercises more in depth. These sounds should not replace seeking medical treatment for any acute or chronic physical or mental condition.
Researchers from the Tianjin University of Chinese Medicine tested the efficacy of acupuncture, herbs and drug therapy for heart health, and what they found was incredible. The addition of Traditional Chinese Medicine therapies increased patient outcomes by 28 percent, with regards to arrhythmias, palpitations and tachycardia. The researchers tested prescription medications alone and with the addition of acupuncture and herbs. In this study, the addition of acupuncture and herbs increased the positive effect and decreasing the symptoms the patients were experiencing. The researchers used the exact same protocol for all patients involved in the study. The same acupuncture points, herbal formula and pharmaceuticals were used on all participants. For the treatment group, the effective rate was 92 percent overall.
Traditional Chinese Medicine, just like Western medicine, believes the heart is responsible for the circulation of blood. When the heart is strong, circulation will be sufficient, the body will be well-nourished and the pulse will reflect that by being full and regular. Both medical systems agree that a weak heart can manifest as palpitations, chest pain and even heart disease or a heart attack. Where the two medical systems differ is this: TCM also acknowledges the heart “houses the mind”.
In TCM, the heart and the mind are virtually inseparable. The heart governs the ability to think clearly, sleep soundly and maintain a good memory. Our emotional state is strongly influenced by how healthy or unhealthy our heart may be. A weak and deficient heart may create feelings of anxiety and mania, while also contributing to insomnia, forgetfulness and lack of concentration.
Heart health can be reflected in the facial complexion also. A nice rosy complexion indicates a strong healthy heart, while a pale or sallow complexion is indicative of a deficient, weak heart. If the heart blood becomes stagnant, the complexion may have a purplish tint. When the complexion is reddish, this may indicate heart heat.
Acupuncture and TCM have been managing heart health for centuries. Regular acupuncture treatments have been found to be very helpful in lowering blood pressure. The needles stimulate the release of opioids, which then decrease the heart’s activity and its need for oxygen. This in turn, helps lower blood pressure.
Stress is another factor that can greatly affect the health of the heart. Unmanaged, chronic stress can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, heart arrhythmias and even heart attacks. Numerous studies have shown stress can be easily managed through the use of acupuncture. TCM offers more than just acupuncture to treat stress though. Herbal formulas and exercises like tai chi and qi gong are all wonderful tools for managing stress and keeping the heart healthy.
Poor sleep and insomnia has been linked to heart failure, heart attacks, high blood pressure, stroke and obesity. And yet again, TCM can help treat a wide array of sleep problems without the harsh side effects of many pharmaceuticals.
Without a healthy heart, the body cannot function properly and the mind may be clouded and disconnected. Contact a licensed acupuncturist in your area for a consultation to see how TCM can assist you with all of your heart health needs.
Negative ions can provide surprisingly positive effects on the body and mind. The negative ionization of waves near the beach, and other forms of moving water are known to cleanse both body and soul due to some unique scientific properties.
Negative ions have been proven to enhance mood, improve the appetite, quell allergic reactions, stop headaches and provide essential relief for a number of other ailments.
Let’s take a look at the science behind the positive absorption of negative ions.
By stimulating the reticuloendothelial system negative ions spark the defense cells in this system in order to bolster and increase our resistance to disease. In addition to bolstering our disease defense system, negative ions increase the amplitude of our brain waves, which contributes to an overall higher awareness level throughout our body.
Ion counts exist in many different areas on earth, especially those with high quality fresh air, but the negative ion counts are highest near moving water. Visiting and spending time next to waterfalls and waves is the best way to absorb the rejuvenative powers of negative ions. In a place with fresh air there is generally between 2,000 to 4,000 negative ions per each individual cubic centimeter. In a place with moving water there can be over 100,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter.
Cities can be detrimental on your negative ion count. For example, due to most cities experiencing an ample amount of pollution, negative ion counts can be as low as 100 negative ions per cubic centimeters in urban areas. So what is the solution to overcome this? Get outside of course! Make sure to create some time to leave the city, decompress and reap the positive benefits of absorbing negative ions.
There are some neat tricks to getting your dose of negative ions when you can’t make it outside. Get a negative ion generator, put a fountain or moving water source in your home or even just taking a shower can increase the negative ion count around you.
It is important to absorb negative ions regardless of how you get them. Their healing and rejuvenating properties are beneficial for everybody.
Three Ways to Get Negative Ion Benefits
Negative ions produce many benefits for our everyday health. From helping cure allergies to decreasing the amount of airborne viruses, the benefits are vast and diverse. You may be wondering how to get more negative ions in your life. Well, don’t worry, it isn’t that hard. Check out these three ways you can receive the benefits of negative ions in your life today.
1. Go to the Ocean (most favorite!!)
Negative ions are the most abundant in wild places, especially by the sea. Wherever there is moving water expect negative ions aplenty. So go to the beach and soak up some negative ions in addition to soaking up the sun.
2. USB Stick Ionizers
Technology never ceases to amaze. If getting out into nature is too hard for you because of your daily commute and job, don’t worry, there is a simple a solution. USB stick ionizers plug right into your computer and you can reap the benefits of negative ions even while at your office.
3. Ionic Light Bulbs
Another miracle thanks to the tech industry is ionic lightbulbs. Ionic light bulbs can be used in a variety of different locations: the home, the office, the garage, your workshop, really anywhere with a light source is a good place to put on ionic light bulb. These light bulbs will produce negative ions whenever they are turned on and have you feeling revitalized in no time
Rebecca M H Kitzerow is a Licensed Acupuncturist practicing in La Center, Washington. With over a decade of experience she has won 10 Nattie consumer choice awards from Natural Awakenings Magazine since 2014.