We often talk about the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps on our Inspire Me Naturally blog, with one key benefit being their ability to generate negative ions for the surrounding environment.
But do you know exactly what negative ions actually are, and how they work to improve our wellbeing?
Today on the blog we’re talking about how negative ions are formed, why they’re important, and the benefits they have on our health and wellness!
First things first – what is an ion?
An ion is essentially an electrically charged molecule, formed when atoms either lose or gain an electron. This happens due to environmental or atmospheric influences.
Ions are all around us, and can directly influence our mood, wellbeing and even in some cases our health.
There are two types of ions – negative ions, and positive ions. These ions are formed in different ways, and have different impacts on our bodies.
What is the difference between a negative and positive ion?
Don’t be fooled by the names – a positive ion (or positively charged ion) is actually known for having a negative effect on the body when we have a high exposure to them.
Positive ions are often formed in nature due to humidity, extreme wind and pollution, but are also generated through electrical equipment like fluorescent lighting, air-conditioning, televisions and even our computers and mobile phones.
When we find ourselves in environments with high levels of these positive ions (like a stuffy office with fluorescent lights) we can start to feel anxious, irritable, tired and tense.
On the flipside, negative ions have the complete opposite effect, with a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
Negative ions are most commonly found in nature near waterfalls, forests and the ocean. At home, they’re also produced in your very own shower! There’s a reason why most people find themselves feeling fresh and energised in these kinds of locations – the negative ions help to counteract the positive ions, and provide a better surrounding environment.
Himalayan salt lamps are also purported to release negative ions as the crystal is heated by an internal lamp. Negative ions are naturally attracted to pollutants like dust and allergens, and their negative charge means they can actually attach to and remove these pollutants from the air.
How do negative ions benefit our health and wellness?
There are several benefits to being exposed to negative ions in our everyday lives. Negative ions are reported to help with:
- Purifying the air and therefore reducing allergy symptoms
- Improving respiratory issues and preventing respiratory illnesses
- Mental clarity – feeling energised, alert and refreshed
- Decreasing the number of airborne bacteria
- Reducing headaches
- Improving sleeping patterns
Just to name a few! This is why products like Himalayan salt lamps are so popular around the home, particularly in areas where we are often exposed to positive ions due to electrical equipment, dust or pet allergens.
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