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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 20 2012

Dear Mark: What Are the Health Benefits of Negative Ions?

By Mark Sisson
150 Comments

Niagara Falls Making Negative IonsAnyone who’s been through a health store has heard about ions. If it’s not someone offering samples of ionized water, it’s someone selling ionized bracelets. It sounds wacky, woo-woo, crazy, and as if it belongs firmly in the same realm as crystals, magnet therapy, and cryptozoology (although the kid in me is still holding out hope that both Squatch and Nessie are found), but is there actual science behind this negative ion stuff, or are the people who buy into this stuff totally off their rockers? Today, we venture into what some might consider the realm of the non-scientific to discuss negative ionizers – both the natural kinds (like waterfalls) and the man-made variety (negative ion generators).

Let’s get to it:

Hi Mark,

I’m almost scared/embarrassed to even ask you about this, but here goes: my friend, who’s into crystals, homeopathy, and other types of alternative health modalities with less than concrete supporting evidence, has been talking my ear off about negative and positive ions. She’s got her entire house decked out with negative ion generators and she’s always trying to “avoid positive ions.” I’ve even seen her ducking past air conditioners. Is there anything to this, or is she crazy?

Thanks,

Beth

Maybe. Let’s take a look.

But first, lest we fall into the trap of talking about abstractions (a la “toxins”), let’s define our terms. What are ions?

Ions are atoms or molecules in which the number of electrons is different than the number of protons. In other words, an ion is a negatively (more electrons than protons) or positively (more protons than electrons) charged atom or molecule. Positively charged ions are called cations, while negatively charged ions are called anions. Because they are either positively or negatively charged, ions are “mobile.”

Negative ions generally appear in natural settings in greater numbers than positive ions. For instance, negative ions are generated by moving water – rivers, waterfalls, crashing waves, even showers and fountains – and the presence of negative ions is actually used to identify potential sources of water on other planetary bodies, like Enceladus and Titan. Waterfalls are probably the greatest producers of negative ions, thanks to the violence with which falling water breaks apart on both hard and aqueous surfaces (PDF). Plants also produce negative ions, especially when exposed to intense light during photosynthesis.

Okay, that’s great and all. Everyone likes waterfalls and all, but does the fact that they generate lots of negative air ions have any bearing on our health?

They can certainly exert “physiological effects” on living things. In fact, that negative and positive air ions could have physiological effects on people was once a field of serious study, but after snake oil salesmen released a slew of air ion generators with the promise that they’d cure cancer, heart disease, and just about every malady under the sun in the 1950s, the reputation of the field was forever tarnished. Research continued, but its name was sullied, and little serious attention was paid to its findings. The result is that anytime anyone even mentions “ions,” they’ll get laughed out of the room or immediately branded a nut job. And that’s a shame, because there is something to this stuff.

Even if some modern skeptics pride themselves on discarding an idea that sounds a little kooky without doing any actual research, that doesn’t mean evidence doesn’t exist. Let’s see what the research says:

Mood

Not everyone with seasonal affective disorder (SAD) can afford to slumber amidst the babbling mist of a nearby brook with the gentle caress of the day’s first sun softly nudging them awake. It’s ideal, but studies indicate that simulating those conditions with negative ion generators, naturalistic dawn simulating lights, and someone blowing raspberries at your face can be just as effective at combating SAD as bright light therapy (okay, maybe not that last one).

Chronic non-seasonal depression has also been shown to be improved with negative ion therapy. High density ion therapy was far more effective than low density ion therapy.

Negative ions (along with bright light and auditory stimuli) reduced subjective measurements of depression, improved mood, and reduced anger in both depressed and non-depressed college students.

Stress

In a study on the salivary responses of people completing a 40-minute word processing task on the computer, exposure to negative air ions reduced the rise in salivary chromogranin A-like immunoreactivity (a marker of stress and anxiety) and improved performance.

Breathing

The trachea is the windpipe, the passage through which air travels into our lungs. Along the trachea are cilia, tiny organelles which keep airborne particles from passing into the lungs. If cilial activity is inhibited, as in cystic fibrosis, more foreign particles are introduced into the lungs. If cilial activity is uninhibited, the junk is kept out of the lungs and discharged later via saliva and mucus. Research shows that negative ion exposure increases cilial activity in the trachea of humans and monkeys, while positive ion exposure inhibits it.

Another study in asthmatic children found that exposure to positively ionized air exacerbated their asthmatic response to exercise.

All told, there does appear to be something to it.

Maybe that’s why sitting around a campfire with your buddies surrounded by towering examples of plant life feels so good. Toss in a nearby river gurgling over stones, throwing mist up in the air? You’ve got a potent recipe for negative air ions. Could that be why camping out in the great outdoors is so rejuvenating and so energizing? Sure, you could argue that camping is just a way for us to get away from the madness of work and city life, get some fresh air and exercise, and reconnect with our Primal selves… but there has to be a physiological mechanism for that. What if negative ions play an important role in that mechanism? What if part of what we’re “getting away from” is the glaring lack of negative ions?

How to Get Exposure to Negative Ions

The best way to get exposure to negative ions is of course going to be the old, natural way. Go to the beach (and play in the water, don’t sit bundled up on the shore). Climb a mountain. Go for a hike. Spend an afternoon reading a great book in a garden, surrounded by plant life. Swim underneath a waterfall. Heck, even just stepping outside the stifling stuffy air of your office, turning off the AC and lowering the car windows, or letting some cross breeze into your house will help.

Take a shower. The closest thing many of us get to moving water is our regular showers. And that’s not so bad. Moving water is moving water, and showers do a good job of producing negative ions in their own right.

Another way is to design a negative ion-generating garden, using running water (preferably a waterfall or fountains) and plenty of green life. This method is a mite more involved than simply buying a generator or visiting natural sites of negative ion generation, but here’s a study in which researchers mapped out the distribution of positive and negative ions across a sample garden (PDF). It should give you an idea for your own garden. The important factor appears to be the presence of running water, since the negative ions were highest right around the waterfall.

For your home or office, I highly recommend a negative ion generator. Many of them aren’t terribly expensive. For, say, 50 bucks you can enrich your stale office in negative ions and filter out impurities to boot. Give it a shot, especially if you don’t spend time in the natural settings where negative ions predominate. If you’re stuck inside all day, bathed in air conditioning, a negative ion generator is worthy of serious consideration.

Or, if you’re handy enough, you could always just make your own ioniser.

Anyway, I’d like to hear about your experiences with negative ionizers (and negative ions in general). Have you noticed anything? Let us know in the comment section!

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150 thoughts on “Dear Mark: What Are the Health Benefits of Negative Ions?”

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  1. Hi Mark,

    Nice article.

    So let’s assume negative ions are good. How do I measure them to confirm they are there and how many there are?

    John

    1. Instructions
      1. Push the power button on your ion tester for several seconds until a negative sign flashes on the small screen on the front of the tester.

      2. Find the small metal piece on the back of the tester. Hold the tester level so the metal piece points at the ground. A reading will display. This reading helps the ion tester calibrate itself and gives you a measurement to test against.

      1. 3. Press the pad of your thumb over the small metal square on the front of the tester. Hold the tester so the square on the back points toward your negative ion generator, air purifier, or simply into the center of the room.

        4. Watch for a reading to display. A small minus sign will appear before negative ion readings. If you see no minus sign, the ion tester is measuring positive ions and your generator isn’t working very well or too few negative ions are present to measure.

        5. Compare the original calibration reading to the reading from the negative ion generator. Ideally, the second reading should be much lower than the first. For example, if the first reading was -10, the second reading should ideally be -80, -90 or higher. The higher the reading, the more negative ions are in your environment.

    2. Mark

      The study on SADS and dawn simulation did not say what you summarized. It said that bright light, dawn simulation or pulsed low level light were superior to low levels of negative ion radiation. Why there was no control group is beyond me. We can’t really tell if the remission rate was better than no treatment at all.

    3. Similarly, the study on light and ionization did not necessarily mean that high levels of negative ions were helpful. It could be that exposure to low levels of negative ions is detrimental. Without a control group, you can’t really tell if this is a real effect or just a test-retest effect.

      1. I used a negative ionizer stick for a while to make my tap water more alkaline, that certainly seemed to increase my energy levels… that was part of general experimentation on reducing acidity in the body.

        SAD lights makes sense to me, when you consider the low LUX generated by office lights vs lovely sunshine… definitely need a dose of bright lights to lift the mood in gloomy months. Ask anyone from Scandinavia or northern Canada how depressed people get in the winter months!

        1. I’m from Canada, and I have to say that now, living in the US Pacific Northwest, I feel much more light-deprived than I ever did in northern Ontario!

        2. I used to live in a house with a wood stove in the basement, which (along with the furnace) heated the house but more enjoyably provided some entertainment on cold, snowed-in Canadian winter days (not that far North however). I’d get hypnotized by the fire. It was better than TV sometimes. And to start it, Grok-squatting or kneeling was required – Grok squatting probably being the better option.

        3. Sorry, don’t understand. I live in Sydney haha. It will be sunny and 70 all through winter

    4. Join tMy experience is that Negative Ions do indeed work. Eastern block countries have been using them in training facilities and sleeping barracks for decades. Anyone whom has visited Las Vegas has experienced it first hand. Do you ever wonder why you don’t get tired walking through the casino? Why do people take a shower to “wake up”? With 20 billion being spent on air purifiers world wide it is a growing market, and the ones that add negative ions are being used by professional sports teams, big box and the most needed Industry in my humble opinion Dentistry.

      I am available to speak personally and receive more info on our machines or any subject on this matter9789943336
      he discussion

  2. I insist on positive ions, I already have too much negativity in my life.

    1. Your lack of negative ions is the cause of many negativity in your life. If you’ll learn the meaning and the benefit of negative ion and apply it in your life, then your negativity will soon disappear out of your life.

      I am an open minded person who is willing to learn about the unknown and apply them into my life. It doesn’t hurt to try! Nothing changes over night either, so don’t expect it to work for you immediately. Every healing method takes time, faith, and patience to heal.

      1. Yes be open minded, but not blind-sided by your preferences and beliefs. If you are prepared to do cold headed reasoning on the EVIDENCE, faith does not come into it. Science does not have all the answers – so we need more research.
        Negative ions do help if you live under a waterfall or by the surf. ( I dare say there are also other factors at play when we enjoy such places and our mood is elevated.)
        Relying on an electric box in the corner is not going to have the desired effect. because the output is too small.

          1. I think you mean Rob is a positive ion! Because negative is a positive in this instance.

  3. Rob, I think you may of miss understood the ion bit (unless I did). We want the negative ions around us to make us feel better.

    My question is (unless I missed it in the article), what comon everyday things produces positive ions? Knowing these I can reduce as many in my day to day living.

    And any ideas on the braclelts? Are they any good? If so any brand I should look for?

    Thanks for your time.

    1. I bought a negative ion contraption about 20 years ago. I put it in the bedroom since it was supposed to help me breathe and sleep better. All it did was make a dirty spot on the wall, so I guess it was doing something. My allergies remained the same until I eliminated sweets, grain products and a few other things that bother me. Maybe the newer ones work better, or maybe they’re just a scam.

      I also bought a Q-Link a while back, on the theory that they protect you from the negative effects of EMF. Didn’t notice any difference with that either.

      1. Your symptoms may be a lack of healthy eating and deficiency of nutrition plus the unhealthy air in your environment.

        According to my experience, frequent intake of vitamin C helps me to boost my immune system to fight off virus, allergy symptoms during the allergy season, and any infection.

        Leave all windows open during the cool night and in the morning to let fresh air and light in so you wouldn’t be too stuff inside.

        House Plants also contained a lot of negative ion which also attract dust and give off natural oxygen into your house to help eliminate allergies.

        Learn to use and store certain minerals inside your house to bring the natural negative ion. I used Quantum science scalar energy pendant to heal any joint and muscle pain which it contained a very high amount of negative ion.

        Negative ion generators are very expensive and it’s not even a guarantee to solve your health problems.

        1. I am a spiritual healer and I used minerals and quantum pendant scalar energy to help enhance my energy/vibration level. I tested my energy by having another spiritual healer to read and view my energy level. She said that I have the highest and a very unusual high energy level compared to her other clients. I also learned that plants and tamed animals could be attracted to human who has been exposed to high negative ion. That’s why some people have a green thumb and are good with plants. Animal can sense a humble and happy person because he or she may have been effected by the negative ions.

      2. There’s this clothing made by the Japanese and Germans now that generates negative ions by just wearing it. It works in the east for a long time. I’m leaving in Asia, this thing has worked wonders for many. Not sure if that is available there. You can write to me if you want to find out more muwoent@gmail.com

    2. Electrical devices produce positive ions. For example it’s kind of unhealthy to use a computer – positive ions and radiation (though apparently we can adapt to low levels of electromagnetic radiation – computer’s seem like a sensible indulgence, or worth using). It would help to have good ventilation, and maybe a hazmat suit. Negative ion generator of course.

      1. “‘s” have to point out that grammar glitch for ego’s sake before anyone else gets a chance

      2. I survived Hepatitis B that affected my kidney and was rejected by a medical professor because according to him I had not come to the hospital early. I share this knowledge with you on http://www.ebnanotech.com for you to know how I have managed it and how emf or electromagnetic force or microwave radiation is devastating us and the benefits of negative ions.

    1. They do work when designed correctly, because the charge of the ion attracts dust down to very small particles (like pollen). The particles aggregate and can be filtered more easily.

  4. Hmmm, interesting. I’d always found the thing about ions to be a little too woo-woo for me, although I’m with you on the Nessie thing. 🙂

    1. I caught a frog with six legs once (two sets of back legs, both worked!). Probably the closest I came to seeing a monster, wish I took a picture of it. Based on watching it swim in a bucket with other frogs, I think its extra legs made it just a bit faster.
      And in BC I saw a weird skeleton on the beach that looked like a cross between a fish and a lizard, maybe around a meter or a bit less in length with the tail being about half the body.

    2. Negative ions indeed works. But the density must be sufficient. Also the distance between us and -ve ions. If youb wish to know more, you can write to me at muwoent@gmail.com

  5. Im building one myself. I know just what shelf to put it on. Time to throw out the flux capaciter. It was a miserable failure!

  6. The study on mood change is suggestive but inconclusive. Using a Beck inventory score of 10 to classify someone as depressed is a joke. I have patients that score 55/60 on the Beck. It suggests that students in a lousy mood report some mood improvement. Also, the comparison conditions are suspect. A better “active control” would be some other activity deemed to have minimal antidepressant activity… doing puzzles? The evidence presented really is weak and I would not make recommendations (or invest in a negative ion generator) based on them. I would not want negative ion generators to be subsidized by tax dollars.

    I would like to spend time by a waterfall.

  7. I’ve had a negative ioniser by my bed for the last 30 years. In the days when we didn’t know about wheat damage, it was useful for reducing asthma at night. However, loosing the wheat has a far more powerful effect, and I wouldn’t bother to get one now-a-days – although I will carry on using mine because I have it.

  8. I’ve had an ionizer for several years, it really DOES help with my allergies and asthma. I also have a small fish pond in my house which has a fountain. If nothing else, the sound of the fountain is very relaxing and soporific.
    I have only been doing the Primal Blueprint for 7 weeks, I’m not sure when/if I will see any improvement in the allergy arena. Thanks for the great blog Mark!

    1. the allergy thing is tricky as there seem to be so many cofactors producing not only the reactions but often the conditions where said cofactors will cause a reaction. Example: i’ve been basically primal for 3.5 years (no grains etc etc but with dairy) 8 years ago i had all amalgam removed suspecting it responsible for increasing digestive issues – but left a root canal. all digestive issues cleared (that worked!) but remaining was virtually constant post nasal drip and throat clearing. i finally pulled the (still stable but suspect) molar/root canal and low and behold – – no more compulsive throat clearing within 6 weeks! however i still have a residual runny sinus that hangs on no matter what. is it an allergy to something more i have not changed? dropping dairy does nothing to change it –

      my point moodygirl is that you may find certain things changing/getting better but still get to play detective with other chronic issues that may seem allergy related but may or may not be – good luck!

      1. Sometimes the runny nose is simply tears that don’t come thru the eyes but sinus. I don’t know if it’s because I block the crying when I don’t want to be seen crying that makes that happen or not but I always carry a hanky so that I have something to catch the tears from my nose. Usually happens when there is a difference in temps, like from outside to in or when the hated AC kicks up it’s ugly heals. Perhaps I need to stand in the shower and cry on a regular basis to get that to stop……

  9. I would not recommend the cheaper ion generators, nor to build your own. These devices generate significant amounts of ozone. You can even smell it sometimes.
    I find ozone causing sore throat, beside possible other side effects I have not encountered myself.

      1. because that make it yourself site also has ozone generators claiming…

        “Make a surprisingly effective ozone generator for freshening the air in your home or workshop”.

        Please don’t do that. Ozone is good for killing microbes in food packing and lots of other applications, but not for breathing.

  10. I was actually thining about getting a purifier a few weeks ago! I purchased some scentedpop-popouri to try and make my bedroom/office smell “fresh”, but it did nothing.

    Now I’m confused. I’ve done a little searching for HEPA Ionic Air purifier, but it seems it’s wither HEPA OR Ionic… Is this true? I don’t really think that a filter-less one will do as good job, albeit UV probably is good, I don’t want a blue light when sleeping.

    Does anyone have a HEPA Ionic Purifier?

    Thanks!

  11. I also gathered that the way Ionisers work is that attract other ions in the air and “weight them down”. They then settle on furniture to be cleaned off? Seems a little counter-intuitive? Would a HEPA air purifier still be good, if it doesn’t have a ioniser?

  12. Sorry, still pretty skeptical. What kinds of ions are these (i.e., what’s the molecule or atom)? What’s supposed to be the mechanism for their interacting with our body? I’m guessing a chemical reaction (since it seems like the most obvious way ions interact with other things) but in that case what specifically are they reacting with?? The discussion of ‘ions’ is just so so so vague and unscientific that it really gives no information to be able to judge its merits. Even if there were some effect there’s way too little information here to have any idea what’s going on, or even if it’s the charge or the molecule overall that matter, or if it’s the interaction of the ‘negative ions’ with something in your body that matters or if they are simply reacting with other ions in the environment and removing them…. I remain a skeptic for now.

      1. Yeah, if negative electric charges literally had some kind of positive health effects, purely by virtue of being negative charges, then we could all get all kinds of benefits from things like walking across a carpet in socks or wearing wool sweaters in the winter. And I can think of some negative ions (as well as positive ones) that are dangerously reactive (causing explosions or burns or leaching minerals from the body).

        IMHO, it’s either simply not a real thing, or if there’s anything in it at least what’s going on is very different from how it’s being explained.

    1. Maybe the extra electrons pass from the ions to us, acting like antioxidants.

    2. +1. “Negative ion” means nothing without talking about which negative ion it is. Superoxide anion is a negative ion that is quite toxic. Maybe some “negative ions” have benefits, but without specifying which ones, it’s not

  13. “Because they are either positively or negatively charged, ions are “mobile.”” Took me a bit to decipher this but I imagine this must be a reference to electrical mobility rather than to what we normally mean by mobility in common speech? Electrical mobility just refers to how much something moves in an electric field, which is useful if you’re trying to apply a voltage to it and use it to conduct electricity. However it’s not clear to me what it’s got to do with the rest of this article, or to the proposed health effects of charged particles?

  14. I grew up in Niagara Falls (apparently the home of massive numbers of negative ions) I worked many summers beside the falls. I feel a difference in how I feel outside versus inside stale air vs fresh?)but the falls does nothing for me. Pretty! Yes, but thats it!

  15. Thanks a lot for this Mark! I had just written the ion thing off as a bunch of hippie quackery. I’ve even heard that we should be drinking ionized water. Is there any validity to that?

    Thanks for the great content as usual!

  16. This feels oddy biased toward negative ions without much compelling evidence. But, hey, maybe it’s just a mark of how REALLY awesome most other MDA articles are? We’re just a bit spoiled now, but these articles can’t all be winners!

    1. Yeah, frankly, this doesn’t really seem to be an area that Mark has any background in, and I’m afraid it shows.

      1. How rude, Too.
        There are ways of studying to gain knowledge without going to university to learn about any topic of interest. In the past, there were encyclopaedia sets and libraries. Today we have the internet. The truly curious will check sources and read widely, in either case. The other day I read a point made that the internet is as great a step for today as the Gutenberg press had been in its time. A decade or so ago the accepted authorities would distain the uninitiated for gathering information from libraries; today the same chime in regarding studying on the internet. Medical doctors are particularly arrogant in this matter.
        We all do our best to protect interests to our belief system and our means of employment. The foundation to modern theoretical physics today stands upon shaky ground; the meaning of red shift when it is applied to galaxies is coming under question. Likewise, medicine is under assault. Forty percent of Americans seek naturopathic advice today. The numbers are gaining. Should, probably more specifically, ‘when’ these two subject have to be re-evaluated, the wind will be taken out of the sails of the proudly presumptuous in all fields of belief. Such would be a good thing. When we take personal belief systems too seriously, minds close to new possibilities.

        I applaud Mark for broaching this topic. The effects are not felt by everyone and that has been noted since the idea of negative ion generators for health was first introduced.

  17. How is this any different than going barefoot in the dirt or “grounding”?

  18. I feel good when i take a shower. I feel good when I get sunlight (not too much sunlight that burns me like in arizona right now). I feel good walking barefoot on a turf, in a creek, etc.. that’s all i need to know.. lol

  19. I’ve always been skeptical of this ion stuff (at least, the way it was explained to me) because apparently some outdoor scenarios are bad. Apparently very windy places and deserts are positively ionized. But I’ve felt at my most relaxed in deserts, and what about the inevitable wind around large waterfalls? How are they both positive and negative? Why do desert tribes not report high levels of allergies if this is true?

    My personal opinion is that it’s hokum, but I’m open to evidence to the contrary. I don’t think the evidence exists in this article, though.

    1. Equal amounts of positive and negative sounds a lot simpler than having mainly one, actually. Most things are charge neutral, in which case to create a negative ion you have to create a positive one at the same time. In order to have an imbalance between the number of positive vs negative charges many of one would have to be removed somehow or moved to a different location.

      1. I’ve never heard of a neutral charged ion. It’s either positive or negative not neutral.

  20. this is quite interesting, and something i will have to consider – just never heard of it before!

  21. I have a Lasko tower fan with a negative ionizer button. It might be my imagination, but the air feels cooler and fresher when I run it with the ionizer feature on.
    The whole issue is interesting… our food supply and other ways of living are so different than they were pre-industrialization, perhaps our air is, too.

  22. One of the things that’s inconsistent here is that I see discussion of at least three completely different things under the heading of ‘ions’, which seem to have very little to do with each other. 1) ionized particles (not sure ionized particles of what substance) in the air being brought into the respiratory system 2) water ‘ionization’ which seems to refer to adding certain minerals? in an attempt to change its pH? and 3) static electricity being used to attract dust and particulate matter in air filters.

    None of these things seem to have anything to do with each other that I can see :).

    1. Sorry, I was skeptic on this topic and I stay skeptic.
      Ok, let’s produce tons of “negative ions”:

      – Where do the positive go? Annihilated? Back to pure energy according to E=Mc2?

      – Positive and negative irresistibly attract. How long can a “negative ion” stay far away from a ionizer which is constantly charging more and more positively. And how far can it travel most of all: as it freely is floating in the air, it must simply return to the ionizer.

      – Ions of which? -CN (cyanide) for example is a negative ion and sure it is not healthy.

      – I once studied in details the photosynthesis. Now I cannot remember every single electron moving but as far as I remember there are indeed ions which are generated at a certain point. The fact is that they are reabsorbed immediately. The tree is not a nuclear power plant producing beta rays 8 hours per day!!!

      – As for the results of the researches, how much bias is there? We want to prove that ions are so good, we find a way to prove it. Mood, stress and also breath are very psychological (placebo effect?) and me too, despite being skeptic, feel more relaxed in a wood next to a waterfall instead of sitting in my office

      There are many other points I could rise, but that would make the post endless. I’ll continue later, maybe 😉

  23. I was given one of those Ion Bracelets as a gift by my mum and told of all the miracle wonders it somehow creates, so I thought why not, i’d give it a go, thinking it was probably plenty of nonsense but no harm in wearing it for a few days.

    Within 30 minutes I had the most obscene migraine coming on that i’ve had since I used to be a refined sugar fanatic back before going primal.

    I stuck it out for two days hoping it was a coincidence, but couldn’t for the life of me shift it even with every migraine technique under the sun I could think of.

    Within an hour of taking it off, the migraine pretty much lifted as though it’d never been there at all.

    I’ve tried them out twice since as experiments, and both times i’ve ended up bedridden!

    They definitely do something…

    Probably best to just go on a walk to a waterfall.

  24. I use Himalayan Salt Lamps at home and in the office. They also in use them at my primal gym. The lamps are a large chunk of himalayan salt with a light in the middle of them (cheap too) and emit negative ions… as well as casting a pink, yellow, orange glow… which is great for pre-sleep. The neg-ions attach to positive ions in the air and neutralise them. I found them to be beneficial

  25. I haven’t had any experience with an ion generator. However, nothing washes away negativity like a shower. When I was at sea in the Navy I felt exhilarated. When I was a welfare case worker (negativity you could drown in) I was only able to cope by long immersion in water, after my showers. Showers while recovering from a cold or flu speed recovery. I’m not an expert, but it absolutely works for me.

  26. Great article, and yes,maybe we should think of Paleo as broader reaching – being aware of our surroundings as the Natives Americans who would not drink water out of the river for more than a day or so because it was “no longer alive.”
    Positive ions, like fake food have invaded our lives at every turn. Even wearing synthetic fabrics creates positive ions, as to surrounding ourselves with synthetic carpets, fabrics, pseudo wood, Wi-Fi, etc, but especially surrounding ourselves with METAL. This causes the “Faraday cage effect”, ramping up positive ion discharge with measurable decrease in vitality. Studies were done first in submarines on sailors shut in for long periods, and later in cosmonauts, then in Western Europe in metal confines like cars,planes, trailers,and industrial warehouses. (no data at hand, just remember reading it in various books). When I hear of another “green” container vacation home, or a friend buying a vintage Airstream to be close to nature and all that fresh air to get negative ions, I cringe.

  27. Reading the comments and seeing how much confusion this brought up is really a shame…

    The research feels suggestive at best and the mechanic behind the supposed effect is still very unclear. It cause more harm than it helps seeing comments like “With all the wi-fi around. Does this give off positive ions???”…

    The crazy train is coming, woo-woooo…

  28. Nice post, learned some new stuff and this doesn’t happen too often 😀
    Off to check out that negative ionizer scheme

  29. Bottom line….
    go out to your local forest,or park, and take a Primal Bath….

  30. Good grief people!
    This discussion reminds me of what I imagine people in times past sounded like when the germ theory was introduced.
    No one believed it until the microscope was invented and could actual SEE the ” wee animals”.
    Semmelweis was run out of medicine and only after he died was lauded for his work to prevent ” childbirth fever”- by washing his hands to remove pathogens.

    Just because you can’t see it, touch it, and fully understand it at this time, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Lessons in history, look back.

    1. Well, here’s a double blind study:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1907639

      “Just because you can’t see it, touch it, and fully understand it at this time, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.” What an ion is is basic chemistry and electrostatics that’s pretty well understood for around a hundred years. Most of modern technology depends on it. It CAN be measured and modeled and looked at with great accuracy and is all the time on a routine basis.

      How the body works may not be that well understood, sure. But what an ion is? It’s really not that hard to get a basic understanding of high school level or first year university level chemistry.

      1. Lots of chemicals react in different ways with the body so in principle I can imagine that many kinds of particles in the air may have certain effects when breathed, either helpful or unhelpful. No reason to believe some of those particles might not be charged.

        But that’s such a vague and general statement as to be almost meaningless as far as practical application goes.

        1. I wonder if smoking, as bad an idea as it is overall, might actually provide a small benefit as well by boosting trace minerals in the body.
          Are you low on cyanide? Popeye’s Brand (artificial as far as I know) cigarettes give you 100,000X your daily dose!

    2. Pasteur and Semmelweis and those who expanded on their original ideas searched and found solid and repeatable evidence, which is why their theories were eventually accepted to be true among all the other equally new and interesting theories coming up at the time.

    3. Good point.
      Who used to think holding off on the butter was a smart choice?
      After a couple out of body experiences I’m not hasty to discount any theories that seem like they might make sense.

  31. My doctor talked me into a negative ion generator that was also an air purifier that generated ozone. The ozone caused destruction of my already weak lungs before I realized what was causing it. Plus, some of us are sensitive to or allergic to certain electrical fields and these air purifiers pump out a large amount of electromagnetic field. So…I’d be cautious if you are the sensitive type. Go with nature, not man-made, if you can. Wouldn’t want anyone to learn the way I did.

  32. Having crystals (and some metals) around makes me feel good mentally. Maybe it’s just because I like how they look. My Grandma has chunks of amethyst in her house and as a kid I used to go up to them and stare and run my fingers along the edges. I was absolutely fascinated. I’ve also always like quartz a lot. I had a rock collection for years and used to pick up just about every piece of quartz I found, and even as a teen arranged the more interesting rocks like quartz, obsidian, and tiger’s eye in patterns or shapes on my dresser. When I was bored I’d take a minute to examine the artwork or individual rocks. Not sure if the energy of the crystals does anything to our physiology but the aesthetic aspect of them benefited my mood.

    1. I think we often underestimate the effect of beauty on our mind, attention, mood, and stress (and all those do trickle down to physical health effects — besides the more direct effect on quality of life).

      It’s good to take time to appreciate our senses — sights, sounds, tastes, touch, smells.

    2. I recently found a nice quartz stone that fills my fist and a smaller one about the size of a big snail. I keep them in the corner of the windowsill in my room in the shelter I currently stay at so I can see some light shining through their edges and they’re close to my head when I sleep. Makes my life a little better.

  33. I think many of the mistakes we’ve made in modern society come from trying to pick out and isolate individual good elements of things we don’t really understand, rather than going directly to their whole, natural, full form.

    E.g., trying to figure out what’s the important element of a certain healthy food (and we usually end up being wrong or incomplete) and recreate and bottle it in an artificial way is one of the mistakes that’s led us to invent all kinds of processed foods that turned out in hindsight to be unhealthy.

    In this case, it may be that sitting near a waterfall or bubbling stream is healthy, but to me the answer to that is not to try to guess what the ‘magic ingredient’ that makes it healthy is –

    — the answer is to find ways to live our lives so we get to spend some time sitting next to waterfalls and bubbling streams.

    1. Partly because I strongly suspect that there isn’t one single magic ingredient to why sitting near a stream is good for you, but a complex combination of many different things going on. No electronic box is ever going to be any kind of substitute for actually going and hanging out near some water.

  34. Being a chemist, i am confused why it is not the first of april today. With this article posted, it certainly feels like it.

    1. It would be appreciated if you explained why. Insulting the theories without an explanation is kind of hollow.

      1. I haven’t actually seen any theory so far… nothing really to argue against since no theory is given.

        And there are chemistry websites written by actual chemists that explain the gaps in the reasoning and/or evaluate the evidence (or lack of evidence) much better anyway.

  35. The people hating on this post should give Mark a break. There’s a reason you all come to read his blog, isn’t there?
    So when he writes a speculative post about something that isn’t provable, you’ve got to express your disdain?

    1. Well, I’m trying to do so politely, but yeah, I do think it’s important to say so when there’s something posted that’s very problematic.

      The problem is that people respect him. He has a reputation as someone who does his research and posts good information that people can trust.

      So it’s a lot worse to see deeply problematic stuff on his page than on a page that is clearly just a junk website.

      In fact I can see it in some of the comments — people saying ‘I always thought this stuff was nonsense but since YOU say it makes sense there must be something to it’.

      But unfortunately someone can be very knowledgeable about one subject and know absolutely nothing about another. E.g., you may really respect your doctor, but if you want to know what air conditioner to buy, in that context your doctor is ‘just some random guy’ and you might as well ask a stranger on the street.

  36. I don’t know from ions, but I do keep lots of natural elements in and around my home. Tons of houseplants – takes me a while every week to water and care for them all. Two fountains – one quite large one. I love these – I may put one in every room if I can find nice ones.
    I have a large deck where I have potted citrus trees and other plants, two hummingbird feeders – in Southern California the birds don’t migrate.

    Also have a back yard full of flowers, shrubs, fruit trees, vines, etc. that is accessible through sliding glass doors.

    Anyway, I’m a definite believer in bringing the outdoorsclose and inside as much as possible. If that creates negative ions then I’m good to go.

    Now if only I could do something about my windowless office – maybe the neg ion machine there!

  37. “… to slumber amidst the babbling mist of a nearby brook with the gentle caress of the day’s first sun softly nudging them awake.”

    Hey – that sounds very much like my bedroom. Windows facing slightly east, and a babbling creek runs besides our garden… 😛

  38. Should probably not dismiss magnetic therapy just because of the snake oil salesfolk that have tarnished the science. Pulsed magnetic fields effects on membrane transport is worth a look.

    Electrostatic cleaning of the air is just good sense, just avoid high ozone build up.

  39. I worked as a whitewater river guide in the NC mountains for 15 years. All day long I’d sit on the back of a raft or canoe and paddle down the river through the heavy woods in the gorge and canyons. Currents, cross-currents, waterfalls, side streams, bubbling, gurgling, super fast water moving all around me 8 hours a day. It was pure BLISS!

  40. Free radicals are positively charged single atoms of oxygen (O+). Perhaps if one were to absorb negatively charged oxygen atoms (O-), they would attract to the (O+)forming pure oxygen (O2). So if one is able to get (O-) into the cells the free radicals would be rendered neutral.

  41. The Integratron in So. Calif. was intended to heal people so well with negative ions that one walk through the building would keep people from disease for 5 years. The military forbade the designer from ever firing it up. My husband and some friends visited this place one New Years Day. There are no nails in the construction. I cannot describe the sound that one’s voice makes when standing at the center over the vertical shaft. Eerie doesn’t even come close!

    “During the 25-year period that Van Tassel developed the Integratron, (1954-1978), he called it “a time machine, a rejuvenation machine and an anti-gravity device.” His theory for rejuvenation was based on the recharging of the human cell structure using a powerful negative ion field.”

    http://www.integratron.com/3Rejuvenation/Rejuvenation.html

  42. Thanks for this post. Just been discovreing this topic in the last few weeks and there is some info about it on the ‘surthrival’ website. Its all new to me but I think its really interesting. Cheers.

  43. I desperately wanted to believe all this negative ion stuff. Over the years I’ve had a negative ion generator (resulting in the black spot on the wall, just as others here have said); a q-link pendant (totally useless) and a salt lamp (which attracted a lot of water and became an electrical hazard).
    So I’ll stick to long showers, mountain air bushwalks and frolicking on the beach because they work every single time.

  44. Ok, I’ve just purchased two different air purifier, with one of them being a negative ioniser.

    The frst went back because it was too noisy and made my room very vold. The ionised is going back because it just makes me feel weird. It has a hissing noise which isn’t too bad, but it just feels very sceintific and not good for my health for some reason.

    I googled natural air purifier and found the salt crystal lamps are good, so I checked back on here to see if anyone else had one.

    I see two replies, where one is saying that they tend to leak water as the salt pulls in the moisture? Is this true? Will this always happen or is it only in certain climates? I have 2 snake plants in my room, would this make any difference? Should I buy one?

    I’d like to add more plants but they take up a lot of space…

    1. Salt lamps come with instructions to leave them on for so many hours each day to prevent the hydrophilic action of the salt – heat from the light bulb evaporates it.

  45. This makes me think of histrionic ducks. They’re white-water ducks.

  46. I have just bought a small neg ion & air filter unit. Not sure if it is my imagination or not but…. The air seemed to feel ‘cooler’ – which is why I was interested to read that waterfalls give off neg ions…. It felt like the cool air next to a waterfall. And my nose wasn’t as congested in the morning either…. Maybe there is something to it after all.

  47. I bought my mother a negative ion generator. She had very bad asthma every night. After the generator was placed on her bedside table, she never had asthma at night again. I read about this in a science magazine.
    Plus, a New Scientist magazine had an article that a intensive care hospital installed one and the infection rate dropped.
    If you have a dirty wall because of it, you obviously didn’t read the instructions that tells you NOT to put it too close to a wall.
    Walls and dust are positively charged. Add a negative ion zap and the dust will either stick to the wall, or drop to the ground. I’ve seen this happen by shaking dust in the sunlight, and hold the small neg. ion generator and it drags in the dust, then spits large pieces of dust out, which just drops.

  48. Thanks for a marvelous posting! I quite enjoyed reading it,
    you will be a great author. I will make certain to bookmark
    your blog and will often come back later
    on. I want to encourage yourself to continue your great job, have a nice afternoon!

  49. Wow, thanks for the article this really got me thinking about negative ion generators. Coming for a science background though I found myself wanting to dig a little deeper and try and separate what can be proven from what just remains people’s beliefs. I come across this web page http://naturalhealthyair.com/negative-ion-generators-effect-on-stress-breathing-conditions-and-air-quality/ which looks into the research in this field in a bit more detail and provides links to supporting documents.

    Thanks again, all very interesting stuff!

  50. Good Day Mark,
    I have an ionize bracelet and it contains 1024 negatively charge ions it is true the it increases my strength and vitality?

  51. Hello Mark

    I start studing the famous all over ionizer foot bath witha all clours that cames in it… I did assemble one with high quality electrodes ( almost zero % iron in it) > What happened, no change in whater colurs , but people that used it claimed some different reactions for better… In myself I could not figure out much… I was wondering if I use only the alkaline water ( during ionizition process and separeted from the acid one) to pot the fit on it , if the detox efect could be stronger etc etc. Do you have any idea to comment about that. Thanks and congrats for the forum.

    Luiz

  52. Wow, ok.. Lots of negative replies about negative ions, obviously these are all similar problems with some issues in the head that are doing too much research about fixing their bad moods lol..
    Negative ion generators may not directly significantly benefit your health, depression, or mood.. But they sure as fuck work for controlling my cannabis odor from growing it in my house.. and hey, in the end when I’m getting high, who’s negative ion generator has successfully indirectly caused my stress, health probs, and depressions to go away? Haha mine. That’s who’s! You just have to know how to put your negative ions to use properly 😀

  53. Perhaps it is because that exactly, you grew up there. You were accustom to that feeling and didn’t tune in to it making you feel different. I couldn’t explain it but I felt noticably different when I visited.

  54. A few more things you can ad to home or work place to produce negative ions are; Bees wax candles (although they burn quite fast), Himalayan pink salt lamps, and even a stone called Tourmaline produces negative ions.

  55. For the sake of this argument let’s accept that negative ion therapy, in whatever form one chooses, is beneficial to one’s health. A few people have mentioned the use of Himalayan pink salt lamps as a way to ionize the air. Can anyone explain the process through which that happens? As I understand it, the chunk of salt must be heated (usually with a low-wattage bulb), but how does it either (a) break down an existing air molecule into an anion (a negatively charged ion), or (b) change a positive ion into a negative one?

    A lot of research and studies in favor of anion benefits is anecdotal, but to all those leaving negative comments, please source your arguments so we all have a chance to examine the same evidence which led you to discredit anionic therapy.

  56. Since childhood, living in central Alberta, I suffered from muscle and joint aches, sleep problems, sense of sadness and itchy eyes & noes whenever we had Chinooks. Living in Sarawak in the eighties, not far from the equator and just a few kilometres from the South China Sea, I did not have any problems for the three years I lived there. Upon returning to Alberta for a holiday and then when my work contract ended, I fell into a terrible sense of sadness with the prolonged Chinooks we were having.
    Then I spotted the Bionare ioniser being sold at the Bay and purchased one. Within tens of minutes I felt so much better we headed off for a change of scenery. Within a very short period, the ‘depression’ returned so we headed back home and I sat ensconced next to the Bionare the rest of the day. Since that time I have an ioniser in the bedroom, living room and car. I do not miss the aches, sense of claustrophobic breathing or sadness.
    I also use Himalayan salt lights and a SAD lamp which shortens the hours of sleep I need.
    Whilst living in the north of Alberta, shopping could only be done on the weekends and vegetables did the stay fresh in the fridge till the next trip. I rigged my car ioniser to work in the fridge. Touching the metal trays in the fridge would give one a slight zap but the vegetables stayed fresh for twice as long.
    The last leg of the tripod to my quest for peace is my Structured Water unit from Clayton Nolte, supported by a crazy prayer position I use over water and in the shower.
    Call me crazy but I figure that puts me up with the nuts who think the universe was born in an instant out of nothing, and that dark matter, energy and holes make up the vast majority of our universe. 🙂
    Next quest: free energy.

  57. Hi Mark-

    I’m disappointed in your treatment of this subject. While you do bring up a few of the positive studies associated with negative ions, you failed to mention the many many MORE studies that show no impact/placebo level effects. Like most pseduosciences, this one fails to postulate a mechanism of action, has a broad sweep of maladies it supposedly cures, and isn’t backed by a sufficient quantity of positive evidence. All of these factors combine to fail to support your suggestion that we should invest in negative ion generators, based on a handful of cherry picked positive studies.

  58. With Agnihotra fire, negative ions were produced. Agnihotra is a simple healing fire from the ancient science of Ayurveda. Agnihotra is a process of purifying the atmosphere through a specially prepared fire. Anyone in any walk of life can do Agnihotra and heal the atmosphere in his or her own home. The process involves preparing a small fire with dried cow-dung cakes in a copper pyramid of fixed size and putting some grains of rice and ghee (clarified unsalted butter) into the fire exactly at sunrise and sunset to the accompaniment of two simple mantras.

  59. This was a great article, thanks for putting it together. I’m disabled so getting out often isn’t an option for me, especially into inaccessible areas such as waterfalls/beach etc.

    I just bought a bracelet from ionCurve, that basically does what you suggested. It has a store of 2000cm3 of negative ions that are evenly distributed when you need them. I find this an amazing idea, as it says it’s waterproof and you can even wear it during the night to improve your sleep, which I desperately need.

    Thank to your article, I was able to research this before I bought it. Here’s hoping it works in the long term.

  60. I totally agree that nature is the best source for negative ions. In fact if you were a battery and you wanted to charge up on negative ions, i would recommend taking up dingy sailing. The interface of air and water undersail is most positive to health… no joke. Been sailing for 40 years and it adds alot to living! But a walk on the beach or being under a waterfall will be good as well… i live on a farm and find it healthier than living in a hive environment that is stuffed with positive ions.

  61. I have one of those ion bracelets. I initially thought it was hocus-pocus, but the guy that intro’d me to them converted me by doing a simple experiment. Since I didn’t know what he was leading up to, I had no preconceived notions. He told me to stand in a stable position with one foot slightly behind the other. Then he lightly pushed against my shoulders and I lost my balance, having to step back to restabilize. Then he had me put on the bracelet & did it again. I stood like a rock. I thought, “Well, that’s because I was ready for the push.” So I took off the bracelet and told him to push me again while I was fully ready for it. I again lost my balance. Because I have always had difficulty with balance, I bought the bracelet. Since then, I have tried the same experiment with many people, never telling them in advance why I was doing it. Every one of them experienced a remarkable, instant improvement in balance with the bracelet and an instant return to diminished balance without it. So, if for nothing else, I would recommend an ion bracelet for athletes, rock climbers, etc. and people with inner ear issues.

  62. An eco-friendly solution to improving indoor air quality and removing offensive airborne pollution. Air-ReNu is a blend of natural rare-earth minerals made from a variety of elements, including aluminum, iron, magnesium, sodium, potassium and lithium. These minerals are finely ground then mixed with paint. When the paint is applied to a wall of a home, Air-ReNu works 7/24/365 cleansing the air of impurities and removing odors.

  63. I started using a neg ion generator in my bedroom. I notices I started getting a thin black film in the floor. Now I notice it on the wall above the generator. It is not in any of my other rooms. Is this black soot type film the resultant attraction of the pos ions to the negative. Is it an indication that the neg ions are doing what they are supposed to in the environment? My sleep is better but the room is dirtier!!!! Thanks for your thoughts in advance.

  64. Hi Mark,
    The Chinese are marketing all kinds of products using negative irons. People are raving about the dramatic changes in their health.

    1. They also have a feminine napkin that has a anion strip in them.
      Women have said that their cramps lessened over time if not disappeared all together. I have even cut out the strip and rubbed it on a rough patch of skin on my arm. Within 5 minutes the roughness was gone.

      http://www.12path.com/842292188067/

  65. I suffer from Essential Tremor but when I am around a mountain waterfall, it stops. Since it’s not practical to carry a waterfall around with me, I’d like to recreate that effect but am not sure if it’s the negative ions, the soothing sound, or the relaxing environment.
    I was disappointed in the double blind study of the ion generators in the office settings, but they did state that the concentration of negative ions in the air did not change! Therefore, they only proved that the type of negative ion generation employed was not effective. Perhaps the computers were busily neutralizing all of them.

  66. Greetings,

    Thank you for such a wonderful discussion & the opportunity to participate. I have a Negative Ion Stick, called PursaIon, that I use daily with with other stick called PursaFusion (Hydrogen), from a company called Pursanova (they are the inventors of the activated water system, which I have & it treats my entire home). I use the 2 sticks for my bottle water when I go out of the house and refill the bottle from a tap. They are coming up with a new product as well called PursaCREEK which will clean, and remove contaminants from tap water. I highly recommend their technology, as they are one of the few that have scientific publications & detailed testing on everything they make. This company never advertises, but the words about them is spreading all over the world. Their website is http://www.pursanova.com, some of the products I mentioned are not on their website as they are quite new, but try to contact them and mention them by name and I am sure they will be helpful. You can ask them anything about water, they really know their stuff, same as Mike.

    Thank you again.

  67. Dear all,
    We are looking to buy a new house in France
    I have had divining tests carried out and it is situated on a handful of underground streams flowing through the land which is on a slope (with great view!). The sub soil is compacted sand stone and mica.
    Does this mean the location will be full of negative ions and therefore healthy to live?
    Furthermore the floors are stone with underfloor heating. Does the water running in the underfloor heating pipes also radiate negative ions?
    All comments would be gratefully received.

  68. Many years ago , I worked in a government department that dealt with Canadian aboriginal peoples. The staff was introduced to the native culture and history for a better understanding of the people.
    During one of those seminars I recall learning about how young men would find a quiet place by a waterfall to meditate and help them solve problems.
    I was curious about the benefits of a waterfall. years later, I ‘Googled it’ and learned about negative ions.
    This was a practice happening hundreds of years before computers and science were around. I was really impressed with another ancient culture.

  69. hi mark wondering if you can help me i purchased a power band. that is the brand name it says it is anionic and has holograms on it within the first 10 min of wearing it, my wrist was so sore and my vein on my wrist started to swell. i had to put ice on it and its now very bruised and sore do u have any idea why this may have happened? i am wondering how to get in touch with the company can u offer me and insight as to why this may have happened?

  70. You can compare yourself when you had a long sound sleep and when you have a short one. The long sleep allowed your brain (subconsciously) to repair your body and at the same time boosted your body’s Alkaline level from the acid-generating stress that day had caused you. In this busy and more complicated world, you don’t have that luxury of always having enough time to sleep. And if you have one perhaps it is not perfect because of anxiety, problems, etc. To cope-up with this, you try to find ways to compensate for this low-alkaline level in your body. You take fruits (Vitamin C when digested becomes Alkaline). In addition some people add sliced lemons on their drinking water too. That’s for the food. Then for the air, here comes this negative ions to help you with your body’s alkaline level again. Caution though, using artificial Anion Generators may produce unwanted ozones too which gives more harm than the anions generated. So bottom line is to keep your body in a more Alkaline state: Maintain a stress-free environment, always have a long sound sleep, eat healthy foods, and breath freeze air.

  71. Chinese Guangxi Bama village is known for its high numbers of centenarians. As written in Chinese wiki http://baike.baidu.com/view/224210.htm (plz use google translation), the Chinese scientists have identified the high concentration of negative ions as the main REASON for the great health and longevity of local people.

    And here is Wikipedia
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bama_Yao_Autonomous_County
    Not much is said about Bama and its anion rich environment. Perhaps people in the west fear of getting ridiculed for even mentioning the positive health effect of anions (Anti oxidant in the air).

  72. 100% sure negative ions work because I have tried them in my home and they have actually helped in curing my 87 year old father and my 10 year old son from Bronchial asthma. Sneezing, watery eyes, and the stuff. No more anti allergy tablets to be taken, and no more hospitalisation.

  73. Timely suggestions – BTW , people a Residential Lease Agreement 2 , my family edited a template form here http://goo.gl/FRdXEq

  74. I have M.E and fibromyalgia and work in an office. I bought an ioncurve bracelet and within on day I was getting at least seven hours sleep instead of being an insomniac. I have felt a brighter well being, less aches and pains and have far more energy.

  75. There is a study that was done online recently that showed a negative ionizing machine was able to kill/reduce dust mite populations (for some specific species).

  76. I’ve got one…a negative ion generator.that is. A small box about 6 inches square and 3 inches deep, it silently produces (-) ions, how do I know? If you wet a finger and place it in front of the needles, you can feel a faint, cool ‘wind’ emenating from the needles. There are 4 needles on my device. The device also came with a small neon tester which lights up when it detects the (-) ions. To occasionally clean the needles, I use an ear plug and push it onto the needle and give it a bit of a twist.
    To the person complaining about the dirty marks on the walls, this is normal – you only need to point it away from the wall. Most air particulate is captured by the negative ions and falls to the ground where it is vacuumed up during normal cleaning.
    I do get a stuffy nose if I point the device at me while I’m in bed but maybe that’s because I’m breathing in the airborn particles before they fall. I do notice the air is fresher with an almost mountain air smell when I walk into the bedroom.
    It costs about 20 bucks a year to run.
    I’ve got one…a negative ion generator.that is. A small box about 6 inches square and 3 inches deep, it silently produces (-) ions, how do I know? If you wet a finger and place it in front of the needles, you can feel a faint, cool ‘wind’ emenating from the needles. There are 4 needles on my device. The device also came with a small neon tester which lights up when it detects the (-) ions. To occasionally clean the needles, I use an ear plug and push it onto the needle and give it a bit of a twist.
    To the person complaining about the dirty marks on the walls, this is normal – you only need to point it away from the wall. Most air particulate is captured by the negative ions and falls to the ground where it is vacuumed up during normal cleaning.
    I do get a stuffy nose if I point the device at me while I’m in bed but maybe that’s because I’m breathing in the airborn particles before they fall. I do notice the air is fresher with an almost mountain air smell when I walk into the bedroom.
    It costs about 20 bucks a year to run.
    The brand name of this device is Aironic 202 and I picked it up 2nd hand from a junk store. for a dollar and I’ve been using it for years.

  77. “High density ion therapy was far more effective than low density ion therapy” Here is the kicker. If you were quoting from the same article I just read you would have also seen that “although some air purifiers utilize negative ion technology, the dose of ions delivered by a typical air purifier is far too low for it to have an antidepressant effect.[7]
    7Michael Terman. “I haven’t heard of negative air ionization therapy before. What is it?”. Columbia University Medical Center. Retrieved 2009-03-09
    My contention is that home ionizers are a waste of money unless you are relying on the placebo effect.

  78. Great article Mark! I love your suggestion about making an ionizer generating garden. How clever! Thanks for also pointing out that you can buy a cheap ionizer like an ionic air purifier to generate negative ions inside your home. Those devices also clean the air for you, producing additional health benefits.

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  81. how can I tell which end of a magnet is negative. ?next ?
    which pole of the earths core magnet is negative.? The
    north or the south.? – – – – – – – – – – – — -THANK YOU !

    ( THIS IS FROM A 93 YEAR OLD RETIRED NAVY SAILOR)

  82. Have you found a simple unit that will measure negative ions?