While not a “health benefit” at first glance, static is pesky stuff. It causes stress, embarrassment, and frustration. Static zaps you when you least expect it, as you’re reaching for a door handle, kissing your husband or wife before bed, or trying to pet your dog or cat. Static can give you a bad hair day, make it impossible to clean crumbs or coffee grounds off of the kitchen counter, and even cause you to accidentally go to work with a sock stuck to the back of your shirt…
First of all, salts are compounds which are made from combinations of elements that form ionic bonds. Ionic bonds are chemical bonds where the valence electron(s) which participate in bonding are not shared equally by the two atoms. Ionic compounds form in nature with a nearly perfect balance of charge so that there are just as many positive ions as negative ions in the compound. Because of this if a big block of salt were to release lots of negative ions into the air it would develop a net positive charge which would not allow more negative ions to be released. One way that negative ions could be released is if the block of salt released both negative and positive ions into the air in equal proportions. This, however, would have just as much of a negative effect, from the positive, “free radical” ions, as a positive effect from the negative ions.
In 1966, a hospital in Jerusalem conducted a study of thirty-eight infants suffering from respiratory problems. They cared for half of the infants in a ward without any ion change, and cared for the other half in a ward where a negative-ion generator was in use. “The researchers reported that neg-ions without any other treatment “ that is, no drugs “ seemed to cure attacks of asthma and bronchitis more quickly than drugs, antibiotics included… children treated with neg-ions were less prone to ‘rebound attacks’ (relapses)… the scientific report said that the tests ‘demonstrated that atmospheric ions have an effect on infants, especially those suffering from asthmatic bronchitis. Less scientifically, they found that the babies didn’t cry as often and as loudly as they did in normal air.” The Ion Effect, by Fred Soyka, p. 57, 1991.
I have purchased six of these salt lamps. 2 for me and 4 for friends and relatives. They make a great gift. I have one on in my livingroom during the day and one in my bedroom at night. It may just be in my head but I actually do believe I sleep better. I love the beautiful glow and the dimmer switch is great. It can be very bright, very dim or many degrees of either. It makes a great conversation piece, nd gets lots of compliments.
What to look for The soft, warm glow of a salt lamp can make anyone feel more relaxed and in touch with nature. If you are looking to create a more mindful space, try adding a salt lamp. One thing to look out for when choosing a lamp is its authenticity. The salt is mined from the Himalayas, so it is best to check where your lamp is from. If it is not authentic Himalayan salt, you won’t experience all the benefits!
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These studies, however, used high concentrations of negative ions generated by industrial scale ion generators. Seeing as we have uncovered no evidence to support the claim a salt lamp produces any ions, the notion that a $29.99 block of rock with a light bulb could rival the power of a specifically designed laboratory equipment seems dubious. Much of the pseudoscience written about the positive effects of negative ions similarly disregards scale in their analyses, equating negative ionization at any level as the same phenomenon.
Positive ions are created by electronic devices and have been dubbed ‘electronic smog’ or ‘electronic air pollution’. As we all know, we are increasingly surrounded by all sorts of computers, large screen TVs, telephones, microwaves and other appliances we now deem necessary for our survival and entertainment (although only a decade ago we did perfectly well without most of these).
Very simply, an ion is an atom or molecule that has gained or lost an electron. Both positive and negative ions exist in the air: positive air ions are generally molecules of carbon dioxide that have lost an electron, whereas a negative air ion is generally a molecule of oxygen that has gained an electron. Negative ions in the air attract particles of pollution and give them a negative charge, making them seek an electrical “ground,” and causing them to fall harmlessly to the floor. It stands to reason that we want to be surrounded by negative ions as a way of protecting our health.
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They can definitely clean the surrounding air of allergens and, even though it’s difficult to find extensive scientific studies to back all of the reported health benefits of salt lamps, the many positive reviews of people’s personal experiences makes them well worth considering, either for your own home, or as a gift for a friend who cares about health and wellness.
A 2013 study in the journal BMC Psychiatry reviewed data from several studies found that overall, negative air ionization has no overall effect on anxiety, mood, sleep or personal comfort. However, those studies did document a slight reduction in depressive symptoms, with higher levels of impact from higher concentrations of negative ionization. The analysis also showed a slight improvement in seasonal affective disorder, even with lower ion concentrations. The explanation for this weak effect is that the sun's stronger rays in the summer produce more negative ions than during the winter, and negative ionizers are potentially mimicking those summer-like conditions, said Dr. Alan Manevitz, a psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City. However, a more established way to mimic summer conditions is with light therapy, which has been studied more extensively, he said.
Owning a Himalayan rock salt lamp could be the perfect addition to creating a more mindful space and helping you live a more comfortable, natural lifestyle. Not only do these pink salt lamps provide a soothing, therapeutic glow to any room in which they’re placed, but they can help detoxify your environment by removing negative contaminants and leaving you with a more natural living space.
Taking a drive through the countryside with the windows down, spending time at the beach or camping in the mountains, or simply taking a shower first thing in the morning are all things that many people find invigorating. It’s not a coincidence that these are all activities which expose us to increased concentrations of negative ions such as those generated by Himalayan salt lamps. The fact is, positive ions sap our bodies of energy. Unfortunately, it’s all too common for us to try to diagnose the problem as something else entirely.