Metamorphosis Essentials: Why are Negative Ions so Healthy?

As research on negative ionization continues, the degree to which negative ions contribute to good health becomes increasingly apparent. Negative ions in our bodies enhance immune function, neutralize free radicals, and revitalize cell metabolism. They balance the autonomic nervous system and purify the blood, promoting deep sleep and healthy digestion. Negative ions also protect the body and mind from the harmful effects of environmental stressors such as electromagnetic fields (EMF).

In order to ensure our health and well being, it is crucial that we surround ourselves with a sufficient amount of negative ions. Using our Bio-Mat™ heating pads and drinking purified alkaline water, warding off EMF radiation, and eating clean, healthy, alkaline-producing foods can all increase the level of negative ions in our environment.

What are Ions?

Ancient civilizations characterized the air as "electric," but the formal study of ions began only recently. In 1899, two German scientists, Elster and Geitel, identified particles in the atmosphere that carry electricity. The British scientist, Michael Faraday, named these particles "air ions." The Greek word "ion" means to "go" or "wander about."
Ions are invisible particles, molecules or atoms, bearing an electric charge. Atoms consist of a nucleus that contains neutral neutrons and positively charged protons, as well as orbiting electrons that are negatively charged. When an atom is in a neutral condition, the number of protons (+) and electrons (-) is equal. A molecule is made up of two or more atoms. When an electron(s) is added or subtracted, the particle becomes an ion that is either positively or negatively charged.
An atom (or molecule) may lose one or more electrons due to a high-energy impact becoming a positive ion. A particle that gains one or more extra negatively charged electrons is a negative ion. Natural forces that generate positive ions include the decay of radioactive minerals, radon gas, forest fires, lightning and ultraviolet rays. Negative ions are naturally generated by evaporation or intense agitation of water. Electrons are highly sensitive to shock, impact, electric current and atmospheric change. Air pressure or heat, for instance, can cause electrons to escape from atoms and dissipate, increasing the number of positive ions in the air.
When water is atomized, negative and positive charges are separated. Ions (charged particles) are formed when enough energy acts on a molecule such as carbon dioxide, oxygen, water or nitrogen to eject an electron. The displaced electron attaches itself to a nearby molecule, which then becomes a negative ion. The original molecule (minus an electron) is now a positive ion. These ions, in turn, react with dust and pollutants to form larger particles. Small negative ions (usually no more than 12 gaseous molecules clustered around a charged atom or molecule) are short-lived and highly mobile. We can find negative ions in nature. For example, molecules which are torn from the surface of water bear a negative charge (small negative ions) whereas large drops or the entire mass of water are positive.
The balance of negative and positive ions in the air is easily disturbed. Several hours before a thunderstorm, low atmospheric pressure causes the number of positive ions in the air to increase dramatically, to levels that sometimes exceed 5000 ions per cm3. In contrast, during a storm, negative ions increase to several thousand per cm3, while positive ions decrease, often to below 500 per cm3. You can directly experience the electricity of ions in the air in the form of static electricity—especially in winter, when the air is dry. Static is caused by a high ratio of positive to negative ions because of a lack of moisture in the air.

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The Ratio of Negative to Positive Ions is Crucial to Health

Generally speaking, positive ions are harmful to the human body, while negative ions are beneficial. The ratio of negative to positive ions is crucial, because negative ions neutralize the harmful effects of positive ions. At the beginning of the 20th century, the ratio in the atmosphere was 1.2 negative ions for every positive ion. However, in recent years, the ratio has reversed and now there are 1.2 positive ions for every negative ion. This is due to environmental hazards such as air and water pollution, electromagnetic fields, and other factors.
Positive and negative ions also exist in our bodies, and the ratio of ions in the air we breathe influences the ratio in our bodies. Ions enter the body through the lungs (inhalation) as well as through the skin—especially through meridian (acupressure) points, which have weak electronic resistance. Then they travel through the blood and lymphatic systems to cells throughout the body.
This provides an explanation for the refreshing, invigorating effect of residences close to a waterfall or spring, or even after rain. However, in the cities, in closed rooms, in cars, etc., the proportion of negative ions is markedly reduced compared with undisturbed nature. According to the experts, positive ions rob us of our good senses and dispositions, while negative ions enhance them, stimulating everything from plant growth to the overall well-being of the human body.
In some offices with computer stations, no negative ions were detected at all! Inside typical Tokyo residences, positive ions were found to be 500 times more numerous than negative ions. These findings may be due to inadequate ventilation both in office buildings and energy-efficient houses, as well as from the use of electronic devices that generate electromagnetic fields and from building materials that emit formaldehyde and other toxic fumes. On the other hand, high negative ion levels, such as at waterfalls, hot springs and other highly moist areas, will neutralize positive ions, leading to very low positive ion levels.
In any case, these measurements suggest that it is difficult to maintain sufficient levels of negative ions in the present age.

How Positive and Negative Ions Affect Our Bodies

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Bodily System or OrganNegative IonsPositive Ions
Blood Vessels:Dilate blood vessels Constrict blood vessels
Blood Pressure:Stabilize BP Increase BP
Blood:Increase blood alkalinityIncrease blood acidity
Bones:Strengthen bones Weaken bones
Urinary Tract: Promote urination;
increase nitrogen in urine
Suppress urination;
decrease nitrogen in urine
Respiratory:Stabilize respiration and make breathing easier Accelerate respiration and make breathing more difficult
Pulse Rate:Decrease pulse rate Increase pulse rate
Heart:Enhance heart function Impair heart function
Fatigue:Speed physical recovery Prolong physical recovery
Autonomic Nervous System:Calm and relax nerves Tense and strain the nervous system
Growth:Promote healthy growth Suppress and delay growth

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Harmful Effects of Positive Ions

Ions were first linked to human health in a Japanese medical study in 1910, which showed that patients with arthritis experienced greater pain when weather fluctuations elevated the percentage of positive ions in the atmosphere. Cold fronts and low pressure systems increase the percentage of positive ions in the atmosphere, leading to a decrease in the number of negative ions in our bodies. Doctors in Japan report that under such conditions, the symptoms of their asthma and arthritis patients are aggravated, and the number of strokes increases.
In North America, the relationship between positive ions and asthma has also been studied. Positive ion winds (in which there are extremely high concentrations of positive ions) in Calgary, Alberta, southern California, and other places around the world have been found to coincide with increased incidence of asthma attacks (Guy Cramer, "Advanced Research on Atmospheric Ions and Respiratory Problems", Certified Medinex Website, Sept. 2, 1996, http://mypage.direct.ca/g/gcramer/asthma.html).
Moreover, in recent years a number of doctors in Japan report that high levels of positive ions in the immediate environment—due to electromagnetic fields generated from computers, cell phones and other electronic devices—can both impair brain function and suppress the immune system, leading to a host of ailments. Symptoms include headache, lack of energy, fatigue, anxiety, irritability, nausea, stomachache, breathing difficulty, vertigo (dizziness), poor concentration and mental performance, and sleep disturbance. When blood or urine samples from individuals reporting such symptoms are analyzed, extremely high levels of the stress neurotransmitter serotonin are detected.

An increase in serotonin level produces:

  • tachycardia
  • a rise in blood pressure
  • bronchialspasm, going as far as asthma attack
  • increased intestinal peristalsis (contractions and dilations of the intestines to move the contents onwards)
  • increased sensitivity to pain
  • increased aggression

A decrease in the serotonin level is calming and increases defenses against infection (as proven with influenza, the flu). Negative ions cause the body to convert excess serotonin into a harmless compound. They accelerate the oxidative degradation of serotonin whereas positive ions have the opposite action and inactivate the enzymes which break down serotonin.
Positive ions turn into free radicals in the body, oxidizing cells throughout the entire system. They damage healthy cells and increase the acidity of the blood. When cells are oxidized, lactic acid levels rise drastically, resulting in a variety of maladies, including cancer. The balance of the endocrine, immune, and autonomic nervous systems is thrown off, and blood and lymph circulation declines. As a result, aging processes accelerate, and premature aging occurs.
The following are human-made environmental factors that increase positive ion levels; each hazard is either new to the last century, or has magnified significantly during that time.

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Healing Properties of Negative Ions

It is said that 2% of the oxygen we breathe turns into free radicals in our bodies. When these free radicals combine with free radicals produced by other sources (such as heavy metals, chemicals, bacteria, viruses, and positive ions), they become even more harmful. Negative ions work to prevent oxidation by neutralizing the free radicals in our cells. As a result, cells are revitalized, and immunity and resistance are strengthened. Negative ions also work to balance the autonomic nervous system and improve gastrointestinal function. They can relax the mind and body, promote deep sleep, increase metabolism, stabilize appetite and blood pressure, enhance recovery from physical exhaustion, and help one feel refreshed and invigorated.
Negative ions produce an increase in hemoglobin/oxygen affinity so that the partial oxygen pressure in the blood rises but the partial carbon dioxide pressure decreases. This results in reduced respiratory rate and enhances the metabolism of water-soluble vitamins. In addition, negative ions produce an increase in pH making body fluids more alkaline.
By increasing oxygen levels in the blood and facilitating more efficient oxygen utilization, negative ions help accelerate recovery from fatigue. The increased oxygen in the blood due to negative ions helps stabilize brain function resulting in relaxation and calmness. Furthermore, negative ions calm and relax taut nerves by balancing the opposing sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system.
Negative ions contribute to blood purification by increasing the levels of calcium and sodium in the blood stream, restoring a healthy (slightly alkaline) pH balance to the blood. By counteracting over-arousal of the sympathetic nervous system, negative ions help ease tension in the stomach and intestines, promoting the production of digestive enzymes and enhancing digestion. Negative ions facilitate the exchange of electronic substances through the cell walls, increasing metabolism.
Negative ions are essential in strengthening the immune system. High levels of negative ions promote production of globulin in the blood, resulting in stronger resistance to illness. They rejuvenate and revitalize all of the body's systems and cells, enhancing the vitality of muscle tissue and strengthening internal organ and promoting a stronger overall constitution.

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Barbara J. Bock, RN, DD
METAMORPHOSIS WELLNESS

barbara bock

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Negative and Positive Ion Levels Measured in Various Locations

LocationNegative IonsPositive Ions
Offices701,400
Industrial Areas50300
Shopping Arcades220280
Residential Areas200180
Forests2,500800
Kowakidani Hot Spring2,500820
Near Minoh Waterfall5,000300

(These measurements were taken in Japan)

wild waterfall

Human-Made Hazards that Increase Positive Ion Levels
  • Exhaust fumes - the major environmental cause
  • • Factory smoke
  • • River pollution and acidic rain
  • • Dioxin produced from the burning of waste materials
  • • Pesticides and food additives
  • • Formaldehyde
  • • Phosphorus compounds used in everyday products
  • • Electromagnetic fields (EMFs) generated by X-rays, electric appliances, computers and other electronic devices, power lines, etc.

refreshing waterfall

ACID FORMING FOODS - Foods that leave an acid ash

AlcoholGrain and Grain FoodsBarely LentilsBananas (unripe)Meat & Organs BeansOatmealBread Nuts (except almonds)CerealsPasta CakesPeasCheese PopcornChicken & FowlSeafood ChocolateSoda CrackersCoffee SugarConfections (candy)Tea CornWheat ProductsEggs Fish

ALKALINE FORMING FOODS - Foods that leave an alkaline ash

AlmondsApplesApricots Bananas (ripe)BeetsBrazil Nuts BuckwheatCabbageCarrots CantaloupeCauliflowerCelery CoconutsCucumberDates FigsGrapesGrapefruit LemonsLettuceLima Beans MilkOnionsOranges ParsleyPeachesPears PineapplePotatoesPumpkin RadishRaisinsSoy Beans SpinachTomatoesTurnips Watercress