“If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
― Albert Einstein
Well, I tried to explain to my 12-year-old grandson that his showers make him feel better because they were giving off negative ions.
He thought that was the funniest thing he had ever heard. That was until I pressed upon him that it was real science, not some pie in the sky stuff.
Of course, I couldn’t explain ions because I didn’t understand them. My physicist husband said something about the rushing of water creates negative charges in the molecules of water. That rather turned my grandson to my side, but understand it? I still don’t.
To quote Einstein once again, “Never memorize something that you can look up.”
According to my grandson, if the internet doesn’t confirm it, it can’t be valid. Lucky me. Internet confirmed that, yes, running water somehow charges the charge of an atom or molecule.
And those negative ions have a magical effect on our bodies.
Vitamins of the Air?
Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” says Pierce J. Howard, Ph.D., author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind-Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.
“They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation.”
And for a whopping one in three of us who are sensitive to their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air. You are one of them if you feel instantly refreshed the moment you open a window and breathe in fresh, humid air. (Shucks, I thought everyone could feel the effects.)
“You may be one of them if you feel sleepy when you are around an air-conditioner, but feel immediately refreshed and invigorated when you step outside or roll down the car window,” Howard tells WebMD. “Air conditioning depletes the atmosphere of negative ions, but an ion generator re-releases the ions that air conditioners remove.”
There’s something in the air, and while it may not be love, some say it’s the next best thing.
Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in specific environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase the mood chemical serotonin level, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
By Denise Mann Medically Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario, MD From the WebMD Archives
Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, moving air, and water. You may have experienced the power of negative ions when you last set foot on the beach or walked beneath a waterfall. While part of the euphoria is simply being around these wondrous settings and away from the everyday pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions — Much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register a flat zero.
“The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions, and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods,” says ion researcher Michael Terman, Ph.D. of Columbia University in New York.
Updated September 04, 2019
Generating Negative Ions: Every home has a built-in natural ionizer — the shower.
While we are on the subject of science, I would like to introduce my husband, Neil.
Here is his new website: If you are an inventor, a hobbyist, or a doodler, you might be interested.
“When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder, a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.”
― Albert Einstein