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So what are negative ions, exactly? To gain a much better understanding, you must first understand a little about molecules and ions in general.
A molecule is a group of compounded atoms connected together by chemical bonds. Atoms and molecules typically contain equal amounts of protons and electrons and are said to have a neutral charge. When the number of electrons differs from the number of protons, however, the uneven atom or molecule becomes an ion. This gain or loss of electrons can occur from natural or man-made events. If the molecule ends up with fewer electrons than protons, it becomes a positive ion. If it gains extra electrons, a negative ion is formed.
Legendary physicist and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla once performed several studies on the effects of positive and negative ionization therapy on humans and animals. Each study provided similar results: exposure to positive ionization led test subjects to feel tired, lethargic, and unmotivated. On the other end of the spectrum, negative ionization left subjects feeling active, energetic and alert.
Though positive ions do exist in nature and are created naturally, the negative effects they have on us are minimized and don't pose as much of a threat as man-made positive ions. That's because in nature, all events that produce an influx of positive ions are temporary and usually transitional. Storms are not constantly looming, natural humidity is almost always gone after a short period of time, and witches' winds (which you will learn about later on) do not last forever.
Our modern lifestyle, on the other hand, traps us in an environment that is permanently creating positive ions while at the same time removing much-needed negative ions. A quick glance around any room in your house will reveal many of these man-made positive ion generators such as your cell phone, television, laptop, or air conditioner. Your work environment might be similar, trapping you in a vicious cycle no matter where you go, and leaving you feeling tired and unmotivated all day long.
Another factor that affects our inability to receive negative ions in our everyday lives is building insulation. Engineers and construction works go to great lengths to make buildings as insulated as possible, which would benefit homeowners and businesses since it's easier to maintain and regulate temperatures in these well-insulated buildings. Unfortunately, the downside to this is that the superior insulation is also preventing negative ions from coming in, and trapping the positive ions our gadgets are generating in the building with us.
Fortunately, negative ions are much more prevalent in nature than positive ions and can be found anywhere from a beach, lake, or mountain... to a waterfall, thunderstorm, and even your shower!