What are negative ions (or anions)?
More correctly or precisely speaking, negative ions are NEGATIVE-CHARGED ions and are oxygen atoms with an extra electron created in nature with air molecules broken apart from sunlight, radiation, and moving air or water. They can help you feel better. Negative ions are also called anions and the opposite ions are called cations (i.e. positive ions).
An article from Journal of Aviation, Space, and Environmental Medicine (August 1982, p. 822-823) states on negative ions as follows: “…Negative ion exposure appeared associated with feeling better about self, less sensitive, and more responsive or innervated (energized).”
Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.
How Negative Ions Affect the Human Body
Dr. Robert O. Baker, pioneering researcher and author of the book, The Body Electric and Cross Currents, has established that energy system within our bodies consists of two forces, magnetism and electricity, with the electricity component consisting of low-frequency direct direct-current (DC) electric field. This electromagnetic energy system is affected by the earth’s natural electromagnetic environment, which is normally relatively quiet, with minor rhythmic variations, but which experiences great increase in an electromagnetic charged environment.
Numerous studies have established the effect of the negative charged ion environment on the human body. The negative charged environment has stimulated the body’s own healing mechanism in the case of stress and specific physical problems.
A recent study by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) found that ionizing a room led to 52% less dust in the air and 95% less bacteria in the air since many of the pollutants found in the air reside on floating dust particles. The USDA also performed another study to test the effectiveness of negative ionization at removing airborne Salmonella Enteritidis. The negative ions drastically reduced the airborne Salmonella particles, prompting the following statement from the USDA:
“These results indicate that negative air ionization can have a significant impact on the airborne microbial load in a poultry house and at least a portion of this effect is through direct killing of the organisms.”
The Agricultural Research Service of the USDA tested the effectiveness of ionizers from removing dust in a poultry hatchery. The dust level is very high in such environment. In this study, the use of an ionizer resulted in dust removal efficiencies that averaged between 81.1 ~ 92.2%. The airborne transmission of Salmonella (to the eggs) was also significantly reduced as a result.
Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen in the bloodstream and to the brain, resulting in higher alertness, more mental energy and reduced drowsiness. Negative ions also support the regulation of a healthy metabolism that will increase vitality of the body.
Negative ions improve power and strength in human body, gives body energy and refreshment, enhance performance in sports activities (such as swings and hitting distances in golf), increase flexibility, help recover more quickly from tiredness and fatigue, relieve stresses, help reduce pains/aches and asthma, prevent snoring and sleep disorders (such as insomnia) and thus promote a better sleep, and do much more.
Negative ions contained in (or emitted from) negative ion products, such as wristbands (or bracelets) and necklaces, are obtained from special natural stones or ores that contain rare earth elements (REEs) or rare earth metals (REMs), as defined by IUPAC, which are a set of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table. Negative ion products are made by molding powdered REEs (or REMs) with high grade silicone that is often used as material on human surgical equipment.
How do they work?
Dr-ion wristbands and necklaces use Yin-Yang therapy and what is known as the “auto-induction principle”. The Yin-Yang ideal works by giving off specific alternating electrical currents (like your wrist). The currents are composed through different interactions between positive and negative ions. Positive and negative ions are found everywhere — from the air, to the ground, and in our bodies. In salts, such as common table salt or sodium chloride (NaCl), the molecules are connected with ionic bonds.
Once the bond is broken (may it be through water, wind, or some other outside force), the salt forms cations and anions. Cations are positively charged ions, and anions are negatively charged ions. These two different types of ions circulate throughout our bodies and serve as everything from the constituents of our pH level to chemical signals for proteins.
Through the auto-induction principle, the bracelet or necklace absorbs the static electricity given off by the body in order to seek balance between these ions. Pain is caused by an imbalance when organs or tissues lose some of their energy.
As energy is given off, it may fall within the bracelet’s or necklace’s range of frequency; then the bracelet or necklace will give off an opposite form of energy. This process returns the organ’s or tissue’s energy to its original state, thus negating the pain.
Can Ion Wristbands Really Improve Health?
BY CAROL TANG
Ion wristbands may boost energy and balance, its makers said. Some scientists are not so sure.
Colorful wristbands in jelly-textured silicone are being sold with claims that they boost strength and the immune system by harnessing the power of negative ions. Dr. Robert Rougeau, a chiropractor in Louisiana, was on vacation with his wife in Las Vegas when he first saw these negative ion bracelets in a mall. He slipped one on, he says, and immediately experienced results.
“I felt stronger,” Rougeau continues. “It was enough of a response that I was intrigued.” Now he sells ion wristbands in his office to his patients. Rougeau orders about 30 new bracelets each month from a manufacturer called LifeStrength.
“Because most of us work in cities and carry cellphones, these are things that destroy naturally occurring negative air ions,” says Joshua Taylor, LifeStrength’s director of marketing. “Our products counteract that.”
Ion bracelets are a growing industry, with a number of companies entering the business in the last decade, garnering millions of dollars in profits. Thousands of people across the world wear them and boast of their effectiveness. They have the allure of athleticism, too: Think Lance Armstrong’s canary Livestrong bracelet saturated with a heaping of secret minerals and an average retail price of $30 each.
But some doctors said there is no scientific proof that these wristbands work. Regulators and customers have moved against their manufacturers. One major ion bracelet company recently filed for bankruptcy.
California-based Power Balance had an ample celebrity following. Their wristbands were worn by rapper P. Diddy, soccer star David Beckham and Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton. Those tacit endorsements weren’t enough to keep the company afloat: Power Balance filed for bankruptcy in November after settling a class-action lawsuit with disgruntled customers for $54 million.
The company issued a corrective advertisement in Australia, stating, “We admit that there is no credible scientific evidence that supports our claims and therefore we engaged in misleading conduct.”
Taylor says LifeStrength’s products — including ion watches, necklaces, key chains and bracelets that come in 16 colors and five sizes — are different.
“We want to create something that has some kind of scientific backing to it,” Taylor says. He said LifeStrength did not do a clinical study but did do research, which he declined to disclose.
Instead, to provide evidence of his products’ effectiveness, Taylor picks up a silver handheld device with a display screen, three buttons, a cylinder on the back, and the words “ION TESTER” in bold — designed to test the presence of negative ions in jewelry.
Taylor first tests a Power Balance wristband. He waited a few seconds for the device to register a measurement. A tiny light flickers. The screen displays 21 negative ions per cubic centimeter. He repeats the test, this time with a LifeStrength bracelet. The light, now beaming, reads 1,545 negative ions per cubic centimeter, a 7,257 percent increase.
So what exactly is a negative ion, and what makes it so beneficial? An ion is an atom that has either lost or gained an electron. When an atom loses an electron, it becomes a positive ion. When it gains one, it becomes a negative ion. Negative ions are good for the body, according to a study by the School of Sport and Exercise Sciences at Liverpool John Moores University. Researchers there measured the heart rate, respiratory rate and body temperature of male subjects and found that exposing them to negative ions contributed to better balance.
It has not been proven that the negative ions in ion bracelets impart those same benefits, nor that they counter positive ions generated by pollution and electronics. Some physicians caution that the energy boost wearers experience is the placebo effect — not an actual improvement but a perceived one. Dr. Robert L. Bratton, who practices family medicine in Kentucky, and a team of doctors conducted a trial on 610 patients and had half of them wear an ionized bracelet and the other a placebo for one month.
“Analysis of the data showed significant improvement in pain scores in both groups, but no differences were observed between the group wearing the placebo bracelet and the group wearing the ionized bracelet,” according to the study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. The study concluded that there was no benefit in wearing an ion bracelet over a regular rubber one to help muscle and joint pain.
“It just sounds like snake oil to me,” says Dr. Gilbert Ross, the medical director of the American Council on Science and Health. Dr. Perry A. Pugno, vice president for education at the American Academy of Family Physicians, is also skeptical.
“I can tell you categorically that those are nothing more than a scam,” Pugno says. “Neither physiology nor physics is applicable here.”
The lack of scientific proof hasn’t diminished the bracelets’ appeal. Energy Armor, another ion wristband company that started in Jacksonville, Fla., has expanded to more than 15 countries including Saudi Arabia, Egypt and China.
“We believe that this is something that will be around for a long time,” says Donavin Warren, vice president of international development at Energy Armor. Warren, like his peers at LifeStrength, asserted that his company is not making any false claims. Energy Armor knows what the wristbands have done for its wearers, he continued, and the proof is in their positive reviews.
“We don’t know what it will do for you,” he says, adding that some people may experience better sleep while others may feel stronger. The makers of ion bracelets are betting that you just might have to try one on to find out.
Stay tuned for my review!
Before you write this off as junk lets take a look at a comparison:
**Update** March 15th 2014
Dr. Ion also makes other products:
I have bad knee pain my it band was tight and the inside of my knee cap was sore on the inner head of my quad and I used the rumble roller and now it’s bruised. I put sports cream on it and I took Aleve and Curamed the last 2 days and I remembered I had Dr. Ion Stickers that you put around the injury, they last for 3 days and it can’t hurt so wtf! Lets try it!
These stickers are crazy!!!
Now; there’s going to be people saying it doesn’t work it’s all in your head. That’s ok if it works then it works, but I now have concrete proof that this technology works!
Ok if you read above I told you my knee hurt to the touch on the right side, and now it doesn’t. I know you are going to say, placebo effect. Ok fine! But that’s not the proof I was talking about! Remember above I said the inner head of my quad was bruised yesterday? Well I put the stickers all around and directly in the center of the bruise in the picture above and now a day later the bruise is gone!!!!! I have another bruise on my opposite leg and that was is still there a week later! So how did this bruise disappear in a day as opposed to the average week healing?
Dr. Ion stickers that’s how!
Dr Ion also makes belts I really want one bad!! Actually I want a couple different colors!
**Update** March 20th 2014
The first one just fell off, I have been plastic wrapping (Saran Wrap) my leg in the shower. I’m trying to get them to last for a week, so I Mickey band-aided it in place lol!
**Update** March 30th 2014
Still have one sticker holding on right above my injury on the inner head of my quad just above my knee
**Update** July 12th 2014
I just received the Dr Ion Black Sports belt with black and silver buckle. Let me tell you it’s the most badass belt I have ever seen! There’s no belt holes! It ratchets shut so there’s about 30 different adjustments or more! The belt comes in a box in a jewelry like drawstring bag! It’s also made of thick heavy duty leather! It also had the signature Dr Ion negative ion strip that has 2,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter! Which is considerably lower than the band, but the area is larger!
I will definitely be buying more! I’m just not sure if I want the plain white one or the white one with the red strip!