Negative Ion Therapy

Episode 91

Energy medicine utilizes the natural energies and frequencies present in nature to promote optimal mental, physical, and spiritual health. We have covered two forms of energy medicine already, infrared therapy and PEMF therapy. One of our favorite tools is negative ions. Negative ion therapy is starting to get a lot of publicity, especially with the wrist band wearables. Is there any juice behind negative ions? In this Strive for Great Health Podcast episode, we dive into what the research shows and how we incorporate negative ions into our health routine.

Lifestyle Medicine with Dr. Harris

Therasage Bio Band

Air Doctor

Episode Transcript

Dr. Richard Harris: [00:00:00] Hello, and welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. And in this episode, we’re going to be talking about energy medicine. That’s right, we’ve decided to finish our energy medicine series, and what we’re going to be talking about today is one of my favorite holistic energy medicine tools and that is negative ions. This is something that’s blowing up and for good reason, we’re going to dive into the science and what we do for negative ion therapy in our household. Are you ready to boost your healthEQ an IQ? Cue the music.

Join me, Dr. Richard Harris, as we strive to unlock the secrets of the human body strive for wellness strive for great health. Follow the show on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and Android.

Real quick before we get started. The Strive for Great Health Podcast is a lifestyle wellness and mindset podcast, but we can’t put everything about health, wellness, and mindset into the podcast. There’s just not enough time, it’s such a complex subject. That’s why we created our lifestyle medicine and health mindset wellness courses.

Now you may be asking, are these courses right for me? If you’re someone who wants to increase their health span, longevity, how long we live without chronic disease. If you’re someone who’s been told you have risk factors. If you’re someone that’s been told, there are some things that you need to watch out for. Some things you need to change otherwise you’re heading down a road that leads to disease, or if you’re someone who has a chronic ailment and you’re wanting a more holistic approach to fix your self, to heal yourself, then the wellness courses are for you. If you’re not willing to invest in your health. If you’re not someone who is willing to do things in a sustainable manner, if you’re someone who’s looking for a quick fix, then the courses are not for you.

The courses are designed to teach you everything that I have learned reading hundreds of studies, hours of clinical practice, years of devotion to this lifestyle medicine and the health mindset, so you can live a life full of joy and purpose. If that sounds good to you, head to and click courses at the top. Now to this week’s episode.

 All right, everyone, welcome to the Strive for Great Health Podcast. And this is our last episode of 2021. Crazy to say this year has just flown by. What an incredible year, so much has happened. And I thank each and every one of you for listening to this podcast. Some housekeeping things that was it.

We’re going to not release any more episodes this year. We’re going to take some time off, get the creative juices flowing again, and then come back in January. And actually our first two episodes of January are going to be about my latest entrepreneurial venture, and that is Nimbus Healthcare. We’re going to talk about what Nimbus does.

We have two products at launch, and that is personalized medicine for hair loss. We do genetic testing, we get you a treatment plan that is customized and individualized solely based for you. And then also about male hormone optimization. And we’re going to talk about why our approach is different and why it’s the right approach and how hormone optimization for men is just done completely and totally wrong, but why we do it right, and why you get the best outcomes.[00:04:00]

That’s going to be the first two episodes of January. That is the housekeeping. Now let’s dive in to what we’re going to be talking about today. We’re back on energy medicine and I’ve actually started calling myself a lifestyle medicine physician and an energy medicine physician, because I am a huge fan of energy medicine.

And we’ve talked about energy medicine before PEMF or cellular exercise. That’s energy medicine, infrared therapy, that’s energy medicine, cryotherapy that’s energy medicine. We’re going to be talking about three more things in energy medicine, negative ions. We’re going to talk about sunlight in the future, and then talk about ozone, because these are all types of energy medicine that I utilize in my life.

And what is energy medicine? I really define that as utilizing the natural frequencies and energies that are present in our universe to promote healing. Negative ions, what are negative ions and how do we get exposed to them?

Negative ions were discovered over a hundred years ago. These are gaseous air molecules that can be charged to form negative ions. Now, what does that mean? Well, let’s take it back to chemistry. Freshman chemistry. When a molecule receives significantly high enough energy, it will eject a particle called an electron and electrons are negatively charged. And what negative air ions do is they gain that electron, positive air ions lose an electron.

These things are readily abundant in nature. It’s amazing how God created the universe and everything around it that he created adds to our health. We talked about this and the God’s prescription for health podcast. I think a lot of the disease we have now is because we’ve gotten away from what God created for us that was healthy for us.

And then all of these things that are man made are causing disease, but that’s neither here nor there. We’re not talking about that in this episode. What we’re talking about is negative ions. In nature, there are many different sources of negative ions. One of them is cosmic radiation and radioactive earth elements.

Now we typically hear radiation and we freak out and we think, oh my God, that’s bad. But what radiation means is a transfer of energy and so cosmic radiation is energy coming from the cosmos from space. And then we have radioactive materials in the earth like uranium. And what happens is these decay emitting energy and they emit alpha, beta, or gamma rays and these ionize, the air, these charge, the air. Same thing with cosmic energy, energy particles, traveling from space. They also ionize the air and this accounts for about 20% of the total charged particles in the air over land sources.

Negative ions generated in this way are more abundant away from land, actually in the oceans. And this is one of the reasons we’ll talk about in a minute, when you go to the beach or you’re in the ocean, you feel good because your body’s literally getting charged by the natural energy of the planet. On land, we usually have about 500 ions per centimeter cubed.

That’s just a way that we look area and then on the ocean, it’s about a thousand. So we have double the amount per unit of area measured and this is centimeters cubed on the ocean then we do in land. What are other sources of negative ions? Sunlight, UV light can energize air molecules to create negative ions.

Again, light is a form of energy. This mainly happens about 60 kilometers above the earth surface in the atmosphere and then these ions slowly diffuse down to the earth surface. At the surface of the earth, UV light is a minor contributor to the ions due to low levels of UV compared in [00:08:00] the atmosphere.

But it is another source of negative ions available from nature. What else? I’m sure if you’re thinking about energy thunderstorms crossed your mind and you are a hundred percent correct. Natural electric phenomena that happen during lightning, thunderstorms things like rainfall, mist, they also create negative ions.

This is something called corona discharge, and no, this is not shaking up a Corona and spraying it on someone and it has nothing to do with the virus. That’s just the scientific name for how negative ions are generated through things like lightening through thunderstorms, through rainfall.

There’s something called the Leonard Effect and what the Leonard Effect is, is water molecules colliding with each other will generate negative ions. Beaches and waterfalls have a large amount of negative ions. Again, we talked about earlier, why you feel so good, well, one of the reasons why you feel so good when we’re in water, when we’re on the beach, when we see a beautiful waterfall, why the air feels electric feels charged, feels cleaner and this is because of negative ions .

Plants they did some really cool experiments with plants, where they showed that when exposed to a strong electric field branches and trees will generate negative ions. Well, that’s really cool because the earth has an electric field. We talked about this in the cellular exercise episode, and so plants will generate these things when exposed to the Earth’s magnetic field

Experiments with PEMF showed that plants can generate up to 200 ions per centimeter cubed and this can be affected by numerous different things, by plant growth cycles, by light intensity, by time of day. This happens more in the morning. This may be one of the reasons why in the morning when you get early sunlight, you feel so good. There’s more negative ions in the air from the plants. It can be affected by a PEMF field by temperature and by species of plants. And they’ve actually genetically modified plants to be able to improve this.

In general, negative ions are not stable and decay quickly. The ions generated by the Leonard Effect last about 60 seconds to several minutes. The ions generated by corona discharge, a few seconds and then ambient negative ions may last up to hundreds of seconds. We’re talking about things that are transiently generated by the effects of other things in our environment.

Now, what are the major types of negative ions? Negative ions that are oxygen species are the most common types of negative ions and the one that you’ll typically see talked about in studies is something called superoxide oxygen, which is just a specific type of oxygen. And then there are other types of oxygen, and this is mainly generated by the Leonard effect in plants, but we also have negatively charged carbon and nitrogen ions present as well.

This makes sense, given that oxygen, nitrogen and carbon are very abundant in our enviornment. The Corona byproducts are usually some type of carbon oxygen, but they also include other oxygen species and nitrogen oxygen species. I could get very technical and give you the scientific names for these things, but it doesn’t really matter.

All you need to know is that the negative ions we are talking about are different types and combinations of carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen And what happens in the environment is these ions actually combine with water molecules to form negative ion clusters. Microscopically, they band together, they form a gang and they go around causing all these positive benefits. It’s like a gang of church-going [00:12:00] kids or something like that.

What are the benefits? We’re always going to talk about the benefits. And it’s thought the benefits occur at a concentration greater than a thousand ions per centimeter cubed. Studies show it can improve the flexibility of our red blood cells, improving metabolism, improving blood flow and oxygen delivery.

 That’s very important because unless you’re getting oxygen to your tissues, you’re not metabolizing well. You’re not recovering, your brain doesn’t have the energy it needs to do all the things we need our brain to do. We talked about that extensively in the metabolism podcast. I think that’s one of the most important podcasts that we’ve done is the metabolism podcast so people can understand how vital the different aspects of metabolism are to our actual health. If you haven’t listened to that, please go check it out. There’s some evidence that exposure to negative ions decreases blood pressure. 50% of adults in America have hypertension. That’s probably higher now, like we’ve talked about before all these statistics are going to dramatically change with what happened last year for the worst, in my opinion. We’ll see what starts coming out next year about rates of chronic disease.

There’s also improvement in multiple areas of task performance. That’s really cool. It makes you more efficient at doing things. Visual auditory reaction time is one of them. So responding to visual cues, things you see and responding to things you hear. Mirror learning, mirror learning is a way to measure skill learning.

What you do with mirror learning is you have participants, trace an object, like a diamond or a square and stay within boundaries of a double line while only seeing the inverted reflection of their hand through a mirror. It reflects the ability to form a new association in the brain between the visual and movement areas.

There’s also improvement in something called rotary pursuit. Rotary pursuit is you have a wheel that has a target on it that moves and you hold a wand and you try to keep the one on the target as it moves. And it’s a measure of motor learning and hand-eye coordination. Other benefits of negative, it’s been studied and improve mood symptoms and mood disorders, chronic depression, and some studies, other studies show no effect.

And that’s likely because what is the root cause of your mood disorder and your chronic depression? Because as we know, there’s no one size fits all. Some things are going to help some people, some things are not going to help other people. But the whole reason we did this podcast was to give you options that aren’t medication that you can try. I personally feel that negative ions helps my mood.

In laboratory studies, so looking at cell studies, negative ions appear to have anti-cancer properties and this is in mice. There’s improvement in psychological health productivity, and overall wellbeing when participants were surveyed after using negative ion therapy.

Hey, those sounds like things I all want, raise your hand if you want improve psychological health, productivity and overall wellbeing. I think we all want that. Where my allergy sufferers at? I’m one. I have horrible allergies, when I did my allergy testing as a kid, my entire arm was swollen. I reacted to like everything Well, exposure to negative ions showed improvement in allergy symptoms. And the reason for that is a lot of the dust, pollen, pollutants tend to be positively charged. We’re going to talk about that more in a minute, spoilers. Looking at biological systems, negative ion support, resilience, improved delivery of oxygen to the tissues and easing stress. These are all very important. Resilience is something we’ve talked about on the podcast a lot. Bad stuff is going to happen to you. I’m sorry. I wish that nothing bad would ever happen to you, but bad stuff’s going to happen to you. Those of us who are resilient are able to [00:16:00] thrive, to continue to sow life into others, to support others, to carry out our mission during the bad times. And that’s resilience. There’s data showing an improved sleep negative ions are also been shown to have inhibitory effects against several species of potentially harmful bacteria like staph and fungus, like candida. Negative ions, also show inhibition of growth of viruses as well but the reports on this are conflicting depending on the bacteria and depending on the study.

 What else do negative ions do we alluded to this earlier about allergens, about pollutants. There’s something called fine particulate matter. And this is not something we talked about on the podcast before.

I don’t think, I don’t think we talked about this on the toxin episode, but we should have. There’s something called PM 2.5 and this means fine particulate matter, smaller than 2.5 microns. This is pollution basically. This has been associated with increased overall mortality from heart and lung disease, is associated with depression, psychiatric disorders, heart disease, cardiovascular disease, dementia.

Areas, where there’s lots of PM 2.5, have an increase risk of these things. A 2021 Lancet study reported that 8.4 million deaths worldwide in 2016 were attributable to fine particulate matter. That is a significant amount of deaths. Here in the U S it’s estimated in 2019, that over 107,000 people die a year in the US due to fine particulate matter.

That’s a lot of people and it costs us about $890 billion per year. This was in 2019 dollars. This is a major problem, PM 2.5 pollution. And the total amounts worldwide costs about $4 trillion in 2016. This is a worldwide global problem. And it disproportionately affects those older than 65. The EPA guidelines recommend less than 12 micrograms per meter cubed.

However, a JAMA study found that 99% of the deaths in that study were associated with levels actually lower than what the EPA recommends. What this means is that even at the guidelines, the cutoff at the guidelines, it’s too high. Most of the deaths that were attributable to this fine particulate matter happen at lower levels.

So that’s very concerning. How does negative ions play into this? Well, like we talked about earlier, a lot of these things are positively charged. And what happens is if you have a negative charge and a positive charge, they attract each other. And so effectively the negative ions remove these things from circulation. Negative ions in one study, reduced dust by 46%.

That’s a significant amount. And if you’re an allergy sufferer, imagine 46% less dust around, that’s going to help your allergies. Another showed a reduction in particulate matter 2.5 by two orders of magnitude, that’s dividing by a hundred, that’s a significant amount. Other studies show up to a 99.99% reduction in particulate matter 2.5 with negative ion therapy.

The differences in the study relate to particle concentrations. Meaning how much of this stuff is in the ambient enviornment. The size of the particles, the ventilation rates, meaning how well aerated that room is. What is the exchange rate of air in that room. The distance from the source of the ions, to the source of the particulate matter and the constitution of the substances around the [00:20:00] ions. It’s easier to remove the particulate matter around wood and PVC, it was less effective around wallpaper stainless steel and cement. And that another thing that it’s been shown to do removing the particulate matter is it helps regulate the immune system because now the immune system isn’t having to react to these pollutants, it’s able to do other things.

What about negative ion bracelets? Cause I wear one. I’ve got one here, if you can see the video. I have a Therasage bio bracelet. There’ll be a link to that. I wear it for the negative ions, but it also has an infrared chip and it also has magnets. You’re getting energy medicine in three different ways.

Infrared we’ve talked. Cellular energy or PEMF we’ve talked about, and now we talked about negative ions. What about these ion bracelets? The bracelets usually use tourmaline germanium, zeolite, or titanium. These are crystals that are able to generate negative ions. In fact, black tourmaline generates the most negative ions, and this can actually be measured using the aptly named negative ion meter.

Well, how did these things create negative ions? You said they’re crystals, right? Yep. Well, they do it through, we think two different ways. One is called peizoelectricity, which is really one of my favorite things because if you go to certain dance clubs in Europe, they generate their power through peizoelectricity, where you’re like, well, what’s so cool about that?

They put crystals in the dance floor, so when you dance, you generate the club’s energy. How freaking cool is that? That’s what peizoelectricity is. And you’ve seen this in cell phones and other things they’re trying to make it so that we can do piezoelectricity to help recharge our devices just through pressure.

Pressure creates ions creates current. The other one is through pyroelectricity, and that’s generating a temporary voltage when heated. Benefits? The studies are mixed and I think the studies are mixed, well, that’s a spoiler. We’ll get to that in a minute. One study showed benefit in knee and hip pain.

Another study on musculoskeletal pain did not show difference from placebo. Both groups actually saw improvement in pain. That’s actually something good and that’s not surprising because multiple studies have shown over and over and over again, that placebos help with pain because of the mental component of pain.

What else, what other data is out there? There’s another study that looked at it, for exercise capacity, measuring VO2 max and other endurance variables. There was no difference there. Another study looked at power strength and endurance through measureables, different variables. It showed no difference. The caveat with these studies is they don’t mention the bracelet that was used or if they measured ions.

We don’t know if they were using a high quality product, like the Therasage that I’m wearing, or if they’re just using some typical Amazon type product. And that might be why you see a difference. I definitely see a difference with mine. I wear it mainly for EMF protection Especially when I’m flying, but I live in downtown Houston.

There’s tons of harmful EMF around me. So that’s why I wear it. What are things to be careful about with negative ions? Some negative ion devices produce ozone. Now ozone has some benefits, but we’re going to talk about that in another podcast. Ozone can be a good stressor.

So ozone is pro-inflammatory, but if you’re deficient in antioxidants, if you have lung disease, or if you have high inflammation levels, ozones can make things worse. We’re going to talk about ozone in a completely different podcast, so that’s a teaser right there. I couldn’t find any studies [00:24:00] suggesting exposure to negative ion therapy inhaled is harmful Continuous use enclosed areas with low humidity may lead to electrostatic issues, so you might shock yourself.

 What do I use for negative ion therapy? I have a Therasage portable ozone device. It has a negative ion. This is what I use when I travel. At home, I have an air doctor, air purifier.

It can produce negative ions. If you choose. I like it because it removes 99.9% of tested bacteria, virus, fungal particles, VOC, volatile, organic compounds. These are things like benzene. Benzene, one of the strongest cancer promoting agents that we know of. Very abundant here in the air in Houston, because of all the chemical plants and then formaldehyde, embalming fluid.

Scented candles, if you have scented candles in your house, get rid of them. These produce a lot of volatile organic compounds, things are linked to inflammation. What you want to use instead is essential oils in a diffuser. What about ozone? You said that some of these negative iron product can produce ozone. Yes, they can, so this is something that you want to look into. The air doctor that I use produces less than 0.005, PPM parts per million of ozone per hour. The OSHA limit is 0.1 PPM per eight hours and the EPA limit is 0.07 PPM per eight hours. So it’s less than what these societies say is the upper limit of safety for ozone exposure and the air doctor filters capture ozone. That’s why I use it when I sleep.

The Therasage device, I only use it when I travel and it shuts off after I believe it’s an hour and a half, just to make sure that you’re not getting too much exposure to negative ions, even though we couldn’t find any studies saying that negative ion therapy is harmful.

Ok, that has been our energy medicine, negative ion podcast. If you give negative ions to try, let us know, drop into our strive for great health podcast facebook group, if you try anything you’ve learned in the podcast, come into to the group, talk about it. You never know who it might help sharing your story and that’s why I’m on here, sharing stories, giving information, giving science.

All right, guys. Well, I hope you have a very blessed rest of 2021. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Merry Kwanzaa, whatever you celebrate. I hope that you find blessing, you find peace, you find comfort, and that we close out this year strong as we continue to strive for great health. God bless.

 Thank you for listening to the Strive for Great Health Podcast with your host, Dr. Richard Harris. It’s our mission and goal at the podcast to impact as many lives as possible. To empower individuals, to take control of their health and live a life full of joy and purpose. You may help us achieve this mission by leaving a five star rating and review on your preferred podcast platform.

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Thank you for listening and God bless.

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