Himalayan Salt Light Benefits Review
If you are curious about purchasing a Himalayan salt light, but want to understand more about their intended use and purported health benefits, you’ve come to the right place. There is a lot of hoopla surrounding Himalayan salt lights (some of it true and some of it false), and the goal of this website is to help set the record straight. If you already know the facts and are simply looking for a high quality salt light to purchase, then read our review of this best Himalayan salt lamp.
The Science Behind Himalayan Salt Lights
Have you ever wondered why you feel so great at the beach or in the presence of a waterfall? It may seem obvious, taking into account the peaceful sounds of the surf and cascading water, but studies are now beginning to reveal how our brains and bodies are physically responding to the atomic chemistry (in particular, negative ions) within the air of these environments.
High concentrations of Negative Ions are found in and around “natural wonder” environments, such as rainforests, waterfalls, the ocean, lightning storms, mountains, sunlight, while depleted negative ion levels (as a result of higher levels of positive ions, which we’ll discuss a little later) are observed in “man-made” environments, such as cities, factories, transportation infrastructure, and residential environments.
First things first let’s start at Square One and really understand what an ion is. In the simplest terms, an ion is a charged atom or molecule. Most atoms and molecules are neutral, meaning they have the same number of electrons and protons circling its nucleus; But when the number of electrons do not equal the number of protons in an atom or molecule, it then acquires a positive or a negative charge. If the atom has more electrons, it is a negative ion, or ANION, and if it has more protons it becomes a positive ion, or CATION.
This video is very helpful at explaining the process:
How exactly does our body react to these electrically charged ions?
An excess of positive ions in the air around us affects the neurohormone, adrenalin, which is a response to external stress. This response, in turn, triggers an excess of serotonin in the brain, which like all brain chemistry, is delicately balanced. If we have too little serotonin, we become depressed and lethargic. If we have too much, we become anxious and irritable.
The evolutionary purpose our body uses this response is to enable us with the ability to have an effective flight or fight response. One theory is that this initial burst of serotonin washes our mind of worry in order for us to deal with the stress at hand (hence why there is a perceived “euphoria” during states of trauma). This is what drugs like MDA (ecstasy) do to the brain.
Consistent exposure to high levels of positive ions do not flood the brain with serotonin in the same way, but it does give the body a subtle chemical signal to be more “on guard” and produce a bit more serotonin then the ideal, balanced amount. This subtle stress baseline allows the body to become more vulnerable to illness and fatigue, and the psychological state to become more irritable and anxious.
Similarly, the phenomena of how the body and mind responds to exposure of negative ions is linked to primeval ancestral history. Evaporating water (natural sources of high levels of negative ions) were a chemical sign that water was nearby and that the “good feeling” experienced from negative ions was Mother Nature’s way of saying that water was nearby.
The Ionic Balance
It is a well understood truth that balance is essential in all things. And the same goes for ions. In fact, the majority of ions we are exposed to have a neutral charge.
The human body is meant to experience polarity in balance. One example is the Nasal Cycle, which is an ongoing cycle in which one nasal passage is congested while the other is de-congested, with the two reversing every 1.5 hours. This provides many benefits that include making sure the sinuses remain moist and with a balanced amount of humidity. It also regulates the flow of air over certain ion receptor channels, thereby balancing their respective sensitivity and potency. The left nasal passage is linked with negative ion channels, and the right is linked with positive ion channels.
The key takeaway here is that positive ions are not inherently detrimental. In an ideal lifestyle, we are exposed to and modulate our sensitivity via nasal cycles to both negative and positive ions in an even, wavelike frequency. This permits the body just enough time to allow the beneficial aspects of each polarity to “soak in”, before issues related to overexposure are experienced. The crest of one polarity becomes the trough and vise versa – a balancing act that is observed throughout our Universe. Even our Sun undergoes a reversal of polarity every 11 years.
The Role of Technology and Ions
But our modern lifestyle has become less than ideal when it comes to helping us maintain a balanced exposure to both positive and negative ions. The number one culprit? Technology. Not surprisingly, ever since the dawn of the industrial revolution, we have been generating and increasing our exposure to positive ions. Televisions, computers, cell phones, cars, and airplanes all emit very high levels of positive ions. This is why our best resource for restoring balance is to increase the amount of negative ions to which we are exposed, and to think of our time as being divided into “positive ion time” and “negative ion time”.
One proposed solution for “negative ion time” are negative ion machines. And while these machines are effective at temporarily raising the level of negative ions in the air, major studies have only involved laboratory grade ion generators. Furthermore, studies of mice exposed to a negative ion machines for long periods of time did not show an exponential improvement upon the beneficial results that researchers observed initially.
The bottom line is that most negative ion machine companies promote their product with misleading marketing jargon, touting negative ions as the “miracle ion” and positive ions as the “evil big bad wolf” of the molecular world. But they are missing the point – One isn’t necessarily better that the other. We just need more balance between the two, which isn’t easily achieved if you’re approaching the issue by blasting yourself with non-stop mechanically generated negative ions.
This is why our recommendation for how to address your ion balancing is by incorporating more natural methods that are closer to how negative ions are emitted in Nature, such as:
- Himalayan Salt Lights and Himalayan Salt Therapy
- Indoor fountains
- Live House Plants
- Taking Showers
- Opening windows and Allowing Fresh Air Circulation
Himalayan Salt Lights
A Himalayan salt light consists of a large salt crystal which has been carved out in the center in order to house a small incandescent bulb, and then is usually secured onto a wooden base. Salt lamps come in a small variety of colors which salt crystals are naturally found in: Grey, White, and most commonly, Amber. Salt Lamps are known for giving a warm, natural glow that accentuates the organic, geodesic shape of the salt crystal and are great use as night lights, and for ambient mood lighting.
Salt lamps provide an easy way to incorporate sufficient accent lighting in order to serve as a more relaxing and welcoming ambient lighting. You can literally (and often subconciously) feel more drained, anxious, and dissatisfied in spaces that are not lit in an aesthetically pleasing way. In other words, bad lighting can be a kind of kryptonite. Next time you walk into a home or space and get a peaceful feeling, pay attention to the lighting – Most people simply do not notice lighting and how it is subconsciously affecting their mood. This is another reason why we love himalayan salt lamps – They emit a soft, beautiful glowing light that is very peaceful and makes for a perfect accent to any room.
This feeling of peacefulness with salt lamps goes beyond perceived aesthetics, and this is where the neurological and biochemical effects of negative ions come into play. Salt is hygroscopic. This means that salt attracts water to itself. When moisture in the air makes contact with the surface of a Himalayan salt light it evaporates quickly due to the small amount of heat coming from an incandescent bulb, which is also why salt lamps tend to appear dewy in humid climates. Negative ions are produced during this evaporation process. Himalayan salts lamps offer a multi layered positive effect on air quality and on the mood of the people within its vicinity.
The Himalayan Salt Lamp Company So Well stipulates that salt lamps emit negative ions into their surroundings at a ratio of about 1 foot radius per one inch of the lamps height. This is why you do want to be rather strategic in where you choose to place you salt lamps, particularly in larger spaces. The best places would be near where you spend a lot of time lounging or sleeping:
- On a nightstand near your bed
- On your desk, or where you spend a considerable amount of time on your computer
- Next to a couch or chair where you sit when you watch TV
- Near your bathtub (offering a double dose of negative ions while also providing a warm relaxing environment)
Himalayan salt is sourced from a district of Pakistan, known as the “Salt Range” which is located at the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains. Sodium Chloride from this rage is dated back to the Precambrian age, which means that it has been forming for over 250 million years under high tectonic pressure and form Halite, which is the mineral term for “rock salt”. When looking for a salt lamp, be sure to pay attention to quality. If the price seems to good to be true, it probably is. Salt lamps which are mass produced in a rushed way tend to lack a balanced shape and also have dirt or other imperfections on their exteriors. Pay special attention to the quality of the other materials used in order to make the lamp. Poorly made salt lamps will usually have not properly secured the Halite to the wooden base, are top-heavy, and may have used rusted, sub-par screws.
We have been really impressed with the quality of the salt lamps made by So Well, and particularly like that they use dimmer switches on all of their lamps, which make them a perfect match for anyone with an obsession of mood lighting. We also really appreciate that the artisans who make their Himalayan salt lights are full time employees who are paid a living fair-trade wage, along with health benefits. You can tell that the sturdy, well formed lamps are made by people who really take pride in their work and have the time to focus on quality of quantity.
Once you acquire your first Himalayan salt light, you should consider setting up an indoor fountains, as they are the perfect accompaniment for setting a serene mood and tying in a natural decor look. What you want to think about is trying to recreate a naturally occurring waterfall, which is one of mother nature’s most effect negative ion producers. The online retailer, Serenity Health, understands this concept all too well, offering a great selection of indoor water fountains. And if you happen to have an outdoor pond or are considering putting one in, these outdoor pond fountains are highly effective at creating a negative ion-filled mist.
Live House plants are one of the most effective ways to elevate negative ions in you space along with improving air quality overall. If you have a home office or an area that usually has electronic running for long periods of time, it is a great idea to incorporate several live plants to balance of the amount of positive ions those items of technology are producing.
Here are some attractive indoor plants that are excellent at the task:
- Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifrizii)
- Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema modestum)
- Dracaena (Dracaena sp.). …
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
- Ficus, or Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
- Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
- Golden Pothos (Epipiremnum aureum)
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
Pretty much any shower is going to produce negative ions. It is simply the act of water falling with some force of pressure behind it that makes this occur. But this particular showerhead is designed to duplicate the negative ion production of a waterfall. But what I like about it is that you get to save water, while still increasing your water pressure.
Enter Link to Ionic Shower
This one’s pretty simple. Don’t coop yourself up 24/7, in places with central air. Open a window. Get Out. Go for a walk. You get the jist.
The Wholistic Way
Combining all of these different ways to increase your day to day exposure to negative ions is also a great way to weave in nature, beauty, and relaxation into your surroundings. Their presence enriches how you experience the space around you, and that phenomena certainly has an effect on your mood and your health. Himalayan salt lights offer a combination of each of these benefits, because they are beautiful, comforting, and act as an elegant extension of the natural world. We bombard ourselves with technology and media, and we can often feel depleted or overwhelmed. Which is why it is more paramount than ever to make a concerted effort to incorporate healthful and balancing things into our diet, routine, and surroundings on a daily basis. The truth is, that no “one thing” is going to do the trick. It requires a comprehensive and integrated approach in order to combat the increasing amount of stress that is being placed on our minds, and our bodies, and on our cells. But the miraculous ability that these three things have to heal and flourish when they are supported is astounding. It really just comes down to if we choose to make them a priority. Luckily, doing so, equals surrounding yourself with beautiful, natural things – a definitive win-win.