Sauna Ion Generator Health Benefits

How Negative Ions in Saunas Boost Sauna Therapy Benefits

The presence of negative ions inside a sauna or sweat bath can be considered just as necessary and beneficial to the body as the actual sauna heat.

Before the revelation of negative ions in some types of saunas became breaking news in Finland, the healing power of a sauna was solely associated with relaxation and increased circulation. According to the study, Physical Effects of Negative Air Ions in a Wet Sauna,

“Saunas have been shown to have many benefits such as accelerating the peripheral circulation to maintain the homeostasis of the organism in the high-temperature environment, stimulating perspiration, and accelerating metabolism.” [2]

However, the discovery of negative ions has now created more possibilities with sauna therapy. Tests showed that splashing water onto super-heated rocks in sauna wood burning stoves generated a large amount of negative ions. 

This could explain why the Finns felt very refreshed after spending time in a wood heated sauna, as opposed to modern electrically heated saunas.  Many electric sauna heaters were not heating the rocks enough, and the metal heating coils were causing the release of more positive ions (unhealthy ions) into the air inside the sauna. Researchers also reported insufficient ventilation in modern saunas as a secondary cause of the buildup of positive ions. 

Scientists have found that if the air is not charged with enough negative ions and there are too many positive ones, humans become exhausted, anxious, and tense. [1] This condition, called “pos-ion poisoning,” can also be caused by disturbances in the weather, smog, central air conditioning, and from driving too long in an automobile.

In general, there are great benefits of negative ions. Negative air ionization has been found to contribute to significant mood improvements, with decreased symptoms of depression, mood disturbance, and anger. Negative air ionization was also linked to increased relaxation, high alertness ratings and feelings of personal warmth. [3] In Finland, Europe, and the Soviet Union, negative ion therapy has been used as a remedy to help heal burn victims, to treat respiratory diseases, to reduce general infections in the body, and to research the development of some cancers. [1]

Adding Negative Ions to Sauna Therapy   

A sauna session has shown to be more powerful with negative ions than without them. [2] 

In an experiment conducted with two saunas, “Physical effects of negative air ions in a wet sauna”, thirteen test subjects took one sauna in a shinki sauna with an abundance of negative ions, as well as a traditional wet sauna without negative ions. The only difference in the saunas was the presence or absence of negative ions. During the experiment, the maximum negative ions increased to 20,000 ions/ml in the shinki sauna, while the wet sauna had less than 100 ions/ml.

Results showed that the presence of negative ions increased the effect the sauna had on the rise of a person’s body temperature and sweat volume. [2] 

Rectal temperature was measured of the subjects to track the body’s core temperature. It is natural for a change in rectal temperature to occur when the full body is exposed to high temperatures. Normally the temperature will rise slowly, after first falling for a minute or two, due to stress resulting from the sudden environmental change. It was found that when the subjects started the wet sauna, rectal temperature did instantly decline, before slowly rising. 

However, when in the shinki sauna with negative ion presence, the rectal temperature did not fall, but begin to slowly rise right away and maintained its elevated level.  The reason determined for this is because the shinki sauna reduced the body’s thermal stress and enabled a slow temperature change.  The researchers found that the “negative ions exerted a strong temperature raising effect on the body.” Sauna therapy strives to increase the body’s core temperature and this study shows that the presence of negative ions helps to achieve that goal. 

In addition, the surface temperatures of subject’s foreheads, hands, and legs, as well as their pulse sweats and production of sweat, were notably higher when in the sauna with negative ions.  A negative ion sauna has been determined to work as “thermal therapy which is useful from the viewpoint of safety as well as other aspects.” [1]

Research has shown that an abundance of negative ions in the air we breathe is highly beneficial and the role of ions in everyday life has become a topic of interest with researchers in the medical profession. [1] The results of the study found that negative ions present enhanced the effects of the sauna by helping to raise body temperature and increase sweat production to a significant degree, two desired goals of a sauna session. Test subjects were even unaware of their increased body temperature, despite it being a strain on the body, or the increased sweating, despite it causing sticky skin or unpleasant feelings.  The reason determined is that the negative ions diminished the unpleasantness. [1]

We recommend using the Breathe Safe™ with your Sauna Fix® to enhance your near infrared sauna phototherapy and negative ion exposure. Laboratory testing [4] demonstrates that operating the Breathe Safe™ for 30 minutes inside a 3 m3 test chamber, which is slightly larger than the Sauna tent at 2.265 m3, at a distance of 100 cm away from the device, will result in breathing 56,000 negative ions per cm3.  Since one milliliter is equivalent to one cm3, this means that the total of 56,000 ions is nearly three times the maximum ion concentration of 20,000 ions/ml found in the “Physical effects of negative air ions in a wet sauna” study.

The method used in the aforementioned study did not generate harmful activated oxygen, which is found with the conventional corona discharge method of negative ion production.  Laboratory testing on the Breathe Safe™ proves it also does not generate this negative effect. The machine is a patented way to produce negative ions that are not harmful. 

[1] Aaland, Mikkel. “Sauna & Health: Sweat Bathing and the Body.” Sweat – The Illustrated History of Saunas, Sweat Lodges, Roman Baths and More. 2011. Web. 3 November 2015.

[2] Watanabe, Ichiro et al. “Physical effects of negative air ions in a wet sauna.” Int J Biometeorol 40. 107-112. 1997.

[3] Perez, Vanessa, Dominik D Alexander and William H Bailey. “Air ions and mood outcomes: a review and meta-analysis.” BMC Psychiatry. 2013.

[4] “Breathe Safe Test Results.” Go Healthy Next. 2015.