Basking in the glowing light of Himalayan salt lamps can take you on a journey of tranquility and well-being, from repleting the air with good ions to alleviating bouts of asthma. The variety of spectrums provide an aesthetic surrounding and good vibes.
Sourced in the legendary Himalayas where they are extracted 945 ft. above sea level in the Khewra area in Punjab, Pakistan, pink salt harbors a concentration of minerals found in the human body, making it purer than other salts. The salt was formed millions of years ago under tectonic pressure, leaving it stone-ground, unprocessed and hidden in perfect geological pockets. The Khewra area hosting the salt mines was first discovered by Alexander the Great’s troops, in 326 B.C.
The unrefined, carefully crafted, and solely hand-carved salt lamps come from chambers in the Khewra salt mines. But first, miners prepare six feet holes, and then they add gunpowder and let it explode, which breaks down the Himalayan salt structure into smaller blocks. Not all salt blocks are equal. Some companies, like So Well, employ fair trade practices and pride themselves on rel=”nofollow noopener”>unique and rare salt lamps.
Salt lamps have been known for their many uses including alleviating stress, discarding bacteria and other pollutants, and providing a low source of lighting for a relaxing atmosphere. This is mostly due to its ability to produce negative ions when heated. Negative ions are invisible particles with a negative electric charge in the form of molecules or oxygen atoms. They can be found in nature through changes in the weather, such as thunderstorms or sunrays, which generate radioactive rays that break down air molecules into mostly negative ions.
A study at the University of Aarhus, Denmark indicated that negatively charged ions and air particles can attach themselves to positively charged ions such as dust, pollen, and electric charges, leaving behind pure and less polluted air. Additionally, positive ions coming out of digital devices showed to work as depressants, where negative ions work as mood enhancers through sticking to the positive ions, deeming them inactive.
Amongst the many uses these lamps have, five stand out as solid benefits for one’s health:
1. Air Ionizing Apparatus
Due to the hygroscopic (water-absorbing) and photoelectric nature of a heated Himalayan salt lamp, it emits vapor and negative ions, respectively. The negative ions were proven to attract pollutants, airborne particles, and positive ions generated by electromagnetic fields (EMF) emanating from electric devices to the salt lamp, purifying the air and creating a feel-good atmosphere. Exposure to such field were found to go as far as complicate already-existing diseases.
Negative ions can ideally be found in fresh air in the mountains or following a thunderstorm, creating a sanitary atmosphere due to the increase of negatively charged oxygen in the air.
Beatriz Puyol, based in Dahab, South Sinai, is a metaphysics and healing crystals enthusiast and has vast experience with Himalayan salt lamps and knowledge of rock salt light benefits. “I was in awe of these salt lamps the first time I used them. It made a world of difference in relation to air quality, and it does not consume much electrical power to get these negative ions released in the air.”
2. Friendly to the Respiratory System
Surprisingly, positive ions can be a huge culprit when it comes to respiratory system issues, such as chest congestion and heavy breathing.
The main filter for our respiratory systems is cilia. According to a study by EMR Labs, inhaling positive ions can break down the thrombocytes, leading to the formation of antibodies and allergens, which will thicken the mucous around the cilia. Ionized air promotes the much-needed negative ions to combat and attach themselves to the positive ions, purifying the air of pathogens and irritable particles. rel=”nofollow noopener”>The use of salt pipes has especially proven useful in treating respiratory conditions and allergies.
Himalayan salt lamps can vary in color, from white crystalline to pink, or from reddish to a darker beef color. Illuminated with a small light bulb, they have been used for color therapy, where electromagnetic waves affect the hormonal and physiological functions of a human body.
According to an analysis by National Institutes of Health, each color (chakra) emitting from electromagnetic fields have proved to sustain certain organs.
The analysis added that each chakra can pump energy into organs and glands. For example, red and orange work on pleasure, emotions, and the pelvic and lower back area.
Metaphysics suggests colors such as pink and red, which are associated with chakras having an impact on the body and its organs. For example, pink and red positively affect the body’s energy and passion centers, making for an intuitive healer and an overall serene experience.
4. Enhancing Sleep Quality
“The amount of time we spend in front of a screen or holding a phone can generate a lot of positive ions, enough to disrupt our emotional state,” says Michael Terman, professor of Clinical Psychology at Columbia University’s Medical Center. Terman explained that equalizing these ions with negative ones enhances the mood and eliminates the stressors that can trigger depressive disorders, irritability, and insomnia.
What’s more, salt lamps’ natural and environment-friendly light does not interfere with our biological clock, as opposed to blue light which was found to interrupt our circadian rhythm and break our sleep. Along with the light’s many benefits in relation to the mind and body, it provides a relaxing ambience for an uninterrupted good-night sleep.
“I have recommended salt lamps for insomniac clients and friends for peaceful and valuable night-time sleep, and it unsurprisingly proved efficient,” says Puyol.
Positive ions were found to cause respiratory tract irritation, exacerbating allergic symptoms.
These positive ions, including allergens, get attracted by the negative ions of the salt lamp resulting in the elimination of such particles.
“My asthma attacks calmed down with my salt lamps centered around the house. With a lot of air particles and pathogens in the air, allergies can be stronger at times. This is where my salt lamps release enough negative ions to attract contaminants and harmful positively-charged allergens,” Puyol shares.
Additionally, negative ions enhance the performance of the respiratory tract’s lining cilia, which works as a line of defense against foreign particles.
André Stock, a Swiss citizen and a world traveler, commended Himalayan salt lamps, which he first acquired on a trip to Pakistan, in 1993. “My house in Switzerland contains two to three salt lamps of different colors per room. I purchased them at first as an aesthetic addition to our household, then I found a few articles online suggesting benefits and well-being powers.”
Stock finds salt lamps useful for everything from relaxation to ionizing air for better air quality.
Salt Lamps: More Than Just Good Vibes
The naturally formed salt lamps have shown great potential as a tool of holistic well-being, while attaining a colorful form of purity in a world of processed daily intake and added colors. For individuals with respiratory issues and an affinity for healing crystals, salt lamps make for complementary additions around one’s house.
Eman El-Sherbiny is a freelance writer and world traveler in search of serendipitous experiences.
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