Editor’s Note: Guest post author Forrest Tuttle has been taking saunas his whole life. Most notably and appreciatively, after his 20 day canoe trips in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCAW) in Northeast Minnesota and Quetico National Park in Canada. “About half way through the trip is when we start talking about sauna” says Tuttle. “As we paddle we often would talk about the things we would be looking forward to most, when back to civilization. Sauna back at the lodge would always be the top of everyone’s list.
While in the hot room, the many days layers of dirt start to literally separate from the skin, he notes.
Sauna not only gets you clean but supercharges your whole body
A negative ion comes about when an atom becomes charged with an extra electron. Nature creates negative ions when an oxygen atom gains that extra electron. Earth’s natural radiation is one source. Negative ions also come about around running water such as streams, lakes, and the ocean. Negative ions are produced by the shower in your home. In a sauna, when water is splashed on the hot rocks this produces steam and an abundant supply of negative ions in that enclosed area. The key is to get the rocks hot enough, and that can be accomplished with both a wood burning stove and a properly built electric stove.
Negative ions clear the air of pollutants by attaching themselves to positively charged particles of pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, and cigarette smoke to name a few. The particles become heavy and sink to the ground. This creates a protective space around you.
Negative ions are also thought to be positive mood enhancers by increasing levels of the mood chemical serotonin, which can help alleviate depression, boost our energy, and make us feel on top of the world.
-Forrest Tuttle Georgia Institute of Technology . B.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
EDITOR’S QUESTIONS FOR FOLLOW UP:
Are positive ions created by tossing water on hot metal vs. hot rocks? Are negative ions created equally whether water is tossed on sauna rocks heated by a wood fired stove vs. electric stove? Are negative ions woo woo or for real?