Thursday, November 24, 2011

Hydrotherapeutic Spa, Part IV: Anions / Negative Ions / Ozone

By Dave Armstrong (11-24-11)

Ever wonder why the air smells so fresh after a thunderstorm? It's because lightning generates ozone and anions (pronounced "an-eye-on"); also known as negative ions. A negatively charged ion has extra electrons. Anions are great for health, and lots are present in places like mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. The SG-2000 produces one million ozone-laden (O3, or "heavy oxygen") air bubbles per minute (or 46 liters [12 US gallons] of ozone anion-laden air thrust out of the mat through small holes every second; 0.03-0.05 ppm: the German FDA standard) and rapidly improves the quality of the bath water and surrounding air in the room.

Ozone is a quick-acting decontaminant and kills bacteria (it's even used by hospitals to decontaminate operating rooms). Its antiseptic powers are 3000 times better than chlorine; it breaks down toxins. An ozone bath boosts the oxygen utilization rate in human tissues and activates the cells of the body (which in turn helps to prevent cancer).

* * * * *

The WebMD website featured an article on 6 May 2002, entitled "Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes," by Denise Mann, and reviewed by the highly credentialed physician Dr. Brunilda Nazario. Here are some excerpts:
. . . Negative ions are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. . . . Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy.

. . . Ions are molecules that have gained or lost an electrical charge. . They are created in nature as air molecules break apart due to sunlight, radiation, and moving air and water. You may have experienced the power of negative ions when you last set foot on the beach or walked beneath a waterfall. While part of the euphoria is simply being around these wondrous settings and away from the normal pressures of home and work, the air circulating in the mountains and the beach is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions - much more than the average home or office building, which contain dozens or hundreds, and many register a flat zero.

"The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods," says ion researcher Michael Terman, PhD, of Columbia University in New York.

In fact, Columbia University studies of people with winter and chronic depression show that negative ion generators relieve depression as much as antidepressants.

. . . Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy," says Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.

"They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation."
[the article also states that air conditioners and computer monitors emit positive ions]

Peak Pure Air, an air purification company endorsed by the Better Business Bureau, offers a lot of fascinating related information in its web page on negative ions and ozone:

[I]n healthy outdoor environments such as in the mountains, or in a country meadow, the negative ion concentration is typically 2000 to 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter. By contrast, the negative ion concentration in an unhealthy place, such as on congested L.A. freeways, is less than 100 negative ions per cubic cm. The negative ion concentration in most indoor environments is between 100 and 200 negative ions per cubic cm. In extremely healthy and invigorating environments, such as near a large waterfall, the negative ion level is around 1,000,000 per cubic cm. . . .

The ozone level in healthy outdoor environments is typically between 0.02 ppm (parts per million) and 0.04 ppm, which is the ozone level produced by Surround Air Ionizer purifiers. In most unhealthy indoor environments, the ozone level is virtually zero.

. . . the EPA advises us that indoor air pollution is the nation's worst environmental health problem, even 2 to 10 times as bad as outdoor air pollution. In addition, most people spend well over 90% of their time inside, making clean indoor air even more important for our health.

. . . [Negative ions are] approved by the U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Admin.) as an . . . allergy treatment. . . .

Other Negative Ion Benefits

Asthma, Allergies, and other Respiratory Problems and Illnesses. Many scientific studies have been conducted over the years (mostly in Europe and Russia) showing how exposure to high levels of negative ions drastically or significantly reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, as well as respiratory-related illness.

Migraine Headaches. Inhaling negative ions prevents the production of Serotonin inside the brain. The overproduction of Serotonin inside the brain is the cause of migraine headaches.

Depression. A study at Columbia University suggested that negative ion treatment is more effective than anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac and Zolof, and there are no side effects with negative ions.

Fatigue. The production of Serotonin (chemical produced inside the brain) also causes fatigue, and negative ions prevent the production of Serotonin inside the brain.

Sleep. A study in France found that negative ionizers helped people to sleep better, by preventing the production of the chemical Serotonin in the brain.

Mental Performance and Concentration. Several tests have shown people exposed to negative ion treatment perform much better in mentally-oriented activities than those who are not.

Physical Performance. Due to test results performed by Russian scientists, negative ionizers were always installed in the locker rooms and resting places for the Russian athletes.

Burns. Studies performed in one hospital found that burn patients were far more likely to recover more quickly and thoroughly. . . .

Effectiveness of Ozone at Low Levels

Russian scientists performed a study to see how effective ozone was at improving indoor air quality in schools. Respiratory-related illnesses were drastically improved after the ozone systems were installed. The ozone concentration produced by the systems were 0.015 ppm (parts per million).

In testing performed by two scientists by the name of Elford and Van den Ende, it was found that ozone effectively destroyed bacteria at 0.04 ppm.

Many publications have published studies showing the effectiveness of lower concentrations ozone (0.01 to 0.03 ppm) at removing odors and pollutants. Some of these include the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), U.S. Air Force technical publications, and Manufacturing Chemist.
The Applied Ozone Systems website provides very extensive information. One particularly fascinating and educational page is Medical Ozone Oxygen Therapy References, which provides a host of scientific / medical studies backing up the claims of medicinal and therapeutic utility of proper levels of ozone. Here are some examples (see the link itself for many more):

* * * There are over 3,000 references in the German literature showing it safe, successful use in over 50 years of application to humans during millions of dosages.

* * * 1980 August 22nd Sweet F, Kao M S, Lee S. (Dept of obstetrics and Gynecology, WA. Univ. School of Medicine, St Louis) and W. Hagar (St Louis Air Pollution Control) publish in, Science Vol 209: 931-933, a U.S. peer reviewed scientific journal, their study: "Ozone Selectively Inhibits Human Cancer Cell Growth."

* * * 1991 October 1, The peer reviewed Journal of the American Society of Hematology published the ozone\HIV work of M.D. Wells, Latino, Galvachin, and Poiesz. Their article: "Inactivation Of HIV Type 1 by O3 In Vitro" appears in Blood Journal, Volume 78 Number 7, October 11, 1991, page 1882 describ[es] the research coordinated by Dr. Bernard Poiesz from Syracuse State Univ. of NY Research Hospital.

They performed 15 replications of a study that interfaced it with HIV infected factor 8 blood. It completely removed the HIV virus 97 to 100 percent of the time, yet was non-toxic to normal blood components. Ed McCabe announced this study back in 1988, in his Oxygen Therapies book.
See also 126 sources on the web page Ozone Research References. The Medical Society for the Use of Ozone in Prevention and Therapy in Germany is part of the European Cooperation of Medical Ozone Societies. It summarizes the current state of knowledge in scientific ozone studies (with regard to medical application):

* activates cellular metabolism,
* modulates the immune system,
* regulates the antioxidative capacity of the biological system.

The activation of immunocompetent cells

results in the physiological release of cytokins (interferones, interleukins)

Indications: diseases accompanied by a immune deficiency
As additional / complementary therapy for various types of cancer

Activated red blood cells (RBCs)

(increase in ATP and 2,3-DPG-Anstieg) thanks to a reduction in Hb-O2-affinity, this facilitates the transfer of transported oxygen to the tissue

Indications: Peripheral and cerebral arterial circulatory disorders

Enzymatc antioxidants and radical scavengers

(SOD, catalase, glutathion peroxidase and reductase...) are induced and activated, thus increasing the organism´s antioxidative capacity.

Indications: Inflammatory processes such as e.g. arthritis, reaktivated arthroses; strained muscles, myogelosis, trigger points; vascular diseases, aging processes.
See also the very helpful summary-table: Therapeutic Uses Indications. Detailed treatment aspects for many diseases are found on the page Information For Patients.

E. G. Beck, G. Wasser, R. Viebahn-Hänsler, published a very helpful article, entitled, "The Current Status of Ozone Therapy Empirical Developments and Basic Research", Research in Complementary Medicine [Forschende Komplementarmedizin], 1998; 5: 61-75 [complete PDF file: 30 pages]. They state (pp. 4, 24):

It therefore goes without saying that any responsible decision to apply ozone must be made against the background of scientifically founded knowledge. On the other hand, a rejection of the method by stereotypically repeating that the case in hand has not yet been confirmed by randomised, double blind clinical trials, is of no further help. Obviously, a treatment method used in private clinics has no financially powerful pharmaceutical industry to support it by contracting clinical studies demonstrating the efficacy of medical ozone under controlled conditions in a qualified design framemork and involving large patient populations.

. . . the negative assessment of ozone therapy and its subsequent image are based on unscientific statements in public media and scientific press showing a lack of proper information, together with the reasons against it expressed by the Medical Service of the health insurance organisations. The critical attitude shown by the representatives of conventional, official medicine towards ozone therapy can, for the most part, be explained as being a result of this.
This is often the case with regard to many alternative health and medicine practices and treatments (what else is new?). I fully agree with the authors that science out to be brought to bear, while at the same time, one must extend understanding of the handicaps of small, non-wealthy alternative practices and have an open mind to be able to see what positive results have already been achieved (the conventional medical establishment - for all its gladly-acknowledged successes and triumphs in many areas of medicine (especially surgical) - is notorious for having a closed mind against anything "alternative" that threatens its overwhelming dominance). There is existing evidence here that cannot easily be discounted.

Among many technical medical descriptions, the authors, for example, summarize the benefits of ozone (p. 21):

Ozone therapy is a non-specific form of therapy which, on the one hand, is able to set off a metabolic, self-regulatory cascade and, on the other hand, induce immunomodulation in the form of a general, physiological protection mechanism.
The authors come to another familiar conclusion in this classic example of a case where the overly-skeptical, extremely powerful medical establishment clashes with effective alternative treatments (to the detriment of patients in need of quick assistance):
Not to recommend ozone therapy for the time being would mean, in spite of all the criticism arising due to the incidents that have occurred, giving no importance either to the experience gained from decades of successful use, or to the large number of positive results from recent basic research. If we were here to wait until financially almost impossible, large-scale clinical studies were to confirm an efficacy we can already observe in reality, this would also mean not providing the many patients seeking help with a highly tolerant and low-risk, economic and in many cases promising (complementary) therapy form.

(p. 25)
The article ends with 72 footnotes of further sources.

Ozone in Medicine: Overview and Future Directions, is a comprehensive review by Gerard V. Sunnen, M.D. Excerpts:

Ozonated water bubbled in warm baths, provides stimulation of local circulation and disinfectant action to varicosities, peripheral circulatory disorders and dermatological conditions (eczema, ulcers).

. . . Although the inhibitory and lethal effects of ozone on pathogenic organisms have been observed since the latter part of the 19th century, the mechanisms for these actions have not yet been satisfactorily elucidated. Ozone is a strong germicide needing only a few micrograms per liter for measurable action. At a concentration of 1 g/m3 H2O at 1C, ozone rapidly inactivates coliform bacteria, staphylococcus aureus and Aeromonas hydrophilia.[44]

. . . The inactivation rate of enteroviruses[45] is more rapid than for E. coli, takes place in relatively small concentrations of ozone, and is influenced by pH, temperature, and the presence of ambient organic compounds.

In those clinical applications which make use of external (or body cavity) application of ozone, it can be appreciated that in view of the fact that a direct ozone-organism contact exists, inactivation of micro-organisms, bacteria, viruses or fungi, proceeds by any one of a variety of different mechanisms. The treatment of burns, superficial mycotic infection, decubitus ulcers and abscesses is applied by this method. Theoretical issues present themselves, however, when examining treatment strategies aimed at systemic infections, notably viral afflictions which make use of introducing ozone-oxygen mixtures into the bloodstream (usually major AHT). The ozone-treated aliquot of blood which is reported to be rendered viral-free through direct contact with ozone and ozone peroxides,[5] is reintroduced into the circulation. Since very little free ozone remains in solution due to its high reactivity, it is its products mainly lipid compounds, possibly others which are thought to interact with circulating as well as tissue-bound virions, thus inactivating them.

Within the dose ranges prescribed (up to 10 mg (O3/100 ml of blood), we may be curious to measure this overflow antiviral capacity. Although unproven to be outright curative for any viral illness, ozone blood treatment, as reported in several studies[21,31,55] may lessen clinical severity or duration. Thus therapeutic benefits have been noted in hepatitis, acute and chronic, and herpes.[55] In chronic viral infections Cytomegalic, Epstein-Barr and Retroviridae (AIDS) among others blood ozonation performed in viremic cycles or in periods of clinical exacerbation may, through direct action, through the production of cofactors inhibitory to viral replication, or through modification of immune function, be used in inducing viral quiescence. Ozone is reported to be an immuno-stimulant in low doses and immuno-inhibitory at higher levels.[15,26,27]

It is not inconceivable, in view of the possibilities given to ozone's antiviral properties that new generations of machines may be developed to test the therapeutic potential of the extra-corporeal treatment of circulating blood. . . .

Ozone Treatment in Cancer

The logic sustaining the use of oxygen-ozone application to the treatment of carcinomas rests on the strategy of capitalizing on the disturbed metabolism of cancer cells. Since the first bio-chemical hypothesis of cancer was proposed by Warburg[56] in 1925; that all tumors have higher rates of glycolysis under aerobic conditions than do nontumor cells, efforts have been made to find the variations which could best affect treatment strategy. Although his statement has subsequently been amended considerably, there is a massive and evolving body of research centering on biochemical differences between normal and malignant cells.[57]

. . . ozone may induce metabolic inhibition in some carcinomas.

In one study,[58] cultured cells of different carcinoma types were compared with non-cancerous human lung fibroblasts on exposure to ozonated air (0.3, 0.5, and 0.8 ppm of O3 for 8 days). Alveolar (lung) adenocarcinoma, breast adenocarcinoma, uterine carcinosarcoma and endometrial carcinoma showed 40% cell growth inhibition at 0.3 ppm and 60% at 0.5 ppm. The non-cancerous lung cells were unaffected at these levels. In 0.8 ppm exposure, cancer cell growth inhibition was 90%. Interestingly, it was at this level that the control cell group started to manifest anabolic slowdown (50%). The authors postulate that cancer cells are less able to compensate for the oxidative challenge of ozone than normal cells, possibly by way of a less functional glutathione system.

There are many clinical and anecdotal reports,[21,25,27,59] of ozone major or minor autotherapy, at times prescribed on a daily basis for several weeks applied to the treatment of various carcinomatous conditions but with a paucity of controlled data. Several researchers have focused their efforts on using ozone as an adjunct to radiation or chemotherapy.

. . . A review of a large body of literature is presented which describes a spectrum of therapeutic indications. Of these, ozone application for superficial infection, burns, dental and intestinal conditions, and possibly circulatory problems seem to be the most promising. As regards blood ozonation, further research is indicated to delineate the nature of its dynamics and the extent of its effectiveness in (1) the identification of the galaxy of compounds formed in this process which, in view of doses administered, by all evidence, have metabolic, immunological, endocrine and possibly neurological effects; (2) the purification of blood or blood components for transfusion purposes; (3) the inhibition of carcinomas with reference to the types which may be the most susceptible and to its use as an adjunct to radiation or chemotherapy; and (4) the inactivation or the repression of viral diseases with special attention to chronic conditions of the Herpes or Retroviridae (HIV) families.

Further Sources

1) Protective effect of ozone treatment on the injury associated with hepatic ischemia-reperfusion: Antioxidant-prooxidant balance, C. Peralts et al, Free Radical Research, Vol. 31, No. 3 / 1999 [abstract].

2) "Minimally Invasive Oxygen-Ozone Therapy for Lumbar Disk Herniation," by Cosma F. Andreula et al, American Journal of Neuroradiology 24:996-1000, May 2003 [full text].

3) The utilization of ozone for external medical applications, Gerard V. Sunnen, M.D., 1998.

4) Books on ozone therapy.

5) Oxytech Research (includes page on Benefits of Ozone Steam Sauna).

6) Why do doctors use treatments that do not work?, Jenny Doust & Chris Del Mar, British Medical Journal, 2004;328:474-475 (28 February).

7) Ozone

8) Ozone, A Medical Breakthrough? , by Geoff Rogers. This is an investigative documentary video, featuring interviews with patients, doctors, including Academy Award nominated Nick Nolte, as well as top experts and representatives from U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the (NIH) National Institutes of Health. Narrated by Will Lyman (PBS Frontline).

9) Medical Ozone Therapy, by Stanley Beyrle, N.M.D. (Naturopathic Medical Doctor).

Medical ozone is accepted by the overwhelming majority of all German educated physicians and doctors. Most water purification in Germany is through ozone, and we are beginning to use it now to purify water in the United States. Ozone is a bleaching agent, a deodorant and a disinfectant; it is virucidal and bactericidal. If it can kill viruses and bacteria when used industrially, why can't we use it in medicine, and apply it to human function? Because it is inexpensive and the drug companies don't want it. There is no money in it for them.

. . . Ozone oxidizes the cells of the body systemically. It stimulates enzymes and phagocytes, the white blood cells which chew up the debris, the viruses and the bacteria in the blood. It activates alpha interferon, gamma interferon, interleuken II and tumour necrosis factor. Ozone is specific for pathogenic cells and does not hurt the good cells. With red blood cells, it increases the cascade of events that eventually frees oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule so that oxygen is released. It is effective with hepatitis B. We have not had one hepatitis patient that we haven't had success with. We use more than just ozone, but ozone is a major part of it. For pathological conditions produced by viruses like herpes, hepatitis, AIDS and cancer, we use 38-42 ug/ml.
10) What is Ozone Therapy? (The Dove Clinic for Integrated Medicine).

11) Oxygen/Ozone Therapy (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine).

12) Ed McCabe ("Mr. Oxygen") website.

13) The Story of Ozone (large compilation of articles by Osmo Joronen).

14) Ozone (Lifestyles Therapeutics).

15) Oxygen Healing Therapies website.

16) Ozone Stimulation website.

17) Ozone Therapy (hyper-linked index of collected papers).

18) The Oxygen and Oxidative Therapies: broad utility in treating chronic degenerative disease and in anti-aging, Eric Chan.

19) What is Oxygen therapy and Ozone therapy? (Healthy Christian Living: Alternative Solutions for a Healthy Christian Lifestyle).

20) About Negative Ions (Comtech Research)

21) Ions Can Do Strange Things To You, Robert O'Brian.

22) Negative Ions: Vitamins of the Air?, Jim Karnstedt and Don Strachan.

23) Asthma and Ions: Advanced Research on Atmospheric Ions and Respiratory Problems, Guy Cramer, Sept. 2, 1996.

24) Treatment of seasonal affective disorder with a high-output negative ionizer, by Terman M, Terman JS. Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University, New York, NY, USA. J Altern Complement Med 1995 Jan;1(1):87-92:


This study was designed to evaluate the antidepressant effect of negative ions in the ambient air as a potential treatment modality for seasonal affective disorder. Twenty-five subjects with winter depression underwent a double-blind controlled trial of negative ions at two exposure densities, 1 x 10(4) ions/cm3 or 2.7 x 10(6) ions/cm3, using an electronic negative ion generator with wire corona emitters. Home treatments were taken in the early morning for 30 min over 20 days, followed by withdrawals. The severity of depressive symptoms (prominently including the reverse neurovegetative symptoms of hypersomnia, hyperphagia, and fatigability) decreased selectively for the group receiving high-density treatment. Standard depression rating scale assessments were corroborated by clinical impressions. When a remission criterion of 50% or greater reduction in symptom frequency/severity was used, 58% of subjects responded to high-density treatment while 15% responded to low-density treatment (chi 2 = 5.00, df = 1, p = 0.025). There were no side effects attributable to the treatment, and all subjects who responded showed subsequent relapse during withdrawal. Treatment with a high-density negative ionizer appears to act as a specific antidepressant for patients with seasonal affective disorder. The method may be useful as an alternative or supplement to light therapy and medications.
25) Scientific Study Summaries of Negative Ion Air Purifiers.

26) Negative Ions Information Center.

27) Negative Ions and Ozone: Myths vs. Facts.

Complete Series

I. Introduction

II. Hydrotherapy, Hot Springs, Spas

III. Ultrasonic Wave Energy / Cavitation

IV. Anions / Negative Ions / Ozone

V. Far-Infrared Radiation

VI. Aromatherapy, Healing Oils, & Bath Salts

For further information on purchasing the SG-2000 home spa, and business opportunities as a distributor, contact

Matthew Tan Kim Huat:

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[ e-mail: matthewtankimhuat [at] gmail [dot] com ]