Ike Ezugwu

For sure, our dry lands needed rain more than any other thing! The weather had become so much Nigerians had resorted to sleeping on bar “cemented” floors, outside their rooms and even in the bathtubs. To make the situation bearable, many took to art, photography and comics to make humour out of the ugly situation. Those on social media took the lead with exaggerated updates and posts. Wow! All these are about to change as rains have returned to the various cities and towns across Nigeria.

Apart from the cooling effect the rains would bring to the atmosphere and calm weather they would usher in, rain has therapeutic benefits. Rain brings forth negative ions. According to Patty Peoples “Negative ions are very good beneficial as they produce a net positive effect on our health. Negative ions are tasteless, odorless and invisible molecules that we inhale when we are in environments that contain moving water, like rain. Once the negative ions reach our bloodstream, they are believed to produce biochemical reactions that help to relieve stress, alleviate depression and even boost our energy.” Apart from rain, abundance of negative ions is also released by waterfalls, the ocean and even dew and mist in the mountains.

“Have you ever noticed how you experience a sense of euphoria by being around these beautiful settings and away from the everyday pressures of work, school or home? That’s because the air circulating around moving water, the mountains and the beach contains tens of thousands of negative ions — unlike a closed home or office, with all its electronics that produce positive ions, which are not good for our health.” According to Patty Peoples, Columbia University’s ion researcher, Michael Terman, said, “The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately after spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.”

She writes that the University also conducted a study using negative ion generators to see their effect on people with winter and chronic depression. The study showed that these generators helped relieve depression as much as antidepressants. “The best part is that there are relatively no side effects, but we still need to figure out appropriate doses and which people it works best on,” Terman said. Felix Sulman, head of the applied pharmacology department at Jerusalem University, conducted experiments with negative and positive ions using a cross-section of men and women between the ages of 20 and 65. When they were put in a room that contained primarily positive ions, they became irritable and fatigued. However, when they were confined to a room containing primarily negative ions, their brainwaves suggested increased alertness and relaxation. Their alertness and work capacity were tested by various means.

According to Vivian Goldschmidt, MA ” rain can be so romantic and relaxing. The sound of falling rain, the calming lull of a waterfall, the invigorating effect of the ocean… Being in close proximity to all of these is also electrifying (literally) and has profound bone health benefits. He holds that “as amazing as this sounds, it has been scientifically proven that when water moves, there is a release of negative ions – electrically charged particles that attach themselves to damaging free radicals. And most importantly, these ions alkalize your body.

“Fresh air, and in particular the air after a rain or near a large body of water, is high quality electrified air. In contrast, the recirculated indoor air we are exposed to in windowless buildings has an abundance of positive ions”, Goldschmidt said.