Negative Ion Therapy
Because they are either positively or negatively charged, ions are “mobile.”
Umm ... say what? I think he's referring to dissolved ions that move within the solvent liquid (usually water). They do this by means of diffusion in still water, or by going along for the ride in a moving liquid such as a babbling brook or your shower. But I'm sitting here staring at a bunch of ions in my salt shaker and they're looking rather sedentary to me. If by "mobile" he means they jump out into the air, then this an even more misleading statement.
He then says (bolded emphasis his)
Ions in natural settings exist in ratios such that the matter is electrically neutral. Basic Law. Since most "minerals" in water are monoatomic cations of metals (by far the most prevalent type of atom on the planet), and stable dissolved anions tend to be multiply-charged polyatomic ions, in terms of absolute numbers positive ions likely exceeds that of the number of negative ions in natural settings. It is hard to envision a scenario whereby anions outnumber cations in natural settings. But it's not the numbers that count anyway -- it's the net charge. It's in UNnatural settings, such as environments created by ion generators, where ionic imbalance is sustainably created in relatively small isolated areas. But where in natural settings do we supposedly find negative ions?:
For instance, negative ions are generated by moving water – rivers, waterfalls, crashing waves, even showers and fountains.
Folks, we cannot create negative ions from water and substances dissolved in it without concurrently creating positive ions -- the electrons have to come from somewhere! This is the sort of thing that just drives me crazy. Water is a molecule where two H's are attached to a central O atom, crudely H-O-H. A very very small amount of water molecules (one in every 10-million) naturally ionize or break apart into one H+ and one OH- ion (we'll go into the reasons why when we get to the discussions on polar molecules and acids). But you cannot create a OH- anion without creating a complementary H+ cation. Mark cites this paper as proof that moving water generates negative ions -- presumably in the air. They measured the ions near the bases of some of the largest Alpine waterfalls -- we're talking enormous mechanical energy capable of ionizing more water molecules and dispersing more water droplets and create temperature gradients between these and the surrounding air that would occur in 99.99999999999999999999999+% of the water on the planet, moving or otherwise. They noticed an increase in both anions and cations in the air at the base of these waterfalls, but yes, more anions than cations. This is explained on the basis of ion size, charge distribution/orientation, and surface tension effects -- the H+ ion is just a lone proton and likes to glom onto water molecules to form the hydronium ion H3O+. This cation is larger than the OH- anion and apparently partitions preferentially slightly more in the liquid water phase while the smaller anion partitions preferentially to the gaseous phase. So overall, at the "natural" base of these humongous waterfalls, there are equal numbers of anions and cations, but there are more anions in the air than in the water.
If you are swayed by any of the studies demonstrating that breathing anion enriched air is beneficial, perhaps get a job on the Maiden of the Mist. (Aside: One of the best value touristy things you can ever do and an absolute must to do at Niagara Falls, this is 30 or so seconds approaching the base of the horseshoe on the Maiden). Although I can attest that it was virtually impossible during the entire time in the horseshoe to breath just air w/o getting the cation enriched water molecules to go with. Guess what happens in your airways?
You'd do better to purchase an ionizing device because an external source of electrons that does not release cations into the air is required. These do work to create anion enriched air (so long the technology they are based on is sound), but you still need to evaluate further claims as to physiological effects on their own. (And there's no way these devices are paleo, though. They're not even neo!).
But for Grok's sake, realize taking showers or sleeping outside by babbling brooks and whatnot will not expose you to negative ions in any meaningful way, any more than following Jack Kruse's advice to sit on blocks of ice will freeze your ass fat off (literally, the claim was that cold causes adipocyte apoptosis, aka death). When Mark tells you that "moving water is moving water, and showers do a good job of producing negative ions in their own right", look for the citation. I found it! PIOOMA*:8675309. According to the rationale for ion partitioning put forth in that paper, you probably have a better chance of getting a few extra ions in a steam room due to the high concentration of very small droplets of water. But I wouldn't bet a pair of dimes on that being true.
Science schmience. :-( Why can't these paleo peeps just stick to their success stories and helping others with their "theory to practice" based methods. Next time someone asks about something you know nothing about, it doesn't hurt to either not answer or admit you just don't know. Beats making shit up complete with recommendations of things to do.
*I think I stole that acronym correctly from someone who commented here. My apologies for not recalling who that was! Please identify, and take a bow!! UPDATE: garymar coined that acronym that I'm stealing!