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Indoor Fountains - Reduce Stress!
Do me a favor; and take a deep breath, hold it, and let it out. Do you feel refreshed now? Relaxed? Rejuvenated?
Of course you don't. That's the kind of feeling you get from good, fresh air. The air you just filled you lungs with has probably been cooped up in your office all day, just like you. Your air would be much fresher though, and you might even be in a better mood today, if you owned an indoor water fountain.
Indoor wall fountains are quickly gaining popularity in the US. Five years ago, indoor fountains were strictly the domain of your local Chinese restaurant, complete with fluorescent silk flowers and enormous, very ugly goldfish. Today, attractive new designs mean indoor wall fountains are finding their way into homes across the country, but looks aren't the only reason for the indoor fountain craze. Indoor fountains are also gaining attention for what some claim is their mood-altering abilities. Indoor fountains as a cure for depression? It may not be as far fetched as it sounds.
Indoor fountains produce airborne particles called negative ions. As you might remember from your high school chemistry class, a negative ion is a molecule that has lost one or more electrons, and therefore has a negative charge (As I said, you might remember...) In this case, the negative ions in question are airborne water molecules created by the turbulence in an indoor copper fountain, and these negative ions can have some very positive effects. Negative ions, because of their electrical charge, actually adhere to impurities in the air, removing things like dust and smoke particles. Even more amazing, some scientists now believe that negative ions, like those produced by an indoor wall fountain, may also have a powerful effect on mood.
A study at Columbia University determined that inhaling negative ions, like those produced by wall fountains, can increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical tied to mood. Those with clinical depression suffer from abnormally low levels of serotonin, and most antidepressant medicines counteract the disorder by raising serotonin levels. You can think of serotonin as "happy juice"; the more you have, the happier you are. More research is needed, but ion therapy may provide an alternative treatment for depression, by raising serotonin levels without the harmful side effects associated with anti-depressant drugs.
As with all scientific findings, this one has limitations. It is unclear how large of an indoor fountain is required to generate effective levels of negative ions, and the research is still in its early stages. What is clear, however, is that no indoor fountain will hurt. Even a small indoor fountain, with its soothing white noise, is sure to brighten your surroundings... maybe your mood too.
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