Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The season of autumn arrives quietly and unobtrusively; the leaves gently change their shades while the brisk fall breeze gently lowers them to the ground... but wait, there's something else that may be riding on the tails of those winds...

Did you know that high winds have long been associated with negative effects on people's health and behavior? Many teachers will report, for example, that their students become restless, badly behaved, and even downright obnoxious. Studies of children on the playground of an American school showed that the number of fights doubled when the wind blew greater than force 6 (25-31 mph). Could it simply be that the children were blown into each other and that's how fights begin?

There remains a theory that, when the wind blows, the electricity in the air changes as a result of the change in the charge of ions (the positively and negatively charged atoms). Normally, air contains negative ions, but dry winds tend to collect positive ions, which are thought to adversely affect the way we feel. In about one third of the population, this includes irritability and anxiety as well as nausea and headaches.

It is further believed that an excess of positive ions can trigger the production of serotonin, the nerve-transmitter hormone. High levels of serotonin are linked with migraines and nausea. Negative ions - which are created near waterfalls, beaches, mountains, and even in your shower - tend to counteract these unpleasant effects and make you feel better as a result. Is it any wonder that so many of those miniature desktop water fountains are being sold and why the national parks and their waterfalls are bustling with visitors? And is it any wonder that water is such a powerful symbol within so many major faiths and religions?

Ions or not, we, my friend, are constantly reminded that we are intricately linked to the grander Life around us. We are comprised of over 60% water, so it's no wonder we have a natural connection to water and its various forms. We listen to audiotapes of rain showers mixed with music. We are mesmerized by CDs of lively tunes and waterfalls/cascading waves. Just listening to it, being around it, is like coming home.

So, when the gale force winds of your daily life start to increase, my friend, don't fight the urge to run a hot bath and just relax. When the turmoilish events of your life start blowing out of control, don't put off another moment from taking a shower, putting your feet in the waters by a lakeshore, or simply stomping in a rain puddle. It doesn't have to make sense for it to work. For as they say, "A sprinkle or splash a day may very well keep the blues away."

hoedl's haven
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