About a month ago I started learning about Himalayan Salt Lamps. At first, I wrote them off as hippy garbage, or at best, a placebo producing product. They had to be, with claims like:
- Cleaner indoor air
- Reducing allergies
- Improved mood
- Reducing the harmful effects of EMF (electromagnetic fields)
- And even helping to prevent cancer.
If it sounds too good to be true, my skeptic meter goes crazy. Prevent cancer? Yeah right. But lately, I've been getting much more into meditation, yoga, and other practices from the East, and I've noticed massive benefits to my life. So, I decided to jump on a sale for a pair of these magic rocks, and see what might happen. (At the very least, my clients might think they're pretty in the studio)
Before I get to my experience with these pretty pink wonders, I do want to get to some hard science, as you'll never get fru-fru hippy crap with me. Let's go through three of the top health claims, and some of the science that supports them.
1) Himalayan Salt Lamps (HSLs) clean the air, reduce allergies, and combat EMF
This claim is based on the idea that the HSL is hygroscopic in nature (meaning that it attracts airborne water molecules). When the lamp inside the stone is on, the lamp then evaporates this moisture to produce negative ions in the surrounding environment. Pollution, smoking, and electronics of any kind all produce a combination of positive ions which are harmful to us, and the HSL's negative ions combat these positive ions to produce a more 'balanced' environment.
(You can actively feel these kinds of negative ion effects on a large scale when near waterfalls and beaches, where negative ions are abundant)
2) Improved mood and sleep
For this claim, we need to turn to chromotherapy (a method of treatment that uses the visible spectrum (colors) of electromagnetic radiation to cure diseases). According to one study, "the color pink (the distinct color of the HSL) does have some tranquilizing and calming effects within minutes of exposure, and suppresses hostile, aggressive and anxious behavior."
3) They frikin' cure cancer!
This claim I had the most trouble with. Going back to the same study, the color red does seem to have been shown to be effective in the treatment of cancer and healing wounds. Add to this the effects of decreased EMF radiation, the HSL helps regulate our melatonin levels, which have been linked in many clinical studies around the world to inhibit cancer cell growth.
It's been two weeks since I've had these rocks running in my house. I have no physical data to back up my claims, but I will say that the difference is noticeable. The air does smell better. I have more energy through the day, and I would also say my moods have been elevated. I also track my sleep, and the few nights I've had the lamps on before bed, my sleep quality overall has improved. Lastly, I was right, and my clients do love the look and feel of the lamps in the room, whether while getting trained or coached.
I won't recommend a specific stone for you, since I don't have enough experience to give that kind of recommendation. However, I would say that if you have any worries about your air quality, and don't want to invest in a $500+ air purifier, these little stones might be worth a try.