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An abundance of negative ions in the air you breathe is considered to be beneficial, and a lack of negative ions, or an abundance of positive ions, can actually cause bodily harm, according to scientists. In a sauna, when you splash water on superheated rocks, negative ions are formed and released into the air.
In European countries especially, much emphasis has been placed on the healing power of negative ions. Negative ion therapy has been used to aid burn victims, to heal respiratory disease, and even stop the spread of some cancers.
When bathing in a sauna, you breathe in the negative ions released from the water on the rocks, thus helping your respiratory system and aiding your overall health.