You are likely researching whether or not to install water features on your property. I specialize in the installation, maintenance, and repair of all types of water features in the Medford, Grants Pass, Ashland, and Roseburg, Oregon area. Let’s explore how water can be an integral component to a healthier lifestyle.
Water is one of the most powerful forces known to humans. It has the power to create beautiful landscape wonders. It is also the lifeblood of our very existence. Without it we would perish. The human affinity to water doesn’t end at the tap. For most of us, when we are planning vacations or getaways we overwhelmingly plan for excursions to places with water.
Beaches, scenic rivers, lakes, even streams are popular destination spots. Could it be the beauty that we gravitate? Could it be our innate instinct and need of this precious resource to satisfy our primal survival drive? Or could it be something more obscure? I would argue our attraction to water is on a deeper level. Our connection is tied to the atomic and even vibrational level. Let’s explore the scientific basis of these claims.
NEGATIVE IONS AND WATER FEATURES
Negative ions are molecules that have gained an electron and carry a negative electrical charge. These ions are found in nature, particularly in the air around waterfalls, oceans, and other bodies of water. The relationship between water and negative ions is that moving water, such as waves or flowing rivers, produces negative ions through a process called “aerosolization” – where the water breaks into small droplets, releasing negative ions into the air.
Studies have suggested that negative ions can have positive effects on mental health by reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, improving mood, and increasing overall well-being. One possible explanation for this is that negative ions may help to balance levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in the brain, which is involved in regulating mood.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that exposure to negative ions was associated with improvements in symptoms of depression and anxiety. The researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in which participants were exposed to either negative ions or a placebo condition. They found that those who were exposed to negative ions had significant reductions in symptoms of depression and anxiety compared to those in the placebo group.
Similarly, another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that exposure to negative ions from a waterfall had positive effects on mood and overall well-being. The researchers conducted an experiment in which participants were exposed to either negative ions from a waterfall or a control condition. They found that those who were exposed to negative ions reported greater increases in positive mood and greater reductions in negative mood compared to those in the control condition.
Have you ever taken a shower and felt immediately refreshed with a increased positive perception? We all have. Showers are like miniature negative ion factories. The same is true for water features. Now that you can see the relationship between negative ions from water and its effect on your mental health lets explore the vibrational relationship.
THE SOUND OF WATER
Sound is essentially a type of vibration. When an object vibrates, it creates waves of pressure that travel through the air, and these waves can be perceived by the human ear as sound. So when we hear a sound, what we are actually experiencing is the vibration of the object that is creating that sound, and the waves of pressure that those vibrations produce.
The pitch of a sound is determined by the frequency of the vibrations, with higher frequency vibrations producing higher pitched sounds and lower frequency vibrations producing lower pitched sounds. The intensity or loudness of a sound is determined by the amplitude of the vibrations, with larger amplitude vibrations producing louder sounds and smaller amplitude vibrations producing quieter sounds.
In summary, sound is a type of vibration that is perceived by the ear and travels through the air in the form of waves of pressure. There are several studies that have explored the relationship between the sound of water and improved health outcomes.
For example, a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that listening to the sound of water can have a calming effect on the body and mind. The researchers conducted an experiment in which participants were exposed to either the sound of water or no sound. They found that those who listened to the sound of water had lower levels of self-reported stress and higher levels of subjective well-being compared to those who did not listen to water sounds.
Another study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that exposure to the sound of water can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. The researchers conducted a randomized controlled trial in which participants were exposed to either the sound of water or a placebo condition. They found that those who listened to the sound of water had significant reductions in symptoms of anxiety and depression compared to those in the placebo group.
Similarly, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that exposure to natural sounds, including the sound of water, can have positive effects on mood and cognitive performance. The researchers conducted an experiment in which participants were exposed to either natural sounds or artificial sounds. They found that those who were exposed to natural sounds, including the sound of water, reported better mood and cognitive performance compared to those in the artificial sound condition.
Anecdotally, you can think to personal experiences where the sound of the waves, a trickling stream, or the cascade of your shower head have helped to melt away the stress and anxiety. Again, the sound of a water feature has the same effects. Now that we can confirm water has remarkable effects on your mental health lets explore another important component and that is nature, or for our purposes the natural aesthetic of constructed water features.
NATURE AND HEALTH
When I build water features I aim to make it seem as if it has been there forever. My goal is to make it seem as if it is not manmade. This is an important aspect because contrived features break your immersion, and I believe there is a subconscious difference in the effects these features have on the mind. As an example, if I show you a photo a dam floodgate waterfall and naturally occurring stream or waterfall, which would you rather sit by? Your immersion into the natural world is why you are researching whether or not a water feature would be a good investment in the first place. So lets explore some of the science behind why exposure to natural places can improve our health.
A study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that spending time in nature, such as taking a walk in a park or forest, can significantly reduce stress levels and improve overall well-being. Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that views of nature from a window or balcony can also have positive effects on mental health, reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
In terms of physical health, studies have also suggested that access to nature can have benefits such as reducing blood pressure and improving cardiovascular health. For example, a study published in the American Journal of Public Health found that living in neighborhoods with more green spaces was associated with lower blood pressure levels.
In summary, we can see negative ions from water, the sound of water, and the sight of nature have a deep connection with our overall health. Lets explore some evidence that ties water features into this picture.
WATER FEATURES FOR OUR HEALTH
A study published in the journal Health & Place found that people who live near water tend to have better mental health than those who do not. The researchers used data from a large, nationally representative survey in the United States and found that people who lived closer to a body of water, such as a lake or ocean, had lower levels of psychological distress.
Another study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology found that views of water from a window were associated with better mental health outcomes, including reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The researchers used data from a study of workers in a high-rise office building in Singapore and found that those who had views of water from their windows reported higher levels of job satisfaction, lower levels of job stress, and better overall mental health.
Similarly, a study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health found that exposure to water features, such as fountains or waterfalls, can have positive effects on mental health. The researchers conducted an experiment in which participants were randomly assigned to either view a video of a natural landscape with water features or a video of the same landscape without water features. They found that those who viewed the video with water features had lower levels of stress and anxiety compared to those who viewed the video without water features.
In conclusion, I have shown evidence that ties the positive effects of water features for your health. In an age of biohacking, people are researching ways to increase performance with the addition of saunas and cold plunge tanks into our everyday lives. We should seriously consider adding water features to this list as well.
People gather around water. Morning coffee routines, mid-day zoom meetings at home, late night cocktail debriefs from a stressful day, or even weekend family BBQ gatherings will be elevated to another level and you will wonder how you lived without a water feature all of these years.
If you are interested in having us design your oasis check out some of our pond packages.
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You can see how we build waterfalls HERE