treatment with ionized air. Aeroionotherapy is based on the ability of gas atoms and molecules—and also of the most minute particles of various substances suspended in the air, or aerosols—to acquire an electrical charge when in contact with emissions from radioactive elements, ultraviolet and X-ray radiation, cosmic rays, electrical discharges, and high temperature sources. A charge can also be acquired from the friction of air against hard objects, such as the needles in a coniferous forest or fields of snow or sand. The therapeutic action of aeroions is most likely connected with the increased chemical activity of beneficial aerosols and gaseous substances. These are primarily oxygen molecules, which readily acquire a negative charge; carbon dioxide molecules, which acquire a positive charge; and also ions of other microelements in the air. The influence of aeroions on ion exchange or the regrouping of ions in the living environments of the body is not precluded. There is proof of a reflex effect and the possibility of aeroionophoresis—that is, the introduction of aeroions through the skin—by means of a powerful current of generated aeroions directed at dermal or mucous integuments of the body.
A distinction is made between natural and artificial aeroionotherapy. Natural aeroionotherapy consists of a prolonged sojourn for hours or days in places where pure ionized air abounds, such as in the mountains, amid vegetation, and near waterfalls, turbulent rivers, geysers, or the ocean surf. Under these circumstances the work capacity of the patient is increased, improvements take place in the course of certain diseases, and the body’s oxygen insufficiency is alleviated. Thus, a sojourn in nature where there is increased air ionization has prophylactic and therapeutic value.
Artificial aeroionotherapy is administered by means of aeroionizers, or aeroion generators, which produce both positively and negatively charged aeroions; but some ions are neutralized by an electric filter, and the patient, for all practical purposes, receives ions of one charge, usually negative. The content of aeroions in the air which proceeds from the aeroionizer to the patient’s respiratory passages or skin is 1 million per cubic centimeter or higher. Aeroionotherapy is used in treating certain forms of cardiovascular disease, nervous disorders, diseases of the respiratory passages and lungs, and others. One of the methods of aeroionotherapy is the electrostatic douche, which is prescribed for open wounds, trophic ulcers, disturbance or decrease in the activity of the lacteal glands, and in certain nervous and internal diseases. Aeroionotherapy enhances the effectiveness of various medicinal preparations and aerosols.
REFERENCESVasil’ev, L. L. Teoriia i praktika lecheniia ionizirovannym vozdukhom, 2nd ed. 1953.
Chizhevskii, A. L. Aeroionifikatsiia ν narodnom khoziaistve. Moscow, 1960. Chapter 8.
Koiranskii, B. B. “Aktual’nye voprosy ionizatsii ν gigiene truda.” In the collection Aeroionizatsiia ν gigiene truda. Leningrad, 1966.
Minkh, A. A. lonizatsiia vozdukha i ee gigienicheskoe znachenie, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1963.
N. M. VORONIN