All About Salt Lamps: What Do They Do?

Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage these days, and for good reason. These aesthetically pleasing lamps come in a surprisingly wide variety of styles and colours, from natural amber to hand-painted designs, and they boast an equal array of benefits. But, what exactly are these unique-looking lamps? And, how can they potentially help you?

Artful Decor

Himalayan salt lamps are, at their heart, decorative lamps. Although various types exist, the most common setup consists of a wooden base with a small light bulb and power cord with a “shade” that extends from the base and completely covers the bulb comprised of pink salt crystals which are extracted from areas near the Himalayas. When lit, these lamps emit a calming amber hue that provides the ideal ambiance for homes, workplaces, and areas of meditation. They are also great for physically mindful areas of activity, such as in a Tai Chi or yoga studio.

Of course, there is so much more to a Himalayan salt lamp than merely its artistic appeal.

Turning the Negative Into a Positive – Helping to Balance Yin and Yang

Himalayan salt lamps have the positive effect of producing negative ions. Despite its optimistic name, positive ions in the air, generally created by the electronic devices in our lives, are thought to cause a host of issues, both physical and mental.  Himalayan salt lamps draw in these positive ions and send back out negative ions. These negative ions occur in nature from things like the ocean and lightning. They produce positive effects such as increasing your energy levels by increasing oxygen and blood flow in the body. As such, having a Himalayan salt lamp around can be extremely beneficial to your overall health and well-being.

Help with Allergies, Asthma, and More

Perhaps one of the most interesting things about Himalayan salt lamps is their ability to help with allergies, asthma, and other conditions that involve particles in the air. The salt lamps are hygroscopic, meaning they attract moisture in the air to themselves, an act which often causes the lamps to “sweat,” particularly in moist environments. As the lamps attract moisture, particles in the air join along for the ride.

These little lamps pack a big punch in the fight against mould, dust, dander, and other air pollutants, as they actively trap contaminants in the salt. Light a salt lamp in your bedroom, office space, or any other area where you feel that the air could use a bit of freshening, and you can begin to breathe in clean air once again.

Guide Your Mindfulness and Aide Anxiety

Since a Himalayan salt lamp easily lends itself to creating a meditative environment, it is ideal for your mindfulness and meditation sessions. Mindfulness is an important part of your mental health, and while my upcoming book will touch on these topics in greater detail, salt lamps can provide a focal point for your meditative practises, similar to the flame of a candle. You can stare into the lamp as you would a flame, focusing on remaining in the present moment, or on a specific intention.

Mindfulness and meditation can provide great benefit to those suffering from anxiety, as with practises such as Tai Chi and yoga. With its soft glow, a salt lamp enhances the effective stress reduction of these activities. Plus, with the lamp ridding your space of positive ions, you’ll potentially experience further reduction in the levels of stress that they could be causing. It has been theorised that the negative ions it produces may have a positive effect on your mood by stimulating the production of serotonin.

Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

The mental health benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are without question. Another area they seem to affect is in the condition of Seasonal Affective Disorder. SAD is a major depressive disorder with symptoms that include a loss of interest in activities and social interaction. This disorder most often affects people during the winter months. This is thought to be, at least partially, due to the lack of sunlight during this time of the year. Himalayan salt lamps produce a glow that is similar to that of natural sunshine, helping you to reduce your risk of SAD throughout the year.

Finding the Lamp for You

While there are many options for Himalayan salt lamps, not all of them are created equal. It may be disheartening to learn that you have to ensure that the salt lamp you purchase is genuine. Carefully observe your lamp. If it gives off a soft glow, that’s a sign of a quality lamp. If, however, you have a brighter kind of light, similar to a typical table lamp, then it’s likely not the real thing. A true Himalayan salt lamp is likely to have originated from the salt mines of Pakistan, and, being made of salt, they are fragile. If you’ve dropped or knocked your lamp and it hasn’t at least chipped a bit, there’s reason to be suspicious.

Another thing to look at is colour. Most lamps will be pink to orange hued. White salt lamps do exist, but they are also a more expensive type of lamp, so if you’re seeking a white lamp, but noticing low prices, be on guard. Also, remember that it is normal for lamps to “sweat” during use. Truly, perhaps the most telling sign of whether or not your lamp is a real Himalayan salt lamp actually has to do with the retailer itself. Genuine retailers know how fragile their lamps can be and so have generous return policies, such as this lamp from Levoit, which carries a 1-year warranty and lifetime support. Levoit is one of the most reputable Himalayan salt lamp sellers on the market today, focused on quality and safety. Plus, their lamps are budget-friendly. You definitely don’t have to spend a ton of money to have a genuine Himalayan salt lamp.

What have been your experiences with salt lamps? Have you purchased one, or do you have questions about what your lamp can do for you? Let me know in the comments, and follow me on Facebook for more tips and tricks to better your health and well-being.

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