From my earliest memories, I always gravitated to the sounds of the water. As a little girl, I remember sitting under the plastic covered picnic table in the backyard, contentedly listening to the rain falling all around me. As I got older, I explored the local woods, and found a stream with a small waterfall. This was the destination many days after school, and I found solace there, watching the water as it moved and swirled, catching the light of the sun glinting through the trees. As a natural progression, then, it is not surprising that I became intrigued with indoor water fountains. Not only are they interesting additions to the decor, but they create the same mood enhancing element that nature itself provides.
It is now known that decorative water fountains serve a much more scientifically beneficial role than just providing an interesting accent piece for a room. Besides adding a component which helps us to relax, and creating "white noise" which helps to block out annoying background sounds in the home, decades of scientific research reveals much more. Listening to the sound of trickling water and watching the movement of water actually increases creativity, reduces stress, and even accelerates our natural healing processes. We feel this instinctively: we know that these sounds are just plain good for the soul! What actually happens, to create these benefits to our body, mind and spirit? What is it about the harmonious acoustics and interplay of light and shadow in the waters reflection, which actually affects us in such a healthful way?
Running water actually improves the quality of the air. Just as the air always feel sparkling clean and new after a rain storm, on a smaller scale, an indoor water fountain actually replicates that phenomenon. Many people refer to the benefits of water fountains indoor as "fountain therapy".
Air is electrically charged with microscopic particles called positive and negative ions. Positive ions are emitted by all of the household appliances that we typically use: microwaves, televisions, computers, refrigerators, clothes dryers, etc. Most people are unaware that breathing in positive ions can decrease energy and cause overall reduced health. Negative ions are created by constantly moving water...streams, beaches, waterfalls, and in the home, indoor water fountains. As the water splashes in the fountain, the water molecule ruptures, and negative ions are naturally emitted into the air as a byproduct of the turbulence in the water. The benefits of negative ions are profound.
Negative ions serve as natural air purifiers by clinging to impurities in the air and neutralizing them. Dust particles, bacteria, airborne toxins, and even viruses can be removed when the negative ions cling to these impurities. Clumping together, they fall to the floor where they can be vacuumed later. Larger indoor water fountains can actually clean the air better than most air cleaners. Recent studies suggest that once negative ions reach our bloodstream, they are believed to produce a biochemical reaction which increases the levels of serotonin, which is the mood chemical. Increased levels of this chemical has been shown to alleviate depression, anxiety, relieve stress, insomnia and boost energy. Additionally, indoor water fountains will add water vapor to the room, resulting in a friendlier atmosphere for all living things. Though indoor water fountains are not a cure, they will absolutely help improve respiratory function and mood.
If you're like me, you probably have a collection of tapes and CD's with the sounds of a rain storm, or the crashing waves at the ocean. Though these recordings are great for easing tension, they only mimic the presence of water, and therefore they do not provide most of the value. With the benefits so clearly shown, it is such a boost to the health, the decor and the mood of a room, to add water features wherever we spend a great deal of time. I suggest putting a decorative water fountain on your desk, where you can so closely get lost in the movement and sound of the water, and drift off into meditative daydreaming. This can do wonders for the physical body and state of mind.