Tourmaline is a gemstone that emits infrared rays and negative ions. It’s also a component in a new type of flooring with claimed health benefits including the ability to promote blood circulation; strengthen bones; maintain blood pressure and improve immunity.

IONWOOD was exhibited at last year’s Hong Kong Houseware fair by Sugawa. Its secret lies in the negative ions produced by pulverised Tourmaline mineral manufactured into the engineered flooring. Ions are molecules or atoms with an electric charge. Ions are created through ionization when an atom or a molecule gets a negative or positive charge by gaining or losing electrons. Negative ions are supposedly good and positive ions are bad, usually with little if any scientifically rigorous documentation.

Professor Philipp Lenard, a Nobel Prize laureate for Physics discovered negative ions under waterfalls. The phenomenon is referred to as “The Lenard Effect.” Noboru Horiguchi; a Japanese researcher measured the ion count ten metres away from a waterfall at an amazing 12,000 negative ions and 1,800 positive ions. Japan’s JAIRA, China’s NACC and Switzerland’s (Taiwan lab) SGS tests confirm that the IONWOOD floor can release negative ions in the air at a rate of over 3000. All the researchers; testing labs and the manufacturer of IONWOOD are located in Asia where health is seen as a state of balance between the physical, social, and natural environment. I did witness a “demonstration” of the IONWOOD product at the Hong Kong Houseware fair last year.

An ion meter was placed on carpet and measured a positive ion count. When it was moved to the IONWOOD flooring the count jumped to around 2,500 negative ions. There was also some fruit both in a box made from IONWOOD and some left in the open. The IONWOOD boxed fruit was certainly fresher after two days but any covered fruit might look healthier than uncovered. The magic ingredient is tourmaline that emits negative ions and far infrared rays that allegedly “penetrate all layers of the human body to soothe, stimulate and detoxify.” IONWOOD flooring uses crushed tourmaline glued in multi-layer composite flooring and permanently releases negative ions or “air vitamins” into the air when you walk on it.

Tourmaline can also be worn as a gemstone. Cassandra Eason (The new Crystal Bible, 2010) says “Black tourmaline will soothe panic attacks, especially those caused by dark or confined spaces, or in places where the atmosphere is frightening. It also helps control fears of doctors and dentists. You can wear this crystal for protection against moaners, whiners, complaining neighbours or emotional vampires who burden you with their problems.” These are Cassandra’s claims; not Supplier’s.