Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, also known as HBOT, has been around for decades. Their initial purpose was to treat decompression sickness in scuba divers. Now, the treatment’s many benefits have been realized, and they apply to the masses.
Last weekend I tried it out for myself. The results I found after breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized tube for two hours were amazing. Yes, we always breathe oxygen. Pumping the HBoT chamber with 3x higher air pressure makes the difference and allows for a dramatic increase in oxygen consumption.
Blood carries this oxygen throughout the body to promote healing. As a result, a long list of mental and physical benefits are associated with the treatment.
- boosts the immune system
- promotes stem cell creation/activity
- reduces inflammation and oxidative stress
- improves circulation and blood flow to compromised organs
- generates new blood vessels
- supports energy, mobility, and stamina
- heals wounds and infections
- stimulates antioxidants and destroys free radicals
- produces collagen and skin elasticity
After filling out a quick questionnaire, I laid down in the tube. Pulling the provided oxygen mask over my face was really the only thing that I needed to do to get started. My Bluetooth headphones beeped to signal connection and I pressed play on my phone. The guided meditation, that I chose to accompany me for the next hour, began.
Overall, the best comparison I have to describe the experience is to that of an extremely relaxing airplane ride. As the pressure inside the tube increased, I did experience a bit of discomfort in my ears. This went away as soon as I “popped my ears”; the same way I do when flying. Aside from feeling the need to swallow, yawn or lick my lips here and there, I found it incredibly easy to zone out and chill in the tube.
More Is More
Relaxing in the oxygen chamber was honestly more beneficial than I expected because I went into it knowing that many people don’t notice results until anywhere from their 5th – 10th time. Reseach shows that effects occur with increased frequency.
Results: Zero To Zen
Laying down and meditating during the entire process, an ideal situation for healing most ailments, caused me to initially hesitate in giving such high esteem to HBoT. Confounding variables? Taking into account the facts below trumped this brief skepticism.
- Isolation in this comfortable, cozy space induced me into a deep meditation that while practiced often, is rarely brought to fruition with such ease.
- Both the zen energy and pain relief stuck with me for the remainder of my day, lingering into the night and next morning even.
- My boyfriend felt amazing after he tried it for the first time, at a different office, and with circumstances as varied as I could imagine. His appointment was after a full day at work. While it’s fair to say that I can be a little “woo woo” granola hippie whatever, it’s equally appropriate to stereotype Tommy as a New Yorker. My point here is that while he did bring his phone into the chamber, the closest he comes to meditating is watching Sports Center with the guys.