What is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen Therapy involves breathing high levels of oxygen at a pressure of between 1 and 2 atmospheres in order to increase the volume of oxygen delivered to the brain and body tissues to enhance, repair, restore and accelerate the body’s natural healing responses.
The most effective method is in our multi-person Barochamber. Breathing pure oxygen through a mask, the air pressure is very slowly increased to a maximum of 2 atmospheres, which is the equivalent of diving 33 feet or 10 meters under water. The pressure inside is increased using compressed air and oxygen is supplied through a built-in breathing system, rather like the technology used in a commercial aircraft.
Do I really have to Dive under water?
No! Treatment takes place in a comfortable, warm and dry chamber, with other people. There is a radio and an intercom. If you wish, you can read, or just look out of the window. The chamber doesn’t ‘go’ anywhere, although you may hear the session referred to a ‘dive’.
What is a Treatment Session like?
The treatment is simple, non-invasive and handled with care by the operators. The Member’s safety and comfort is paramount.
Members enter the chamber and are assisted with their masks and made comfortable. The door is closed and you hear the sound of incoming air as the pressure increases. It will get slightly warmer and you will feel a fullness in the ears, similar to ascending or descending in an aircraft. This can be cleared by using a prescribed technique, or by jaw moving, swallowing or talking.
The treatment begins when the required pressure, or depth, is reached and members are asked to put on their mask. A constant audio/visual watch is kept by the operator and time checks are given. Slight adjustments to pressure may be needed but you will be informed, and these are nothing to worry about.
At the conclusion of the session members are asked to remove the mask and then they are returned to the ambient atmosphere. A drop in temperature is felt during decompression. The door is opened and you will be assisted from the chamber.
How long does a Treatment Session take?
Each session lasts an hour once at full pressure, and takes 10-15 minutes to reach pressure at the start of the session and then for the pressure to equalise at the end of the session, so it is best to allow an hour and a half from the session start time. We encourage you to arrive at least 5 minutes before the start time and we also recommend that you spend a few minutes relaxing in the Centre afterwards in order to allow the oxygen to be fully absorbed. You are always welcome to stay for a cup of tea or coffee.
What can I take into the Chamber with me?
You can take small electrical items such as your iPad or mobile phone into the chamber, although this is at your own risk. A full list of items that are allowed and are prohibited will be provided to you at your Induction Session. Prohibited items include anything flammable, potential choke hazards, sources of ignition and items that may be impacted by pressure changes and a full list of these items is also displayed in the Centre.
How does breathing high levels of Oxygen help?
The air we normally breathe is about 21% oxygen. Oxygen Therapy delivers up to 100% oxygen so that a higher level of oxygen can be dissolved into the blood. This higher concentration of oxygen is thought to promote healing within the body tissues.
When pure oxygen is breathed under pressure there can be more than a tenfold increase in the amount of oxygen carried in the blood stream. Pressure allows other liquids in the body, such as plasma, to absorb oxygen and carry it to where it would not normally reach.
There is a wealth of anecdotal evidence and patient-reported benefits from using Oxygen Therapy, including:
•Improvement in fatigue levels and brain fog
•Better bladder control
•Reduction in pain and spasms
•Improved wound healing
•Reduced problems with balance, tremors, coordination, numbness and tingling Improvement in swallowing and speech.
How many sessions do I need to do?
The advice is initially a course of 20 sessions spread over 4 weeks. Although this may not be realistic for some, the closer together you can do the first 20 sessions the quicker you will feel the benefit. Following the initial course of treatment, maintenance sessions are recommended, usually weekly, although some find twice weekly or even fortnightly works for them. Regular top-up sessions are very important in order to maintain any benefit.
Are there any side effects?
Usually oxygen treatment has very few side effects on the body. However, the change in pressure may cause some ear or sinus discomfort. You will have the methods for clearing your ears explained to you and will have the opportunity to practice and ensure that you are confident in doing this during your Induction Session, before commencing full sessions. If you experience any discomfort during your session then please let the Operator know.
Do I need a referral from my GP?
You do not need a referral or permission from your GP to undertake Oxygen Therapy at the Centre, however there are some factors or conditions that would preclude you from using the Chamber. There is a Medical Questionnaire to complete as part of your Induction Session and this asks you to provide us with your GP’s details and agree to us contacting them should we have any concerns prior to you starting full sessions in the Barochamber.
What conditions are not allowed in the Chamber?
If you have a history of serious ear, sinus or dental problems we would not recommend using the Barochamber due to the pressure. We also do not allow certain mechanical devices such as pace makers, or using the Chamber whilst undertaking certain types of chemotherapy.
As it takes 10-15 minutes to equalise the pressure in order to open the door, even in an emergency, we would not put anyone likely to have an urgent medical issue into the chamber e.g. fits or seizures or panic attacks. We also do not recommend using the chamber if you have a cold.
This is not an exhaustive list and we ask that you complete the Medical Questionnaire fully and honestly to ensure your safety.
What if I can’t go under pressure?
If you would prefer not to go under pressure, or have a condition or device that means that the pressurised environment s not suitable for you, or if you have a cold, then we would recommend our Oxygen Concentrators, which provide High Dosage Oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure.
How do Oxygen Concentrators compare to the Barochamber?
The most effective form of High Dosage Oxygen Therapy is at pressure in our Barochamber. However, the pressurised environment is not suitable for everyone, or may not be available when you would like to book.
Some advantages of the Oxygen Concentrators vs the Barochamber are that you are not closed inside the chamber, so you are able to move around the Centre or have a break, should you need to. You will not have to consider possible issues with your ears and we already recommend you don’t go to pressure if you have a cold. There is also a broader range of start times available. When using the Oxygen Concentrators you can use a Nasal Cannula or small Mask, with the Cannula you will be able to drink and talk!
The oxygen purity provided by our Oxygen Concentrators is 93% +/- 3%. At 0’ / 1 Atmosphere the oxygen dissolved is 2.1ml per 100ml of blood. For comparison, at the maximum depth of 33’ / 2 Atmospheres in our Barochamber this is 4.5ml of oxygen per 100ml of blood, however breathing normal air at room pressure you only absorb 0.3ml of oxygen per 100ml blood.