What is Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen Therapy refers to breathing high levels of oxygen in a pressure chamber known as a Barochamber. The chamber can be pressurised up to twice normal atmospheric pressure. 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.
The Importance of Pressure
The air we normally breathe is about 21% oxygen but because oxygen is poorly soluble in blood, we use only a small percentage of it. 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. Recent research has also found that a course of 20 sessions can increase the amount of T-cells (the building blocks of life) in the circulation by eightfold.
How does breathing high levels of Oxygen help?
Oxygen is used to gain energy from glucose which builds cells and powers muscles. Latest research shows that it regulates at least 84 genes. It controls a wide range of actions and blood flow delivers it to swollen or damaged tissues.
It is the agent controlling inflammation, and inflammation is the process with which the body controls infection. When infection causes oxygen levels to fall, white cells are attracted to the area.
These white cells use oxygen to form free radicals which kill infective agents. The immune response identifies damaged tissue and begins the repair process by removing the damaged cells. If oxygen levels are too low, there is insufficient energy to allow the repair and the tissue becomes chronically inflamed. This is what happens in a number of diseases, like MS and Rheumatoid Arthritis. Studies have shown that inflammation can be reduced by giving high levels of oxygen, leading to repair and recovery.
Oxygen cannot be patented and there is no funding to market it, so little is done by drug companies etc., to promote its benefits.
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 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 or oxygen levels 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. A complete session can take between 75 to 85 minutes.
For members safety, certain items are not permitted in the chamber, and a list of these can be found posted in the Chamber Room.
Maintenance, Top-up and Extra Sessions
Following the initial course of treatment, maintenance sessions are recommended and should continue twice weekly, weekly, or at least fortnightly, at an appropriate pressure found satisfactory for the member.
On occasions, two sessions a day can also be found to be most beneficial as an extra top-up.
Oxygen treatment is a long term commitment. Research shows that it can slow down the progress of MS and help in the recovery if an attack should occur. Some members have been using this treatment for 30 years and are convinced of its benefits.
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. This can usually be cleared by using the Valsalva manoeuvre, which will be explained by the operator before treatment is commenced.
Oxygen treatment has been used in the NHS for over 50 years. It is now used in the wider community for treating people with MS, and many people with a wide range of problems. Since 1982, more than 2 million sessions in Registered Centres have taken place with no serious problem or incident.
What if I can’t go under pressure?
The pressurised environment is not suitable for everyone, for example if you are taking certain medications, have issues with your ears, or when you have a cold. In this instance we would recommend our Oxygen Concentrators, which provide High Dosage Oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure. Please see the Oxygen Concentrator information sheet, or get in touch for further information.
Just some of the other Conditions we can help
Allergy, Arthritis, Asthma, Autism, Back injury/pain, Bedsores, some Cancers, Cerebral Palsy, CO poisoning, Diabetic feet, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Fractures, IBS, Leg Ulcers, Lupus, ME/CFS, Meniers, Migraine, MND, Post polio, Radiation necrosis, Reynauds, Spinal cord injury, Spondylosis, Sports injuries, Tinnitus, Unhealed wounds, and many, many more.