Updated: Jun 8, 2020
Can you ever have too much oxygen?
I came across Oxygen Hyperbaric Chambers a few months ago, but if I am being completely honest, it kind of freaked me out. The thought of climbing into a small confined space to have extra oxygen pushed into my lungs. After all, this treatment has been used in hospitals to assist people affected by decompression illnesses. And lord knows I am certainly no diver or astronaut trying to equalise.
Now let’s be clear, I don’t have anything against oxygen. In fact, I love it, it is pretty much my favourite thing. Without it I wouldn’t able to do all the cool stuff, like breath and you know, live.
I asked myself, do I really need to go into a tank and have MORE oxygen pushed into me to reach optimal health?
What is it?
So, onto the boring science stuff. Unless that's your jam... Essentially you have two types of oxygen chambers. A soft chamber, which is like a tent with cool portholes, and a hard chamber, which is more of a solid room. The first is capable of creating up to 1.3 ATA and the latter up to 3.0 ATA. Basically, the higher the ATA the higher the delivery of the benefits. Before you ask, I hear you, ATA or atmosphere absolute is the measurement used to determine how pressurised the oxygen is above sea level. Most therapeutic centres will tend to use a soft chamber rather than a hard chamber. They are cost effective and you can transport them easily. Also, generally they are not treating the same illnesses as hospitals. But to keep it simple (and for you known sciency people), it is allowing 10 – 20 times more oxygen to enter your blood stream during the session.
What are the benefits?
After filling those lungs with all that glorious fresh oxygen and having such increased levels carried around the body, it is no wonder it is said to have some pretty kick ass benefits:
· Heighten mental alertness
· Assist in healing to help fight off infection
· Removing/reducing toxins in the body
· Promotes brain function, alertness, awareness, concentration and memory
· Enhanced wound healing, including assistance in decreased inflammation and infection after surgery
· Assists in treatment of chronic diseases such as anaemia, acute ischemia, gangrene, etc
· Helps to repair damaged tissue
· Assist in anti-ageing and improved skin
· Improves metabolism and digestion
· Assists in sleeping, relieves stress and reduces fatigue
Why did I try it and what was it like?
I hadn't originally attended the centre for the treatment, but as fate would have it, I found myself with some extra time before my energy healing session (more to come on that later) and jumped at the opportunity to experience the chamber.
Climbing into the chamber I felt like a kid climbing into a tent I had set up inside the house. Being a soft chamber, it had a zip opening the length which you climb through and sit/lay down. It had cool portholes, like a submarine, allowing light in and me the comfort of seeing the outside world.
I used this opportunity to take my journal and phone to do some writing and of course, to update on the socials. There were blankets and pillows and it was quite comfortable. I was given a nasal cannula (like a patient on Grey's Anatomy, with a tube up their nose) which connected to a port in the wall, to the oxygen outside the chamber. With an emergency button on the inside in case I decide to flee. I mean, should nature call. Although you can, I would try not to exit before the session is up. If you do it is no biggy, you just have to go through the pressurisation process all over again (hot tip - pee beforehand).
It was a little chilly, but nothing a jacket or blanket couldn't handle. Which they had nicely placed in the chamber for me. Along with a pillow and bolster to keep you comfortable. I was given the option to have guided meditation, as well as choosing how light or dim I wanted the room. I opted for meditation but ended up taking the headphones off about a minute after the lights dimmed.
The session itself went for 90 minutes. At first you just lay there taking deep breaths, allowing your body about 5-10 minutes to adjust to the pressurisation. I actually found this super comforting and relaxing, as it is not often I actually just stop, to focus on my own breath, instead of running through the mental shopping or to-do list. I experienced that cold tingly sensation in the back of my throat and nose from the oxygen. Not enough to be annoying, just enough to be aware of. For the first 20 minutes or so I just felt at ease - calm and relaxed, becoming slightly sleepy.
At about the 25-minute mark it felt as though my brain was awakening and I began feeling more energised, motivated and alive. As though I was ready to kick ass and take on the world (I was definitely channeling my inner Joan of Arc and Mulan here). I could do anything! I could climb a mountain or run a marathon (to be clear I don’t run, like you, no more than to get ice cream or what not). I felt like this for probably 30-40 minutes. After which I went back into a more relaxed state and just enjoyed the rest of the session, being with my thoughts, and writing. However, next time I would leave the phone outside and take a break from technology.
Moment of Truth
Reflecting back, the closest thing I could compare it to, is flying. That decompression you feel when taking off and landing. Mentally, during and after I felt relaxed and energised and although I did feel clearer and felt more clarity the days following, it would be hard for me to determine if it was from the Oxygen Therapy or due to the Energy Healing session I did after.
Although I enjoyed the session, I probably wouldn’t be racing back. Personally, for me I have found for the cost verse what I have gotten out of other practices, didn't quit compare. In saying that, it is recommended you do a few sessions to get the most out of it. I am glad I tried it. It was a great way to get some peace, force me to relax and just to be with my thoughts. I would definitely recommend this to someone who is looking for some peace and quiet. Perhaps a sweet gift for someone who has 3 children, 3 cats, 2 dogs and a husband at home...um I am definitely not referring to my sister.
Like most things, prices fluctuate depending on where you go and packages available. However, for a single session for 90 minutes you would be looking at upwards of $80.