Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is oxygen under pressure. The increased pressure increases the concentration of oxygen in the tissues, which has multiple benefits described in other posts. Dressed comfortably, you lie down on a cushy mat in a roomy cylinder-shaped chamber. The chamber has windows on the top and at the ends. Outside the chamber are the oxygen concentrator and the compressor. You wear an oxygen mask which is connected to the concentrator, so that you are breathing 95-100% oxygen. The compressor increases the pressure in the chamber to further increase oxygen in your tissues. The operator will gradually increase the pressure in the chamber at a pace that is comfortable for you. You will be asked to clear your ears several times, as you do when a plane changes altitude. The pressure is increased to 1.3 ATA or 4 psi.  It is like being 11 feet below sea level. The session is about an hour in length. You may read, meditate or sleep while you breath the concentrated oxygen. It is a very comfortable and relaxing experience. If you wish, you may use ear plugs to further relax. There is a button you can press if you need anything during your session. When it is time to “resurface”, the operator slowly decreases the pressure back to room level. Immediately after, you may notice the benefits of increased oxygenation!

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Kathleen Lewis DC