On our little journey to try out different complimentary therapies we decided next to give hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) a try. 🙂 This is one I had wanted to try for a while but the four week intensive course meant me and Dizzy had to wait till the Summer holidays.
What is HBOT:
HBOT is a treatment that involves breathing in 100% oxygen while being in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure is increased.
How does HBOT work?
Oxygen is needed by the body for healing and HBOT works by enhancing this natural healing process! By breathing in oxygen in higher air pressure the lungs are able to gather more oxygen. This then means you have higher oxygen levels in your blood which is then transported around your body.
How can HBOT help MS?
As the body normally heals itself through oxygen from the air, this extra oxygen can help extend the body’s ability to heal! This means it can promote greater healing and help to limit some of the damage caused by MS.
- You start with an intensive course of 20 sessions over 4 weeks.
- After these 4 weeks you have 1 ‘top up’ session per week to help keep your oxygen levels increased.
- Each session takes place in a special chamber and lasts roughly 80 minutes. 10 minutes to reach the required pressures, then pop the mask on for hour of breathing and then 10 minutes to return the pressure to normal. The whole time you are in a sealed chamber but there’s seats and pillows and you can take most things in with you (including phones). Me and Dizzy did sudukos and listened to podcasts. 🙂 – I was anxious about the being sealed in part but they will let you out at any point.
- You start of at 16ft and then if no difference in your symptoms is noticed after the first week this can be increased to 24ft or 33ft!
Dizzy’s HBOT diary:
Session 1: This one Dizzy will tell you I got into abit of a state about. The idea of being sealed in was making me anxious. We survived though! And apart from ears popping a lot with the pressure changes not much really happened. 🙂 Did feel very sleepy that night though and abit more dizzy than normal.
Session 2 and 3: We also survived these ones! 🙂 As we had quite far to travel we did these two sessions on the same day. I was getting abit worried again but me and Dizzy met a really lovely couple who were doing the same sessions as us so that really helped! 🙂 The fatigue really started to hit after the first one though and by the time we got to bed we were dizzy dizzy.
Session 4 and 5: Still dizzy from the day before but I was determined to complete the first week as planned! (Dizzy was being sensible and advising me against this but I didn’t listen…)First session was ok but I was starting to feel abit sick. By the second one Dizzy was telling me I was looking abit odd, and I was definitely feeling abit odd…
But we got to the end of the first week and I was feeling rather pleased with myself on the drive home. 🙂
By the evening though the odd feeling was increasing, by Saturday we couldn’t actually get out of bed and the following week was spent wobbling around. At this point we realised (Dizzy reminding me that she had already realised) that maybe this just wasn’t for us.
Overall I actually think oxygen therapy is great, as it’s naturally enhancing what our bodies already do which I think is amazing! I would recommend it to anyone considering it but just to also take note of how your body’s feeling. Loads of people feel a benefit from HBOT but really I should have listened to Dizzy and stopped after the 3rd session. This just isn’t one for me and Dizzy. We’re very happy to be back to our hot stone massages this week. 🙂
Do you have a favourite complimentary therapy? And have you also tried one that just hasn’t been right for you? xxx