Last week I spent an hour in the hyperbaric oxygen chamber after a massage, as I read that it helped with some of the symptoms of myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME). I also mentioned it to my doctor to check it was ok for me and he said it was fine, although he wasn’t aware of any evidence that it produced benefits (but he says that about most things!).
First of all, if you get claustrophobic or are sensitive to smells, I wouldn’t recommend it for you.
The chamber is a plastic tubular tent (although this might differ depending on where you are) and I climbed inside where there was plenty of room to lie down on a comfortable mattress with pillows and blankets. I was given a doorbell-type buzzer to press if I felt any distress.
The chamber is zipped up and I felt a little anxious about being there for a minute but calmed down quickly. There are clear plastic windows and the chamber is white so it isn’t dark, it is bright enough to read if you wanted to take magazines in with you.
Before I went into the chamber, I had a one hour massage so I was really relaxed and happily spent an hour lying down, I even had a snooze.
The chamber I was in was fairly new and had a slight plastic-y smell that most people wouldn’t notice but I’m little sensitive and felt like the plastic fumes weren’t doing me any good.
The air pressure builds up quickly, like an aeroplane ascending, so my ears popped a few times. If you have sinus or ear problems, this would be a problem.
It is quiet except for the hissing of the oxygen coming in so it is peaceful in there.
Lying there, I did wonder whether it was worth the money but after I came out I felt good, in fact wonderful on the way home. That could have just been the good one hour massage then an hour lying down resting, or the oxygen could have contributed to it. So it satisfied my curiosity but I probably wouldn’t do it again.
What about you? Have you tried it?