Spring has sprung and summer rays are starting to appear. As we go to wipe the winter slumber from our eyes, we realize that our hibernation has left us lagging and dragging and we are in serious need of an energy boost. There are so many options out there claiming to energize you and get you moving on a daily basis, but so many of those are met with hard crashes from the “high” and you end up taking a day just to feel like you “caught” up on your sleep.
After much thought and avoidance of that dreaded crash, I was desperate to seek other options. What I found was something unexpected yet makes all the sense in the world. You ready for this? Oxygen! What better option could there be than to use oxygen to rejuvenate the body and help someone feel awake and refreshed. Oxygen therapy is becoming more and more popular as it is known to increase blood flow, decrease inflammation and boost the immune system. The benefits are endless and the possibilities from athletes to old age to autism are truly exciting.
I tried the Hyperbaric Chamber back in February at HBOT America in Houston, TX to see first-hand if the benefits were actually worth it or if everything I was reading was another load of crap in the health and wellness field (a trickery of the mind if you will). My body at the time was pretty taxed after working countless hours during the Super Bowl while continuing an insane workout regimen (I am a travel AND fitness blogger ya know) and since I know I wanted to put the therapy fully to the test, I did a highly intense cardio sweat session right before heading over to HBOT.
As I entered HBOT, I was greeted by Josh and if I am being honest, people should stop in just to talk to him! They say that a business is full reflection of an owner, and from the minute you walk in and meet the jovial, knowledgeable and highly personable Josh, you immediately feel at ease about trusting someone to zip you into an oxygen chamber for an hour. He eased any nerves that I had by walking me through the science behind the process and the reason why oxygen therapy benefits so many (he also kindly reminded me that he was just a yell away if I needed something lol). I mean…it makes sense, right? Humans, animals, and plants all need oxygen to survive so in theory, it should benefit you when you balance out your depleted levels to make you whole again.
The best way I can describe the chamber, is that it is closely simulated to diving (which I shockingly still haven’t done…hmmm maybe a future blog?). Upon getting in the actual chamber, I felt a bit more comfortable and started to warm up to the idea of spending an hour in the tank when I realized I had a lot more room inside than I thought. Being confined in tight spaces has never been something I have handled very well. As Josh started the oxygen flow, he increased the level in 3 stages so that the pressure build up in my head wasn’t too bad and he checked on me each time he did this. Within 5 minutes, I was fully “submerged” in the oxygen tank.
Now some people use this time to sleep, some read a book, some bring their phone in and work (I of course being the latter of the 3). While in the tank, I really didn’t notice much of a difference. I could tell there was an increase in oxygen as the air felt a lot crisper but other than the hum of the air flow, I started to doubt if this process worked. I let the time pass by and made myself fully relax and closed my eyes for the last 20 minutes. Josh came and woke me up to bring the oxygen flow back down to normal. Once I managed my way out of the chamber (there is a certain skill set involved with getting out), I stood up and could start to tell the difference in my body (not a ton, but enough where I thought this might actually work). I felt a little more refreshed and my aching muscles from my workout felt a bit more at ease. I thanked Josh for the wonderful experience and went along my way. I’m sure now you are thinking, “great, I read this far and she is going to tell me it only kind of worked”- right?? WRONG! I was home only a few hours before my body fully started to relax. I carry a lot of stress and tight muscles around on an average basis and I could feel an extreme difference taking place in my body. Instead of working on a tedious to do list that evening, I just wanted to let myself relax so I had a chill night to myself with my dogs and my roommate. About 9:30, I was out for the count without any tossing and turning or counting of sheep. I woke up the next morning at 7:30am feeling absolutely AMAZING. I had not had a solid sleep like that in….years, if ever. I couldn’t believe the difference this made. I felt more productive, my mind and body felt strong and I was ready to take on the day. My solid sleep lasted like that for about a week. It felt so good to actually let my body recover a bit and nourish itself back to health.
Now that my body is starting to feel sluggish again, I will definitely be stopping back into HBOT soon. The benefits were proven and since we live in a society where success is key and working faster and harder is what gets you there, it feels really nice to restore what I had been depriving myself of on a daily basis. HBOT is on to something really great and has the possibility to impact not only a common person like myself, but professional athletes and those battling illnesses alike.
Refreshed for the Summer