What is oxygen therapy?

Put very simply it's breathing a higher concentration of oxygen than you would in normal air.

The air we normally breathe consists of 21% oxygen, 78% nitrogen and the remainder is comprised of carbon dioxide and noble gases. During your Oxygen therapy session you will breathe nearly 98% oxygen for one hour. The majority of people will use a face mask, for children, and some adults, a clear hood is used and this is made airtight by way of a soft rubber seal that sits quite comfortably around the neck.

The oxygen is given in a barochamber; this is an airtight vessel just like a commercial aircraft and like an aircraft the air pressure inside it is controlled. Depending on what you find comfortable you will breath oxygen between one and half to two times the normal atmospheric pressure found at sea level. The benefit of breathing oxygen in a pressurised environment is that your body is able to absorb more oxygen. 


Research has shown that inflammation of tissue, a common factor in many neurological conditions, and in injuries, can severely reduce the transport of oxygen at a cellular level. This can inhibit the body’s ability to reduce the inflammation. 

Although the damage caused by neurological conditions cannot be prevented or cured by oxygen therapy, many people throughout the world find that it reduces the severity of their symptoms.

"I have multiple conditions; fibromyalgia, arthritis and lymphocytic leukemia. Oxygen Treatment has been of great help for all of these.  The first two weeks of my initial block I started to sleep better. Having oxygen has given me a feeling of wellbeing I had not experienced for a long time."

- Margaret

joined 2015

What our members say

What happens during a session?

Oxygen therapy is simple and non-invasive, you will be seated in a purpose built chamber with no more than three other people, we have currently limited the numbers using the chamber to maintain social distancing.

You will enter the Centre wearing an oxygen mask, you can purchase one from us or you are welcome to borrow a Centre mask, borrowed masks are thoroughly cleaned, sanitised and stored hygienically before and after each use. 


Once in the chamber you will attach the oxygen supply and exhaust pipes to your mask - this will have been demonstrated to you by one of our lovely volunteers. The entire time you are sat in the chamber you will be on a completely separate air supply to every one else. 

The session is then conducted in the following three stages; 


After the chamber door is closed there will be some noise as air is added and the pressure inside is increased. 

It is at this point that your air supply will be switched from normal air to nearly pure oxygen. 

The chamber will begin to feel warmer and most people experience a fullness in their ears; similar to when an aeroplane descends. 

You may need to equalise your ears to avoid any discomfort. 

It can take between 10 and 20 minutes for the chamber to reach the correct pressure. 


Oxygen at pressure

Once the chamber has reached the desired pressure level all you need to do is breathe normally. 

If at anytime you feel uncomfortable you can communicate with the operators through the two-way intercom. 

Occasionally the chamber may have to be 'flushed' while this is quite noisy it is nothing to be worried about, it is only to make sure the air inside the chamber remains an appropriate mix. 



Your operator will let you know that the session is ending and that your air supply will be switching back to normal, just continue to breathe normally. 

It will become noisy, and a little cooler, in the chamber as the pressure is balanced and you may again have to equalise your ears. 

Decompression should take between 10 and 20 minutes. 

External resources
Oxygen therapy explained
- MS National Therapy Centres
Hypoxia & Inflammation
- New England Journal of Medicine
Oxygen therapy in traumatic brain injury
- PMC, US National Library of Medicine
Benefits of oxygen for stroke
- Research & hope for stroke

The Brightwell offers a caring hand to those who need our help. We provide therapies, services and support to help make everyday life easier for people living with long term neurological conditions.


The Centre receives no funding from the NHS and less than 1% of our costs are met by government schemes. The Centre and our members are grateful for the generosity of community groups, businesses and individual fundraisers that allow us to continue to support people in need. We have also been fortunate enough to recently receive a Covid support grant from the National Lottery, this will be used so that we can continue supporting our members during the pandemic.

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Bradbury House

Wheatfield Drive

Bradley Stoke

Bristol, BS32 9DB


t: 01454 201 686

e: hello@thebrightwell.org.uk

© 2020 The Brightwell               Registered Charity 801155








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