Oxygen therapy is provided in a specially designed barochamber, which can seat up to seven people.
Each oxygen session lasts for about an hour and a half and you should plan to be here for around two hours so that the mask can be fitted, you can use the facilities and have a drink afterwards.
Inside the barochamber the seating can be moved to accommodate people using wheelchairs, this allows us to offer Oxygen therapy to all.
For those who experience claustrophobia or are just looking to use oxygen as a way to boost their well-being we also offer sessions outside the chamber.
All sessions are run by fully trained and qualified volunteer operators and you will be talked through the process before your first session. There will always be someone available to answer any questions you may have.
WHAT IS OXYGEN THERAPY?
Put very simply it's breathing a higher concentration of oxygen than you would in normal air which is just under 21%. During your Oxygen therapy session you will breathe 100% 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 pure oxygen in a pressurised environment is that your body will be 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.
WHAT OUR MEMBERS SAY
"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."
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How will I know what to do?
All sessions are overseen by a minimum of two trained volunteer operators. Every year these operators are re-qualified using nationally set operating procedures. When you are new to the treatment you will be shown how to fit your mask, what to do if you are feeling uncomfortable and you will be taken through all the relevant procedures.
When you begin your treatment, you will not be left alone in the barochamber, you will in all likelihood be sitting with another member who has already had multiple treatments. The Centre is a friendly place and we aim to help you feel at ease throughout your treatment session. Oxygen isn't just an effective therapy, it's can be a sociable experience if you want it to be; it's not unheard of for operators to have to remind members to put on their masks instead of chatting to each other!
Can I take anything in to the chamber?
The barochamber is a relatively small space and some items are not permitted, lighters, pressurised containers, etc ... the full list will be highlighted to you before you start. You are welcome to read, there are plenty of books and magazines here at your disposal. You can relax land listen to music, but we discourage sleeping in the chamber as it slows down your breathing and you won't get the full benefit. You can bring your tablet, laptop or mobile phone into the chamber, here's a handy hint; download any films or TV at home as the Centre WiFi isn't at it's strongest through a few inches of metal. Please bear in mind anything you do take into the chamber is at your own risk as we cannot guarantee how any device will react to pressurisation. Generally, if your devices are fine on commercial aircraft they will be fine in the chamber. One thing we do ask, if you're listening to anything please use headphones, that way the whole chamber won't have to enjoy your entertainment as well.
How do I get started?
Everyone who comes to the Centre has an initial assessment where details of your condition, symptoms and mobility will be recorded. This is the general assessment and it helps us, and you, monitor your progress as it provides a baseline to track back to. This assessment will also help us make decisions on what assistance you may need whilst at the Centre, for example; do you need help with transfers from the car?
During this assessment, the various treatments and therapies we offer will be discussed. If you are interested in the Oxygen therapy you will meet with Angela, our oxygen co-coordinator, who will guide you through the process and, as long as all the forms are complete, book you in for your first sessions.
Will oxygen therapy help me?
Many, but not all, of our members would say, yes. The vast majority of people who start Oxygen therapy continue to use it, finding it a continued benefit, for many years. There is more and more research being conducted into oxygen therapy and a recent study, into the effects of oxygen therapy on fibromyalgia, found that those who undertook the therapy reported a "... significant improvement in life quality."* There are also quite a few sports stars who use oxygen to speed up the healing process when recovering from injury, Marcus Trescothick, from Somerset Cricket Club has attended our Centre to aid his return to the field and we do have our very own star of the Invictus Games who uses both the chamber and our physio gym on a weekly basis.
* "Oxygen therapy/treatment in fibromyalgia" - British Medical Journal June 2018
As with any new therapy you should ask as many questions as you like, remember; there is no such thing as a silly question and all of the team here will be more than happy to help you, so, ask away.