Not sure if you've heard of this thing called oxygen, but it's a pretty big deal. Hilarious jokes aside, oxygen makes up around 21% of our atmosphere, and is essential to human life. But it's not just something we breathe in and out to let our bodies do the rest of the living stuff – it pays an integral role in our systems, which can be summarised in three ways:
1: It's one of our bodies basic building blocks. All of the body’s major components — water, protein, carbohydrate and fat — contain oxygen.
2. Oxygen helps bring about certain chemical reactions within the body that result in the production of ATP (aka energy). Energy's needed for all major bodily functions, like circulation, respiration, digestion, and maintaining a constant body temperature.
3. Oxygen is needed for cell growth and regeneration, and acts as a natural antiviral and antibiotic. In other words, oxygen powers the healing process.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT for those in the know) is breathing 100% oxygen while under increased atmospheric pressure. Essentially you climb into a purpose-built chamber that takes you to twice the normal atmospheric pressure (think of it like a mini aeroplane) and you breathe pure oxygen, allowing your body to take in 10-15 times more oxygen than normal.
Our founder, Laura Fullerton, in one of the chambers.
Nature dictates that healing can’t take place without appropriate oxygen levels in our body tissues. In cases where people have circulatory problems and conditions like diabetes, brain injuries and strokes, adequate oxygen is unable to reach injured areas, so the body’s natural healing process can’t function properly.
HBOT raises our oxygen levels significantly above that which can be achieved at normal pressure, giving an extra boost to our body’s vital functions.
It also allows oxygen to reach areas where our circulation is poor, fast-tracking the healing process in those areas. And since oxygen is a natural antiviral and antibiotic, extra oxygenation boosts our immunity, enhancing our white blood cells’ ability to kill infections.
Doctors are increasingly using HBOT to help the body recover from non-healing wounds, inflammation, carbon monoxide poisoning, infection, chronic fatigue/ME, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, heart attacks, strokes, Alzheimer’s and sports injuries.
Following all the positive results we'd been hearing and reading about – and our continuous quest to perform and feel at our best – we headed to this Mayfair clinic to try it first hand. We're told that their clinic is booked 95% of the time, by a mixture of athletes, biohackers, and largely patients suffering from a variety of conditions.
This world-class hyperbaric centre is run by Tim Gray and Robert Pendler (a renowned hyperbaric expert), and we had a great experience. The chambers themselves are spacious (so no claustrophobic panics), and the clinic was bright, airy, and super clean. The hour flew by (it's the perfect opportunity to read a book or listen to a podcast). Straight after, Will and Laura both felt noticeably clear-headed, and more energetic the following day. But the results we find really fascinating, are ones like that from Dr. Paul Harch.
Dr. Harch is a clinical professor of medicine in New Orleans, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and he's done a ton of innovative research on what happens when our bodies use oxygen (you can hear a brilliant podcast with him and Dave Asprey here). He said...
"We've got 19,000 protein coding genes. What's been shown...is over 40% of our protein coded genes can be turned on with a single hyperbaric oxygen treatment. The largest clusters of those turned-on genes are the growth and repair hormone genes, and the anti-inflammatory genes. And the largest clusters of the turned-off genes are the pro-inflammatory genes and the ones that code for cell death. So every time you go in hyperbaric chamber...you are stimulating growth, inhibiting inflammation and turning off cell death"
Want to find out more?
Call them: 020 3811 3280
Visit the website: hyperbaricoxygentherapy.co.uk
Find them on Instagram: @hyperbaricoxygentherapyuk
Email them: email@example.com
Find them: 58 South Molton Street, Mayfair, London W1K 5SL
If you're lucky, you might see a famous face like Ian Somerhalder in the chamber next to you...