Gym for the Brain


Pros and Cons of Options that Boost Oxygen

Three of the most powerful ways to boost oxygen to your brain and body are:

  • Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
  • IV ozone therapy
  • Gym for the Brain program: Exercising with Oxygen (intermittent hypoxic ‘high altitude’ training)

Any one of these will help, because they all boost oxygen to the body and brain but do so in different ways.
So, what are the pros and cons of each?

Exercising with Oxygen
(intermittent hypoxic ‘high altitude’ training)

The system we use alternates high intensity oxygen (86%) and high-altitude training (14%). Exercising this way significantly increases the amount of oxygen that can get to the body and brain and boost the oxygen-carrying capacity of red blood cells and blood plasma.
Advantages of intermittent hypoxic ‘high altitude’ training: 
  • People often notice benefits within 3-4 sessions.
  • Sessions typically take just 15 minutes.
  • The cost per session is low compared to the other methods—typically $85 to $125.
  • For most people, training can be done no more than two or three times a week to realize benefits.
  • After initial training and coaching to learn how to use it effectively, it’s possible to acquire a home-use system.
Disadvantages of intermittent hypoxic ‘high altitude’ training:
  • It requires some minor physical exertion in order to elevate your heart rate. An elevated heart rate allows you to take up more oxygen. Although many report that exercising with oxygen gives them more energy, exercise does not appeal to everyone.
  • This type of training isn’t widely available.
  • Even though people often notice small changes within a few sessions, it can take 10-20 sessions to see significant sustained changes.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves reclining in a pressurized, hard-shell chamber at 1.5 to 3.0 atmospheres of pressure (normal sea level is 1.0 atmospheres) while receiving high intensity oxygen (up to 100%).

The combination of oxygen and high pressure drives far more oxygen than normal into the red blood cells and blood plasma, helping carry more oxygen throughout the body and brain.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is used in hospitals as a last resort to help with serious infections, wounds that may not heal, and even radiation injury. In private clinics, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is increasingly used as rehab for chronic issues such as concussion, brain injury, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Lyme disease, and even autism.

Advantages of hyperbaric therapy:
  • There are established hyperbaric oxygen therapy centers throughout the country.
  • Providers in these centers typically have expertise and training to apply it competently.
  • A large percentage of patients/clients report benefits.
  • There’s a significant amount of research supporting this technology.
Disadvantages of hyperbaric therapy: 
  • It can be expensive. (Costs can range from $200-$400 per session in a private center.)
  • Typical treatment plans are time-intensive, often involving five days a week for a minimum of one month, although two to three months is not uncommon for maximum benefit. Also, it often takes 1.5 hours between arrival time and completion.
  • Anxious or claustrophobic people may find it difficult to be in a sealed chamber for the duration of the treatment.
  • Because there’s a limited number of centers, there may not be one nearby.

Ozone Therapy

There several ways ozone therapy is administered, but the most powerful form is done intravenously.

The process begins by taking out a vial of blood from your arm.  Next, in a special, sterile procedure, ozone is dissolved into the blood, then returned to you via an intravenous line.

The ozone helps activate biological processes, including increasing oxygen to the brain and body, stimulating the immune system and fighting viral and bacterial infections and mold.  A series of these procedures, typically twice a week, can be a powerful treatment option for people with chronic conditions. To learn more about ozone therapy, we direct you to this article.

Advantages of ozone therapy:
  • It boosts oxygen, the immune system and helps with underlying infections.
  • It isn’t time intensive. A treatment usually takes about a half hour.
  • It can be done once or twice a week and still be effective.
Disadvantages of ozone therapy:
  • It can be expensive, typically ranging from $250 to significantly more per treatment.
  • Needles are required to administer it.
  • It can take a number of sessions to start noticing any benefit.
  • It’s not widely available. It must be administered or overseen by a physician, generally a functional or integrative physician (a less common sub-specialty), seldom by a traditional doctor.