(From a 61-year-old male) “After just one session, my energy level and ability to get tasks done significantly improved. My brain also felt brighter, a feeling that lasted most of the day and even into the next day.”
A female client, retired from the military, had suffered for more than 10 years with daily fatigue, brain fog, and poor sleep. Prior to those 10 years she’d been a high performer who had never experienced symptoms like these, and she knew that she wasn’t mentally sharp anymore. She wrestled with decision-making and thinking through situations and actions. She described herself as “struggling to make it through every day.” (The cause was later correlated with an undiagnosed concussion from her military service.)
After doing 13 oxygen exercise sessions over six weeks, she reported that she had begun sleeping well, had good energy, didn’t feel constantly tired, and was mentally sharp again.
Feeling dramatically better, she discontinued her sessions. Shortly afterward she contracted a serious case of COVID, and her symptoms returned, though they weren’t as intense as before. She returned for five oxygen training sessions, which appeared to have aided in her recovery, and she quickly returned to her “new normal.”
Comment from Mike Cohen, co-founder of Gym for the Brain: Pedaling more intensely when doing oxygen exercise can speed up the process. After “taking it easy” for the first three sessions, this military vet began pushing herself harder, which probably sped up the process of her improvements, along with using some of our other tools. Not everyone is going to recover this fast, but her level of recovery in that short amount of time is a testament to the power of oxygen to help improve brain function and reduce brain inflammation.
A 68-year-old man was visiting relatives when his much-younger niece and nephew challenged him at a park to run around on a soccer field playing ultimate frisbee. He wondered how this was going to go, as he reflected on his struggles to run and throw a football 15 years earlier with a friend and his son. That activity had exhausted him and left him sore for several weeks afterward.
This time, however, he had been doing oxygen training about two-to-three times a week for several months. He was startled at the difference in his energy, speed, and stamina. His niece and nephew remarked at how fast he was running and even challenged him to a basketball game afterwards, which he played. He never ended up getting tired or sore—which he said was the most surprising part.
Off the field, his office staff commented that he had become more productive (particularly later in the day and evening), was dealing better than normal with work challenges, and was more positive and cheerful.
A 52-year-old woman had experienced a significant concussion that caused her to have frequent headaches and head pain. Ten minutes into her third oxygen exercise session she began to cry. She said it was the first time since her concussion two and a half years earlier that she had not had head pain. It didn’t go away permanently, but it illustrated the potential of oxygen exercise to help in healing. She also reported being able to sleep through the night better with far less discomfort and pain in her arms and legs, from a combination of oxygen training and biofeedback in just a few sessions.
A 69-year-old woman presented with several complaints. She suffered from persistent negative thoughts, which often weighed her down and interfered with the enjoyment of her life. She was also concerned that her memory was slipping. In addition, she was experiencing chronic pain in her right knee, foot, and ankle. This pain made it impossible to take the daily exercise walks that she had been doing for years.
She did oxygen training three times a week for a month and then twice a week for another month. She supplemented this therapy using two of the auxiliary tools in the gym after her workout to reinforce the oxygen boost the exercise provided to her brain and body. By the time she did her last session, she told us that:
- She felt better overall
- Her negative thoughts were less frequent and intrusive
- She was less stressed
- Her memory was better
- The pain in her foot, ankle, and knee was gone. (The pain in her knee came back after a couple of months, but not the pain in her feet and ankle, allowing her to continue doing her exercise walks.)
Chronic cough, low energy
A 78-year-old female had been dealing with a daily persistent cough for two years which greatly sapped her energy. She went to many specialists and functional medicine doctors in search of help. She tried numerous medication and non-medication approaches, but nothing solved the problem or helped. She came to the Center for Brain Training for some other issues and the director, Mike Cohen, suggested she try out oxygen training to see if it could help her cough. He had read research on the benefits for both asthma and COPD and thought a few sessions would be worth a try. In the first session she could barely ride and constantly coughed as she pedaled. By the tenth session, her cough had nearly vanished. It was the first time she had gotten relief in two years.
Brain fog, mood, and sleep
(From a 25-year-old post-concussion male) “After doing approximately 20 sessions of oxygen training, I experienced significantly less brain fog. My overall mood and sleep issues improved, too. As I got more experience with oxygen training and pushed harder, I noticed a dramatic increase in energy. The extra energy, however, made it somewhat difficult to go to sleep. I switched to training moderately, and that enabled me to sleep very well. One other benefit is that the sessions have taken the edge off the negative thoughts that often plague me. I still have a negative thought sometimes, but I can’t hold it; I revert to feeling more positive and upbeat.”
A man in his early 20s was in a life-threatening accident that resulted in a severe brain injury. He underwent 100 hyperbaric oxygen therapy sessions at a center specializing in TBIs. Over the course of two years, he had improved, but the hyperbaric center told him he was unlikely to gain any more benefit by continuing. He still had deficits that needed addressing: He wasn’t as mentally sharp as he wanted to be; there were slight delays in his speech; and he wanted to be more alert. He came to the Gym for the Brain to try oxygen training to see if it would result in additional improvement.
After his first three sessions, the young man said he felt more mentally clear and alert. After six additional sessions, he said he felt even more mentally clear, and everyone noticed that his speech had become more fluid. He lived out of state so his parents purchased a system for him that he could use at home to continue his oxygen training.
A 56-year-old woman came to the Center for Brain Training (Gym for the Brain’s “sister” company) for help with trauma (PTSD) and chronic sleep problems. After a consultation with director Mike Cohen, he concluded that she had numerous issues beyond trauma, many of them physical. He suggested she try oxygen training because of the all the factors likely contributing to her symptoms.
She suffered from a syndrome characterized by extreme inflammation (a type of edema). This condition periodically distorted her face, prevented her from crossing her legs, and caused pain and numbness in her lower extremities, neuropathy and fibromyalgia. She also had Bell’s palsy. She had been unable to work for several years. She described her sleep as “terrible.”
This client had been seeing doctors at the V.A. for 20 years and been prescribed numerous medications, none of which improved her chronic, disabling symptoms. She stated that she had lost all hope of ever getting better.
After just two months of oxygen training twice weekly, combined with occasional biofeedback at the Center for Brain Training (for chronic stress reduction), she experienced what she called “dramatic, game-changing improvements” in her life—her symptoms had improved across the board.
- Significantly better sleep
- Greatly reduced inflammation: fewer episodes of face swelling and a striking decrease in Bell’s palsy symptoms
- Much less overall pain and numbness
- Improved fitness. By gradually increasing the intensity of her workout, she began having far more energy.
- A significant improvement in mental clarity and mental energy. She liked to write but had been unable to write for a year due to pain in her fingers and a lack of mental energy. She was able to start writing using a keyboard and completed an in-depth proposal for a new job.
- Cleaning and organizing her home for the first time in a long while. She was able to sit on the floor and go through her belongings with her legs crossed.
“These past several months have given me some control over my life and the ability to get out of my house and do things,” she said.
“(Doing this therapy) gives me hope that I’m going to get better, that I can return to being a functioning member of society. I see light at the end of the tunnel. You can’t ask for more than hope.”
A 72-year-old woman was concerned about her mental sharpness and energy level. She suffered from chronic depression, chronic fatigue, and forgetfulness. Following each of her sessions she availed herself of one of the auxiliary tools at the gym which she eventually bought to use at home.
However, until after her third session, she went home exhausted. After her fourth, though, she no longer felt exhausted when she left but also had considerably more energy. She reported feeling mentally sharper, and her chronic fatigue symptoms diminished. She said, “I knew after doing the oxygen therapy a few times that I wasn’t going to run out of energy. Today, a typical day includes getting up at 5:30, teaching a yoga class, doing a load of laundry, and handling administrative work for her business—all before 10 a.m.
Eventually, she felt well enough to stop her training, but shortly after doing so, she took a fall playing pickleball. She broke her hip and required a hip replacement. Following that surgery, she came back to the gym for three sessions and said she felt that her training had accelerated her healing. “This is the kind of benefit I’ve searched for all my life trying by many different approaches. I love it, especially the energy and the clarity,” she said.
*In order to protect confidentiality, we do not use names of our clients.