The Hype About Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers: One Of My Favorite Tools in My Wellness Toolkit

The Hype About Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers: One Of My Favorite Tools in My Wellness Toolkit

I’m not kidding when I say that the hyperbaric chamber is one of my favorite wellness hacks out there. This is something that is truly so beneficial for such a wide variety of needs, it’s hard to go wrong with it honestly. 

I started using the hyperbaric chamber a little over two years ago, when I was still really struggling with an antibiotic-resistant strain of staph that would result in large boils or abscesses all over my body. Like many people with skin issues, this wasn’t just painful. It was also embarrassing. 

I won’t say that the hyperbaric chamber alone made the staph go away. Because it didn’t. It was really using the chamber coupled with a variety of other treatments (like high dose Vitamin C IVs regularly, weekly acupuncture, herbs, EBO2, saline nasal washing, and so much more). But what I can say about the hyperbaric chamber is that it would help with immediate relief, and faster healing on a very topical level. 

I know this whole staph thing is pretty niche, so you might be thinking that the hyperbaric chamber isn’t for you. Don’t forget, the hyperbaric is helpful for just about everything under the sun. Mostly because it really helps with inflammation, which is usually a pain point for both physical and mental health. 

In this post I’ll outline what the hyperbaric chamber is, how it works, the difference between the soft and hard shell hyperbaric chambers, as well what the heck to do when you’re laying down in the chamber for an hour, and how to find a place near you.

Let’s get into it!

What is a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?

The Hype About Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

What is a Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?

The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is an enclosed tube of some sort (there are both soft and hard shell options) where you’re able to breathe 100% oxygen due to the higher air pressure within the tube. When you’re in the chamber, there’s usually an oxygen mask available for you to breathe in, as well. Assuming that you’re comfortable with it being on your face for the hour. 

With the higher pressure within the enclosed tube, you’ll feel your ears pop the same way they do when you’re on a flight. The higher pressure allows the lungs to receive more oxygen, which provides a plethora of benefits to both physical and mental health.

Many people might know of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber as used for scuba divers who suffer from decompression illness. This is one of the reasons you’ll find them in hospitals, as well as hot spots for diving. Trust me when I say I was shocked there was a hyperbaric oxygen chamber in the Galapagos when I was there, until I realized: duh, diving.   

How Do Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers Benefit Physical Health?

As I already mentioned, you’re able to breathe in a higher percentage of oxygen when you’re in this pressurized enclosed tube. From an internal perspective, breathing in 100% oxygen helps to reduce inflammation, and increase blood flow. From a more external perspective, the hyperbaric chamber is helpful in wound recovery, as well. 

For most of us, the crappy feeling we have can usually point to inflammation in some way. Of course there are many ways to manage inflammation (like through diet, and reduced stress), but sometimes we need a little kick start- and that’s really what the hyperbaric provides. 

When inflammation decreases, typically this also results in less pain, more energy, and lower stress and anxiety levels. Because I deal with a few chronic conditions, inflammation is usually the culprit for those flare up weeks. Those same weeks, the hyperbaric is my best friend. 

Soft Shell Versus Hard Shell Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

After having used both, I can confidently agree with the data out there that the hard shell chambers are more effective. Why? Because these are the only chambers that actually provide 100% oxygen. Whereas the soft shell chambers provide less (it really depends on the exact percentage based on the brand you buy). 

Now I know what you’re thinking: then why wouldn’t you just always go in the hard shell hyperbaric then? 

Well, because they’re usually double, triple, or even five times the price. 

This, of course, totally depends on where you live and the resources available in your area. From what I’ve found, having used hyperbaric chambers all over the world, the hard shell is at least twice as much as the soft shell. However, you might need more treatments from the soft shell to feel the same results. So then it kind of evens out in the end, doesn’t it?

When you’re deciding which one to use, simply look at what’s available in your area first and foremost. Then, compare and contrast the pricing. Another kicker for many people is that oftentimes hard shell chambers don’t allow you to bring your phone, headphones or any devices. Which means, if you were planning on getting work done while you lay in the hyperbaric for an hour- that option is sort of out the window.

What To Do in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?

What To Do in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber?

Look, I get that for some of you laying down in a little tube for an hour sounds like torture. And I get it, sometimes it can be hard to slow down. However, as the wellness woo woo girlie that I am, I have to say that it’s actually helpful to slow down- especially when you’re wanting to speed everything up. We live in such a fast-paced world that glorifies doing over being, and guess what? All of that can manifest as stress, and in turn INFLAMMATION, in the body. So, lay in the tube. It’ll do you good for more than just the tangible oxygen related reasons, ok?

I typically go to a soft shell chamber, because that’s what’s available to me in my area. I like to go in the middle of the day, because commuter traffic is the devil imo. Which means, if I’m laying down in the middle of the day, then I’ll probably be doing some level of work while I’m in there. 

The soft shell chambers allow you to bring your phone, or whatever devices you want. I usually just bring my phone, and sometimes my headphones just for noise canceling purposes, because noise reduction helps my anxiety. For me, it will totally depend on what’s on my docket for the week or the month, and also the general energy and mood I’m in. 


When I’m really sick and using the hyperbaric chamber, usually I pass out as soon as I’m in there, and I just trust that’s what my body needs. I come out feeling like a brand new person after. 


Other times, when I’m feeling energized and like I have a lot to do but still need my hyperbaric time- then I bring my phone in and work. Sometimes this means catching up on emails, or other to-do tasks that I’ve been putting off. If I’m feeling creative, then I use the hour to create content, and draft them all up. 


Now, if you’re super duper inflamed- as I have been many times in my life- then you might be like me in that the inflammation also causes a spike in anxiety. I am not a claustrophobic person. However, when my inflammation is out of control (like after anaphylactic episodes, or the seizure I had), then I freak out a little bit about being in an enclosed space for such a long period of time. Unfortunately, that’s also when I really need it the most. 

In these times, I always bring my headphones, and usually put on a super chill meditation playlist of mantra music. I lay down, and put my hands somewhere on my body (usually my belly) to help ground me into reality. And I just close my eyes, breathe, and try to meditate. Sometimes this turns into a yoga nidra kind of sleep, real sleep, or just meditation. Other times, it helps to soothe the anxiety enough that I can get a little work done after all. 


The last option, when I’m somewhere in between working and anxiety mode is bringing a book in to read. I read from my iPad, so I wouldn’t be able to bring this into the hard shell chamber. You can always bring in a REAL book to the hard shell chamber, though. Crazy concept in today’s day and age, I know. 

Reading is the perfect middle ground for me when my mind is alert, but I either don’t have work to do- or I just plainly don’t want to do it. Reading helps me to both check in and check out in this really healing way that isn’t talked about enough. Regardless of what I’m reading, I’ll usually still bring in my headphones, just because the noise canceling nature of them helps with my anxiety. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Chambers

How To Find A Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Near You?

Ok, I mean I think it goes without saying that you can just freaking Google it. And yes, probably a few places will pop up. However, if not, then you can always call and ask at more major hospitals near you. Not every hospital will just let you waltz in there, and use it- but it’s worth an ask. 

There are also more and more places popping up nowadays that are more like IV lounges or “wellness centers” that also happen to have a hyperbaric chamber. If you Google just for the chamber, and it doesn’t come up- that doesn’t necessarily mean there aren’t any near you. Try searching for wellness centers or bigger IV lounges, and then check out their menu options. 

I personally have been going to Restore Hyper Wellness for the last few years.

And have really enjoyed it for the hyperbaric option. I say this, because Restore has locations all over the US, so you can browse their site to see if they have one near you. I also love that they have package options, and membership options- most of which I’ve found to be the best priced out of anywhere I’ve ever gone. 

All of that being said, the other day Alix asked me if I had to choose which one to buy for our house between a sauna, cold plunge, and hyperbaric, which one would I choose? I didn’t even hesitate when I said the hyperbaric oxygen chamber. No shade to the other two, they’ve also worked wonders in my life. But truly, I’ve found the benefits of the hyperbaric to be immeasurable in comparison. 

I will say that the hyperbaric does usually require multiple uses in order to feel a difference. Not always, but often. And in that case, it can get expensive. However, so is a $200 IV, ya know? Just another wellness tool in the tool kit to consider next time you’re treating yourself. 

Hope you enjoy!



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