IHHT – Interval Hypoxia Hyperoxia Therapy
Make use of the positive effects of altitude training on your health, well-being, and vitality!
What is IHHT – Interval Hypoxy Hyperoxy Therapy, and how does it work?
Maybe you have heard of athletes who practice training sessions at high altitude. In high altitudes, the air is “thin”, i.e., it contains less oxygen. Our body is able to adapt to this situation. It produces more red blood cells which transport oxygen to all areas of our body. Even the formation of minute blood vessels (capillaries) is stimulated by the lower level of oxygen. The result is a higher level of oxygen throughout the body.
Athletes have been using this positive effect for decades.
Another positive effect is the support for the mitochondria, which are the power plants within the body’s cells. They deliver the energy for our body. If they don’t function properly, we feel tired and exhausted.
The low performance of our mitochondria can be caused by stress, alcohol, nicotine, bad nutrition, medicaments and infections (e.g., Long Covid). The mitochondria which are not working properly will be eliminated due to the effect of the hypoxia.
Due to the phased treatment with decreased oxygen (hypoxia) and then increased oxygen (hyperoxia) levels, the unwanted effects of hypoxia can be avoided.
Nobel Prize for Hypoxia Research
In 2019 three scientists – William Kaelin, Gregg Semenza and Peter Ratcliffe – received the Nobel Prize for Medicine for their research into the consequences of the lack of oxygen/hypoxia training on the cells and on the positive effects throughout our whole body.
What happens during an IHHT Therapy?
- First of all we carry out a medical check-up to see if IHHT is an appropriate treatment for you or if there are certain risk factors to be considered.
- Before the first treatment, we do a hypoxia test to set up an individual plan for you. Every person shows a different reaction to hypoxia.
- During the IHHT you are lying on a couch, relaxing. Through an oxygen mask, you will breathe in air with less oxygen followed by air with more oxygen in a constant rhythm. This way you achieve the same effect as you do with real altitude trainings. Depending on your personal training plan, we will “take” you to an altitude of 2,000 to 6,500 m (Kilimanjaro).
- Through biofeedback, the oxygen will be automatically adjusted to achieve the best possible training result. The permanent supervision also makes this treatment very safe.
- In other words, you’re exercising while you’re relaxing. Each session lasts about 40 minutes. The oxygen levels will be monitored all the time so that the therapy works for you individually and is adjusted when necessary.
- For athletes, it might be helpful to do fitness training during an IHHT session.
- 10-15 sessions are necessary for the therapy to have the desired effect, with 2 sessions per week for best results.
- Depending on the patient’s condition, the therapy should be repeated after 3-4 months.
What is the impact on my autonomic nervous system, and will the relaxation be measurable?
Many of our body functions like heart beat, blood pressure and breathing are regulated by the so-called autonomic nervous system. The sympathetic and the autonomic nervous system play an important role. The sympathetic nervous system activates certain body functions, whereas the autonomic nervous system reduces our pulse rate and slows down our breathing rhythm. This can be measured with the so-called HRV analysis. During the treatment, we will measure your heart rate variability (HRV) in order to control the stress caused by hypoxia. In combination with the pulse rate measurement, we are able to fine-tune the treatment for you.
What do I need to do before the treatment?
Up to 2 hours before the treatment, you shouldn’t eat a big meal.
Please bring a big towel or a blanket/cover.
We will provide you with an oxygen mask during the first treatment, which you should bring with you for the following sessions.
Are there any risks?
Before we start the treatment, we will do a check-up to see if you have a condition which might deteriorate after the IHHT.
The device we’re using is very safe because we are constantly monitoring the process and we adjust the settings if necessary.
After the first few sessions you might feel tired, which can be caused by the exchange of weak mitochondria in your cells.
When do we recommend the treatment with IHHT?
- Injuries of the musculoskeletal system / operations to bring about a fast regeneration
- To improve the metabolism for tense muscles and to treat pain when moving
- Chronic pain, fibromyalgia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- IHHT is a preventive measure before surgery to minimize the risk of post-surgery complications or to reduce their effects
- Cardio-vascular diseases, coronary heart diseases, high blood pressure, improved heart rate variability (HRV)
- Neuro-degenerative disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and borreliosis.
- Burnout, chronic fatigue syndrome, exhaustion, and depression
- Long covid syndrome
- Metabolism disorders, e.g., diabetes mellitus, fatty liver, obesity
- Pulmonary diseases
- Prevention of recurring infections, vulnerability, weak immune system
- Dermatology issues, e.g., allergic dermatosis, neurodermatitis, better overall skin complexion
Can you combine IHHT with other therapies?
We often combine IHHT with other treatments like infusions, autogenic training, better nutrition/diet, acupuncture, muscle and endurance training. We are very happy to provide you with a personalized plan.
Is IHHT a good treatment for everybody?
People suffering from the following diseases and disorders strictly must not have IHHT treatment;
- Acute infections of the upper respiratory system
- Chronic pulmonary diseases (COPD grade III and IV)
- Chronic heart failure grades III and IV
- High blood pressure grade III
- Acute headache
- Acute deterioration of all chronic diseases (e.g. heart attack when suffering from coronary heart disease, status asthmaticus when suffering from bronchial asthma), heart defects (e.g. with a shunt or an aortic stenosis or a mitral valve stenosis)
- During pregnancy
- Plethora very, polycythaemia vera, thalassaemia
Are you interested in further information?
Would you like a personal consultation or an appointment in our practice?
We look forward to you.