Many illnesses are caused by diminished levels of oxygen in the environment as well as improper breathing. Talk about the merciless cutting of trees in the community by the government and private corporations without equivalent tree planting measures. What do you think about inhaling 100% pure oxygen under pressure while wearing a face mask? My husband and I recently experienced hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Bacolod City and this is our report.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Bacolod
There is a new wellness hub in Bacolod City today called the Advanced Hyperbaric Healthcare Center in Villamonte. This place is the home of two hyperbaric oxygen chambers for oxygen therapy that was designed and engineered in Germany.
While pressurized oxygen centers are common in the United States and Europe, hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Bacolod is new. That is why there are still many people who have concerns or questions regarding the treatment.
You will find the health benefits and contraindications of HBOT in my other blog. Click here.
Who Can Have Oxygen Therapy?
God created oxygen when He created the world. It’s for all of us and it’s for free. But humans made innovations so the world has since changed tremendously. The air has so many impurities already and most of us now wear face masks for fear of the Covid-19.
In the chamber, patients young and old can breathe in the health benefits of pure oxygen under pressure through a face mask.
Regular oxygen therapies are good for those with pre-existing health conditions, athletes, and even young professionals who are highly stressed at work.
Meanwhile, children with congenital problems, autism, and other genetic abnormalities are also advised to undergo this. In their Manila branch, they have treated a baby as young as 6 months old. Of course, children should be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Oxygen therapy is a proven and tested non-invasive therapy for faster healing and better health.
What Happens During Oxygen Therapy
You have to set aside at least 2 hours of your time for a single visit. Prior reservations are necessary to make sure that you have a slot. With the Covid-19 threat still around, the center is taking extra precautions with sanitizing the area. They also limit the capacity in the chambers if the patients do not come from the same household.
For first-time patients, recent chest X-Ray and ECG results are required so that the in-house doctor is aware of your medical conditions.
During our visit, the first part is a bit of a tour and some explanation about the treatment. The reception area with lounge is like a big living room. Then hubby and I filled up patient forms. We were interviewed by the nurses on duty about our health history based on our answers, including surgeries we have gone through in the past.
Our blood pressure was taken by the nurses — this is very important. Next, our oxygen levels were measured by a pulse oximeter. The digits should reflect at least 95 for normal oxygen levels in the body.
After the preparations with the local staff, a teleconsult was set up with their company doctor who is based in Manila. He is already briefed with your medical records before you have the one-on-one teleconsultation.
It took about 30 minutes and could be longer for the first visit with all the interviews. It is best to go there without other appointments so that you can feel relaxed.
While waiting, you can have free coffee or water but I would advise against the coffee before a treatment. Coffee is a diuretic so you might feel the need to go relieve yourself while treatment is going on. A full bladder would make you really uncomfortable inside the chamber.
The Process in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Bacolod
The actual treatment time for oxygen therapy is 1.5 hours at 33 feet depth. Below is the process.
- First, we were advised to empty our bladder because once the oxygen chamber closes, they cannot open it easily because of the pressure. It has to be decreased gradually.
- Second, we were made to wear lab gowns over our clothes. We were told that sometimes people feel some friction on their skin because of the increase in atmospheric pressure inside the chamber. The lab coat minimizes that. They also advise the wearing of socks, so you can bring your own. We had to remove our jewelry and all metallic objects, including belts. Cellphones were also left in our lockers. Our photos were taken by a friend, Ms. Femmy Magbanua, using my phone but she took these while she was outside.
- Third, the nurse on duty will explain what’s going to happen. She taught us how to “equalize” or release the pressure from the ears once the pressure changes.
For first-timers, the nurse will stay inside the chamber should there be problems. If a patient experiences a panic attack or other problems, the face mask will be removed and he or she will be placed in the decompression antechamber.
The oxygen chamber is manned by a medical staff who is closely monitoring what goes on inside. He talks to the patients about the process through a microphone attached to the PA system within the chamber. It is like the pilot of a plane telling the passengers about the details of the flight.
Since it is our first time, we stopped at 15 feet, which is a comfortable level. For regular treatments, the recommended depth is 33 feet.
What’s Inside the Chamber?
The Advanced Hyperbaric Healthcare Center Bacolod has two oxygen chambers with different capacities. The first one on the ground floor has 12 seats while the smaller chamber in a separate wing has 4 seats. Each area has its own lounge, lockers, and shoe deposit area.
Going inside the chamber is like boarding a small plane. It is air-conditioned, but depending on the pressure, you might feel a bit warm or cold at different times. But it is still comfortable, even for a peri-menopausal mom like me.
The chamber is clean and features comfortable seats and footrests. There is a television set in front. The lights can be turned off for complete relaxation. However, there are some who want to keep the lights on.
While it looks like a plane, the chamber simulates a submarine because the air pressure increases inside. It is like going down the ocean gradually and experiencing the air pressure increase.
While you are allowed to sleep during treatment, they advise patients to stay awake because humans tend to inhale less during sleep. Usually, people have shallow breathing at rest. But the center wants clients to be able to maximize their oxygen uptake during the session.
During the entire treatment, we just watched a movie of our choice. I advise you to pick a movie that is light—not too suspenseful and will not make you cry—so that you can just breathe normally. We chose Wonder Woman 1984 and it was just like a regular movie date for hubby and myself.
After the session, there is not much to do except to remove the lab gown and get our stuff. Remember to replenish your fluids by drinking water. Make sure that you brought everything as management is not liable for losses.
Breaktime During the Treatment
The oxygen therapy is carefully timed with just the right amount of pressure. Throughout the 1.5 hours of treatment time, there were two breaks to allow the body to rest.
We used this time to drink water and eat crackers, should you become hungry. You may also want to stretch your muscles. However, it could not be a pee break because there is no toilet in the chamber.
After every session, the chamber is vacuum-cleaned, wiped, and sanitized using a UV light. The face masks are also cleaned individually.
Meanwhile, you may opt to buy your own mask for personal use, in case you plan to have frequent visits to the center.
Purified Air Within the Facility
I would like to highlight that the Advanced Hyperbaric Healthcare Center has installed as state-of-the-art air purification system.
The Ultra Purified Clean Air Ventilation System installed at the hyperbaric facility regularly cleans the air inside the building.
The management cares for their staff and patients so this system is very important for them. Every 2 hours, the air inside gets released and changed with purified air.
The ventilation system effectively cleans the interiors from bacteria, molds, and viruses in the air.
How We Felt: Personal Testimony
We were told that the best benefits would be felt with at least 3 sessions. But since this is just a trial, we were not placed at a very low depth.
I came in with a mild headache because of the glare and the seasonal change at the time. But after the treatment, the headache was gone, even though I did not do anything else.
Meanwhile, hubby did not feel much right after but in the days that followed, he felt energized. Before the HBOT, he felt like he had to take naps in the afternoon.
We also felt much rested because we were seated comfortably and did not have anything else to think about.
Even though I am a work-at-home mom, my mind doesn’t seem to rest because I am always on messenger or on the phone because of work. Then I think of the children, their lessons, their activities, and the next meal on top of meeting with clients and work.
At the Advanced Hyperbaric Healthcare Center, I was able to amplify my relaxation time and breathe in pure oxygen under pressure. More than a spa pampering, this is really the kind of health treatment that I would like to maintain if the budget allows.
For more inquiries on hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Bacolod, or to book for a session or consultation, here are their contact information.
Advanced Hyperbaric Healthcare Center Bacolod
Narra Avenue corner CL Montelibano Avenue
Villamonte, Bacolod City 6100
Negros Occidental, Philippines
Tel. No.: (0995) 534-6582
This is the company’s third hyperbaric center in the Philippines. The first two are located in Mandaluyong City and Quezon City. This is the first hyperbaric center in Western Visayas.