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01. 11. 2006

Recreational oxygen: why not?

oxygenbar1.jpg

I was able to resist gambling while in Vegas for CES (though, truth be told, only because I have this cockamamie theory that you wear down reserves of good luck by squandering it like that). What I ultimately couldn't resist was going to an oxygen bar. I passed several of these while walking around and was curious because I was tired and needed a pick-me-up of some kind after reaching caffeine saturation at 18 cups. The two women working at the Zen Zone (I can't find the website if there is one) at the Aladdin promised that a few minutes of aromatic oxygen therapy combined with head and back massage would both relax and energize me. That made no sense to me, as I'm never relaxed and energetic at the same time.

About five minutes into it, I felt wide awake. The four aromas mixed together were very subtle, though they looked like Cool Aid, and the colorful see-through contraption made soothing bubbling noises. The "treatment" lasted about 15 minutes, and afterwards I walked around for another hour much more alert and yet calm. I thought this must be what it's like to be just a little bit drunk without being sick, a state I can never achieve because my mutant genes interpret alcohol as poison.

Though I'm on the lookout for a home oxygen bar to put in my own kitchen, I wouldn't widely recommend recreational use of oxygen -- my mutant genes also make me incredibly gullible. According to an authority quoted in FDA Consumer Magazine (Oxygen Bars: Is a Breath of Fresh Air Worth It?), I experienced a placebo effect. There's apparently nothing to be gained by regular use of oxygen. This information doesn't deter me, I know what I felt, and I want one of those machines.

Posted by Hoyun    Category: CES 2006 | body
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Comments (2)

The effect may be real, but don't overdo. Your drugstore has oxygen "bombs", but they are prescription-only as excess can be life-threatening.

Ken:

Oxygen bars probably do raise your "PulseOx" (blood oxygenation) slightly just as oxygen is used in hospitals to complement faltering oxygenation when breathing room air.

COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases) is a reversal of the mechanics which drives people to breathe. Normally it is excessive carbon dioxide levels which causes people to breath faster or deeper to return to normal oxygen levels. COPD reverses it by having the body pace itself by oxygen, and to stop breathing when oxygenation is met. Years of smoking often result in COPD.

I can't see the value of "paying to breathe", but people pay more for spring water and coffee. P.T. Barnum would be proud. His business ethics live on today, and consumers are no less wise.

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