What was a model doing in a metal capsule at February’s Tokyo Health Industry Show? Promoting the use of hyperbaric chambers to relieve stress and boost energy.
Medical centers use hyperbaric oxygen therapy to treat decompression sickness (known as “the bends”), carbon monoxide poisoning and tough-to-heal wounds. Doctors seal a patient in the capsule and then pump in pressurized oxygen. This “increases the oxygen-carrying capacity in the blood,” fighting infection and reviving dying tissue, says Sam Giordano, executive director of the American Association for Respiratory Care.
There is scant evidence for the nonmedical uses that some companies, such as the one that sponsored a display in Tokyo, advocate, experts say. Such uses tend to play down the risks: Incorrect oxygen dosage can cause seizures and collapsed lungs.