the straight scoop on ewot (exercise with oxygen therapy) and what it takes to hack your own diy ewot system

WHY EXERCISING WITH OXYGEN COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE AND WHAT IT TAKES TO BUILD YOUR OWN EWOT SYSTEM

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“Mention climate change and everyone thinks of CO2 increasing in the atmosphere…  Within the past several years, however, scientists have found that oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere has been dropping in stations around the world, and at higher rates than just the amount that goes into the increase of CO2; some 2 to 4-times as much, and accelerating since 2002-2003. Simultaneously, oxygen levels in the world’s oceans have also been falling.”  Cherry-picked from the Science in Society Archives (O2 Dropping Faster than CO2 Rising)

“Particulate matter pollution is an environmental health problem that affects people worldwide.  In 2016, ambient air pollution was responsible for 4.2 million deaths worldwide, estimated to cause about 16% of the lung cancer deaths, 25% of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) deaths, about 17% of heart disease and stroke, and about 26% of respiratory infection deaths.”  From the World Health Organization’s paper titled Mortality and Burden of Disease from Ambient Air Pollution.  How many of you were aware that POLLUTION IS NOW THE WORLD’S LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH?

“When your body doesn’t have enough oxygen, you could get hypoxemia or hypoxia. These are dangerous conditions. Without oxygen, your brain, liver, and other organs can be damaged just minutes after symptoms start.  Hypoxemia (low oxygen in your blood) can cause hypoxia (low oxygen in your tissues) when your blood doesn’t carry enough oxygen to your tissues to meet your body’s needs.”  From Web MD’s article, Hypoxia and Hypoxemia

“The effects of hypoxic or anoxic brain injury, where the brain is starved of oxygen, can range from mild, short-term symptoms such as dizziness, concentration, or coordination problems, through to severe, long-term issues including vision, speech and memory  The body will respond to cerebral anoxia by increasing blood flow to the brain in an attempt to restore an adequate supply of oxygen. However, it is only possible to increase brain blood flow to about twice the normal level. If this is not enough to compensate for the anoxia, brain function will be disturbed and symptoms will become apparent. The long-term consequences will depend on the severity of the cerebral anoxia and on how much irreversible damage has occurred in the brain….”  Cherry-picked from the Brain Injury Association’s article titled Effects of Hypoxic / Anoxic Brain Injury

“Everyone of true conscience must admit that over the last 30 years insufficient progress has been made in the ‘war to cure cancer.’ Otto Warburg, M.D., Ph.D., showed decades ago that development of cancer had a singular, prime cause. Each and every time cells (and tissues) were deprived of oxygen for a sufficient period of time, cancer developed. Furthermore, he clearly showed that the distinguishing feature of all cancer cells is the increase of anaerobic glycolysis and concurrent decrease of respiration—not merely excessive cell divisions. The significant increase in glycolysis [turning sugar into energy] observed in tumors has been verified today, yet few oncologists or cancer researchers understand the full scope of Warburg’s work and its great importance. Without the use of Warburg’s seminal discovery, cancer can never be truly cured—merely treated—although ineffectively, because when cancer returns from ‘remission,’ as is often the case, the patient has a high probability of death; treatments are ineffective.”  From Dr. Brian Peskins’ paper, The Cancer-Hypoxia/Decreased Respiration-Glycolysis Connection: New Insights from Nobel Prize-winner, Otto Warburg, MD, PhD (Although Peskins — his doctorate is in electrical engineering — is certainly controversial, what he is saying here is absolutely true.)

Oxygen.  It’s the stuff of life.  No one knew that better than 1931’s Nobel Prize winner, DR. OTTO WARBURG.  Despite what the MAJOR MEDICAL PUNDITS have publicly stated concerning the relationship between sugar, lack of oxygen, and cancer (they almost universally phoo phoo it), Warburg became famous for his mid-1920’s discovery that cancer is fed by fermenting sugar.  I only note this because several times during his life, Warburg worked with another brilliant German scientist of a similar mindset, Dr. Manfred von Ardenne.  

Born in 1907, Ardenne moved to Berlin at an early age because his father had been appointed to Germany’s Ministry of War just prior to the “Great War” (WWI).  Manfred’s parents recognized his genius early on and gave him a room in their house to act as his first laboratory.  Having flunked out of high school because it’s simplicity didn’t hold his interest, young Manfred began serious work in radio technology in his little lab, earning his first patent by age 16.  Shortly after, he began making money by selling books on the “new” technology he was helping create, renting his lab from his parents and paying his own way.  How good was Ardenne?  Later achievements included inventing the electron microscope.

Although he was talked into going to university (he attended classes in chemistry, mathematics, and physics for awhile), the lack of doing something practical or useful drove him nearly batty.  Thus, he dropped out and went back to his lab, eventually working with Dr. Warburg to improve the mass spectrometer (a device that measures the molecular composition of matter).  Despite his lack of formal education, his academic achievements are still legendary (he earned 600 patents in his lifetime), and by the end of WWII, with the Red Army sieging Germany’s capital, Berlin; in similar fashion to famed rocket scientist Wernher Von Braun and numerous others (many of whom ended up in the United States), Ardenne became an intellectual target of both nations.  The Russians got to him first.

Like most men in similar predicament, he was given a choice of helping Russia develop technology — in this case nuclear technology — or THE GULAGS.  Naturally, Von Ardenne chose the former, leading the way in enriching and separating radioactive isotopes for the development of uranium-235 for the Soviets.  Eventually he and his family were allowed to go home to Germany (communist East Germany), where he turned his attention to medical science, meeting with Dr. Warburg several times concerning his work with oxygen and cancer.  Interestingly, Dr. Ardenne worked out a deal with the Russians where he was allowed to develop and benefit financially from setting up medical clinics.  What kind of medical clinics?

By the late 1960’s, Von Ardenne had developed something called Systemic Cancer Multi-Step Therapy as well as discovering the “blood-nerve-barrier” that I frequently discuss in terms of “THE LEAKIES” (leaky nerve syndrome / leaky brain syndrome).  Still relentlessly researching, in 1972 he systamatized his specialized form of cancer treatment, finally landing on the name, Oxygen Multi-Step Therapy (OMST or SMT in Germany).  Von Ardenne came to realize that as people get older, not to mention those coping with a variety of chronic illnesses, the body’s PO2 (partial pressure of oxygen — the amount of O2 dissolved in the blood) drops precipitously.  After putting his engineering mind to addressing this problem, he also realized that PO2 could, in many cases, be improved via his unique oxygen-enhancing therapy, which he eventually wrote a book about (HERE).

By 1990 — the year before the BERLIN WALL FELL — and in similar fashion to another of his German cancer-fighting contemporaries (DR. MAX GERSON), Von Ardenne opened the first of several hundred Clinics for Systemic Cancer Multi-step Therapy, created for the express purpose of treating patients with cancer.  But not just any old cancer; people with advanced cancer.   By using O2 therapy along with a variety of other factors (many nutrition-based, although some would be considered to be chemo), Ardenne found he could reduce SYSTEMIC LEVELS OF INFLAMMATION while dramatically INCREASING MITOCHONDRIAL FUNCTION, which he did largely by use of his Multistep protocols that we today refer to as EWOT or Exercise with Oxygen Therapy.  

How important is PO2 as related to health, mitochondrial function, and cellular O2 perfusion?  Let’s take a look at these cherry-picked tidbits from the scientific literature.  Bear in mind that when you see the term ROS used, it stands for “Reactive Oxygen Species” and is talking about cancer-causing FREE RADICALS

“If there’s one thing that mitochondria thrive on, its oxygen. All of it is consumed by cytochrome oxidase, the last enzyme in the electron transport chain which drives ATP production. If cells relied on diffusion alone to supply them with their oxygen needs, then there would not be enough to keep up with demand. So oxygen carrying molecules, such as hemoglobin and myoglobin transport oxygen to where it is needed…  As oxygen travels through the body it exerts a pressure in the mixture of gases in the lungs, or in solution, known as the partial pressure. Oxygen bound to hemoglobin in the blood diffuses down a steep pressure gradient into tissues as blood travels through capillaries. Next oxygen diffuses into the mitochondria.”  From a 2007 edition of the Journal of Experimental Biology (O2 Uptake in Mitochondria)

“It has been shown that 95% of all oxygen utilized in the body is involved with a subcellular structure known as mitochondria.”  Taken from the transcript of a lecture given by Dr. Roger Orth (The Role of Mitochondria in Aging)

“Most of the energy for endurance exercise comes from oxidation of fuel. The maximal capacity of an individual to consume oxygen is therefore one of the important factors limiting endurance performance. Mitochondrial DNA is of particular interest, because it contains the genes for several enzymes involved in oxygen consumption.”  From a 2001 issue of Sportscience (Mitochondrial DNA and Maximum Oxygen Consumption)

“Mitochondria play a central role in cell life and cell death. An increasing number of studies place mitochondrial dysfunction at the heart of disease, most notably in the heart and the central nervous system. That we must breathe oxygen to stay alive is simply the consequence of the demand of our mitochondria for oxygen. About 98% of inhaled oxygen is consumed by mitochondria, and without mitochondria, we would have no need of the oxygen transfer machinery of the lungs, red cells, hemoglobin, or even the circulatory system that delivers oxygen to the tissues. Similarly, the organization of food intake, digestion, and processing is designed primarily to supply substrates destined for mitochondrial oxidation. Consider then how much of the physiology of higher organisms is dictated by the demand of our mitochondria for a supply of oxygen.”  From the February 2004 issue of the medical journal Diabetes (Roles of Mitochondria in Health and Disease)

“During the last 20 years, gerontological studies have revealed different molecular pathways involved in the ageing process and pointed out mitochondria as one of the key regulators of longevity. Increasing age in mammals correlates with increased levels of mitochondrial DNA mutations and a deteriorating respiratory chain function.”  From the July 2010 issue of Biochimica et Biophysica Acta – Bioenergetics (Mitochondrial Energy Metabolism and Ageing)

“It is generally accepted that mitochondria play an important role in cancer through replication and energy production.   By oxidizing (losing an electron) the fat, protein, and carbohydrates we consume through food and drink, they create energy-abundant molecules (ATP) for the cell through biochemical processes known as cellular respiration. Normal cells produce energy through mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS). When oxygen is not available, they produce energy via the less efficient route of anaerobic glycolysis. In the 1920s, Otto Warburg observed that cancer cells do not produce energy in the efficient way that normal cells do. Rather, cancer cells produce most of their energy through an inefficient, high rate of glycolysis followed by fermentation of lactate into lactic acid.  Glucose is then diverted from producing ATP to a process to promote cell proliferation. This process was coined by Warburg himself as aerobic fermentation, which has been adapted to ‘aerobic glycolysis’, and commonly known as the Warburg Effect.  All evidence supports the Warburg effect – whether causal or not – as constant in the initiation and/or progression of cancer.”    Dr. Michael Karlfeldt from the September 2018 issue of the Townsend Letter (The Link Between Cancer and Mitochondria: Restoring Mitochondrial Function to Fight Cancer)

Although Ardenne died in 1997 at age 90, his development of Oxygen Multi-Step Therapy (SMT / EWOT) still intrigues and inspires many today (if you have an extra two hundred bucks laying around, you can purchase his book — Oxygen Multistep Therapy: Physiological and Technical Foundations).  Bottom line on the combined work of Von Ardenne and Warburg; while it’s certainly true that the brunt of their research focused on the link between mitochondrial dysfunction and cancer, as you will soon see, addressing cancer is just the tip of the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the potential benefits of increasing one’s oxygen levels.

As a growing segment of society becomes increasingly disenchanted with MODERN MEDICINE, the quest for inexpensive, practical, DIY SOLUTIONS TO AN ARRAY OF HEALTH ISSUES continues to grow.  Naturally, this includes using O2 as a healing therapy; driven in large part by the exponential growth of HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy).  Although hyperbaric oxygen is backed by a plethora of studies; with the cheapest chambers starting at almost five figures (and good ones running tens or even hundreds of thousands), there has been great interest in incorporating the best of both worlds at a price point that John Q Average can afford.

EWOT RESEARCH
HOW MUCH EVIDENCE BACKS THE USE OF EWOT AS PART OF A TOTAL “HEALTH RESTORATION” PROGRAM?

While von Ardenne was most focused on finding the ever-elusive cancer cure; after breathing pure O2 several times throughout the day to solve a debilitating health issue that doctors could not diagnose that had left him bed-ridden (see link below on MUPS), Ardenne became even more vocal about his discovery.  Here is an excerpt from a 1985 paper he wrote for the journal Medical Hypotheses (Fundamentals of Combating Cancer Metastasis by Oxygen Multistep Immunostimulation Processes).

Because more than 80% of all cancer deaths are caused by metastases, development and evaluation of methods for fighting tumor dissemination should be major tasks of present cancer research. Formation of metastases is favoured by both reduced numbers of immune cells in the bloodstream and impaired oxygen transport into tissues. These closely related signs often emerge concomitantly when the organism is endangered by circulating tumor cells released from the original tumor by therapeutic manipulations. From knowledge of these facts the O2-multistep immunostimulation technique has been developed as a way of diminishing the risk of tumor spread…. To speed the introduction of the procedures described into practice, all clinical oncologists are encouraged to refer their patients to established facilities for O2-multistep immunostimulation after termination of any conventional therapy.”

Metastasis (mets) is where cancer cells start breaking away from the primary tumor site, causing it to spread throughout the body.  I don’t have to tell you that it’s a killer. Unfortunately, I don’t know of many (any) oncologists who are “speeding” to get this information into their patient’s hands — not when cancer is a bonafide gold mine.  Realize that a few years before this study was published, Von Ardenne was talking about using oxygen for more generalized health purposes such as stress reduction (especially relevant today considering a huge portion of the population lives in a pedal-to-the-metal state of SYMPATHETIC DOMINANCE).  Listen to his conclusions from a 1981 study published in the German journal, Zeitschrift fu Alternsforschung (Measurements and Combat of Stress Effects)

“It has been shown by nineteen examples that stress of different kind diminishes markedly the arterial partial oxygen pressure (pO2) over a certain period of time. Measurements of extent and time course of this characteristic value should be useful for monitoring stress effects. Quantitative considerations of the HbO2 saturation and the exhaustion of the oxygen-binding capacity of blood demonstrated the increasing danger of temporarily decreased pO2, preferably at low initial values in advanced age. Therefore, the permanent re-elevation of the arterial pO2 resting level is the method of choice for fighting against stress effects. As concrete measures for this, periodically performed and individually adapted physical exercises for young and middle-aged subjects and (in old age) the multistep oxygen regeneration process (MORP) for the lung-heart system, discovered by the author in 1977, are suitable. As is shown by statistics, the arterial pO2 resting level could be elevated permanently up to 13.3 kPa (100 mm Hg) for months or years by the latter process. A shaping of life including frequent measurements of arterial pO2 (quantitative monitoring), individually adapted physical exercises and/or the MORP requires certain expenses of technique and time, but these are worth the bother, at least in advanced age.”

Did you catch that folks?  Written in his early 70’s shortly after his bout with MUPS, Von Ardenne was saying that if there is any time you should be concentrating on keeping yourself oxygenated, it’s as you get older.  Is it going to cost you something?  Yeah.  But as he says, the costs “are worth the bother“.  That’s why in my (ahem) “ADVANCE AGE,” I bother.  Stick with me because I am going to show you how to ‘hack’ your own do-it-yourself complete EWOT system for much less than what’s being offered on today’s market.  Since we will be talking about DIY, it’s important to realize that if not used properly, O2 has the potential to be dangerous, or even deadly.  Deadly?  Yes.

In 1947, the British military discovered that oxygen could be toxic (Oxygen Toxicity) as a result of underwater research in divers. Oxygen toxicity is a condition resulting from the harmful effects of breathing pure oxygen at increased pressure.  It is also known as oxygen toxicity syndrome, oxygen intoxication, and oxygen poisoning. Severe cases can result in cell damage and death, with effects most often seen in the central nervous system, lungs and eyes.  Scary!

A study from last April’s issue of Lancet (Mortality and Morbidity in Acutely Ill Adults Treated with Liberal Versus Conservative Oxygen Therapy:  A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis) confirmed that supplemental O2 can be harmful when, after looking at 25 studies of over 16,000 patients, the authors determined that O2 actually increases chances of death if given to very sick people in massive doses. “Supplemental oxygen is often administered liberally to acutely ill adults….  In acutely ill adults, high-quality evidence shows that liberal oxygen therapy increases mortality without improving other patient-important outcomes.”  What kinds of “acute” illnesses are we talking about here?  The study specifically mentioned things like sepsis, stroke, cardiac arrest, as well as those with trauma or requiring emergency surgery.”  In other words, we are talking about very sick people who are already at serious risk of dying.

I remember from my days in Kansas State University’s exercise physiology lab being told by Dr. Reinhardt (sp) that breathing 100% O2 could be dangerous, causing a number of problems, including death.  A study from a 2007 issue of PLoS One Medicine (Hyperoxic Brain Effects Are Normalized by Addition of CO2) confirmed this, revealing…..

“Hyperoxic ventilation (above 21% O2) is widely used in medical practice for resuscitation, stroke intervention, and chronic supplementation. However, despite the objective of improving tissue oxygen delivery, hyperoxic ventilation can accentuate ischemia and impair that outcome. Hyperoxia results in, paradoxically, increased ventilation, which leads to hypocapnia, diminishing cerebral blood flow and hindering oxygen delivery. Hyperoxic delivery induces other systemic changes, including increased plasma insulin and glucagon levels and reduced myocardial contractility and relaxation, which may derive partially from neurally mediated hormonal and sympathetic outflow.”

This study revealed that in healthy children, ages 8 to 15, if given a 100% O2 concentration for two minutes the result was “pronounced responses in autonomic and hormonal control areas, including the hypothalamus, insula, and hippocampus, throughout the challenge.”  However, all that was needed to reverse these changes — almost instantaneously — was to add a little bit of CO2 to the mixture so that the children were breathing a 95% O2 mixture instead of 100%.  “The addition of 5% CO2 to 95% O2 abolished responses in the hypothalamus and lingual gyrus, substantially reduced insular, hippocampal, thalamic, and cerebellar patterns in the first 48 seconds, and abolished signals in those sites thereafter.” 

So, if you are worried about getting dangerous levels of O2 from EWOT, realize firstly that the kinds of oxygen concentrators used are not capable of making mixtures much more than 95% pure at the absolute most, and that secondly, if you are still worried about O2 toxicity with EWOT, you can use a high-flow nasal cannula (40-60 LPM) instead of a mask, which I actually prefer.

As is always the case, be sure and talk to your doctor about what you are contemplating concerning EWOT.  He / she might not have any idea what you are talking about, but if they have serious reservations, follow up with a conversation to find out whether said reservations are legitimate or simply due to a lack of understanding. 

Why would anyone contemplate owning an EWOT system in the first place — particularly a DIY EWOT system?  According to Dr. Von Ardenne, the benefits of Oxygen Multistep Therapy / EWOT are both ample and potent.  Some of the benefits as stated by Dr. Von Ardenne include….

  • IMPROVED BLOOD BLOW & O2 DELIVERY:  This is a no-brainer folks.  If you can increase the level of O2 in your blood by breathing highly concentrated O2, and increase the rate blood is circulating through your body via exercise, you can provide more oxygen to the tissues that need it most — particularly the brain & nervous system, the heart, the liver, and the musculoskeletal system.  This is especially true of the parts of the musculoskeletal system most affected by DIABETIC NEUROPATHY because they are so distal to the heart.  Improving O2 delivery by the blood is what CPAP machines attempt to do passively for those with SLEEP APNEA.  In this context, passive is never as good as active as long as you have been cleared for exercise by your physician.

 

  • OXYGEN IMPROVES THE BODY’S ACID / ALKALI BALANCE:  Remember the Warburg Effect spoken of earlier?  Cancer ferments sugar to create lactic acid / lactate, which, as you would expect, tends to make one’s body acidic.  the journal Biochemical Society Transactions (The Warburg Effect: Eighty Years On) said, “Influential research by Warburg and Cori in the 1920s…. showed high glucose consumption and large amounts of lactate excretion from cancer cells compared with normal cells.”  If you want to read about it, simply go to PubMed and plug in ‘Otto Warburg Effect’ (HERE are all 2,500 plus studies on the topic).  Although the argument is made that the body is not really acidic because it’s pH is held within an extremely tight range (7.35-7.45 — otherwise death ensues), the more acid present, the greater the amount energy and alkalizing stores are expended.  Green, leafy vegetables are wonderful sources of alkalinity.  So is water — especially the CARST-FILTERED WATER IN OUR NECK OF THE WOODS (many people swear by alkali water as well).  However, another excellent method of maintaining alkalinity is oxygen. 

 

  • OXYGEN INCREASES ENERGY:  Everyone should realize that the only form of energy your body ultimately uses for all metabolic purposes is ATP.  Listen to these two sentences from a 2001 issue of the Journal of Vascular Surgery (Mitochondrial Function and Oxygen Supply in Normal and in Chronically Ischemic Muscle….).  “Oxidative ATP synthesis is a function of three factors: mitochondrial volume and competence, oxygen supply, and the metabolic ‘driving force’. The first two factors can be lumped as the ‘mitochondrial capacity‘”.  Without enough O2, your ATP production decreases dramatically as the body shifts over to fermenting sugar into lactic acid; something it has trouble maintaining for long periods of time — unless cancer is present.  Can more O2 drive production of cellular energy (ATP)?  Not only is there evidence that exercise alone can do this, Ardenne showed how exercise with oxygen can increase this function even more.  Interestingly, so can diminished amounts of O2, which is part of the reason that athletes often train at altitude.  Bear in mind that this later adaptation takes significant time and most experts believe that O2 deprivation masks (Amazon carries dozens of brands) do not really do what’s claimed of them.   This is also why some O2 reservoir bags have two different chambers with a switch that allows users to go from breathing low O2 to breathing high O2 (more to come shortly).  For those who wish to do the O2 contrast therapy, using a deprivation mask in tandem (but not simultaneously) with your EWOT system might (emphasis on ‘might’) prove beneficial.

 

  • OXYGEN DECREASES SYSTEMIC INFLAMMATION:  By clicking THIS LINK, you get an idea of just how many diseases, including autoimmunity, are ultimately the result of systemic inflammation.  Although there are multitudes of studies showing the effectiveness of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) to diminish inflammation, the evidence concerning EWOT is not as clear.  However, if you read Dr. Mark Circus’ book (Anti-Inflammatory Oxygen Therapy: Your Complete Guide to Understanding and Using Natural Oxygen Therapy), you will see that it is there — as long as you are using a high enough flow of oxygen (LPM).   Dr. C promotes an EWOT system that utilizes a double-chambered reservoir bag (see previous bullet), that allows you to switch back and forth between low (14%) oxygen concentration to the high (90% or more) O2 concentration.

 

  • OXYGEN HELPS HEAL THE HEART AND CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM:   A 2003 issue of Current Opinion in Nephrology and Hypertension concluded simply that, “Markers of inflammation have been shown to be upregulated in different forms of cardiovascular disease, and to correlate with vascular risk. Atherosclerosis is characterized by chronic inflammation of the vascular wall.”   The endothelial lining of the smaller arteries, known as capillaries, is subject to what Von Ardenne called a “positive feedback loop” (another term to describe a VICIOUS CYCLE).  Low blood levels of O2 and the subsequent vicious cycle that ensues, said Dr. Ardenne, can be overcome by Oxygen Multistep Therapy via something he called the “reversible switching mechanism“.   What’s needed to turn this mechanism on is a pressure of O2 in the arteries that’s closer to the pressure of O2 in the air sacs (alveoli) of the lungs.  To clarify, this switching mechanism creates an enlargement (actually, a re-enlargement would be more accurate) of the capillaries, while helping heal their endothelial lining, making them more supple, which is protective against HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE and other cardiovascular diseases.  Thus, significantly higher O2 flow means less vascular inflammation, with less vascular inflammation equating to significantly higher tissue oxygenation — a positive feedback cycle that’s actually positive.    What’s more, Von Ardenne’s book is full of information and graphs proving that this could be accomplished quickly and that the effects last for significant amounts of time; not just while exercising.   Take a peek at the (CHERRY PICKED) way that Dr. Andrew Dickens describes this phenomenon in his article, Exercised with Oxygen (EWOT) and Adaptive Contrast can Help you Regain Health with Improved Cellular Oxygenation.….

“From von Ardenne’s research, it is apparent that the pathology of oxygen deficiency sets the positive feedback loop into signaling the endothelial cells to change their shape, which in turn creates poor circulation, chronic inflammation, and edema in the body.  This sequence of events is the pattern that takes place, in most cases, years before evidence of disease in the body.  According to von Ardenne, the appearance and progression of a disease is nothing more than the acceleration of the positive feedback loop beginning years ago in the venous ends of the capillaries.   [Because of their microscopic size,] the capillary blood vessels demand that red blood cells often must travel in single file.  As such, it often is required that the red blood cell deforms by elongating or folding to pass through the smallest diameters of the capillary. With this in mind, the deviation between flow with minimal resistance (good health) and flow that is impeded (poor health) in terms of the capillary vessel size is minuscule, +/- 0.6 microns (0.0006 mm).  In the cases of poor or impeded flow, there is little to no capillary exchange of oxygen for the tissues as well as little to no absorption of CO2 from the tissues. The result is a decrease in pH in the tissues [they become acidic].  The inflammation causes the oxygen deficiency to remain in gridlock until oxygenated blood flow is restored through the entire capillary exchange of the tissue.”

  • OXYGEN HELPS REGULATE IMMUNE SYSTEM FUNCTION:  Because INFLAMMATION is actually the name of a group of chemical mediators made by your immune system, it’s obvious that EWOT has the ability to regulate the immune system.  Just realize that despite many companies claiming that their system “BOOSTS THE IMMUNE SYSTEM,” a quick peek at my link shows that this is the exact opposite of what most chronically ill people — the people who in many cases could benefit from EWOT the most — need.  An ideal immune system is one that gently purrs like a quietly idling BMW sitting curbside, but can instantly accelerate to 160 mph if required.

 

  • OXYGEN AIDS NEUROLOGICAL FUNCTION:  What does the brain need to function optimally?  It needs fuel in the form of glucose / KETONES and oxygen, and it needs proper activation (HERE).  A 2013 issue of University World News said this of the brain; “Representing only 2% of the weight of an adult, the brain consumes 20% of the energy produced by the body.”  That was not a fluke.  A 2008 issue of Scientific American (Why Does the Brain Need So Much Power?) put it this way.  “It is well established that the brain uses more energy than any other human organ, accounting for up to 20 percent of the body’s total haul.”  And while “power” or “energy” might not translate in a perfect one-to-one ratio to oxygen used, it’s going to be close.  Great news for those of you with TBI, ALZHEIMER’S, DEPRESSION, or who-only-knows-what-else.  Or simply look up the studies on O2 being used to help heal the eye / vision, then step back and be amazed!  If you are looking for a boatload of research on using O2 to increase various areas of brain function, Jordan Fallis’ article over at Optimal Living Dynamics (HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR BRAIN FUNCTION WITH AN OXYGEN GENERATOR) will be right up your alley.  Springfield’s very own Norm Shealy (MD / Ph.D) of the world-famous Shealy Institute said of EWOT in a decade-old newsletter, that he not only uses EWOT for between 30-45 minutes every day himself, but that it “improves recovery after stroke.”  Stroke?  Typing in the terms “HBOT hyperbaric stroke” into PubMed returned 40 studies on the subject.  For example, a 2013 study published in PLoS One by a group of eleven Israeli researchers (Hyperbaric Oxygen Induces Late Neuroplasticity in Post Stroke Patients – Randomized, Prospective Trial) concluded thusly on the subject.  “Recovery after stroke correlates with non-active (stunned) brain regions, which may persist for years.  The results indicate that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages.”  In other words, it’s never too late to see positive changes if O2 can find its way into poorly-oxygenated tissues.

 

  • OXYGEN HAS ANTI-AGING PROPERTIES:   The US National Library of Medicine (Aging Changes in the Lungs) speaks extensively of the numerous changes that take place in the lungs and decreasing ability to breathe properly as we age.  In his book, Von Ardenne said of O2 tissue saturation as one ages; “the oxygen supply to the tissues drop to 50% or less of the levels of youth.” These facts alone should tell us that if we can do something to increase oxygen saturation in peripheral tissues it could prove quite beneficial on a global (whole body) level.   Not only does exercise alone help perfuse organs and tissues with oxygen, but by adding oxygen to your exercise (EWOT), the affects have been shown to improve even more.    And although I could have put it under the neurological bullet point above, ‘brain exercises’ combined with EWOT are becomeing increasingly popular as well.  Listen to what Professor of Genetics at Harvard University, David Sinclair, said of the relationship between aging and lack of O2.   “What makes cells age? Wear and tear, yes. But biologically, it’s lack of oxygen that signals cells that it’s their time to go. Without oxygen, the energy engines known as the mitochondria become less efficient at turning physiological fuel like glucose into the energy that the cells need to function. Eventually, they shut down.”  As you re-read this, realize that these three sentences offer hope that goes way beyond merely slowing down aging.

 

  • EWOT HAS THE POTENTIAL TO HELP TURN THE TIDE ON CANCER:      While I don’t treat claim for one minute to treat cancer, over the years I’ve treated scores of people with CANCER.    What you should remember here is that Dr. Von Ardenne created his protocol mostly for that specific purpose — treating people with cancer.  And not just any cancer, but as I showed you earlier, people with severe, advanced cancer.   And while DR. WARBURG talked about dietary sugar being causal as far as cancer is concerned, realize that it’s the AGES (advanced glycation endproducts) and subsequent cellular starvation for oxygen doing the damage, driven largely by tissue acidity.   From Warburg’s 1925 thesis, The Metabolism of Carcinoma Cells….  Malignant tumors produce three to four times more lactic acid per molecule of oxygen consumed than do benign tumors….  During our work we repeatedly  asked ourselves what can the causative  factors be, and just as often has the idea obtruded itself that the causative factor in the origin of tumors is nothing other than oxygen deficiency.”  So, even though it was Warburg who figured out that cancer feeds itself by fermenting sugar, it was Von Ardenne who expounded on the idea.   The chief difference between the two scientists was that Warburg was about preventing cancer because he believed that once a tumor was in a state of full-blown metastasis, the process could not be reversedArdenne disagreed and was all about curing cancer, largely by the use of concentrated O2 coupled with exercise and nutritional therapies.  Unfortunately, we’ve been blinded by LARGELY UNFOUNDED PROMISES OF GENETIC CURES, when the reality is that in most cases of chronic illness, we need look no further than our own epigenetic failures, which are usually due to choices we’ve made — in some cases, decades ago (HERE).  If you need more proof, look no further than the May 2007 issue of Medical Hypotheses (Chronic Cellular Hypoxia as the Prime Cause of Cancer: What is the De-Oxygenating Role of Adulterated and Improper Ratios of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids when Incorporated Into Cell Membranes?) concerning the role of hypoxia on the FATTY ACID CONTENT of cell membranes.

“A majority of oncologists now believe that relatively low levels of oxygen existwithin a tumor and that the lower the oxygen level, the poorer the prognosis of the patient, the greater the probability of metastases, and the more resistant the tumor will be in terms of treatment.  Although there might be other origins, Warburg showed that cancer could always be initiated with a decrease in cellular oxygen.  Specifically, he determined that 35% inhibition of oxygen respiration was sufficient to bring about transformation of a normal cell to acancerous cell.  These general results were validated by Goldblatt & Cameron in 1953 and Malmgren & Flanigan in 1955.  When cellular oxygen deficiency occurs, there is a fundamental change in the way in which energy in the cell is created.  As Warburg reported over 80 years ago, cancer cells use a greater ratio of glycolysis / respiration compared to normal cells, and can not regain normal respiration because the injury to respiration is irreversible.  Furthermore, the transition from normal cell to cancer takes place gradually. This longtime frame is the key to prevent ‘sleeping cancer’ (benign) cells from differentiating into carcinogenic cells and metastasizing by eliminating the hypoxia.”

  • OXYGEN IS NEEDED TO BURN FAT:   Anaerobic exercise (SPRINTS and WEIGHTLIFTING) increases muscle mass that over time burns more fat.   On, the other hand, aerobic exercise (as it’s name implies) requires oxygen and burns more fat in the moment.    And while using carbohydrates for energy in the form of muscle or liver glycogen creates about twice the energy per amount of time as does fat; because the body does not contain large glycogen stores, they’re exhausted quickly (sometimes in a matter of minutes).  Fat stores, on the other hand, will, unfortunately, last most of us for months.  Even though the “fat burning zone” has been largely disproved, it’s not really because it doesn’t, at least on some level, exist — it does (heart rate at approximately 85% of max — or roughly 220 minus your age; or a bit better if you are in decent shape to begin with).  It’s that in most cases people tend to switch back and forth between fat and carbohydrate metabolism.  When fat is burned in the presence of O2 to make heat and energy, it mostly exits your body in the form of CO2 and water (HERE).   Remember, however, that the fatter one becomes, the more hypoxic (low oxygen levels) one becomes.  Take a look at the abstract from this 2013 issue of Physiological Reviews (Hypoxia and Adipose Tissue Function and Dysfunction in Obesity).

“The rise in the incidence of obesity has led to a major interest in the biology of adipose tissue. The tissue is a major endocrine and signaling organ, with adipocytes [fat cells], the characteristic cell type, secreting a multiplicity of protein factors, the adipokines. Increases in the secretion of a number of adipokines [inflammation-mediators] occur in obesity, underpinning inflammation in white adipose tissue and the development of obesity-associated diseases. There is substantial evidence, particularly from animal studies, that hypoxia develops in adipose tissue as the tissue mass expands, and the reduction in oxygen’s partial pressure is considered to underlie the inflammatory response. Exposure of white adipocytes to hypoxic conditions in culture induces changes in the expression of  over 1,000 genes. The secretion of a number of inflammation-related adipokines is upregulated by hypoxia, and there is a switch from oxidative metabolism to anaerobic glycolysis. Glucose utilization is increased in hypoxic adipocytes with corresponding increases in lactate production. Importantly, hypoxia induces insulin resistance in fat cells and leads to the development of adipose tissue fibrosis.  Overall, hypoxia has pervasive effects on the function of adipocytes and appears to be a key factor in adipose tissue dysfunction in obesity.”

Holy stretchy pants Batman!  Too much fat (adipose tissue) not only “squeezes off” its own blood supply, it acts as it’s own super-charged ENDOCRINE ORGAN, creating hormones and chemo-inflammatory mediators that among other things, drive INSULIN RESISTANCE and, get this, FIBROSIS — the world’s number one cause of death (HERE), which itself restricts oxygen flow! But even this doesn’t tell the whole story.   Listen to what the December 2015 issue of Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity (Effects of Hyperoxia on Oxygen-Related Inflammation with a Focus on Obesity) had to say on the subject.   After essentially repeating the information from the previous quote above, the authors stated, “it is believed that the abnormal oxygen partial pressure occurring in adipose tissue is involved in triggering inflammatory processes. In this context, oxygen is used in modern medicine as a treatment for several diseases with inflammatory components. Thus, hyperbaric oxygenation has demonstrated beneficial effects, apart from improving local tissue oxygenation, on promoting angiogenesis, wound healing, providing neuroprotection, facilitating glucose uptake, appetite, and others.”  And while EWOT is certainly not HBOT, there are many experts who tout is as equally beneficial under certain circumstances.  One of the biggest differences between the two is that people with certain conditions — burns for instance — cannot effectively EWOT.

If you are looking for more studies on EWOT, I found three sites that are loaded (HERE, HERE and HERE).  Also, HERE is a list of and links to the numerous scientific studies done by Dr. Von Ardenne and the various people he worked with.

MORE REASONS EWOT COULD CHANGE YOUR LIFE

“The blood plasma is not normally recognized for its oxygen carrying capabilities. This job is normally thought to be the sole responsibility of the red blood cells. However there are some cells in our body that rely on the oxygen that is suspended in this blood plasma for normal functioning. Due to a lack of proper breathing practices in ‘Western’ nations, lack of exercise, and other related factors the levels of oxygen in the blood plasma of most people is below normal. The cells surrounding the small capillaries (very small blood vessels that deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues and organs) which normally rely on this supply of oxygen therefore become oxygen starved. One of the effects of this oxygen starvation is a malfunction of the processes that allow these cells to regulate their fluid balance. In short, the cells begin to absorb fluid. This excess of fluid causes them to swell, which in turn causes the internal diameter of the capillaries to become smaller. This smaller diameter results in less blood being delivered to the tissues and organs (much like squeezing a garden hose affects the amount of water coming out the end), which in turn results in less oxygen and nutrients being delivered to the tissues, organs, and other cells. The final result: age related wounds on the extremities, as well as neuropathies and other general health related issues.   German research has indicated that breathing oxygen while exercising will not only increase the amount of oxygen carried by the red blood cells, but will also increase the oxygen carried by the blood plasma. The increase re-establishes oxygen delivery to the cells that surround the small capillaries, allows them to lose their excess fluid, which causes them to return to their normal size. The reduction in the swelling of these cells causes the interior diameter of the blood vessels to return to normal, re-establishing the normal oxygen and nutrient supply to tissues and organs.”  From Jeffery Taylor’s article, Regain or Maintain Your Youth with EWOT – Exercise With Oxygen Therapy (Training)

Thanks to PubMed and articles like Joe Cohen’s Self-Hacked piece, 22 Proven Health Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, we have a pretty good idea of what HBOT is capable of.  Although quite expensive, HBOT essentially “pushes / drives” 02 into the body via high pressures, while EWOT utilizes concentrated amounts of O2 at normal pressures to “pull” it into the body via the physiological effects of exercise.  While I would never try and prove that normobaric exercise can “pull” O2 into peripheral tissues and organs as well as a hyperbaric chamber can “drive” it, we definitely see great potential for EWOT from looking at the studies. 

I’ve shown you that in order to make sure that the extra O2 being taken in is safe, it must have CO2 with it.  The beauty of EWOT over HBOT is that this is inherently built in to the system since concentrators cannot make 100% pure O2.   Another major benefit is that since HBOT is passive and EWOT is active (even if you are using it with something less physically demanding such as WHOLE BODY VIBRATION), you are getting the benefits of exercise along with the benefits of O2 therapy.  I don’t have to tell you that the effects of exercise alone are so awesome that if I could bottle them I would be the world’s first multi-trillionaire.  Let’s, however, take a peek at the nuts and bolts of O2 therapy.

Looking at the standard medical physiology textbook by Arthur Guyton (always referred to simply as “GUYTON“), we see that at sea level, the atmospheric pressure of air is 760 milimeters of mercury.  Sometimes you will see this stated in Torr (760 mm Hg = 1/760 Torr or 1 atmospheric pressure (atm) = 760 Torr).  The atmosphere we breathe is made up of 21% O2 (about 150 mm Hg), which is the pressure (often referred to as “partial pressure”) of the air entering the lungs.   In the lung’s tiny air-sacs (alveoli) O2 is diluted by the body’s “waste” gas; CO2, which has a partial pressure of about 40.  This means that the partial pressure of O2 (aka PO2) in the alveoli is somewhere between 100 and 110 mm, which is the amount of pressure driving O2 across the alveoli and capillary membranes into the red blood cells, where the iron molecules in hemoglobin grab hold of it for transport to various parts of the body.

As the blood travels it’s merry way through the body, O2 is continually being released as needed, so that every cell, tissue, and organ in your body can get an ample supply of the life-giving gas.  When we are young, the pp. in the arteries will be very close to the pp. in the alveloi.  With age, however, the capillaries’ PO2 drops precipitously (the most obvious visual effect of hypoxia is blue skin — especially around the lips and ears — otherwise known as cyanosis).  Thus, instead of an average 70 year old having a PO2 of about 95 mm, it’s closer to 70mm — a loss of around 25%.  And remember that this is just the natural course of aging, and does not count the O2-draining effects of the hypoxia-creating effects of the INFLAMMATORY and AUTOIMMUNE diseases that the average 70 year old in America is dealing with today.  Dr. Robert Rowan (MD) of EWOT renown, said this in his article, Multistep Oxygen Therapy (EWOT) – The Best Anti-Aging Gift You Can Give Your Body…..

The reason this is significant is because when the blood carries the oxygen to the capillaries, the oxygen must dissolve in the waters of the body in order to reach the O2-thirsty cells beyond the capillary membrane. Unlike carbon dioxide, O2 is much harder to dissolve in liquids and its solubility is heavily dependent on the pressure driving it. Oxygen is extracted in the capillaries and when the blood comes out the venous end of the capillary, the average pressure of oxygen in the veins is about 40 mm early in life and drops to about 35 mm by age 70. The difference in the pressure of oxygen between the arterial and venous sides reflects how well the oxygen is delivered and consumed.

What this really means is that someone who is 70 will release to their tissues about 60 to 65% of the amount O2 that the average person half their age will release.  The end result is similar to what’s seen in diabetics.  In T2D there is ample sugar in the blood — in many cases, way too much.  The problem is, thanks to insulin resistance (the receptors are saturated) these people cannot get the sugar out of their blood and into their cells.  Likewise, when older people are tested for blood saturation of O2, they frequently have amounts within the normal range, leading both doctor and patient to believe that there is no real benefit to therapies like EWOT or HBOT.  However, the problem is that with age there is not enough PO2 in the blood to drive / push / pull (however you choose to think about it) the oxygen into the cells.  While the volume of 02 might be “normal,” there may not be enough pressure behind it to get it into the tissues, potentially leading to various states of hypoxia and at least some of the problems mentioned earlier.

Think about it another way.  Where do diabetics always have problems first?  They end up with problems in tissues that are either distant to the heart, or that don’t have the best O2 transfer capabilities to begin with.  Think diabetic feet or diabetic neuropathy (HERE or HERE).  Diabetic retinopathy (a major reason diabetics lose their eyesight at rates far greater than the general population) may also come to mind.  What’s interesting is that there are lots of studies as well as mountains of anecdotal evidence for using O2 to treat all three of these issues.  But realize that it’s not difficult to find naysayers

A prime example comes from ‘Skeptic Scalpel’s’ 2013 article for Physician’s Weekly (Is Supplemental Oxygen a Performance-Enhancing Drug?).  As you might have guessed, he was dogging on professional athletes for using O2 as a recovery aid (you frequently see NFL players using supplemental oxygen when they play at Denver’s Mile High Stadium), using mathematical formulas and studies to show that it’s worthless.  “Bottom line: Supplemental oxygen is not considered a performance-enhancing drug because it doesn’t work.”  Other than the few PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES I TREAT due to our location that really is IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE, this group of people is not my chief focus.  The people I’m addressing in today’s post will probably not be too hyped about small improvements in athletic performance — they are interested in increasing their healing capacity as part of a multi-faceted program to help them regain / retrain / retain their lives!

Are there contraindications to using EWOT?  For starters, people with acute illness such as FEVER, FLU, UPPER RESPIRATORY INFECTIONS, etc, etc, should not be doing EWOT, as if you would feel like it anyway.  And of course, pregnancy is contraindicated for almost everything just as a matter of course — I have yet to see any studies or stories about EWOT use in this group.  Also, there is controversy over whether those with ASTHMA should be doing EWOT.   Again, my suggestion is that before you try EWOT or any sort of therapy / exercise involving supplemental O2, consult with your physician first.  Realize, however, that in similar fashion to the average doc’s knowledge of nutrition (HERE); don’t be surprised if your run into something similar when asking about benefits / risks of exercising with oxygen.

DIY E.W.O.T SYSTEM HACK 
BUILD YOUR OWN EWOT SYSTEM (EXERCISE WITH OXYGEN THERAPY)
FOR A FRACTION OF THE COST OF COMMERCIALLY AVAILABLE UNITS!

“Russ does it again.  Great references.  This son of a b____ is smart smart!  Mad, yes.  But this truly works.  I am
The medical director of hyperbarics here and we have two in my clinic.  But I prefer moving to lying down.”
  My friend and arguably the most well-rounded physician on the planet, ERIC SERRANO of Columbus Ohio after sending him this post, and he in turn posting it to his master mind group.

It’s important to realize that if you decide to piecemeal an EWOT system together, I am not suggesting that you use the same products and materials that I did.  There are probably much better options and methods for those who are in the know — mechanics, handymen, plumbers, or engineer types.   However, the third step alone (how to add O2 to the system or take away O2 from the system in a manner that is both easy, inexpensive, and reversible) is worth its weight in gold. 

Building your own EWOT system is not for everyone.  But if you have a moderate amount of DIY-repair type skills (or have friends that do), you can save a fortune since the average cost of a turn-key system is in the ballpark of $2,000, with many costing double that or more.   There are five distinct aspects of putting together an EWOT system.  I have listed them in order of the flow of oxygen in the system.

  • OXYGEN SOURCE:  Because you need a renewable source of O2, you really need an oxygen concentrator (actually, if you can get several, the more the merrier) as opposed to purchasing liquid O2 in a tank.
  • LINE-IN TO THE RESERVOIR BAG:  You will need a way to get the O2 from the oxygen concentrator and into the reservoir bag.
  • RESERVOIR BAG:  Pay attention because your EWOT reservoir bag needs to be made from non-toxic material as opposed to something like PVC or cheap plastic.
  • LINE-OUT FROM THE RESERVOIR BAG:  This is where the O2 goes after the reservoir bag inflates / fills up.
  • A NON-REBREATHER MASK OR HIGH-FLOW NASAL CANNULA:  Everyone claims to have the best mask(s) in the business.  They all come from the same 2 or 3 manufacturers. 

Please realize that I am not affiliated with any of these products.  By providing a link or making a suggestion I am not endorsing one brand over another, but simply showing you an option.    Also, when you go to purchase some of this from Lowe’s, Home Depot, or your local hardware or farm store, take your parts with you (as well as your shortest run of CPAP hose) to make sure everything is compatible as far as size, so that when you put it all together it actually fits.   This comes into play when you start realizing that there may be some confusion between 3/4 inch and 1 inch fittings (inside vs outside dimensions). 


THE EWOT GENERATORS / CONCENTRATORS

(FIG. 1) MY SEVEN OXYGEN CONTENTRATORS HOOKED UP IN TANDEM

OXYGEN CONCENTRATORS are just that; devices that take room air, and “concentrate” the O2 by removing nitrogen to create a breathing mixture somewhere between 90-95% oxygen.  While concentrators cost anywhere from $600 to $1,700 new and require a prescription, it’s easy to find them on Craigslist or similar for a fraction of this cost.  You could also hit up the person in your local area who repairs them.  I’ve bought several for as little as 75 bucks (one of these is a 10 LPM, the rest are 5’s).  Bottom line, there is no reason to purchase one of these creatures new. And since they are prescription devices, you will pay a premium for a new concentrator (some EWOT companies are owned by physicians who write prescriptions for concentrators for their customers).  All concentrators have hour meters that show you how much use they have had when you purchase them. 

Be aware that a single concentrator will take a long time to fill the reservoir bag.  For instance, a 5 LPM concentrator would take nearly two hours to fill the (relatively) small bag below.  That’s why if you can get additional concentrators for your system, the time-to-fill dramatically decreases, while the time you have to exercise before running out of O2 dramatically increases.  For instance, a two hour fill-time becomes a 60 minute fill-time if you have two concentrators pumping O2 instead of one.   Just so everyone understands, the reason I use so many oxygen concentrators is so I can turn my system on and be ready to roll in about 12 minutes.

HACKING YOUR DIY EWOT RESERVOIR BAG

(FIG. 2) EMPTY DIY EWOT RESERVOIR BAG

(FIG. 3) FULL DIY EWOT RESERVOIR BAG

Getting the right kind of bag is a big deal since most plastics contain a variety of highly toxic chemical components (HERE) — components that you don’t want to be pulling deep into your lungs where they can make it into the systemic circulation and be carried to any and all parts of the body as ENDOCRINE DISRUPTORS — particularly dangerous if you are already dealing with THE LEAKIES (extremely common in chronic illnesses).  Sure, it would nice if it were as easy as using taped sheets of plastic, a large inflatable pool toy, or a giant beach ball — something that costs next to nothing (LIKE THIS).  But it’s important to make sure that what you are using is as tox-free as possible.

Most commercial reservoir bags are made from a material called TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane).  Although the number of options is growing and someone will undoubtedly find something better and less expensive in the near future, I am using a PVC-free TPU air mattress (HERE), which will hold a bit under 500 cubic liters.  If a larger bag is needed, two bags could be connected together in series using techniques that we will discuss today (this could also be done for those of you looking to hack your own two-chambered EWOT reservoir bag as mentioned earlier in the post).

Part of the reason that I like the TPU air mattress over other things I looked at or tried is that the O2 line-in is already there (you will have to create an O2 line-out stem). One other nice thing about this bag is that it has loops on one side that allow you to easily hang your bag against a wall on on a moveable / stationary rack (or as mine is, mounted against the ceiling).

For my O2 line-out stem, I simply went to my local hardware store and bought SOMETHING LIKE THIS that several inches of 3/4 inch PVC water pipe could fit snugly inside of to act as stem (FIG. 7).  You will need a couple of appropriately-sized steel flat washers and two appropriately-sized rubber washers as well.  Lastly, you will need a way to tighten the whole thing together — and THIS KIND OF PIECE DOES JUST THAT (a “PVC Threaded Rigid Conduit Female Adapter” of appropriate size).   Put it all together in the store before you bring it home and make sure your piece of PVC pipe fits snugly in your Schedule 40 PVC Male Adapter (socket or round, it doesn’t matter), then put on a flat washer, two rubber washers, another flat washer, and finally, the threaded rigid conduit female adapter.  Hand tighten only!  Your EWOT system is a low pressure system, so tightening with tools is unwarranted.

I would also recommend purchasing one of the myriad of Ozone CPAP Cleaners found on Amazon for fortyish bucks.  This becomes increasingly important if more than one person is using the system.

THE O2 TUBING LINES FOR A
COMPLETE DIY EWOT SYSTEM

(FIG. 4) MULTIPLE OXYGEN ENHANCERS FOR OXYGEN LINE-IN TO RESERVOIR BAG

First, the good news.  The “O2-in” stem on your oxygen reservoir bag is already there —- and it’s 3/4 inch, meaning that your line-in CPAP hose (22mm) will fit perfectly.    The bad news is that you will have to cut the reservoir bag in two different places in order to install the reservoir’s “line-out” stem.   The good news is that it’s not difficult to do (directions coming).

You will also need two sections of CPAP TUBING, costing about $1.00 per foot, which comes in 6, 8, and 10 foot sections (as well as the 18″ shorties, which I provide a link to in the next paragraph) that can be coupled to each other for about 50 cents a connection (the CPAP ends are 22 mm and fit perfectly on one inch hose couplers — HERE, which is much cheaper than the 5-7 dollar connectors that CPAP supply stores are selling).  IMPORTANT: The shorter the runs of CPAP hose for both your “O2-line-in” and “O2-line-out,” the better it will work.  You will also need as many STANDARD O2 LINES and OXYGEN-ENHANCERS as you have concentrators (if you have very many concentrators — or may be interested in adding concentrators in the future — you’ll want to purchase both of these items in packages of five or ten as shown in the links; otherwise buy them in singles or doubles).

One thing you need to be aware of is that if you want a set up your system with longer hose — kind of like mine, so that you can move freely around your gym (my system utilizes approximately 50 feet of CPAP hose) — you will need additional O2 concentrators.  The simplest way to set up your system, requiring the least amount of resources (concentrators, CPAP hose, etc) is to have a short (short) O2 line-in to your bag (HERE IS A REAL SHORTY, although you will probably want a six footer) and how ever long of a line-out required to allow you to freely ride your stationary bike, walk on your treadmill, BOUNCE ON YOUR MINI-TRAMP, use your squat rack, stand on your WBV machine, do KETTLEBELL SWINGS, etc, etc, etc.

 NON-REBREATHER MASK / HIGH-FLOW
NASAL CANNULA FOR THE DIY EWOT SYSTEM

(FIG. 5) HI-FLOW NASAL CANNULA — 40-60 LPM — FOR DIY EWOT SYSTEM

EWOT masks are the wildcard, as there are multiple combinations of mask and valve to choose from.  Just remember that your valve needs to be a non-rebreather.  As the name implies, a non-rebreather mask prevents you from ‘re-breathing’ exhaled carbon dioxide (CO2).  It does this via two one way valves.  The air that comes into the mask enters via a one-way valve that does not let exhaled CO2 backwash into the CPAP line.  Exhaled air is forced out of the mask through a second one-way valve set in the opposite direction.  This way you are always breathing in concentrated O2 and always breathing out CO2.

The masks can be purchased separately from the valves and put together by you, or can be purchased together as a unit (do not forget that you will need a head-strap).  Honestly, I’ve seen just about everything under the sun used.   Stay tuned because I’m going to show you how I hacked my own EWOT mask.

As far as the high flow cannulas are concerned; they are getting easier to find online (link below).  I’ve used different non-rebreather EWOT masks and honestly prefer the high flow cannula.  I also feel that the HFC provides a better vehicle for me to engage Buteyko breathing (Russian MD, Konstantin Pavlovich Buteyko, developed theories based on the fact that the physiology of breathing and O2 transfer is driven by CO2 concentrations far more than it is by O2 concentrations). 

Mask or HFC is a preference thing, and after having done both, I’m not sure there is a right or wrong answer.  Like I said, I prefer the HFC.   My system is creating more pressure than the average one-concentrator EWOT system, which may mean a HFC will not work as well with a single concentrator (no idea because I have not tried it).  If you have a beard, a mask may prove difficult to seal.

PUTTING YOUR DIY EWOT SYSTEM TOGETHER

(FIG. 6) OXYGEN RESERVOIR LINE-IN STEM

(FIG. 7) OXYGEN RESERVOIR LINE-OUT STEM

FIRST STEPS:  You’ll need to purchase short spans of regular O2 concentrator line (LIKE THIS) as well as OXYGEN ENRICHMENT ADAPTERS (aka Hudson RCI Pressure Line Adapters — as many as you have concentrators.  You will also need the proper length of CPAP line for both your line-in and your line-out.  Because I keep my concentrators in an under-the-stairs closet (they are noisy and do generate a bit of heat) and use EWOT for some of my strength training workouts, I have 20 feet of line running from my concentrators to my reservoir bag, and 26 feet running from the bag to my mask / cannula.   Just make sure to stick a $1.00 rubber stopper in the end of the first O2 enrichment adapter to force O2 toward the bag (Fig 1).  Depending on the lengths of CPAP line needed, lines can easily be connected together using hose couplers I showed you earlier instead of ACTUAL CPAP HOSE COUPLERS

SECOND STEP:  Have your PVC fittings, PVC pipe, washers, etc, that you have already purchased ready and waiting, screwed together and all in one piece.

THIRD STEPS:  Take your reservoir bag out of the box without slicing it when you open the heavily-taped box.  The fill hole will become your O2 line-in.  take out the plug and fill it up with air (not oxygen), using the included electric pump.  Since you will only need to fill your bag a couple of times (once now and once to test it after you patch the holes you are going to put in it), try and scavenge some batteries from something around the house instead of purchasing new ones. 

Determine where you want your O2 line-out stem to go and mark the spot with a small dot, using a sharpie, not an ink pen.  Somewhere nearby you’ll need to create about a three inch slit with a razor blade or boxcutter —- DO NOT cut through both sides of the reservoir bag.   I put my 3″ slit on the opposite side of the mattress from my O2 line-out stem, almost in line with it, but not quite (by slightly offsetting, it allowed me to smooth my patch easier).  The slit is simply so you can reach your fingers inside the bag, put on the two washers that go inside the bag, and then snug it all up with the “threaded female adapter” that is really nothing more than a PVC nut that can be tightened by hand. 

For my line-out hole, I traced the size of stem to be used by the O2 line-out and then drew an “X” in the circle.  I carefully sliced the X, making little triangles of TPU that I cut out with a tiny pair of grooming scissors.  I put my PVC Male Adaptor through the bag with the female side out and the threaded side inside the bag, with the appropriate flat washers in place.

VERY IMPORTANT — The rubber flat washers need to be in contact with the reservoir bag (both inside and outside the bag), with the metal flat washers sandwiching them to the TPU material (FIG. 7).  Once the line-out stem is properly installed, you can close the slit you created with a product known as TENACIOUS TAPE (I used fabric, not clear). 

I contacted the company that makes the mattress about repairing a three inch tear, and their response (although not too committal) was that, “Tenacious Tape may be helpful, we do recommend this product.”  After taping the three inch hole closed, I aired up my bag using the included pump just to see how it worked and if it would hold air.  My tape was a bit wrinkled but it works like a charm.  For the record, this company has not endorsed their air mattress as an oxygen reservoir bag.   Also be aware that there are any number of other patches / products that can be used in place of TT.  If you are uncomfortable with this step, you could always use a local upholstery shop.

(FIG. 8) TAPING THE ACCESS SLIT FOR EWOT RESERVOIR BAG

WARNING: If you are going to use multiple concentrators, make sure of your electrical requirements / capabilities.   Fortunately my breaker box is in the same closet as the O2 concentrators.  A friend helped me install a four-plug outlet, with each individual plug on a different breaker.  You WILL NOT be able to put numerous concentrators on a single power strip without tripping your breaker or concentrator reset button (questions of this type should go to your electrician).  I shouldn’t have to say this, but don’t do anything with electricity that you are not trained to do — you could get hurt or even die.

FOURTH STEP:  Hopefully you’ve already looked online to see exactly how you want your EWOT SYSTEM SET UP.  As I said earlier, a nice feature of my reservoir bag is that it has loops on one edge to hang it from.  I hung mine from the ceiling horizontally, supporting it with bungee cords FROM OUR STASH OF RIVER FINDS, but you could just as easily tack it to a wall or hang it on a CHEAP CLOTHING RACK.

FIFTH STEP:  Run O2 through the system for a couple hours just to “flush” out any chemical smells (there were no smells with mine, but I went ahead and flushed it anyway).  I also ran the ozone cleaner.

SIXTH STEP:  If you’ve already purchased a HIGH FLOW CANNULA you are finished and ready to roll (I paid about 30 bucks for mine).  WARNING: REGULAR CANNULAS provide a max of maybe 15 LPM at the very most and will not cut it for EWOT.  If you are purchasing a complete mask from somewhere (mask, one-way non-rebreather valve, headstrap), the options are myriad and can cost as much as $300 or more.  Or you can find masks for well under 100 bucks.  If, however, you are interested in hacking your own mask, follow along.

HACKING A FUNCTIONAL DIY EWOT MASK ON THE CHEAP

(FIG. 9) DIY EWOT MASK HACK

(FIG. 10) DIY EWOT MASK HACK

I ordered a highly-rated 18 DOLLAR 3M PAINTER’S MASK and went to work.  What’s super cool about these types of masks is that they are already non-rebreathers and do not require installing a valve.  Also, on this particular mask, the two side ports where the filter cartridges would attach, fit perfectly with the CPAP hose.  There were, however, three little plastic tabs on each of the two air intakes needed to be removed.  I used a file for one and quickly realized that this was not effective.  I took my box cutters and simply sliced the tabs off, leaving an almost perfectly smooth surface for two 18″ shorty CPAP hoses (see earlier link) to attach to.   Before attaching them, I used small wire cutters to snip the four plastic pieces found inside of the mask’s air intakes.   All very easy — the whole thing taking less than five minutes. 

Next, I used the box cutters to remove the thickened rubber seal that butts up to the mask’s air intakes (if you don’t do this there is not enough room to seat your CPAP hose).  If needed (mine did not need), you can seal it up with a touch of silicone or something similar once you get your O2 hose on (it’s not in a place where it will be breathed).  If you decide not to cut the rubber cover, use a worm-gear hose-clamp on each side to attach your CPAP hose to the mask (HERE).  You will also see notice that I used a 1 inch 2-into-1 hose coupler from my local lumber yard (HERE) to get the O2 to both sides of the mask (you could use a “Y” instead of a “T”).   As far as using the head strap, just YouTube it — simple.

Does my funky-chicken mask setup work?  Honestly, it works like a charm.  However, like I said earlier, there are any number of options for those who would rather spend money on a mask, some of which can be quite expensive (I have about 30 bucks or so in this setup).  It’s all about preferences.  You can go online and purchase an entire mask, or you could piecemeal the mask, non-rebreather valve, and the headgear.  It’s totally up to you, how serious you are about EWOT, how much you really want to spend (a good mask is a good investment if you are serious), as well as how happy you are with your homemade EWOT mask — or whether you are even interested in hacking a mask in light of the high-flow cannulas.

One last thing.  If you thought this post was cool or helpful, don’t forget the donate button.  Also, I do not have the time or expertise to answer the questions that I already foresee coming in a landslide.  If you know someone who could benefit from EWOT and having more O2 in their system (whether they build their own system or purchase a turnkey system), feel free to share with them.  The best way, of course, is by liking, sharing, or following on FACEBOOK — still a great way to reach the people you love and value most. 

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