Why the focus on Oxygen?
Oxygen is necessary for life and especially important for brain function. Your body needs to maintain your oxygen levels in a narrow ideal range. A healthy oxygen regulation capacity makes it possible for your cells to produce the energy they need, supports our immune system, stimulates brain activity, increases memory capacity, builds endurance, improves mood, and so much more. Blood oxygen levels, lung and cardio capacity are important predictors of healthspan and lifespan. It’s easy to take breathing for granted — after all, we do it without thinking. But can we do it better?
As science discovers new ways to enhance vitality and health, we do our best to bring them to you. One of our favorite recent developments is Adaptive Contrast Oxygen Therapy.
What is Adaptive Contrast Oxygen Therapy?
It is possible to help the body better utilize oxygen, by training your cardiopulmonary system — your heart, lungs and circulatory system — under precisely controlled conditions. This training system is called LiveO2. Here at Marama, our residents have the opportunity to get the benefits of contrast oxygen training. Oxygen training combines exercise with the LiveO2 device that offers a switchable oxygen mixture. The user wears a mask hooked up to a big bag that has been filled with concentrated oxygen. During exercise, you are cycled between different levels of oxygen, which encourages the body to increase oxygen uptake.
More is not always better
Did you know your body is only stimulated to take up oxygen when your carbon dioxide levels rise? This means that simply providing more oxygen does not directly translate into more oxygen in the body, and it certainly doesn’t train the body to utilize the oxygen optimally. The effect of cycling oxygen concentration via the switchable oxygen levels provided by the LiveO2 stimulates the body to uptake greater amount of oxygen in the blood plasma. The intermittent exposure to lower oxygen levels, contrasted with exposure to high oxygen levels encourages more oxygenated blood than standard oxygen supplementation would produce. This therapy is performed with light, supervised exercise to safely increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing, moving more oxygen and nutrients through your body.
According to LiveO2, conditions such as Alzheimer’s, COPD, sleep apnea, asthma, stroke, cerebral palsy, head injuries, migraines, and chronic fatigue have all responded favorably to Adaptive Oxygen Contrast Training.
We use this for our residents with dementia because of the ongoing research into the important role of oxygen levels in brain function for patients with dementia, and for patients experiencing cognitive decline along with reduced activity or mobility. In other facilities, residents may be discouraged from exercising because of the risk of falls, and insufficient staffing. At Marama, we want you to exercise, and want to help you get the most from your exercise using tools like LiveO2.
One example case study of oxygen therapy was a man in his early 70’s, showing signs of dementia. He was unable to remember or care for himself or participate in typical daily activities. He exercised with LiveO2 consistently as part of his therapy for 6 months, and is now able to live independently. We have the same intentions for our residents! Click to learn more about Oxygen Therapy for brain health here, along with case studies.
Below is a video of our Activities and Therapy specialist trying out LiveO2 for herself.