Long Life and Health
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Aging Tim vs. Aging

Tim vs. Aging – T minus 5 days – The Hyberbaric Chamber

The length of my homegrown program is set around a particular study that showed that 90 minutes per day in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber significantly lengthened telomeres.  https://www.aging-us.com/article/202188/text   This was my original motivation in testing my particular combination of methods, and thus set the timing for the entire project at 60 days.

This particular study has been dumped on by a few people, including Steve Hill, Editor of Lifepan.io whom I respect greatly. Apparently, telomeres in the blood are far more variable than other cells in the body.

But it seems to me that the way to “lengthen” telomeres is perhaps to get rid of cells that have short telomeres, and perhaps (I’m not a biologist nor a medical doctor) the compressed oxygen damages the senescent cells enough to make them flush out of the system and enhances cells that can use it efficiently.  Then the better cells have room to reproduce and they do so more faithfully.

While the effect of the chamber may not be permanent, it certainly should reinforce the other methods during this project. I’m theorizing that blood that is anti-aged in this manner should be more effective in supporting cells in the rest of the body, and together with the other measures in this program the hyberbaric chamber should be effective in improving my biological age.

As I described in a previous article, I believe that in part the chamber will increase the hormesis effect of my high intensity workouts, providing for a greater range of oxygen levels, i.e. concentrated oxygen in the chamber to oxygen starvation from the workouts. In that article, I likened this to GSP’s strategy for losing 20 lbs of water weight in a week. https://tim.blog/2013/05/06/how-to-cut-weight-ufc/.  Lots of water during the first couple of days, fools the body into thinking that water is abundant, so that in the latter days your body gives it up more readily. Experiencing new extremes in this manner should theoretically enhance that hormetic effect.

I could be totally full of crap.

The Chamber

For this phase of the project, I acquired the Oxygen Health Systems 32 inch in diameter model with a compressor, a dehumidifier and oxygen generator.  It pressurizes to 1.3 atmospheres.

The instructions for installing it were a bit difficult to follow, but everything is there in a series of videos with a bit of common sense. The equipment appears to be professional grade, and the chamber is made from thick plastic, seems very high quality. I paid about $9000 plus shipping for the package.

To install the internal frame, you actually have to climb into the chamber while it is deflated and flat. I have to admit, this was an issue.

Imagine a six foot tall, over 200 pound dude trying to crawl into a plastic thing that will not quite open – AND CATASTROPHICALLY FAILING!!.  I tried feet first, butt first, head first, each several times, continually finding myself in compromising positions.  I’m glad there is no video of me doing that!

Not to mention that the frame was a bit bulky and stuffing it in ahead of me was not only awkward but thereafter sitting on it as I got in was rather painful.

So I finally turned on the compressor and crawled head first, fighting off visions of being trapped with no air (my mom told me not to play with stuff like this!). After about 15 minutes of fumbling, claustrophobia and (yes!) seasickness, I managed to get the zippers pulled and the chamber started to fill up. Managed to get the frame installed and it is done.  If you are going to do this, I would recommend that you fill up the chamber once before you dive in to put in the framework. That way at least you are not fighting against the sticky plastic.

Mission accomplished.

I know the equipment is running the chamber is pressurizing, but I’m not sure how to tell if the chamber is filling with oxygen, I can’t really feel it. There is a tube that is separate from the compressor that comes from the oxygen concentrator, but in my mind it doesn’t add up that I will get to to 90% oxygen this way. But it is supposed to. The unit does come with a headset to pump oxygen right to your face. I have tried it, and I think I will use it until I have a chance to measure things. I may order an oxygen concentration meter to measure the levels, but the reviews on Amazon suck for the cheap ones, and shipping from China takes 2 months. Anyone have one I can borrow? Only a few days to project start, so I want to get all of the kinks out.

This hyberbaric chamber actually seems pretty roomy inside, but certainly not big enough for two unless you are VERY cozy (at some point maybe I will try that…). I don’t think I would have been happy with the 27″ version, even though it was substantially cheaper. It has a pad inside, but I need to augment with some pillows, enough to sit up a bit. The compressor is a bit noisy but you get used to it. I have found that if I turn up the a/c in the room that the temperature is very comfortable inside. I still have that new plastic smell, but I’m sure that will fade with time.

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