Around 1996, I bought a great book written by Dr. Manfred von Ardenne of Germany. I was short of cash then due to the Loma Prieta Earthquake, but felt it was so important that I spent almost my last $80. Boy, was it worth it! Dr. von Ardenne was probably Otto Warberg's prize student.
Warberg, you may recall, received the 1931 Nobel Prize for proving that cancer can only grow in an oxygen-starved environment. Cancer is anaerobic. Manfred went on to do approximately 150 studies combining exercise with extra oxygen. He called it Oxygen Multistep Therapy, and I gladly spent my last bit of cash to learn about it.
Now, I see that many people are borrowing his ideas and calling it Exercise with Oxygen Therapy (EWOT or what I call O2E2 - Oxygen Enhanced Exercise) and have created programs using some of his techniques.
However, EWOT is an illness-model paradigm. It addresses sick people. See your doctor about this if you are sick. So if you are not sick or just do not want to get sick or want to enhance your wellness or exercise program then read on.
A primary reason for aging is the failure of enzymatic systems that are responsible for your body's uptake and utilization of oxygen. When your cells don't get enough oxygen, they get weaker and weaker—and so do you.
See Oxygen and aging Manfred and Otto made such good sense about the importance of oxygen that I created my own Exercise With Oxygen Training program, Oxygen Enhanced Exercise (OEE), a non-medical model, which we will talk about later in this article.
Exercising while breathing supplemental oxygen may greatly increase the amount of oxygen in the blood plasma, i.e., the nearly colorless liquid carrying the red and white cells.
This can be determined by testing the blood-oxygen levels in the arteries or veins. Quite often after 15 minutes of exercising with oxygen, there is a dramatic "pinking" of an exerciser’s skin.
If this can be seen by simple observation, then it follows that the tiny capillaries, the blood vessels tinier than a strand of hair, are carrying extra oxygen not only to the skin’s surface, but to all the cells in the body. Energy, vision and mental clarity may improve immediately. Streaming, energy currents, buzzing, tingling, and breeze-like sensations may be felt in different areas of the body.
Many contemporary scientists say you can't increase the oxygen in your blood by breathing extra oxygen. I disagree. What they most likely mean is that you can't increase the oxygen in your red blood cells, which are responsible for transporting oxygen to the tissues.
The reason many say the amount of oxygen in the red blood cells cannot be increased is because, under most circumstances, they are already 97.3% saturated with oxygen. So they say a three-percent increase will make little difference, and the red blood cells won't accept the extra oxygen anyway.
While the red blood cell info is true, the role of oxygen in the plasma needs to be considered. Many (but not all) people can, by taking lots of slow deep breaths, cause the oxygen content of the plasma itself to be significantly increased, and thus oxygen will be "pushed" into the body's cells without the aid of the red blood cells.
It is based on the "Law of Mass Action," which states that if you build up the concentration of a certain component in a chemical mixture high enough, chemical combining will take place with other elements in the mixture, which under normal circumstances wouldn’t happen. In this way, the normal "shunting," or oxygen's bypassing cellular uptake, is partly reduced and the cells get extra O2 anyway.
Most of the oxygen in the plasma under these high-saturation circumstances will be shunted/bypassed and "wasted" in that it will not be absorbed by the cells, which normally expect to be "fed" oxygen by the red blood cells. But if only one-tenth of one percent of this oxygen gets through, and you offer your cells this extra O2 dose every day, there will be an extensive increase in your total tissue-oxygen levels.
My goal is to keep the oxygen level of my blood as close to optimum (100% on the pulse oxymeter scale) for as long as possible—and ideally, for life. Majid Ali, MD in his Oxygen and Aging is to me the best information source on all this. He is a pathologist (blood specialist) and has performed over 20,000 tests using the High Resolution Bradford microscope.
The Bradford (dark field) magnifies 12,000 times while conventional microscopes magnify 400 times. At 12,000 X You can learn a lot about blood that most others do no know about. Ali shares many powerful insights and some great pictures of live blood analysis in his DVD about Fibromyalgia.