Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre offers oxygen therapy to help with a range of medical conditions, including the long-term effects of Covid-19.

It’s amazing how many people feel better through breathing pure oxygen – sometimes helping with serious medical conditions they’ve had for years.

Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Letchworth has been doing oxygen therapy for 32 years and has helped thousands of people with MS, Parkinson’s, chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, leg ulcers, diabetic foot ulcers, and cancer.

People visit the centre in Letchworth from far and wide, including from overseas, to be treated for many of these conditions.

More recently, oxygen therapy is being used to fight the long-lasting effects that some people experience after Covid-19. Known as ‘long covid’, the symptoms include extreme fatigue, brain fog (struggling to think clearly), breathlessness, anxiety and PTSD.

What exactly is oxygen therapy?
Oxygen therapy means breathing pure oxygen under gentle pressure. The pressure makes it possible for our bodies to absorb a higher proportion of the oxygen we breath. Normal air has about 21 per cent oxygen. During the treatment, people breathe pure oxygen, which is almost five times as much oxygen as usual, so oxygen levels carried around their bodies can be higher too.

Often that extra oxygen helps to reduce pain, fight infection, increase energy levels and speed up the body’s natural healing processes. It can accelerate recovery from an operation and is used by athletes to improve performance, too.

The Comet: Patients sit in an oxygen chamber, with session lasting for 60 minutesPatients sit in an oxygen chamber, with session lasting for 60 minutes (Image: Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre)

What do the sessions involve?

Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre has the only oxygen chamber in Hertfordshire. It seats up to seven people and is like a small Tube train carriage. Each person wears a mask that supplies the medical grade oxygen. Sessions last 60 minutes, plus 10-15 minutes to pressurise at the start and depressurise at the end. People often bring a book or iPad to pass the time. The first time you do oxygen therapy, one of the team will show you everything you need to know and explain the process. All sessions are run by two staff following strict safety procedures (including keeping everyone Covid-safe). To keep prices as low as possible, some of the oxygen sessions at the clinic are run by trained volunteers.

The Comet: Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in LetchworthHertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre in Letchworth (Image: Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre)

Hertfordshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre

Oxygen therapy is available Monday-Friday, every morning and afternoon. The clinic also offers evenings and Saturday sessions when there is enough demand. Everyone starts with 20 sessions in a four-week period, because each session only increases the oxygen in the body a very small amount. It is the cumulative effect of 20 sessions in that short period of time that increases oxygen levels to the point where we hope it can help you. After the initial course of 20 sessions, many people continue with one session a week, but it varies from person to person.

The team at the centre are delighted to see oxygen helping so many people but want to be clear that it does not work for everyone. However, it is a natural therapy, without the side effects of prescription drugs, complementing conventional medicine. You do not need a referral from the NHS to use oxygen therapy, people can just contact the centre direct.

If you think oxygen therapy could help you and you want to find out more, email oxygen@hmstc.net or call 01462 684214 or visit hmstc.net.

Volunteers help make oxygen therapy available more affordable. If you are interested in finding out more about volunteering, email volunteering@hmstc.net.