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Thin Air Therapy: When Less is More
The ‘less is more’ mantra may not apply to casino games at Springbok Casino – but when it comes to the air we breathe, ‘less’ is boosting fitness, endurance and health. How can voluntary hypoxia accelerate the healing process in patients with heart failure, dementia and spinal cord injury? Read on to find out…
Oxygen Levels are Reduced at High Elevations
One of the dangers of climbing mountains like Everest is the low oxygen levels. Dozens of experienced climbers have become exhausted, disoriented and died metres away from the summit. At high elevations, each intake of breath provides less than 30% of the oxygen you would normally get at sea level.
How does reduced oxygenation affect decision making? Well, let’s put it this way. Say you are playing casino games like Blackjack or Caribbean Stud on the Springbok Casino app at an altitude of 8,000 metres. What do you think the odds are of winning? Well, we can’t be absolutely sure, but we do know they would be way above 8,000:1!
Why High Altitude Training?
The question is – why do so many athletes choose to punish their bodies by training at high altitudes? Gasping for breath and depriving the body’s cells of oxygen can’t be the route to optimal performance… or can it?
The answer lies in the body’s incredible ability to adapt to rapidly changing conditions. Rather than tanking like a machine without fuel, the body slips into preservation mode. It automatically releases higher levels of erythropoietin (EPO), a hormone that plays a significant role in the production of red blood cells.
Can Less O2 Really Equal Enhanced Oxygenation?
As red blood cells transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, the upshot is enhanced oxygenation, despite the markedly lower levels of the life sustaining gas in the ambient air. In addition to boosting EPO production, training at high altitude increases the athlete’s maximal oxygen uptake and overall endurance and strength.
The Body’s Natural Repair Kit
Unlocking the rapid-fire formation of red blood cells to offset hypoxia is not the only ‘tool’ in the innate repair kit. The body has the capabilities to build additional blood capillaries and even repair and restore damaged neural connections to mitigate the changes in oxygen levels.
These natural processes are precisely what scientists and doctors are hoping to exploit in the formal medical arena. The science behind high altitude training is now the benchmark for thin air therapy, a cutting-edge treatment that is seriously being considered as a viable option for a host of medical conditions.
Could thin air therapy be a strategy for gamblers seeking an edge over Springbok Casino and our selection of online casino games? By the looks of things, it sounds like it's a distinct possibility!
How Thin Air Can Help People with Cardiac Dysfunction
One of the more obvious symptoms of heart failure is shortness of breath. As a consequence, reducing oxygen levels by prescribing thin air therapy as a treatment would surely be counterproductive. Not so, say the scientists… and here is why.
A dysfunctional heart is characterised by weakening heart muscle and diminished blood flow. By encouraging the production of red blood cells through thin air therapy, oxygen is transported more efficiently throughout the body.
As we now know from high altitude training, enhanced maximal oxygen uptake improves the patient’s endurance and physicality.
Oxygen Deprivation Boosts the Body’s Efficiencies
In essence, when the body has less oxygen, it becomes more efficient. Lung capacity is increased by deeper breaths, heart muscle is strengthened by the accelerated beat rate – and new blood capillaries are formed to transport the diminished supply of oxygen around the body.
By sleeping in low oxygen tents, which emulate the conditions at high altitude, people with heart failure can effectively heal themselves. Lifestyle changes are obviously an essential part of the treatment programme and include a healthy diet, regular exercise, limited alcohol and caffeine consumption, and no smoking.
The good news is playing casino games at Springbok Casino is not off the table, provided you keep your heart rate in check!
Dealing with Dementia Through Reduced Air Flow
Dementia is a mitochondrial disease which impairs cognitive function. It is most common in the elderly and affects the ability to think, remember and make decisions. Researchers now believe thin air therapy could be helpful in slowing down the degeneration of the brain.
We have seen the impact of reduced oxygen levels on the heart. In the case of dementia, it is the enhanced formation of blood capillaries which is key to healing. More blood vessels mean more oxygenated blood and, more importantly, fewer waste proteins.
How Thin Air Unclogs Toxic Build Up in the Brain
Why is protein waste significant? In forms of dementia, like Alzheimer’s disease, the brain accumulates molecular waste which the microglia cannot clear away. When this waste builds-up, it becomes toxic and disrupts communication between brain cells.
By limiting the production of waste at the source and stimulating oxygenation and the flow of blood to the brain, thin air therapy, or the controlled induction of the hypoxia response, may relieve symptoms like forgetfulness, confusion, problem solving and difficulty with writing or speaking.
The Efficacy of Thin Air Therapy on Mitochondrial Disease is Promising
Although still in its infancy, early research on the effect of thin air therapy on mitochondrial diseases, like dementia, is promising. In one study, patients with approximately half the normal oxygen levels appeared to resist the brain pathology associated with a particular mitochondrial defect for up to four months.
As we are now aware that thin air therapy can improve clarity of thought, perhaps it is time to reduce the O2 levels prior to firing up the casino games at Springbok Casino! Or is it...?
How Low Oxygen Levels Can Mitigate the Effects of Spinal Cord Injury
Thin air therapy can induce the production of red blood cells and promote the formation of blood capillaries. Now, scientists have discovered short periods of oxygen deprivation can improve mobility in people with spinal cord injuries.
In addition to boosting EPO production, thin air stimulates the release of spinal serotonin. Serotonin in the spinal cord helps enable sensory information processing, motor control and autonomic function.
When this all-important neurotransmitter is unleashed by reduced O2 levels, it triggers a flow of changes in the proteins responsible for restoring connections in the spine. By repairing and strengthening the neural connections, thin air therapy may help the patient regain full or partial mobility.
Thin Air Therapy and Playing Casino Games
Are you training at high altitude? Why not take a break from all the vigorous exercise and sign up and login at Springbok Casino instead? There are literally hundreds of online casino games available on-demand – enough to take your breath away. We have to add a word of caution – thin air therapy is strictly intended for medical purposes and we do not recommend you deprive yourself of oxygen when playing casino games!