The latest attempt at revitalizing the human body relies on an old, bizarre, and somewhat scary-looking device called a hyperbaric chamber. An increasing number of health spas and specialized medical facilities are offering hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), which involves crawling into a pressurized chamber and breathing in pure oxygen to allegedly promote circulation and heal damaged tissues.
But experts caution those eager to jump in on the HBOT wellness trend. They say that there’s a lack of strong evidence showing this pricey treatment has any effects on aging. Plus, while hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be safe when done properly, when it’s not, it can be incredibly dangerous, and the emerging market for spa treatments and at-home devices is highly unregulated.