Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

For some kinds of ailments, one prescribed treatment is "hyerbaric oxygen therapy": putting the patient into a chamber in which the entire body is subjected to 100-percent oxygen at far greater than ordinary atmospheric pressure. Non-physician that I am, I am not completely sure what good results are supposed to be produced by this, but I think that it's mainly that all that pure oxygen does wonderful things for the blood: it creates new blood vessels, it increases blood circulation, it sends new, fresh, rejuvenated blood flowing everywhere around the body, especially to "compromised organs" - to all the sad little hidden places that hadn't been getting their share.

This was the kind of day I had yesterday: a hyberbaric oxygen kind of day.

In the afternoon I went to a matinee performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream, down at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts; in the evening I went to an all-Mozart program of Mozart's Jupiter Symphony and Piano Concerto Number 21 (now nicknamed the "Elvira Madigan" concerto, because of the hauntingly beautiful second movement featured in that film), performed by the Pro Musica Chamber Orchestra in Boulder. There is no greater playwright than Shakespeare. There is no greater composer than Mozart. A Midsummer Night's Dream is my favorite of all Shakespeare plays. The Jupiter Symphony is Mozart's greatest symphony; Number 21 is his greatest piano concerto. The production of A Midsummer Night's Dream was marvelously magical and hilariously funny. The Mozart performances were unsurpassed in their beauty.

So I spent all day in a chamber of beauty at far higher than the ordinary concentration of beauty in my life. I can feel beauty flowing throughout my heart and soul and spirit, penetrating into all those hidden little places of grief and loss. If I were a psychiatrist, I think I'd start prescribing this for patients: full immersion into stunning beauty at very high concentrations. It couldn't hurt to give it a try.


  1. The hyperbaric oxygen chamber is often used to treat "The Bends", which is the decompression sickness that divers get and a song by Radiohead about depression.

  2. Thank you, Scott! I have never heard that song; indeed, I'd never heard of Radiohead. But now I have!