What you need from an EWOT system for Lyme disease bartonella, and other co-infections
First off, if you are looking to understand why EWOT is great for Lyme and coinfections like bartonella, please read my prior blog here.
EWOT systems can come in a variety of configurations, and practically all will provide some benefit, after all oxygen is a great detoxifier. While most other EWOT manufacturers are focused on the athlete market, we designed our system with a focus on the chronic illness market.
Below, I will walk you through our design considerations, and in doing so, will help you understand a bit more of what you need from an EWOT system, regardless of manufacturer. If you are interested in learning more about our EWOT systems, you can find them here.
Let’s talk about an oxygen source
The first thing you will need is a source of high-concentration of oxygen. I would recommend breathing 90% of pure oxygen if possible. There are really two choices: an oxygen tank or an oxygen generator. An medical graded oxygen tank will require a prescription and the largest of tanks holds enough oxygen for 3 to 9 sessions, depending on your conditioning and size, and the empty tank costs around $300 - $400 when we checked here and here. This high cost makes oxygen tanks impractical for most people.
Oxygen generators, on the other hand produce a nearly limitless amount of oxygen by concentrating it out of the air. They can be purchased in a variety of configurations and sizes, but the largest capacity units will generate either 5 LPM or 10 LPM. Because 5 LPM are designed for home healthcare, they are sold at a much higher volume and they can be purchased for as low as $600 to $700 brand new. You can also save $100 or more if you are willing to purchase a refurbished unit. These are often a great buy because many units have low hours on them and over 90% of their useful life left. Because 10 LPM units are generally reserved for clinical settings, the volume is lower and the price is much higher – usually $1,200 to $2,000 or more.
Because the oxygen generator is a one-time investment, it can make an EWOT system much more affordable. The major drawback to oxygen generators is that they have a limited output. For instance, using a 5 LPM generator, von Ardenne showed it would take 36 hours of exercise over 18 days to get the reduce endothelial cell swelling. (As a reminder, von Ardenne is the inventor of the EWOT system who spent years researching and perfecting the technology.) With a 10 LPM generator, the timeline is reduced to 9 hours over three days. Since most of us do not have three hours to dedicate to exercise each day (nor would we want to), these generators do not produce enough oxygen to get us where we desire to go.
Why a reservoir?
The solution to the relatively low flow of oxygen generators is to create a reservoir to capture a large quantity of oxygen produced by the generator over several hours and use it for an EWOT session. When we do this, we can increase our oxygen consumption above the 25-30 LPM threshold von Ardenne showed was necessary to produce results in 15 minutes. Dr. Artour, a breathing expert, explains that a typical adult will breath 50-100 LPM during exercise. Because those of us with chronic illnesses are often not in optimal conditioning when we start EWOT, but we also have the ability to improve with this regiment, I recommend a reservoir that can hold at least enough for a 15-minute session at 50-65 LPM. That equates to a 750L – 1,000 L reservoir. For those who are more fit, or who are taller (and thus have larger lung capacities and oxygen needs), I would recommend focusing on the larger end of the spectrum. Many will not need this total volume for many months, but you also want this system to continue to serve you as you improve. In addition, if you leave the generator running while you exercise, as most people do, that will provide you an additional 75 liters of capacity with a 5 LPM generator or double that for a 10 LPM generator. However, with the right sized reservoir, there is limited benefit to the more expensive 10 LPM generators, other than reservoir filling speed.
How long with the reservoir take to fill?
If you have a 750L reservoir and a 5 LPM generator, you are looking at 2.5 hours to fill the reservoir completely. For a 1,000 reservoir and 5 LPM concentrator, you are looking at 3 hours and 20 minutes. We find that most people prefer to do their EWOT either first thing in the morning or in the evening. If you are working or have many calls on your time (don’t we all?!), these fill times can become problematic. For this reason, I recommend using a system with a programmable timer that can turn on the oxygen generator several hours before you want to use the system so that it is ready and waiting for you when you need it. This will improve your consistency tremendously, and consistency is important to continue to accumulate benefits.
In addition, we have chosen a digital timer that allows multiple filling sessions per day (so you can share or do multiple session, if you need it), allows you to program different schedules for different days of the week, and has a batter backup. Many people with Lyme disease or other chronic illnesses find that EMF affects them more acutely, and chose to turn off the circuit breaker at night. This battery backup will allow you to turn off your circuit breakers for the night without losing your program.
Choosing a mask
The mask is a very important part of the system. Von Ardenne found that masks that allowed mixing of air with the oxygen greatly diluted the impact of EWOT. For this reason, nasal cannulas or loose-fitting masks are not a good choice.
Users should look for a mask that fits their face, is comfortable, and provide the oxygen in quantities that are needed. Historically, most EWOT system manufacturers supplied a standard EWOT mask that looked similar to this:
Standard EWOT mask – limits many people
This is a very economical choice; however, it can be a poor choice for many people. This mask is designed for stationary applications while a person is sleeping or sedentary. As such, the mask valves can throttle the oxygen flow to users, especially as they increase their conditioning and require flows much higher than the mask is designed to provide. People will often even notice the resistance to exhale with this mask (the exhale valve is the bottom, larger port on the mask). Because the inhale port (upper port) is even smaller, often conditioned users will need to throttle their exercise to meet the oxygen supply. This is a situation we do not want, as heavier conditioning will increase vasodilation (enlarge the blood vessels) and increase the effectiveness of the EWOT session. However, for those who will only be able to do moderate exercise such as fast walking or a very slow jog, for instance, this mask may be an economical choice.
Newer masks have come on the market that are designed to be worn in an exercise environment. These masks often have a separate valve that attaches to these masks and allows the user a much greater flow of oxygen and greater ease of exhaling. Our goal should be minimal breathing effort while exercising to reap the maximum benefits. Our 2000 series offers one of these new masks at the lowest point of anyone in the EWOT market.
Greatly improved new-style mask
One of the first considerations should be the materials that the EWOT system uses. If you are chronically ill, the last thing you want to do is be breathing toxins in a closed system while you elevate your heart rate. That will not be conducive to healing. I recommend you do your research and ensure the reservoir, hoses, and mask are all medical grade materials. In addition, many EWOT manufacturers use a cork stopper to plug the oxygen supply hose (hose that goes to the mask) while the reservoir is filling. Cork can often have nasty chemicals that you do not want to breath. For someone dealing with a toxic body from chronic illness, it is one more chemical for our over-burdened bodies to deal with. We offer silicone stoppers to eliminate the risk of breathing these chemicals.
Some other manufacturers offer compression bands on their reservoir (think large rubber bands). The purpose of these is to increase oxygen flow. These manufacturers built these compression bands to overcome the limitations of the valves on the standard EWOT mask (top mask picture above). With new-style masks, this feature is no longer needed.
Some manufacturers also offer an oxygen deprivation setting. This allows you to flip a switch to breath low oxygen concentration. The premise of this is that the oxygen deprivation will force your body to dilate your blood vessels and allow more oxygen in when you flip back to high oxygen. This same technique is used for elite athletes when they train at altitude. This can be a valuable feature for those seeking peak athletic performance. However, it needs to be paired with a large valve that allows these athletes to exercise near their limits. For those of us with chronic illness, the $1,000 - $1,500 additional cost makes this feature an expensive option. Others have simulated the oxygen deprivation by simply holding their breath for 5-7 seconds every minute or two while exercising. For me, both methods have given me a headache that lasted all day. So, I am partial to avoiding this.
Lastly, the benefits do accumulate over time, so keep with it and try to be consistent. I recommend a minimum of 3 times per week, and a target of 5 times per week. There are some folks who will do 7 times per week, or even twice a day for some period of time. But, if you can do it 3-5 times per week, you should start to see good benefits. Also, start slowly, EWOT has the ability to create detox reactions, and in cases where anaerobic pathogens (such as Lyme) are reintroduced to high levels of oxygen, it can also cause a herxheimer (die-off) reaction. If you find yourself feeling ill after your first few sessions, back down on your intensity and keep at it. If you are really overwhelmed, it may be smart to take a break before proceeding. Whatever you do, listen to your body, and if you don’t feel well, call you doctor. Over a series of sessions, you will find the detoxing and herxheimer reactions will fade, and your health should begin to improve.
If you are interested in learning more about our systems, you can find them here.