FAQ’s

Swanley Therapy Centre was opened in 1984 as a centre for Multiple Sclerosis offering High Dose Oxygen Therapy and support to people and their families who have MS.  More recently we are helping people with a variety of both neurological and non-neurological conditions. We are a small independent charity staffed mainly by volunteers.

What is High Dose Oxygen Therapy (HDOT)?
What does High Dose Oxygen Therapy do?
What conditions can be treated with High Dose Oxygen Therapy?
What happens during a session?
What levels of pressure do you provide?
What are your usual session times?
How long is a High Dose Oxygen Therapy session?
How much is it to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy at Swanley Therapy Centre?
Do I need my doctor’s permission to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy?
I am concerned about claustrophobia can I still use the chamber?
I would like to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy at Swanley Therapy Centre, what do I do now?
What should I wear to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy sessions?
What can I take in the chamber?
Can I expect any side effects?
I’m unable to get in and out of the chamber without assistance. Is there anyone at the Centre who can help?
Is there a cancellation fee?
What if I’m going to be late for my session?
Can my child have High Dose Oxygen Therapy?
Is there parking at the Centre?
How can I help the Charity?

 

What is High Dose Oxygen Therapy?

High Dose Oxygen Therapy involves breathing pure oxygen through a mask in a purpose built chamber at 1.5 to 2.5 times normal atmospheric pressure.

What does High Dose Oxygen Therapy do?

High Dose Oxygen Therapy helps oxygen to reach parts of the body it wouldn’t normally in order to promote healing. When damage occurs in the body oxygen flow can be hindered, breathing oxygen at pressure can help reach these areas.

What conditions can be treated with High Dose Oxygen Therapy?

High Dose Oxygen Therapy promotes healing therefore it can help with a wide array of conditions. We most commonly see people with MS, ME, Fibromyalgia, Diabetes, sports injuries, broken bones, ulcers, complications from cancer, ‘Long Covid’ and more.

At the Centre we have provided High Dose Oxygen Therapy for World Champion motor racers, famous footballers, pro-athletes and firefighters from Grenfell Tower .

What happens during a session?

High Dose Oxygen Therapy is carried out in three stages. Before your session you will enter the chamber and an operator will assist you with your mask if necessary. Then the chamber will be pressurised to the relevant depth for that  session. You will then breathe oxygen through the mask for an hour after which the chamber will be depressurised back to normal atmospheric pressure.

What levels of pressure do you provide?

At the Centre we offer three levels of pressure; 16ft (1.5ATA), 24ft (1.75ATA) and 33ft (2ATA) below sea level. For most conditions it is advised to have your first 20 sessions as close together as possible followed by regular maintenance sessions. You will be advised of the best protocol for your specific condition upon application.

What are your usual session times?

Tuesdays: 9:15 – 24ft (1.75 ATA) 11:00 – 33ft (2ATA) 12:45 – 33ft (2ATA)
Wednesdays: 9:15 – 24ft (1.75 ATA) 11:00 – 33ft (2ATA) 12:45 – 33ft (2ATA) 19:00 – 33ft (2 ATA)
Thursdays: 9:15 – 16ft (1.5 ATA) 11:00 – 33ft (2ATA) 12:45 – 33ft (2ATA)
Saturdays: 9:15 – 16ft (1.5 ATA) 11:00 – 33ft (2ATA) 12:45 – 33ft (2ATA)

* Subject to change.

How long is a High Dose Oxygen Therapy session?

A 16 feet session takes around 1 hour and 20 minutes, a 24 feet session around 1 hour and 30 minutes and a 33ft session is around 1 hr and 40 minutes. We recommend that you allow extra time, however, in case the session runs over for any reason.

How much is it to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy at Swanley Therapy Centre?

We are a charity, however, we do ask for an annual membership of £22 per year. We also have a recommended donation of £15 per session. This helps to cover our costs and the rest we cover through fundraising. You can pay your membership in advance or on your first visit.

Do I need my doctor’s permission to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy?

No.  It is good practice to notify your doctor that you are having oxygen therapy but you will be considered to be self-referring.

I am concerned about claustrophobia can I still use the chamber?

It is recommended that anyone who may have an issue with confined spaces should visit the Centre and see the chamber in advance of any session.  The chamber holds up to 8 people, it has a domed ceiling and porthole windows and there is also a two-way intercom.  If you would like to view the chamber before booking a session please contact us to make an appointment.

I would like to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy at Swanley Therapy Centre, what do I do now?

Please contact us using the Contact Form on the home page of our website. Please include a brief description of the condition you would like to treat as well as any other conditions. We will reply to you with a link to some forms which we need completed before we can book sessions. If necessary we will check with our advisor to see what the recommend protocol is for your condition.

What should I wear to have High Dose Oxygen Therapy sessions?

It is advisable to wear comfortable layered clothing, however, please bear in mind the enclosed nature of the chamber and wear appropriate clothing. Outdoor work clothing is not suitable to be worn in the chamber due potential hazards from chemicals, dust and other contaminants. Shirts must be worn at all times.

What can I take in the chamber?

You may read, write and use electronic devices in the chamber. The Centre has a guest Wi-Fi network that you can use if you wish (please ask a member of staff for the password). Please set your device to silent so as not to disturb others.

There are some items which may not be used or taken into the chamber, please see our Prohibited Items.

Eating is prohibited in the chamber due to the hazard of choking. Hot drinks are not permitted in the chamber in case of spillage.

Can I expect any side effects?

You may notice some discomfort in your ears due to the change in pressure, similar to on an aeroplane.

A small number of people may find their initial course of treatment to be tiring due to travelling to the Centre as well as breathing oxygen through a demand valve. Breathing in this way may feel a bit unnatural at first. However, most people find they experience the opposite.

I’m unable to get in and out of the chamber without assistance. Is there anyone at the Centre who can help?

Our staff and volunteers are NOT trained to provide manual handing or transfers in and out of the chamber. Therefore if you require assistance please ensure you have a carer with you who can provide this.

The carer is required to stay to help you into the chamber before the session and be in time to help you out of the chamber after the session. Any delay impacts on the following sessions that day.

Is there a cancellation fee?

We do not currently charge a cancellation fee, but we ask that you let us know as soon as possible if you are unable to attend so we can offer the session to another member. If the Centre is closed there is an answerphone so you can leave a message which will be picked up by a member of staff. Please do not email as this may not be picked up in time. 

What if I’m going to be late for my session?

Sessions must start on time whenever possible.  If you are on your way but are delayed, please telephone the Centre to check whether the session can be held for you. Please aim to arrive about five to ten minutes before your session starts.

Can my child have High Dose Oxygen Therapy?

Children under the age of 18 will be assessed on an individual basis. It is expected that any child under 16 will be accompanied by a responsible adult, either a parent or guardian. 17-18 year olds may use the chamber unaccompanied with adult consent.

Is there parking at the Centre?

Parking is very limited but there is a car park (charge but Blue Badge exempt) nearby.  It is important not to park in spaces used by the other units.

How can I help the Charity?

We currently need people to help with fundraising.  We are very grateful for personal donations and/or help with securing extra funding.  If you have any skills that we could use to develop the Charity, please contact the manager or a trustee at the Centre.