Anyone who pays close attention to Justin Bieber‘s Instagram stories (ahem, guilty) would have noticed the pop star’s recent use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. In two videos filmed by his “wifey”, Hailey Baldwin, the 25-year-old is seen catching some shut eye in the freaky looking contraption.
“Sleep tight lover,” the first Instagram story reads. In the following clip, the model zippers up the pod. “Sleeping in the HBOT,” the caption reads.
But what is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and why is the singer using it?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works by pumping oxygen into a tube, chamber or room so that the air pressure inside rises three times higher than normal air. This medical procedure increases the amount of oxygen reaching body tissue and is commonly used to speed up the healing process for injured or diseased tissue. It’s also used to treat decompression sickness, damage from radiation, gas poisoning and burns. So yes, there certainly are proven health benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.
Bieber hasn’t explained exactly why he’s using the procedure but as Refinery29 points out, plenty have used the method in the name of “wellness” with some completely unsubstantiated claims that it can treat migraines, autism, multiple sclerosis, and cerebral palsy.
Some athletes also use it to help with muscle recovery but one study has found that any perceived benefits in this area are likely to be a placebo.
The singer has recently opened up about his struggle with mental health and while Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy hasn’t been to be effective in treating depression, Logan Poudel of Santa Fe Spring, California-based OxyHealth, says it’s helpful for sufferers of PTSD.
“It increases the amount of oxygen in the body by double within an hour, which reduces inflammation in the body, including the muscles, joints and brain,” Poudel told Page Six. He says “there’s no medical benefit past two hours” but sleeping in the pod is “not detrimental” to your health.
But medical professionals don’t recommend jumping on the bandwagon without proper supervision. In Australia, your GP or specialist will refer you for hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Once you have been assessed and accepted for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the specialist will prescribe you a course of treatment.