It may be free, but the new trend is to pay for oxygen.
The atmosphere contains about 21 percent oxygen, but oxygen bars
allow people to inhale 100 percent oxygen, at a cost. The bars were
introduced in the United States in the late 1990s and have sprouted
up around the country since.
While Fort Collins does not have an oxygen bar, Bodyworks, 140
W. Oak St., offers oxygen therapy.
“You sit in one of our reclining chairs and we hook you up to an
oxygen generator,” said certified massage therapist Jahna
Participants then breathe the oxygen, which if desired may
contain aromatherapy, through a tube inserted into their nostrils.
Some oxygen bars offer oxygen with aromas like cranberry or
“You can breathe deeply or normally depending on how you are
feeling,” Bravier said.
Bravier said oxygen can help with chronic headaches and heighten
concentration, alertness and memory. Oxygen therapy may also help
alleviate hangovers because it assists in liver detoxification by
moving oxygen through the blood.
“We have had some college-age students visit us for oxygen
therapy, and it is often around finals time to relieve stress,”
According to mamashealth.com, a health information Web site, the
Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act states that any type of oxygen
used by people for breathing and administered by another person is
a prescription drug. The American Lung Association’s Web site,
lungusa.org, said inhaling oxygen at oxygen bars is unlikely to
have a beneficial physiological effect for normal healthy
Bodyworks charges $8 for 10 minutes of oxygen therapy and $15
for 20 minutes.
“Obviously, the longer you go, the more benefit you’re going to
get out of it,” Bravier said.
Bravier has used oxygen therapy and found that it helps to
relieve nausea symptoms associated with migraine headaches.
Bodyworks also offers energizing and soothing oxygen therapies.
One aromatherapy treatment involves the use of fir tree needles to
create a forest atmosphere.
Freshman engineering major Jess Scow experienced oxygen therapy
at Bodyworks. She inhaled aromatherapy oxygen while reclining in a
“It was kind of weird,” Scow said. “It was relaxing, but I don’t
know if it was because of the oxygen or because I was leaning back
in a chair.”
The idea of pure oxygen leaves some students skeptical about
whether its benefits are worth the cost.
“It’s intriguing, but I probably wouldn’t try it,” said freshman
music major Ben Kempsell. “There’s oxygen around me anyway. It
might not be pure, but it’s free.”