If you’re wondering about the sarcophagus-shaped things in the Tennyson Street storefront that formerly featured frozen custard or crepes, read on.
They may look like the type of hypersleep or hibernation beds you’d see in sci-fi movies such as “2001: A Space Odyssey” or “Alien.” They’re actually hyperbaric therapy chambers, part of a lineup of wellness equipment and treatments offered by the latest tenant of 3926 Tennyson: Restore Hyper Wellness.
The business is part of a Texas-based, national franchise chain, with outlets also operating in Cherry Creek North, on South Broadway, in Highlands Ranch, and in Boulder, and with openings planned for Wheat Ridge and Central Park. And while wellness therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen, red light therapy and cryotherapy—we’ll get to that one in a bit—may not be familiar to many Northsiders, they’re the core of a rapidly expanding business segment offering high tech alternatives to traditional medical treatments.
The North American market for oxygen therapy treatments alone generates more than $1.6 billion annually and is growing at an annual rate of about 7.9%, according to the research firm Research Nester. While the bulk of such therapies are administered in hospitals, clinics account for about a third of the total.
Variations of these treatments have been used for specific ailments for decades. Hyperbaric treatments of some sort date back to the 17th century and have been in use in the United States since the early 20th century. These treatments use pure oxygen—not the oxygen/nitrogen mixture we breathe naturally—pumped at a pressure that helps the lungs collect more oxygen. The Food and Drug Administration has approved the marketing of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for a number of ailments, including non-healing diabetic foot wounds, vision loss caused by blockage of blood vessels, severe burns, severe anemia, and severe skin and bone infections.
Restore uses what it calls mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy chambers that surround the body with oxygen at pressure for 60 or 90 minute sessions that its marketing materials claim can “boost energy, recovery and healing,” “optimize sleep,” and “defy signs of aging.”
Then there’s the cold chamber. Or technically, a cryogenic therapy chamber. Cryotherapy also has been used for hundreds of years to treat such conditions as swelling, pain relief, skin eruptions and arthritis. Modern physicians sometimes use a localized cryotherapy treatment known as cryosurgery—directed only at a diseased area, not the entire body—to kill cancer cells.
In Restore’s floor-to-ceiling chamber, users don gloves, socks and safety gear to protect the ears for two to three minute sessions chilled to negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. The treatment claims to help burn calories, speed athletic recovery, boost mood and energy, and, again, optimize sleep and defy signs of aging, among other things.
Other available treatments include intravenous fluids, administered by the on-site registered nurse; 10 minute red light therapy sessions intended to address cellular and eye health, inflammation and skin health, and compression sleeves to address blood flow and muscle recovery.
Restore prices its treatments either as part of a membership packages or as a la carte services, ranging from $25 for a single compression session to $2,500 for a 750 mg intravenous dose of an active form of nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD+), a vitamin B3 coenzyme said to improve the conditions of “those feeling sluggish” or “trapped in a fog.”
Note: this article is a profile of an unusual North Denver business, and is not intended to provide medical advice. Please discuss any potential medical treatments with a professional.