Carbon dioxide bathing
A very good friend of mine has been praising the results she has experienced from dry “bathing” (no water involved) her body in carbon dioxide. Working closely with the inventor of the Body Stream suit, she has been testing this on herself and others for a few weeks now. I followed her posts on social media and it looked exciting. I’m always game to test new processes designed to help the body, so I decided to give this a try myself. I’m still not sure exactly how the process works, but the idea of administering carbon dioxide to the body in one way or another isn’t new. I found this information on the net. “Carbon dioxide is essential for internal respiration in the human body. Internal respiration is a process by which oxygen is transported to body tissues and carbon dioxide is carried away from them. Carbon dioxide is a guardian of the pH of the blood, which is essential for survival. The human body reacts to carbon dioxide by expanding blood vessels and capillaries, as well as increasing the level of oxygen in the blood. Accordingly, blood pressure decreases, and the vascular condition improves. The lymphatic system, which is responsible for cleaning the body of toxins, begins to work more actively. Dry carbon baths can also cure a number of diseases.”
The suit itself reminded me of an all-weather exposure suit used for people who spend long periods in cold water, i.e., it looks similar to an advanced dry suit made of neoprene, which is a family of synthetic rubbers. Before I squeezed into the suit, my friend warmed me up with eight rounds of Tabata exercises to raise my pulse (which it definitely did). Then, she helped me climb into the suit, which wasn’t comfortable with my bad knees. Anyway, once in, all I needed to do was “squeeze/push” my head through the narrow, thinner rubber section at the neck. I confess that it made me think of re-birthing – but that’s just me. Once entirely in, she hooked me up to the cylinder and began flooding the suit with carbon dioxide. I was going to spend 60 minutes alone with my thoughts.
I had been told that different people have different experiences, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The only uncomfortable part was the feeling of something “tight around my neck.” My friend retired to another room and left me listening to peaceful, relaxing music. I felt no other physical sensations, but soon I began to “drift away” mentally. Some might argue that’s my natural state anyway. During the 60 minutes, I had absolutely no conception of time. I didn’t know if I was awake, asleep or somewhere in between. Whatever the case, it was enjoyable and relaxing. I felt a warm sensation that reminded me of being supported, suspended or floating, even though I was lying on the floor. It was almost like an embrace or a long hug. I felt as if I could just let go and see where my thoughts took me, so I did.
I’ve never really gotten into meditating because I never seemed to empty my head of thoughts. This was different, however. I felt like a spectator observing a parade of random, unrelated thoughts pass in front of me. I felt no need to act on any of the thoughts. They just passed by like ships in the night. That was totally new for this 73-year-old. It was mind-blowing. I couldn’t tell if I was dreaming, hallucinating or both. And yes, I’ve had my experiences with “natural” drug-induced altered states. At one point, I watched a shiny silver metal disc with holes in it spin above my face (yep, he’s losing it, you’re probably thinking). I felt no urge to visit the toilet, either, which had been one of my concerns before embarking on this “trip.” It was as if all bodily processes had slowed to “idling speed.” My breathing became very slow, silent and entirely through my nose (inhaling and exhaling). That alone amazed me, as I’ve broken my nose five times and have very constricted nasal passages. I usually need nose drops to fall asleep at night. I wondered if my friend would come out and shake me to see if I was still alive. I wasn’t sure if I was breathing. After the session was over, but before I climbed out of the Body Stream suit, I told my friend that this experience was how I pictured the optimal way of dying from natural causes (no violent accidents or trauma) would be. Just drifting in a pleasant state that ever-so-slowly fades away as it you transition to another state. Just to be clear, I never once was concerned I was dying! And then it was over. My friend and I went for coffee (I wasn’t hungry or tempted to get some pastry), and I promised to let her know how I felt during the next 24 hours.
The next 24 hours
On the way back home, I just observed people coming and going while I tried to “digest” what I had just experienced. I felt great. About 1500, I realized I hadn’t eaten since 1800 the day before, yet I wasn’t the slightest bit hungry. I forced myself to eat something anyway. During the early evening, I sat down with a glass of wine. After enjoying the wine, I realized that I could not drink another glass, which really surprised. I felt pleasantly intoxicated after a single glass (cheap date for somebody, I guess). I’m no physician, but I’m thinking the bathing in carbon dioxide expanded my blood vessels and increased my circulation, which would give the wine a more significant and faster effect. I felt extremely mellow and decided to go to bed and reflect on the day. I fell asleep without using nose drops and had some vivid dreams. In one, I was wandering through a school, apparently lost and searching for something. I don’t know if that’s because I substitute at an English-language school on occasion or if it represented my quest to experience altered states. I had a great night’s rest and woke up at 0530, ready to roll. I’m happy to say the mellow feeling accompanied me throughout the day. All in all, it was a fantastic – perhaps profound – experience I would recommend to anyone.