[unpaid/complimentaryexperience] Hydrogen Therapy is a Japanese therapy new to the UK and yesterday I went for a treatment at Suhaku in Kensington, London, on the recommendation of a friend. To explain a little about how hydrogen therapy works: hydrogen has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties and it also has anti-apoptotic (try saying that out loud – it’s a bit of a tongue twister!) properties. Before you wonder what anti-apoptotic actually is, the easier way to say it is that it helps to prevent or counteract cell degradation. I’ve seen it described thus: ‘hydrogen intervention could reduce inflammation by downregulating proinflammatory cells and upregulating anti-inflammatory cells giving a better balance across the whole body.’ Fans of the therapy will cite its anti-anxiety, energizing and beautifying abilities, amongst many other benefits – anecdotally, they’re often suffering with painful conditions such as arthritis or sports injuries. This is a relatively recent therapy (2007 in Japan and very much being studied across the world for its potential therapeutic benefits both in medical and in complementary therapies) and Suhaku, where I had my treatment, make no medical claims although a continuous stream of clients tells its own story. There’s a neat little visual at the beginning of the treatment where your capiliaries are caught on camera (just beneath your nail) to see how well your blood is flowing, and again at the end to capture any improvements. The thing to know is that hydrogen is a selective scavenger – it can work on the oxidants we don’t want in our body, leaving the ones that we do.
You could have just the hydrogen via a nasal canula and an eye mask (not as weird as it sounds) but the acupressure massage (there’s a menu of options) is too lovely not to have. As you know, this week is a difficult one – I could not quite get myself to engage with the fact that my lovely friend is gone, but the massage, supposedly to help those who spend a lot of time on the computer, unlocked everything and I lay with tears streaming down my face. My therapist Miho was so gentle, so sweet and so unobtrusive, she just let it happen and carried on working through pressure points until leaving me for fifteen minutes to gather myself again. I felt so peaceful afterwards – so soothed and with complete clarity on I felt about the situation. The best word I have for it is profound. Banishing brain fog is another reported benefit of Hydrogen Therapy.
If you want hands-on treatment as well, you can opt for Kirei (anti-ageing), Zen (stress release), Kanwa (anti-inflammatory), Jyoka (detox), Sokat (computer overuse – the one I had) and Kocho (peak performance). Otherwise, you can sit in one of the pod chairs (I want one!) that occlude sound and take on 30-45 minutes of inhaling hydrogen. It doesn’t smell of anything – in fact, you can barely feel any flow – but you will hear a quiet bubbling sound from the machine. Something I really wasn’t expecting was for my skin to feel so hydrated and soft – bearing in mind the acupressure massage went nowhere near my face, this was a surprise. My eyes, bearing in mind I spent half an hour with tears pouring out of them, looked clear and sparkly. You’re given a couple of glasses of hydrogenated water to drink but let me warn you, you will pee and pee afterwards.
The studio is very Japanese in aesthetic – pull down gauze partitions separate the beds and everyone moves about so quietly. I didn’t even realise anyone else was there until I saw some feet through a ripple in the gauze. Results will be different for everyone – I think you’d need more than one session to see how well Hydrogen Therapy can work for you, but my friend who recommended this in the first place has been back time and time again.
I think I’d use Hydrogen Therapy for energizing, clarity of mind and feeling of wellbeing in the first instance – a sort of SOS MOT – it was what I needed most at the time without knowing it. There is a home device – it’s expensive at well over £1k – but if you find you respond well to Hydrogen Therapy, it may be something to consider. The following day I still feel grounded and peaceful – I also notice that my weird upper back pain has disappeared overnight. I can only say Suhaku is a gentle and calming kind of a place made so as much by the people as the Hydrogen Therapy. I’d recommend it for the soul and so much more besides. I’ve looked as much as I can at any scientific research but once you get to the serious science it’s almost incomprehensible unless you are actually a scientist! Do take a look at this one HERE though. Prices start at £40 for hydrogen inhalation only and from £70 for a treatment. You can find Suhaku HERE.
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