Citation: etftusk9. "Cluster Headaches Relief Therapy: An Experience with Oxygen & Nitrous Oxide (exp110522)". Erowid.org. May 11, 2018. erowid.org/exp/110522
I am a cluster headache sufferer (for 3-5 years, 2 months since diagnosis) and wanted to share my story of a very successful treatment (for me), where most treatment fail to even make a dent.
I was prescribed Oxygen therapy for cluster headaches, and first off let me say it does definitely help to take away the attack for a little while. It helps me get through my attacks a lot easier and more relaxed and even sometimes aborts them entirely for at least half an hour.
I also have has success with Nitrous Oxide to stave off attacks for a few minutes (when you live in constant pain even just a few minutes is a godsend). I discovered a little technique that has worked wonders for me.
For this technique to work fully, an oxygen tank is required. If you are using this (like me) for medicinal purposes, to stave off cluster headaches, you can get a prescription from a doctor so long as you are diagnosed with CH.
I set my oxygen at about 6LPM (liters per minute)
If I do this right I will get an effect very similar to getting nitrous at the dentist. Longer lasting than usual whippits sessions, more anesthetic than 'trippy', GREAT for pain.
1. Crack n2o into a balloon.
2. Take just the tube off the oxygen tank and allow oxygen to flow into the balloon. (I do about 75% nitrous and 25% oxygen.)
This will ensure I don't get too light headed and get past that threshold of anesthetic and into the trippy, almost DMT-esque states. Don't get me wrong those are fun too, but for this purpose it can be a little much, especially if I'm needing to continually redose to hold off attacks.
3. With my tank on and ready (preferably with a non-rebreather mask) I exhale ALL my air.
4. INHALE the ENTIRE balloon,
-then EXHALE some BACK INTO the balloon,
-and then INHALE the ENTIRE balloon BACK into my lungs again.
5. I hold it, I do not exhale any yet.
6. Since N2O is heavier than air, I can begin letting out ONLY A TINY BIT OF AIR AT A TIME and inhaling PURE OXYGEN in its place, without losing most of the Nitrous.
7. Taking VERY SHALLOW breaths, I inhale only the TINIEST 'sips' of oxygen, allowing the majority of the Nitrous to sit happily at the bottom of my lungs. Doing this correctly will feel like I am holding my breath mostly, only letting out a tiny bit of air at a time and replacing it almost immediately.
-You'd be surprised just how much I waste if I don't hold it in for a few minutes! Obviously usually that could be very dangerous, and probably lead to passing out, but while taking tiny sips of oxygen (quicker and much shallower than normal breaths) I can keep my brain heavily oxygenated AND have nitrous continue to absorb into my system.
**NOTE: I verified this by using a pulse oximeter and continuously checking my oxygen level throughout the treatments. My average without any gas therapy is 95%. With this technique, even with an entire balloon of nitrous in my lungs, my blood oxygen levels remain at 99%! My heart rate may rise however, this is normal.
8. After a few minutes of enjoying floating on this cloud (yes I can go a whole few minutes with tiny tiny breaths and not pass out, because it's pure oxygen I'm breathing! Each tiny sip is like an entire breath of atmospheric air!) I exhale the remainder of the N2O from my lungs and take a BIG FULL breath of pure oxygen.
9. I keep breathing oxygen for a few minutes, and
Whullah! Cluster headache gone!! (for now, in my experience)
This technique is BY FAR the best way I've found (so far) to MAXIMIZE the duration and therapeutic value of my nitrous canisters. This is a great way to emulate a roughly 30% nitrous (from a tank) to 70% oxygen mix, similar to that which is used in medical settings such as hospitals and dentist offices, without having to find a way to get an actual tank.
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