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I tried ozone therapy, Gwyneth Paltrow's 'weird' wellness habit

What is ozone therapy and does it work? HELLO!'s columnist Hattie MacAndrews tried it

Hattie MacAndrews in an ozone therapy chamber
March 30, 2023
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Gwyneth Paltrow has hardly been out of the news lately due to her ongoing court case, but cast your mind back a few weeks, to when she was front page news over her controversial wellness routine. Remind yourself of what she said in the video below...

WATCH: Gwyneth Paltrow shares her controversial wellness routine

Her wellness habits, including having bone broth lunch, were discussed on the Art of Being Well podcast, during which the actress was quizzed on the "weirdest" wellness ritual she'd tried. Gwyneth replied: "I have used Ozone therapy rectally. It's pretty weird but it's been very helpful."

The 50-year-old didn't say what she'd found it "helpful" for, but HELLO's columnist Hattie MacAndrews is here to uncover the truth about ozone therapy – though not rectally, as Goop's founder did.

"I'm all for trying things that work for you and absolutely encourage stepping out of your comfort zone – but Gwyneth's method is a step too far for me!" Hattie said. "I decided to book a different style of ozone therapy treatment at a local wellness centre to see what all the fuss was about."

MORE FROM HATTIE: 'My tears stopped instantly when I tried this 20-minute trick'

Read on to find out what ozone therapy is, what it can help with and if it actually does anything.

Hattie MacAndrews headshot in houndstooth top
Hattie MacAndrews is trying out different wellness practices in the name of research

What is Ozone Therapy?

Ozone therapy is an alternative medicine practice, which claims that the use of ozone gas can act as an antioxidant in the body to reduce inflammation, improve circulation, decrease signs of ageing and help detoxify the body.

 However, a quick Google search reveals that there is very little scientific evidence to back these claims up.

 RELATED: 'This 20-second trick made me a morning person'

What are the benefits of ozone therapy?

Those who believe in the benefits claim that as well as reducing inflammation in the body, it can also assist in the relief of pain, stimulating the nervous system, cleaning the arteries and veins, purifying the blood and improving lymph drainage. It is also said to improve brain function and memory, reversing degenerative disease and eliminating auto-immune disease.

RELATED: What is craniosacral therapy and will it make me happier?

What does ozone therapy involve?

As it stands, there are nine methods of ozone therapy in practice, all with varying degrees of risk/reward. From Gwyneth's rectal insertion to an IV drip, each method claims to have slightly different benefits for the patient.

For example, IV ozone therapy inserted into the bloodstream is meant to help the production of antioxidants, which reduces oxidative stress. Doing this is said to 'keep you young', as it slows down the ageing process at the cellular level. 

The method I tried, submersion in a chamber, is said to be effective for aiding the detoxification process and stimulating circulation.

Ozone therapy camber
An ozone therapy chamber

MOST READ: What is craniosacral therapy and will it make me happier? A life coach explains all 

What happens during an ozone therapy session?

After taking all my clothes off, I was seated in an enclosed chamber, with just my head poking out at the top.

A towel was wrapped around my neck to prevent the ozone gas from leaking out. There was a gas tank beside me, which was plugged into the body of the chamber.

Hattie MacAndrews in an ozone therapy chamber
Hattie MacAndrews in an ozone therapy chamber

The timer was set for 20 minutes and the ozone gas was pumped into the chamber. It got very hot very quickly and I started to sweat almost immediately.

I don't suffer from claustrophobia, but feeling trapped inside with the intense heat was really uncomfortable and not very relaxing.

 MORE FROM HATTIE: Can a 90-minute stomach massage improve sleep? 

I had no gauge of what the time was, but it felt like a very long twenty minutes. The ozone gas had a strong smell to it, almost like pond water, which also didn't feel very relaxing!

It was a big relief when it was over and it felt liberating to step out. Once I had cooled off and re-dressed, I was told not to shower for the next three hours as the treatment would continue to work on my skin.

Does ozone therapy work?

After completing the 20 minutes, I did have a sense of feeling 'clear' in my mind, and quite calm, yet also energised. It was a very similar feeling to the rush of endorphins you typically experience post-workout or after a session in the steam room.

I can't say the feeling lasted long, sadly. I believe you're meant to follow a course of treatments and can do these sessions multiple times a week. For me, it was just too hot and uncomfortable and I felt very trapped in there.

I won't be rushing back for a second treatment, but I definitely did sweat a lot out of my system.

RELATED: Why you'll never be happy without this one key thing 

Does ozone therapy work?

Personally, I remain sceptical about whether ozone therapy works.

I would also be very cautious with regards to having the treatment via an IV or allowing something to enter blood when the treatment seems fairly unregulated, yet offered so freely. If I was at a spa and this tank was on offer to experience, I wouldn't say no but I wouldn't add it to your to-do list.  

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