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The IHHT diaries

Posted by Martin Preston
on 16 Dec 2022

What’s included?

  1. Introduction
  2. Peer Mentors: lived experience in action
  3. Enhancements to the Delamere Treatment Model
  4. What is IHHT?

Highlights of 2022 

As we reflect on an extraordinary year, prepare for our third Christmas at Delamere and look ahead to the New Year, we take stock of some highlights from 2022 and some exciting developments that are happening very soon.

For many colleagues here, the highlight of 2022 was hosting aftercare on-site to alumni guests. Our inaugural aftercare meeting took place in November, when we welcomed former guests who came back to Delamere to take part in our first ever weekly on-site aftercare session.   

Seeing old faces, more than 50 in number, who first walked through our doors at the point of surrender, and hearing how lives have since changed thanks to recovery, was a real thrill and is why many of us do this work and find so much passion and reward in helping others.

Delamere team to help with prescription drug addiction

Listening to guests who completed the Delamere treatment model support those who are about to – and are embarking on some of the many firsts in early recovery is always a real joy.  Recovery in action, lived experience and the power in one helping another is what it’s all about.

Our Registered Manager, Youssef, said of the session: ‘It really was a beautiful sight, the shares were inspirational’.  It was brilliant to see Jo, our aftercare therapist, in her element, holding court and ensuring everyone found their voice.  A former guest remarked ‘It was a great day full of nostalgia, connection and good vibes’.

Peer Mentors: lived experience in action 

Another highlight has been training and onboarding our ‘Peer Mentors’ here.  These former guests support the team here and provide an inimitable connection for our guests; their lived experience, passion for recovery, as well as their understanding and appreciation of the Delamere treatment model, means they’re uniquely placed to help others.  

Enhancements to the Delamere Treatment Model 

Part and parcel of what our Peer Mentors will do here is to help trial enhancements to the Delamere Treatment Model. Our former guests have lived and breathed our treatment model, found and maintained lasting recovery and are pleased to contribute and feedback in terms of how we can improve and finesse the experience for future guests.  This feedback loop is a powerful an effective one and we’re excited to include our peer mentors in this process and know their feedback will be both candid and helpful.

As an organisation we strive constantly ‘to get better every day’, with our sights always set on improving outcomes for guests and being an innovative, thought leading provider.  As such, we invest a lot of time and energy behind the scenes, researching and developing the programme here, and trialling developments before including them within The Delamere Treatment Model.

Research involves meeting with Universities to understand the latest research around addiction treatment and its effectiveness, collaborating with other providers and practitioners to learn about a therapy modality or to exchange ideas, and often listening to our colleagues and guests, who bring ideas and suggestions through ‘The Hive’ in terms of what they feel will be helpful and beneficial here.

2023 will see us launch ‘Conscious and Connected Breathwork’, a new Inner Child workshop and a psycho-ed session on Cognitive Distortions.  All have been rigorously trialled, rehearsed and researched before being adopted and included in The Delamere Treatment Model. 

New initiatives call for the collection and findings of outcome data and reflections to achieve a continuous quality improvement cycle. It isn’t the case that a programme is written and then delivered; it is, we believe, an iterative process and focus groups, feedback, rehearsal, and careful consideration, all play a part in what ultimately makes the grade and is offered up to guests.

What is IHHT?

A treatment we encountered recently, on an excursion to a retreat in Austria is, ‘IHHT’ (Intermittent Hypoxic Hyperoxia Training).  We loved the results after just a few treatments and we’re embarking on a trial here, with a view to offering IHHT to guests here.  We’re still learning and training in delivering IHHT, yet with the device on site and a plan in place, we’re excited to tell you a little more about this innovative therapy.

IHHT works by simulating being at altitude – this is a real tonic for the mind and body that alleviates fatigue caused by stress, insomnia, depression and burnout.   As a respiratory therapy, IHHT rejuvenates the mitochondria – the cells in which energy production take place. It involves a non-invasive procedure during which a mask is worn that delivers varying concentrations of oxygen through a specialist medical device.  A session lasts for 45 minutes and provides intervals of hypoxic (low oxygen) and hyperoxic (high oxygen) air.   Heart rate variability measurements are taken which give the participant and the facilitator useful, interesting benchmark data about the state of the nervous system.  This measurement is often improved significantly after sessions of IHHT.  Throughout the treatment, the heart rate and oxygen content of the blood are measure and recorded providing real time feedback.  

We’ve been taking part and we’ve been enjoying the treatment and its results, so far.

Used for some time now by professional athletes, mountaineers and even space travellors, IHHT treatment is beginning to gain traction amongst progressive wellness clinics. At the time of writing, IHHT is not available at any other addiction treatment clinic in the UK.

We’re excited to pioneer the use of IHHT in the UK we intend to document by way of the ‘IHHT diaries’; a series of videos, posts and reflections on how effective the treatment is and what the benefits are.  

We look forward to sharing the diaries with you in 2023 and sharing more about this innovative treatment and its results. A course of 10 sessions of IHHT is said to be akin to spending 4 weeks in the alps. Let’s see!

About the author: Martin Preston

Martin created Delamere in order to provide exemplary care in first class facilities. Find out more about Martin on our team page.

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