Ozone Sauna and Workout Recovery

Ozone Sauna and Workout Recovery

Can you feel the energy in the air? Now that it is finally warming up in Provo, I am getting excited for the next several months of sun, greenery, and being able to spend time outside without freezing to death.

One of the side effects of warming weather is that a lot of people decide to get back into exercise. For this reason, I have a fascinating case study to share with you involving our HOCATT ozone sauna.

One of our HOCATT clients–we’ll call him Bob–joined a new gym recently. This gym provides group workouts that are fairly intense and incorporate a lot of weights. Prior to joining this gym, Bob had not exercised very much at all for several months. The gym utilizes a wide range of functional workout templates, which means it is common to work a different set of muscles each time for several workouts.

What happened was originally discovered by accident, but then confirmed through repetition. We ended up doing a sort of A-B-A-B study, where we tested under condition A, then changed to condition B for a test, then back to A, then back to B. 

This took place over the course of 10 days. There wasn’t any formal testing, just Bob’s report of his subjective experience. Here’s how it played out.

Day 1, Workout 1

Bob went to his new gym for the very first time. Immediately after (within an hour), he got into the HOCATT. Prior to starting his session he reported feeling extremely fatigued and somewhat nauseous from his workout. He said, “I feel like something is wrong. I might be dying.” I think he was joking about dying.

In spite of feeling sick, Bob was able to complete a full HOCATT session, after which he reported feeling “really worn out” but no longer “dying.”

Day 2

Bob was surprised to find that he was not very sore. He could tell he had worked out, but the sensation was “not painful, just a little tight.” Bob did some light stretching and reportedly “felt amazingly good.”

Day 3, Workout 2

Bob attended his second group workout, which he reported was “not as bad as the first.” This workout was a little bit shorter than the first. Bob did not do a HOCATT session.

Day 4

Bob reported feeling “extremely sore, like I don’t even want to move.” He attempted some stretching, but said that “even this was almost too much.”

Day 5

“Still really sore, but not as intense as before.” Bob decided to wait one more day before doing another workout so that he could fully recover.

Day 6, Workout 3

Bob attended his third workout, which he described as “definitely more intense than the second workout, probably the hardest I’ve gone so far.” Expecting to undergo the same painful muscle recovery, he got into the HOCATT (about 2-3 hours post workout) in hopes of mitigating some of the pain.

Day 7

“No pain! I couldn’t believe it!” Bob expressed shock that he felt just fine in spite of the intensity of the prior day’s workout. He did a full stretching routine and reported feeling “fantastic.”

Day 8, Workout 4

Bob said, “I really felt like I was getting into a routine with the new gym now. I went hard, but it didn’t feel too crazy.” Bob did not do a HOCATT treatment this day.

Day 9

You might have recognized the pattern by now and know what happened. Bob was not feeling great. “The soreness came back and it was killer! Maybe not quite as bad as before, but still awful.”

Day 10

“Still sore, but manageable.” By now Bob had learned his lesson and got back into the HOCATT to speed up his recovery.

So what on earth was happening here? There seems to be no question that Bob was getting some wonderful post-exercise benefits from the HOCATT, but why?

We can only speculate, but here are my thoughts on the matter:

Post-exercise soreness, otherwise known as Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is caused by microtears in the muscles. The exact mechanism is unknown, but two prevailing theories are that a) pain receptors in the area are hyperstimulated due to the microtears and b) calcium accumulates in the muscles and causes inflammation, which then causes the pain associated with DOMS.

Whatever the actual mechanism, it would make sense that the HOCATT was an effective deterrent of DOMS for Bob. For one, oxygen (and, by extension, ozone) is known to act as a sort of natural analgesic, or pain killer. For two, oxygen and ozone are excellent anti-inflammatories. For three, infrared saunas have been known to relieve sore muscles.

So whatever is going on at the anatomical level, one thing is clear: HOCATT seems to have amazing potential as a workout recovery tool.

Aside from discomfort, does it matter? Maybe not for everyone, but if your goal is to boost your performance, shrink your recovery time, and reach your fitness milestones faster, it might be worth considering. 

If performance enhancement is not on your radar right now, maybe you know someone who would be interested in testing this new theory of mine. I know I would love some more data points to see if Bob’s experience was just a fluke.

I hope you found this case study interesting. If it seems like a lot of people are interested, I’ll try to do more every now and then going forward. Goodness knows we have a treasure trove full of them.

If you live in the Provo, Utah, area and would like to learn more about the HOCATT ozone sauna, here are some resources for you:

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