Altitude Conditioning System

Altitude Conditioning System

Originally meant to trigger high-altitude acclimatization, this system has found its way into health and fitness programs for horses, athletes, and the baby boomer generation. It is also a high-tech system using precision controls, pressure vessels, and the latest in cooling components.

June 11, 2009

The Cyclic Variations in Altitude Conditioning System (CVAC), from CVAC Systems Inc., is the latest technology for use in research and fitness application projects. Prototypes have completed over 30,000 hours of altitude conditioning treatments with a wide variety of volunteers from World Champion athletes, to stroke victims, to quadriplegics, to golfers, to geriatrics.

The company’s first corroborating scientific validation data has been produced by researchers at the University of Hawaii. Plus several athletes – including Susan Cooper, World Champion Cyclist and Bryan VanVleet, Marine Master Sergeant, Elite Cycling Nat’l Champion – attribute their rise from athletic mediocrity to world and national champion status as a result of their use of the CVAC system*.

According to Susan Cooper, “In 2005, I had three peaks in three months. To peak three times in one season is unusual – ask any coach. When I told my coach my plan, he laughed at me. But I smiled all the way to the podium! During these three months I competed in the Masters National Championships (Utah), the World Masters Games (Alberta), and the Track National Championships (Indiana). I competed in an unprecedented 15 events and medaled with four golds, seven silvers, one bronze and three podium places. Nothing legal or illegal beats CVAC for recovery, strength, and stamina. Nothing.”

The CVAC process consists of using various altitude settings arranged into precise patterns to increase the generation of red blood cells. Each treatment contains a number of maneuvers involving multiple transits to target pressures, and consists of 300 to 500 cyclic altitude changes in a 20-minute period. The targets and consequent transits, pressure and temperature changes are arranged to fit the specific requirements of an individual’s body via pulse-sequence profiles resembling the tonal variations of music.

Pulse-sequence profiles are tailored to an individual’s stress, stimulation, and relaxation responses. Each human body responds differently to varied pressure and temperature just as humans respond individually to different sequences of tones in music.** Research indicates that these dynamic changes in oxygen concentration, air pressure, and temperature stimulate the entire body and increases the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood.

Early results from an ongoing study at the University of Hawaii show that due to exposures to cyclic variations in altitude conditioning, subjects achieve “…a significant adaptation to high altitude in four weeks of use.” High-altitude acclimatization is understood to evoke increases in red blood cell count, hemoglobin, and capillary density. Moreover, when high altitude-acclimatized individuals exercise at lower altitudes, mitochondrial density increases in response to the additional availability of oxygen, resulting in increased strength and stamina.

The CVAC pressure cycler consists of the domed seating chamber where patients sit while going through the cyclic process and a six-foot Hoffman cabinet that houses the control system, pressure vessel and high voltage unit. The altitude simulator runs on proprietary software. The system itself can cycle between 500ft above sea level altitude pressure simulation to 22,500ft above sea level pressures within 35 seconds. Using pressure feedback devices inside the CVAC pod, the company is able to accurately and repeatedly control the pressure inside the seating chamber.

The units are connected with four-inch flexible tubing that allows air into the domed seating chamber, and a suction tube used to pull a vacuum inside the chamber as high altitudes are simulated. The system uses a three-phase line reactor and sign wave filter to keep current consumption below 30 Amps (to an average of about 9 Amps).

The pressure vessel and vacuum pump run off the high voltage unit located in the bottom portion of the control cabinet, while the controller occupies the upper portion of the cabinet. The need for quick pressure changes causes the equipment to produce a lot of heat due to the high current draw. This heat could be damaging to the equipment and needed to be cooled down. CVAC selected the MRS16-BUL cooling fan system from Oriental Motor to do the job.

Oriental uses proprietary software to test their fans’ cooling distribution inside a control cabinet. Through extensive research, Oriental has continually produced systems that are efficient and easy to implement. The control cabinet used by the CVAC system needed cooling to be centered around the high voltage section, which occupied the lower half of the cabinet. Oriental’s solution to cooling the high voltage section also resulted in enough cooling effect for the upper section of the cabinet as well, allowing CVAC to do the entire job without adding a second cooling system.

The combination of the right technology and an innovative approach to health and fitness has resulted in the CVAC unit’s usefulness in the medical field, whether for people or animals (see sidebar for a closer understanding of the process). The results of testing repeatedly show positive results from the use of the CVAC system.

Oriental Motor USA Corp.

CVAC Systems Inc.

* A blower pulls air out of the CVAC System while a robotic valve controls incoming fresh air. This continuously changes the air pressure to simulate different altitudes.

** Use of the system is customized to the customer’s body type, from which a program is created that precisely controls the pressure changes used, and can range from 300 to 500 changes in 20 minutes.

** Varied altitude changes have been proven to enhance tissue oxygenation. The constantly changing air pressure improves blood circulation, and stimulates lymphatic system function resulting in enhanced removal of toxins.