Recovery from Long Covid with IHHT: Promising New Hope

Feb 6, 2024


Looking for help with your recovery from Long Covid? In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why you might consider  Altitude Training or IHT/IHHT as a viable, research backed, support in your journey to wellness.

Long COVID, a lingering and challenging aftermath of the Covid 19 virus, has left many individuals grappling with persistent symptoms. In the quest for effective recovery strategies, one avenue that shows promise is Intermittent Hypoxic Therapy (IHT/IHHT), also known as Altitude Training. There has been growing interest in this approach to Long Covid Recovery ever since a paper in 2020 noted the fact that people living in high altitudes in South America and Asia seemed to be demonstrating lower transmission rates of the Covid 19 virus [1].

IHHT or Altitude Training is an oxygen based therapy where a person breathes alternating rounds of low saturation oxygen (11-16%)  with high levels of saturation (21-35%). This simulates high altitude conditions and prompts the body to produce the well known adaptations that happen when we visit or live at altitude.

Although COVID-19 predominantly affects the respiratory system, for many COVID-19 has an adverse impact on physical, cognitive, mental and social health status, which is a multi-system disease and frequently severe [2, 3] commonly patients are also left with symptoms of  myalgia or fatigue (44%). [4]

Recently, intermittent hypoxic preconditioning (IHP) as a new non-drug treatment has been used in the clinical treatment of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), diabetes, coronary heart disease, hypertension, and other diseases. Many clinical studies have confirmed that IHP can improve the cardiopulmonary function of patients, increase blood oxygen content and the tolerance of tissues and organs to lower levels of oxygen as well as inhibiting the overactivation of immune system, and control acute pulmonary inflammation.[5]. These are all symptoms that can appear as a result of exposure to the Covid 19 virus.

A further paper in 2020 already recognised that hypoxic training could not only help in the treatment and recovery of covid but also potentially be preventative against covid infection and how it works in the body. [6]

Understanding Intermittent Hypoxic Therapy and its benefits in recovery from Long Covid:

While still a subject of ongoing research, the results of the 1000’s of research papers so far, are demonstrating intriguing research outcomes for IHT/ IHHT that demonstrate that it can be a valuable tool in the battle against long COVID. Listed below are some of the benefits that are emerging from the research data.

1. Anti-Inflammatory/ Immune Function Potential:

Long COVID often involves an immune response, leading to chronic inflammation. IHHT has now demonstrated anti-inflammatory effects and immune function improvements. A number of studies have observed these effects on Covid and long covid sufferers. [7, 8]

2. Oxygen Utilisation Enhancement:

One hallmark of long COVID is impaired oxygen utilisation. IHT can help enhance the body’s ability to utilise oxygen efficiently, potentially aiding individuals facing challenges in oxygen transport and utilisation, thereby contributing to improved energy levels and overall well-being. In 2023 study IHHT was also shown to increase haemoglobin content for post covid conditions. [9]

3. Facilitating Tissue Repair:

Exposure to intermittent hypoxia has been linked to the release of growth factors and stem cells, which play crucial roles in tissue repair. This mechanism could offer support in the recovery process, aiding the repair of damaged tissues and potentially accelerating the healing of long COVID-related issues. [8]

4. Cardiovascular Benefits:

IHT has been shown to improve cardiovascular function and increase oxygen delivery to tissues. As cardiovascular symptoms are not uncommon in long COVID cases, the potential cardiovascular benefits of IHT might be particularly relevant in supporting overall recovery. [10]

5. Neuroprotective Effects:

Given the neurological symptoms that some individuals experience with long COVID, the neuroprotective effects of IHT are worth considering. Improved oxygenation can positively impact neurological function, potentially offering relief from cognitive and neurological challenges associated with the condition such as brain fog. High energy utilising tissues such as the brain are highly dependent on mitochondria [15], so having research showing IHHT as a promising method for mitochondrial renewal lends new hope for improving cognitive performance in long Covid. recovery  [11, 12, 14]

6. Re-energising after fatigue

Many people recovering from Covid 19 infection encounter myalgia and fatigue. IHHT is demonstrating positive research results in this area, reducing fatigue, recovering energy and increase feeling of wellbeing. [13, 14]


While the field of long COVID recovery is still evolving, Intermittent Hypoxic Therapy emerges as a promising avenue. Its potential to modulate inflammation, enhance oxygen utilization, stimulate tissue repair, and provide cardiovascular and neuroprotective benefits makes IHHT an intriguing option for those navigating the complexities of long COVID. As with any medical intervention, it is crucial for individuals to consult with their doctor to determine the suitability of IHHT in their unique recovery journey. By exploring innovative and holistic approaches like IHHT, we can unlock new possibilities for hope and healing in the battle against long COVID.


[1] Arias-Reyes et al., 2020 Does the pathogenesis of SARS-CoV-2 virus decrease at high-altitude?

[2], The Stanford Hall consensus statement for post-COVID-19 rehabilitation:

[3] Potential Effects of Coronaviruses on the Cardiovascular System: A Review:

[4] (Huang et al., 2020) Clinical features of patients infected with 2019 novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China:

[5] Ming et. al 2021. Intermittent Hypoxic Preconditioning: A Potential New Powerful Strategy for COVID-19 Rehabilitation.

[6] Hypoxia, HIF-1α, and COVID-19: from pathogenic factors to potential therapeutic targets)

[7] (Gangwar et. al. 2020), Intermittent hypoxia modulates redox homeostasis, lipid metabolism associated inflammatory processes and redox post-translational modifications: Benefits at high altitude

[8] (Serebrovskaya et al. 2011) , Intermittent Hypoxia Mobilizes Hematopoietic Progenitors and Augments Cellular and Humoral Elements of Innate Immunity in Adult Men.

[10] Shafieesabet et. al., 2023 Treatment effect of respiratory therapy with intermittent hypoxic-hyperoxic training (IHHT) on functional capacity in patients with post COVID19 conditions: a controlled treatment trial) (,

[11] (Bayer et. al 2017), Intermittent hypoxic-hyperoxic training on cognitive performance in geriatric patients.,exercise%20tolerance%20in%20geriatric%20patients.

[12] Rybnikova et. al. 2022), Intermittent Hypoxic Training as an Effective Tool for Increasing the Adaptive Potential, Endurance and Working Capacity of the Brain.

[13] Treatment effect of respiratory therapy with intermittent hypoxic-hyperoxic training (IHHT) on functional capacity in patients with post COVID19 conditions: a controlled treatment trial )

[14] (Huang et al. 2016), Hypoxia therapy–a new hope for the treatment of mitochondrial dysfunctions.

15 (Rango M., Bresolin N., 2018): Brain Mitochondria, Aging, and Parkinson’s Disease