An In-Depth Report


Adaptive Contrast®

There's a "magic moment" when the heart is beating faster and the blood vessels are dilated. Then suddenly, an inrush of oxygen...

The Adaptive Contrast switch effect creates potent benefits for all users, from physically or immunologically compromised to elite athletes.

How It Works

The Adaptive Contrast switch creates simultaneous maximums of circulation and blood oxygen levels unachievable by any other known method:

  • Blood flow to the target tissue is maximized by combined exertion and hypoxic challenge; then,
  • A switch to an oxygen-rich respiratory mixture occurs;
  • This results in a maximum dissolved plasma-oxygen level and simultaneously, maximum blood flow to the target tissue;
  • Maximum tissue perfusion and maximum anti-inflammatory effect is thus achieved in the target tissue.

Hypoxic Exertion

Hypoxic, or low oxygen exertion has been used and studied for many years. Low oxygen exertion compels the body to adapt to low oxygen conditions. The adaptive process creates very special conditions in the body:

  • Blood flow increases to critical systems, controlled by the degree of adaptive challenge;
  • Heart rate increases (even for non-athletes) to increase circulatory system flow;
  • Dilates the vascular system to increase blood flow to distal tissue;
  • Breath rate and volume increase to ensure oxygen extraction from air;
  • Heart rate increases to pump more blood throughout body.

Research of extreme hypoxic exertion shows that the body dramatically blood flow to critical organ systems[1] during low oxygen challenge. The transition to a preservation response shows that the circulatory system progressively shifts oxygen from the whole body to survival priority systems for energy production, the liver and kidneys, and for motor and cognitive function, the brain.

The preferential delivery of blood to critical organs during low-oxygen challenge occurs as the body progressively redirects blood carrying the increasingly limited oxygen supply to the most vital organs. The transition has two main processes:

  • Up-regulation in circulation and respiration; as the respiratory rate increases, the heart beats faster and the vascular system dilates
  • Progressive restriction of flow to secondary systems and dilation of blood flow to critical systems.

During an initial low oxygen challenge, the body goes through three general compensatory stages:

  • Stage 1: Up-Regulation: Body-wide blood flow increases to compensate for reduced oxygen with increased respiration and circulation
  • Stage 2: Reduction to Non-Critical Systems: Blood flow decreases to the digestive system and organs not critically necessary for fight or flight
  • Stage 3: Preservation of blood flow to Critical Systems: Blood flow is maximized to critical systems, i.e., the brain, liver and kidneys.

In each stage, the adaptive challenge increases blood flow to specific organ systems:

  • Stage 1 is the whole body;
  • Stage 2 is critical systems less systems not-critical for fight or flight: digestion, spleen and pancreas;
  • Stage 3 is only systems critical for survival in flight or flight: brain, liver and kidneys.

Adaptive Challenge

LiveO2 AC enables the user to control which body parts receive increased oxygen by coordinating oxygen switches with increased blood flow to target organ systems.

Switch timing is normally indicated by:

  • Pulse Rate
  • Pulse Oximetry
  • Physical body awareness and perceived challenge.

Please see our Protocols section regarding different protocols to determine switch timing.

Oxygen Pulse Potential

Oxygen pulse potential reflects an adaptive capacity as the body downshifts from a challenge state to a recovery state. Adaptive contrast exaggerates both the challenge and the recovery elements to create conditions of maximum achievable oxygenation. This model leverages two distinct switching mechanisms:

  • Hypoxic Adaptive - as an auto-regulatory process where the body preferentially directs blood flow to the critical organs;
  • Endothelial switching - where the body reverses endothelial inflammation when dissolved oxygen in blood plasma exceeds 12 cc/L (Ardenne).

The oxygen pulse potential model simultaneously activates and utilizes these switches. The cerebral switch mechanism utilizes the maximum example of the switch process to illustrate the mechanism. The author asserts two lesser levels of switching that address the whole body, and exertion critical organ systems.

The Cerebral Switch

Cerebral blood flow studies show that under hypoxic challenge conditions, where Arterial Blood Pressure exceeds 180mm, the body initiates a shift in blood flow to the brain.
Blood Flow to Brain vs. Arterial Blood Pressure The near-vertical green line shows the auto-regulatory breakthrough where the body approximately quadruples cerebral blood flow (CBF) as arterial blood pressure (ABP) transitions through 190mmHg. Flow data published in Hypertension 2007; 49:334–340.

The simplified message of the chart is that the body will send 3-4 times more blood to the brain when blood oxygen decreases. This circulatory threshold occurs on LiveO2-AC and PO2 drops below about 80% for LiveO2-AC users.

These adaptive shifts reflect compensation where the body increases the quantity of blood to an organ system to compensate for reduced oxygen concentration. The cerebral switch reflects abrupt compensation to preserve survival enabling systems.

The Ardenne Switch

The corresponding chart below (Ardenne) shows the plasma oxygen saturation curve.
Ardenne Plasma Saturation Curve The green range (upper right) illustrates the plasma oxygen saturation levels achieved by LiveO2 while using +O2 setting.

The horizontal yellow line at the bottom shows the normal level of oxygen dissolved in plasma. The green horizontal line shows the anti-inflammatory saturation level required to reverse endothelial inflammation. (horizontal lines not shown yet)

The challenge of this graph is that the oxygenated blood may not have enough pulse force to penetrate tissue. In traditional EWOT and LiveO2 use, continuous supply of oxygen both limits the pulse and inhibits vascular dilation resulting in reduced perfusion potential of highly oxygenated blood.

The primary attribute of the LiveO2 oxygenation is that the body can achieve novel levels of plasma oxygen saturation up to 65 ml/L O2, which is 21 times normal and 5.41 times the anti-inflammatory threshold.

Oxygen Pulse Switching

Oxygen Pulse Switching uses both of these effects simultaneously to maximize oxygenation of target tissue. When the user switches to oxygen-rich air from oxygen-poor air with blood flow pattern, there is an adaptive period where the tissue receives Ardenne oxygen concentrations and maximum flow.

The process is simple:

  1. A user exerts with low-oxygen air to maximize blood flow to a desired tissue set.
  2. Then the user switches to oxygen-rich air
  3. The user maintains, or increases exertion, to maintain blood flow to the target tissue.
  4. This delivers maximum oxygen by combined maximum flow and maximum plasma saturation.

Tissue isolation is determined by the blood flow pattern, which is determined by the degree of hypoxic exertion at the time of the switch.

Oxygen Pulsing

Pulsing enables a user to use oxygen and prolong a blood flow pattern by using short bursts of oxygen, enough for a partial recovery, but not enough to drop out of the hypoxic blood flow pattern.

The pulse method uses brief pulses of oxygen-rich air, about 5 breaths, during hypoxic exertion, to deliver recurring bursts of oxygen-rich blood to the target tissue. Short pulses do not appear to disrupt hypoxic blood flow patterns.

Oxygen Pushing

The stronger users will naturally initiate an oxygen push. This is an urge-driven pattern where users spontaneously maximize oxygen delivery during self-escalated exertion.

The method starts with an hypoxic sprint then switches to high-oxygen air. Many physically-able users will feel the urge to ramp exertion and sustain elevated output for a prolonged period. At completion, they report feeling excellent with no fatigue.

The oxygen push tendency is a reflex response of the user to establish and maintain maximum oxygenation.

Quantification of Oxygen Pulse Potential

A switch to oxygen-rich air during elevated blood flow creates a temporary pulse of oxygen to the target tissue.
The oxygen pulse is the product of both the extra blood flow, provoked by the hypoxic challenge, multiplied by the extra oxygen concentration, enabled by the respiratory turbulence and extra partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs.

Oxygen Pulse = Extra Blood Flow x Extra Oxygen Concentration

The Oxygen Pulse persists until the body reduces blood flow to the region during natural recovery until the body normalizes blood flow to the affected region.

Personal Potential

The plasma perfusion potential has a range that is specific to the user. The potential varies widely depending on the fitness level of the user. Nearly all users achieve better oxygenation using adaptive contrast.

Challenged Users Potential

On the low end, physically challenged users with a low oxygen air challenge can achieve blood flow levels approximately double of what they can achieve with high oxygen air alone.

This doubling of flow explains the consistent observation that even physically challenged Adaptive Contrast users achieve double the response than with LiveO2.

Athletic Users Potential

More physically fit users have an hypoxic challenge tolerance that enables them to reach much higher systemic and core organ system blood flow levels. These higher levels amount to an ability to send even more blood to the brain, liver and kidneys, in response to hypoxic exertion challenge.

Elevated fitness levels enable higher pulse and respiration levels. These higher levels enable fit users to approximate maximal dissolved plasma oxygen levels, per Ardenne saturation charts, especially when pulse and respiration are potentiated by hypoxic challenge.

The author asserts these users have oxygen perfusion potentials ranging up to 24-times the Ardenne anti-inflammatory levels. This is the probable effector mechanism of dramatic improvements in neurological performance post stress and post trauma.


Oxygen pulse potential with adaptive contrast systems has a range. The range is indicated by the hypoxic flow potential of the user, multiplied by the respiratory capacity of the user.

The apparent range is 2x for physically challenged users and up to 24x for physically fit users. There is also a tendency for physically challenged users to achieve accelerated fitness and increased capacity at an unprecedented rate.[3]

This oxygen pulse potential creates a pulse of oxygen to any body part with enhanced blood flow as a product of multiple effects:

  • An adaptive response to hypoxic exertion
  • Times any increase in blood flow due to exertion
  • Times any increase in blood flow due to nutrients
  • To any target tissue.

The sum of these factors create the unprecedented ability to enhance oxygenation of muscles, organs and organ systems.

Adaptive Contrast Protocol Model

This combination of effects suggests three different protocol levels which utilize apparent blood flow models that occur from adaptive challenge. Each level leverages increased blood flow and pulse pressure to all or part of the body.

Escalation of the hypoxic challenge directs more blood to more exertion-critical body systems.

Level 1: Whole Body Up-Regulation

This occurs when the body is aerobic with moderately hypoxic conditions or under exertion.


  • Pulse Oximeter reads over 85%
  • Mild to moderate exertion distress
  • Easy to increase exertion level

In this stage, the body has increased respiration and blood flow but is able to maintain most body functions:

  • Breathe more air
  • Pump more blood
  • Opens vascular system
  • Mild exertion distress

A switch to oxygen at this stage will create an increase in whole-body oxygen which appears to be about double what using LiveO2 produces.

Level 2: Critical Systems Budget

This occurs when the body is sub-critically hypoxic or under enhanced exertion.


  • Moderate exertion discomfort
  • Pulse Oximeter reads 80-85%
  • Uncomfortable but tolerable exertion distress
  • Challenging to increase exertion level

At this stage, the body has begun to prioritize blood flow to active muscle groups and to critical organ systems and correspondingly reduced blood flow to non-critical performance systems:

  • The spleen has released a fraction of the blood flow to the bloodstream
  • The body has reduced blood flow to the digestive system, stomach, intestines and pancreas
  • The body has increased blood flow to the brain, liver and kidneys

Level 3: The “Magic Moment”

Users capable of initiating Cerebral Switch during hypoxic exertion, and then trigger the Ardenne Switch, achieve Magic Moment Brain Oxygenation.

This effect usually results in dramatic improvement in cognitive and neurological performance as measured by neurological tests. They also assert durable improvements in mental state, calmness, and lifetime optimal cognitive performance.

Research literature suggests the “magic moment” affects the liver and kidneys[1]. The author suggests that the magic moment effect on liver oxygenation reflects novel benefit potential in a wide range of health conditions involving liver function and detoxification.

The author experiences steps leading to the Magic Moment experience as:

  • Escalating exertion discomfort
  • Pulse Oximeter drops below 80%
  • Onset of dizziness lasting 30-60 seconds
  • Feeling of increased energy even though operating at high exertion with low oxygen 1-3 minutes
  • Skin may feel cool and/or clammy during prolonged exertion

Author's Interpretation

As the body prioritizes blood flow to active muscle groups and critical organ systems, it reduces blood flow to non-critical systems:

  • The spleen releases a majority of the blood flow to the bloodstream*
  • The body reduces blood flow to the digestive system, stomach, intestines, pancreas and eventually the skin
  • Extra blood flow to the brain creates a sense of well-being and clarity.


Please see the Protocol Libraries for specific protocols that utilize these conditions of enhanced blood flow.

  • Enhanced Whole Body Detox (coming soon)
  • Core Systems Detox (coming soon)
  • BrainO2 (coming soon)


* Spleen: The author asserts that reduction in blood flow to the spleen is a likely result of hypoxic compensation where the spleen's blood reserve goes into circulation to increase oxygen transport capacity (searching for corroborative references).
[1] and
[2] Oxygen Multistep Therapy and
[3] See VO2-Max test results.