Discover the benefits of increased oxygen for a variety of conditions.
Everyone understands the benefits that oxygen can bring to our bodies. Now imagine what your body could do with up to six times the normal level of O2. While healing can begin to take place with blood oxygen levels above 30mmHG, hard-shelled hyperbaric oxygen chambers elevate pressure to increase your oxygen content to levels as high as 650 mmHg.
At pressures that can only be achieved with a hard-shelled chamber (1.5 atmospheres or 22psi), oxygen saturates body fluids, increasing available supply to cells, allowing them to function at an optimal level. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for a variety of conditions and the therapy is being applied in the treatment of many other conditions, if you like to schedule a consultation for hyperbaric oxygen therapy, click on the button below to book your appointment today.
What is the science behind hyperbaric oxygen therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been studied extensively for a variety of medical applications. Some of the scientific results have been summarized below.
- Saturates body fluids with oxygen, up to six times normal. Increases available oxygen supply to cells, which allows them to function beyond a “maintenance” status, or to be “jump-started” into a functioning state. Hyperoxygenated cells perform at an optimal level with less energy expended.
- Allows oxygen to cross the blood-brain barrier effortlessly, providing a source of readily available molecular oxygen for immediate use by the brain tissue. It allows cells to metabolize vital glucose, which is necessary for the production of neurotransmitters essential in brain function, without expending extra energy which would use vital nutrients. (Glucose is metabolized throughout the body for energy on a daily basis.)
- Increases the availability of neurotransmitters.
- Increases the number of stem cells circulating in the body (University of Pennsylvania Study).
- Stimulates the growth of new capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which allows circulation to be restored or improved, and this reduces or eliminates hypoxia in affected areas. An increased network of blood vessels promotes a deeper circulation of oxygen and nutrients under normal conditions. Normal circulation allows certain medicines and antibiotics to penetrate farther into muscles and tissues which also helps to combat micro-organism growth.
- Stimulates connective tissue cells, which are rich in collagen, and promotes the growth of new skin.
- Stimulates molecular and enzymatic changes, and increases the ability of white blood cells to remove foreign bodies from the bloodstream including bacteria, fungi, dead cells, and waste by-products.
- Stimulates the process involved in the normal remodeling of bone.
- Stimulates the immune response.
- Has potent anti-inflammatory effects.
- Increases the production of glutathione by 15 percent.
- Reduces swelling and mitigates damage to the surrounding cells, tissues, and blood vessels (the cascade effect), which is particularly important to brain injuries. Reducing swelling (edema) in the brain lowers intracranial pressure. Is also a useful adjunct in treating trauma to the body, and certain sports injuries.
- Reduces the effect of radiation-induced injury to the bone, soft tissue, and organs by triggering the healing response to these areas.
- Inhibits the growth of some bacteria and kills anaerobic organisms (non-oxygen tolerant) such as those found in gas gangrene and certain Lyme spirochetes. Improves the performance of some antibiotics and medications.
- Reduces or eliminates the clotting effect that results from the return of blood flow to constricted areas (reperfusion injury) and helps disaggregate platelets.
- Mitigates the damaging effects of carbon monoxide on the body and brain.
- Removes from the bloodstream the gas bubbles that cause “the bends”.
FDA-Approved Uses in the U.S.
- Decompression Sickness
- Delayed Radiation Injury (Soft Tissue & Bony Necrosis)
- Idiopathic Sudden Sensprineural Hearing Loss
“Off-Label” Uses in the U.S. and Worldwide
While widespread clinical trials have not yet been completed, physicians across the country are applying hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of a variety of other conditions.
- Acute Altitude Sickness
- Arterial Insufficiency
- Bell’s Palsy
- Bone Fractures
- Brain Injury
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chronic Fatigue
- Chronic Lyme Disease
- Circulation Problems
- Crohns Disease
- Crush Injuries-Acute Trauma
- Decompression Sickness
- Diabetic Complications
- Gas Gangrene
- Immune Deficiencies
- Intracranial Abscess
- Joint Pain
- Metabolic Syndrome
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Muscle Injury
- Organ Transplant
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Peripheral Nerve Damage
- Post-Operative Healing
- Rheumatic Diseases
- Sickle Cell Disease
- Skin Grafts & Flaps
- Sports Injuries
- Surgery Pre/Post
- Systemic Shock
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as a part of an overall medical care plan.
Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling, and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive, and painless treatment.
It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illnesses and injuries occur and often linger, at the cellular or tissue level. In many cases, such as circulatory problems; non-healing wounds; and strokes, adequate oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and the body’s natural healing ability is unable to function properly. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy improves the quality of life of the patient in many areas when standard medicine is not working. Many conditions such as stroke, cerebral palsy, head injuries, and chronic fatigue have responded favorably to HBOT.
Hyperbaric oxygen is used to treat all conditions which benefit from increased tissue oxygen availability, as well as infections where it can be used for its antibiotic properties, either as the primary therapy or in conjunction with other drugs.
- Air or Gas Embolism
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Compartment Syndrome/Crush Injury/Other Traumatic Ischemias
- Decompression Sickness (Bends)
- Diabetic and Selected Wounds
- Exceptional Blood Loss (Anemia)
- Gas Gangrene
- Intracranial Abscess
- Necrotizing Soft Tissue Infection
- Osteoradionecrosis and Radiation Tissue
- Osteomyelitis (Refractory)
- Skin Grafts and (Compromised) Flaps
- Thermal Burns
- Cerebral Palsy
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Near Drowning
- Recovery from Plastic Surgery
- Sports Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
There are basically two types of chambers: monoplace and multiplace. Monoplace chambers are designed to treat a single person pressurized with 100% oxygen.
Multiplace chambers are designed to hold several people at one time and oxygen is delivered through a mask or a hood.
Only clean cotton clothing is allowed in the chamber. No cosmetics, perfumes, hair preparations, deodorants, wigs, or jewelry are allowed in the chamber. Be prepared to share any medications you are taking with your therapist including non-prescription drugs. Alcohol and carbonated drinks are not advised four hours prior to treatment. In most cases, patients should give up smoking and any other tobacco products during their treatment period, as they interfere with the body’s ability to transport oxygen.
At Utah Body and Soul, HBOT is administered in a private setting in a state-of-the-art, monoplace chamber of clear acrylic. This allows our trained technicians to closely monitor the patient and permits the patient to readily see outside the chamber. Patients are in constant view and communication with the attending technician via an intercom or may watch a movie, listen to music, or just rest.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is prescribed by a physician and performed under medical supervision. Although there are minor risks like all medical treatments, overall hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe. Your Utah Body and Soul therapist will discuss everything with you before you sign your consent paperwork.
The most common side effect is “barotrauma” to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure. To minimize this risk, your Utah Body and Soul therapist will teach you techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression or tubes may be inserted in the ears. Occasionally, some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment period. These changes are usually minor and temporary. A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen. The most common side effect is “barotrauma” to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure. To minimize this risk, your Utah Body and Soul therapist will teach you techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression or tubes may be inserted in the ears. Occasionally, some patients may experience changes in their vision during their treatment period. These changes are usually minor and temporary. A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity which is caused by administering too much oxygen.
- If you have any cold or flu symptoms, fever, sinus or nasal congestion, or chest congestion.
- If there is a possibility that you may be pregnant.
- If there has been a change in any of your medications.
- If you have skipped a meal prior to your HBO treatment.
- If you are diabetic and did not take your insulin prior to your treatment.
- If you have any concerns or anxiety.
When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow. These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can’t function without the appropriate amount of oxygen. HBOT dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage, and reducing swelling. As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue (neovascularization) and these cells then have the potential to function again. When cells in the brain die, either from trauma or lack of oxygen, blood plasma leaks out into surrounding brain tissue causing swelling and reducing blood flow. These otherwise normal cells go dormant because they can’t function without the appropriate amount of oxygen. HBOT dramatically increases the oxygen carried in the blood plasma, making oxygen available to heal damaged capillary walls, preventing plasma leakage, and reducing swelling. As the swelling decreases, blood flow can be restored to the dormant tissue (neovascularization) and these cells then have the potential to function again.
In CP and TBI patients, some of the injured brain tissues may be “dormant” and non-functioning. HBOT can stimulate these “dormant” tissues and return them to more normal function. In young children, cognitive function and spasticity can be improved.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, used in conjunction with other therapies, ensures the best recovery possible for children with cerebral palsy and traumatic brain injury.
Patients are accepted either by self-referral or by physician referral. Patients are evaluated by our staff and treated based on their specific needs. To schedule an evaluation, please an HBOT therapist at Utah Body and Soul.