What is Hyperbaric Therapy?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment which enhances the body’s natural ability to heal.
By breathing 20% up to 100% oxygen in a soft or hard chamber that is designed for the whole body, the atmospheric pressure can be increased and controlled.
Air and Oxygen (O2)
Air is a mixture of gases, and the air on Earth contains about 78% nitrogen and about 21% oxygen (argon, carbon dioxide neon, helium, methane, krypton, hydrogen, xenon and water vapour are in much smaller amounts).
Without Oxygen we don’t have life.
We breathe in 21% Oxygen on each breath and breathe out approximately 16% Oxygen (this is how we can give CPR to another human being with the Oxygen we exhale).
We are continuously topping up the haemoglobin in the red blood cells with O2.
Under normal circumstances in our day to day living, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells.
With Hyperbaric Therapy, oxygen is also dissolved into other areas such as the plasma, the cerebral spinal fluid (fluid that surrounds the brain and spine), the central nervous system fluids, the lymph system and the bone.
This process allows the Oxygen to be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked by trauma or inflammation.
In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues in turn supporting and accelerating the body’s 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 (angeogenisis) more rapidly into the affected areas.
It is a simple, relaxing, non-invasive and painless therapy.
The accelerated healing and repair resulting from HBOT is one of the reasons why over 500 American Football players and other athletes have used the therapy as well as celebrities such as Michael Jackson.
The soft, portable chambers fold down and fit in a suitcase which can travel almost anywhere. For instance, the professional baseball player Tim Tebow travels with his personal HBOT. This has all served to further raise the profile of hyperbarics in our 21st Century lifestyle.
What are the benefits of HBOT?
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 amounts of oxygen cannot reach the damaged area and so the body’s natural healing ability is unable to function properly.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects, improving 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 favourably to hyperbaric therapy.
Is there research and studies proving the efficacy of hyperbarics?
Yes, follow this link to see the conditions that 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.
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