Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that involves breathing in varying amounts of oxygen at a pressure higher than sea level atmospheric pressure. This treatment is typically administered in a hyperbaric chamber, in which air pressure can be controlled and increased to up to three times the normal air pressure. The pressure will typically be above 1 atmosphere. HBOT can help people with sports recovery, sport performance, chronic pain, and other inflammatory diseases.
The healing power of oxygen is not something new to medicine.The first documented use of HBOT was in 1662, by a British physician named Nathaniel Henshaw, who used a sealed chamber to treat respiratory ailments. During the 1960s, studies began to show a wide variety of beneficial uses for HBOT therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life for people with inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. Today, there are over 150 internationally approved conditions for which hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been shown to be effective and beneficial.
About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Traditionally HBOT has been used for more severe symptoms such as diabetic foot wounds, air and gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning and smoke inhalation, gas gangrene, thermal burns, decompression sickness and acute mountain sickness
Today, it can help treat everything from diabetes, low energy, Lyme disease, cerebral palsy, head injuries, chronic fatigue, brain injuries, multiple sclerosis, ALS, anemia, wound and scar healing, post stroke care, post surgical care and healing, improved performance, autism, dementia and Bell’s Palsy just to name a few.
How Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help?
By increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, HBOT can improve the body’s natural healing processes, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue repair. Athletes may use HBOT to speed up their recovery after a game or workout, while people with chronic pain may find relief from their symptoms. HBOT has also been found to be effective in treating a variety of inflammatory diseases, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and rheumatoid arthritis. By reducing inflammation, HBOT can help alleviate symptoms and improve overall quality of life.
If you are interested in learning more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, reach out to your healthcare provider to see if it is a viable treatment option for you.
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is generally considered a safe treatment option when administered by trained medical professionals. However, some risks may include ear pain and temporary vision changes. These risks are typically mild and go away shortly after treatment. The ear discomfort is similar to the pressure felt when ascending or descending in an airplane. Discuss these concerns with your physician and hyperbaric therapy professional.
Our clinics provide a safe, comfortable and welcoming environment for your hyperbaric therapy needs. The Araya clinic currently only has the soft sided chamber in our office.
Does Insurance Cover Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Insurance coverage for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can vary depending on the medical condition being treated and the insurance plan. In the United States, the medical conditions that are covered under insurance are usually done in the hospital settings. These include radiation burns, gas gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness. Traditionally, insurance does not cover the HBOT treatments for the conditions we are using it for. It is important to check with your insurance provider to determine if HBOT is covered under your plan but feel free to email/call us and ask!
How Many Sessions Would I Need to See the Benefits?
For HBOT there is the ’40 hour protocol’ which is the gold standard for many of the physiological benefits that have been observed with HBOT. However, the actual physiological benefits for hyperbaric therapy can be seen in just a few sessions!
Most physiological benefits will begin within the first few sessions of HBOT. It has been well documented that the anti-oxidant and protective role of HBOT is immediate and demonstrated within 24 hours of just one hyperbaric session. Further to this, the anti-inflammatory response is quite also very quick and a strong physiological response has been shown within 4 days of hyperbaric therapy. Many studies have reported HBOT to produce a strong pain relieving effect after just 5 to 10 sessions.
It is important to note here that the cumulative effect of each session over time allows for the majority of these benefits. It is important that the patient commits to the plan in order to be as effective as possible and to maximize the benefits from the therapy.
From the Data, Here is a General Summary:
- 1-5 Sessions: Improves cellular energy and optimizes tissue function. Those with residual carbon monoxide (i.e. smokers) or with mild anemia can show immediate benefits with cellular energy. Inflammatory markers can go down considerably and mark the beginning of a natural process of cellular repair.
- 5-10 Sessions: Typically used for acute injuries with soft tissue damage, particularly if there is pain involved (Sessions completed within 1-2 weeks if possible).
- 10-20 Sessions: More serious acute injuries, chronic injuries or mild TBI’s
- 20-40 Sessions: Commonly used for major tissue damages and when new tissue is required (Research shows there are regenerative stem cell properties after 20+ sessions)