What is Hyperbaric Therapy?
Hyperbaric therapy – also known as Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, HBO, or HBOT – is a medical treatment that uses an increase in atmospheric pressure to help the body absorb more oxygen.
The true benefit of HBOT is the ability of a compromised tissue to receive oxygen. Essentially, oxygen is given a boost to reach areas of the body where it’s needed most. It’s used to help the body heal itself.
How HBOT Works
At sea level atmospheric pressure, the lungs can absorb a normal amount of oxygen from the air. However, at an increased level of atmospheric pressure, the body can gather a much greater volume of oxygen and absorb it more easily. At Tualatin Optimal Wellness, we use a hyperbaric chamber that increases pressure to 1.3 ATA. This allows oxygen to more effectively infuse with many types of liquids in the body including blood, plasma, and cerebral fluids at a faster and more rapid rate. Healing begins when damaged tissue receives much-needed oxygen and circulation returns to the area.
Over 10,000 clinical trials and case studies have been completed to test other health-related applications of hyperbaric treatment. The vast majority of results have reported overwhelming success. You can take a look at some of these studies in the related resources list at the bottom of the page.
What HBOT Treats
There are many “off-label” uses for hyperbaric treatment as well. HBOT has also been used to treat the following conditions:
- Cancer: According to an article published in Targeted Oncology, researchers found “there is evidence that implies that HBO might have tumor-inhibitory effects in certain cancer subtypes.”
- Autism: In a study published in BMC Pediatrics, children with autism treated with HBOT showed improvements in terms of overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, and eye contact compared to a control group.
- Stroke: Post-stroke patients treated with HBOT showed improvements in neurological functions and quality of life, according to a study published in PLOS ONE. The study showed that HBOT can lead to significant neurological improvements in post stroke patients even at chronic late stages.
- Sports Injuries: HBOT has been used to treat sports injuries to help athletes return to competition faster than typical rehabilitation treatments. In an article in Therapeutic Advances in Musculoskeletal Disease, researchers report that “results have proven to be promising.” https://youtu.be/hJB_z6Zi1Yc
- Inflammation: HBOT has been used to treat all kinds of inflammation. In a study published in BMC Pediatric, HBOT “significantly decreased inflammation” in patients as measured by CRP levels.
- Neurological Conditions: Perhaps the most promising application of HBOT is in the treatment of neurological conditions. As noted in an article published by Medical Gas Research, “There is more evidence for using HBOT for neurological acute… with better clinical outcomes than any other single or combined treatment.”
- Neuropathy & Nerve Pain: Neuropathy, including pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling in the extremities is a common side effect of Diabetes, HIV, Sciatica and other conditions. Research shows the oxygen-rich environment of HBOT can reduce nerve pain, regenerate lost nerve endings, improve circulation, reduce infection, and promote healing in the body.
- Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can result from auto accidents, sports injuries, or even a simple slip-and-fall. The effects of a TBI can be long-lasting and life-altering. Fortunately HBOT has been show by recent studies to be effective in treating the effects of concussions and TBIs.
This list only scratches the surfaces of the many ways hyperbaric treatment is used. Talk with our practitioners to learn if hyperbaric therapy can help with your health concerns.
What A Typical Hyperbaric Treatment Is Like
Hyperbaric treatment at Tualatin Optimal Wellness is a healing and re-energizing experience. Our practitioners have been trained to administer hyperbaric treatment safely and effectively.
Before any treatment begins, we want you to understand the procedure as much as possible. Our staff will take all the time you need to discuss and prepare you for hyperbaric therapy. We’ll cover evidence and rationale for the treatment so you can make an informed decision about your health.
The hyperbaric chamber itself is spacious and roomy. It allows plenty of room for movement, as well as a clear window to illuminate the interior. Hyperbaric treatment is administered using medical-grade technology. The treatment will be monitored. If there is any discomfort during treatment it is easy to contact the support staff and get questions answered or modify treatment as necessary.
While there are minor risks as with any medical treatment, low pressure hyperbaric therapy is extremely safe. All minor risks and any other concerns you may have will be discussed before treatment begins.
Additional Conditions Treated by HBOT
The New England Journal of Medicine has thoroughly documented the many uses of hyperbaric therapy, including for the treatment of:
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Acute Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Gas Gangrene
- Air Embolism
- Diabetic Foot Wounds