Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, delivers high levels of oxygen to tissues throughout the body, providing a wealth of benefits. The high oxygen enhances the body’s regenerative abilities; allowing it to recover and respond to medical treatments like radiation therapy and surgery.
This makes HBOT a versatile adjunct therapeutic in treatment, management, or recovery from conditions like cancer, autism, and those related to ischemia (restricted blood flow) like stroke or heart attack.
Recovery and Regeneration
- Increases oxygen saturation in blood and tissues promoting their ability to heal faster.
- Angiogenic effects; formation of new blood vessels thereby improving oxygen delivery to areas where blood flow was previously restricted or insufficient.
- Improves healing by stimulating stem cells causing them to multiply and migrate throughout the body, and makes fibroblasts (collagen-producing cells) more active.
- Faster recovery from sports injuries like fractures, sprains, and strains. The increased oxygen delivery coupled with better blood flow and increased healing capabilities allows connective tissues to recover faster and re-gain lost function.
HBOT delivers extra oxygen to tissues throughout the body, aiding their recovery and improving their function. This makes HBOT an ideal adjunct therapy to other more specific treatments a person may receive and can improve their overall outcome and quality of life.
HBOT may supplement medical treatments for and including:
- Heart Attack
- Sport Injuries
- Decompression Sickness
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Neurodegenerative Diseases
- Radiation Therapy
Ischemic conditions are characterized by the lack or restriction of blood flow to a particular part of the body which compromises its function and ability to survive. Examples include, but are not limited to, heart attack and stroke.
Here, HBOT’s ability to stimulate new capillaries and blood vessels allow the development of new paths for blood to be delivered. The high pressure oxygen also increases oxygen levels in the blood plasma (the fluid in blood) which allows it to reach places where blood cells are normally too large to reach.
Supplementing oxygen-deprived areas with oxygen increases their ability to survive, recover, and function, and lowers the severity of associated symptoms.
Central Nervous System
HBOT can improve oxygenation in the brain and spinal cord which can translate to a wide variety of benefits. In the case of injury from trauma or stroke, the high oxygen levels promote healing and recovery of the brain and improve a person’s response to therapy.
Effects of HBOT on the Central Nervous System, or CNS, may include and are not limited to: the growth of nervous tissue, myelination, and angiogenesis.
As the CNS heals and recovers, this can translate into improvement in function including improved cognition, better coordination of motor skills, improved balance, and improved speech and language processing.
HBOT has been gaining recognition for its ability to lessen the severity of side effects associated with cancer treatment like radiation therapy.
According to an article released by UCLA Health, negative effects of radiation therapy can include poor wound healing and local ischemia from scarring which can predispose them to infection and death of tissue.
They go on to mention that HBOT is helpful at reducing some of these complications and helping patients better deal with cancer treatment.
Here at Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab, we host our own Vitaeris 320 HBOT chamber, which we operate at a pressure of 1.3 ATA, or 4 psi. Our staff is trained on how to use the device and how to monitor our patients to ensure a safe and peaceful experience.
Watch our video on what to expect during a regular HBOT session and come check us out to experience it for yourself!
- Hyperbaric oxygen therapy effectively treats long-term … (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.uclahealth.org/Hyperbaric/Workfiles/clinical_updates/hyperbaric/HyperRad-01-15-13.pdf