Why do I need more oxygen?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) allows patients to utilize the most important nutrient our bodies need for daily function and healing – oxygen. Under pressure, our bodies can dissolve oxygen into the plasma of our blood in order to transport significantly more oxygen to our bodily tissues (brain, organs, muscles, etc.) for optimizing function, healing, and recovering from injury. We do not need to teach you the importance of oxygen, as we all experience it on a day-to-day basis. We can go weeks without food, days without water, but we can only go minutes without oxygen.
The question we often receive is, “Why do I need more oxygen?” We like to explain this in terms of other nutrients our bodies need to function and heal. For example, most of us have enough vitamin C to carry out the daily activities we need, but in certain cases we may want to mega dose on vitamin C, like when we are trying to fight off a cold.
When talking about oxygen, this process is a little different because our red blood cells only have a certain capacity to carry oxygen and deliver it to our bodies, and the highest we can go is 100% oxygen carrying capacity. The only way to carry more oxygen is when we put it/you under pressure, and that is precisely what the hyperbaric chamber does.
Unless we have an issue with our lungs, most of us are walking around with between 97% and 100% oxygen carrying capacity. This means that when our bodies are trying to heal from concussion, infection such as Lyme disease or mold toxicity, disc injury, neuropathy, MS, migraines, childhood developmental disorders, etc. we are already at full capacity and our bodies are using that oxygen to carry out normal function. There is no excess oxygen to put towards healing. HBOT can be considered a mega dose of oxygen so that your body has an excess amount of the most important nutrient it needs to put toward healing.
The HBOT treatment is passive, relaxing, and comfortable. It involves laying in a chamber that is about 7 feet long and a little over two and half feet in diameter. We utilize a soft chamber that is filled with ambient air so you can bring your phone, computer, tablet, a book, etc. or you can take a nap! All the patient must do is get into the chamber and breathe normally. A typical session is one to two hours long and the amount of sessions depends on the patient’s customized treatment plan.
Healing Benefits of HBOT
You may be familiar with hyperbaric treatment because in the early 1900s HBOT began to be used to treat deep-sea divers diagnosed with decompression sickness. Since then, the uses of HBOT have multiplied to help the body heal from numerous conditions.
HBOT enhances the body’s ability to repair itself by increasing oxygen capacity in the blood, which in turn decreases inflammation, forms new blood vessels (angiogenesis), kills bacteria and pathogens, releases stem cells, increases white blood cell function, upregulates the immune system, and more. These positive changes in the body can bring about healing for a variety of conditions.
At Carolina Functional Neurology Center, we recommend HBOT as part of treatment plans for many of our patients. In order to heal the brain and nervous system, oxygen is needed. HBOT is a simple, yet effective way to increase oxygen absorption and give the nervous system assistance to recover. Patients being treated for MS, dysautonomia, migraine, concussion, Lyme disease, and neurodevelopemental disorders have reported improvements in symptoms after HBOT sessions.
Want to learn more about HBOT?
If you’re interested in learning more about HBOT or giving it a try, contact us to schedule an appointment and discuss adding HBOT to your treatment plan.