At the forefront of non-invasive treatment science and technology lies hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), our most sought-after therapy here at Hyperbaric Wellness Center. A safe and controlled means of delivering pure oxygen to the body, HBOT has proven helpful for patients with all kinds of ailments, ranging from asthma to ADD; Parkinson’s Disease to PTSD; and beyond. No matter the original reason for seeking therapy, most patients report far-reaching benefits across a range of physical and psychological life domains. We’ve compiled some of the top ten ways hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help improve health and quality of life.
1. HBOT accelerates the healing process
For patients with open wounds, burns, and/or other tissue injuries, HBOT can be especially helpful in speeding up the healing process. These types of injuries cause critical damage to blood vessels, which in turn cause tissue swelling. Part of a vicious cycle, this swelling prevents blood vessels from receiving adequate oxygen and in turn causes eventual tissue death. By increasing the amount of pure oxygen available in the body, HBOT can reduce tissue swelling and get the healing process back on track. In fact, a 2020 research study investigating the effects of HBOT specifically on thermal burns “revealed several benefits of HBOT, including its ability to reduce thermal wound complications [and] the length of hospital stays due to thermal burns.”
2. HBOT improves circulation and blood flow
As blood circulates throughout the body, red blood cells deliver essential oxygen to all organs and tissues, allowing proper functioning and health of the entire bodily system. The pressurized environment of HBOT stimulates blood flow, increasing oxygen throughout the body where injury or illness may have once compromised access.
3. HBOT aids detoxification
Most toxins move throughout the body via blood flow, until eventually reaching the liver or kidneys, where they can finally be broken down. However, over time, toxic buildup can overload the system and prevent these essential organs from functioning normally, as more energy must be directed to eliminating toxins. By opening up circulation, as seen above, HBOT speeds up the detoxification process, transporting toxins in a more efficient manner. Additionally, HBOT has been shown to activate a number of specific antioxidant enzymes with detoxification properties.
4. HBOT enhances white blood cell function
White blood cells are key players of the immune system that identify and protect us from bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Not only does HBOT increase the quantity of these cells by stimulating bone marrow production, but recent research also suggests it may improve their quality, in part by increasing telomere length. Telomeres, located on the ends of chromosomes, protect cells from damage and decay. Studies consistently show that shorter telomeres are associated with increased incidence of disease and poor survival.
5. HBOT strengthens immunity
A review of literature supports “the favorable effects of HBOT in the immune system and also on the whole body” on multiple fronts. By decreasing the toxic load, as described above, HBOT frees up critical energy and allows the immune system to focus on restoring optimal health, rather than processing toxins. Additionally, by simultaneously increasing blood flow and stimulating white blood cell production (also mentioned above), HBOT has a direct effect on immune functioning, increasing both access to and the amount of white blood cells available to ward off disease.
6. HBOT reduces pain and inflammation
By increasing blood flow and restoring the oxygen supply to swollen tissues, HBOT is able to successfully reduce inflammation and the pain associated with it. As demonstrated by a 2020 pilot study on HBOT and inflammation, “treatment had a positive impact on relieving both the inflammatory response and muscle damage after exercise.”
7. HBOT stimulates new cell growth and regeneration
Not only does HBOT stimulate the production of new white blood cells, as described above, but a 2018 study on HBOT and stem cell production found that HBOT increased the proliferation rate of stem cells. This is a crucial finding, as stem cells act as the “internal repair system” for many of the body’s tissues, regenerating damaged cells and thereby maintaining optimal health.
8. HBOT promotes neuroplasticity
Neuroplasticity represents the brain’s ability to form new neural connections and reorganize, or make sense of, information. In other words, neuroplasticity is essential in the healing process of any injury, disease, or physical/emotional trauma. In a 2018 study of patients suffering from fibromyalgia and a history of sexual abuse, HBOT “induced significant clinical improvement” in both neuroplasticity and brain function, as well as a perceived improvement in patients’ suffering.
9. HBOT prevents reperfusion injury
Reperfusion injury occurs when blood flow that has been interrupted (often by trauma, cold or heat related injuries, and surgical procedures) returns suddenly to deprived tissues and causes a release of free radicals in damaged cells. These harmful molecules cause a secondary interruption, furthering tissue damage and potentially stopping blood flow altogether. HBOT interrupts this process, preventing additional injury to a patient who may already be suffering.
10. HBOT boosts collagen production
Finally, not only does HBOT help patients feel better — it also provides a secondary benefit of looking better as well! Due to its stimulation of collagen production (the protein that strengthens skin, hair, muscles, tendons, and ligaments), HBOT has enormous potential for skincare and anti-aging purposes. While studies continue to investigate the ability of HBOT to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, collagen also holds a number of health benefits, including reduced joint aches and pains, increased muscle mass, and reduced bone loss.
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Schedule a free consultation to learn how HBOT could impact your health and quality of life!