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What is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Mild Hyperbaric Therapy (mHBOT) is a treatment in which a person is exposed to increased atmospheric pressure inside an inflatable chamber. The typical pressure reaches about 1.3 atmospheres, which can also be expressed as to 4-7 pounds per square inch. The increase in pressure allows more oxygen to reach the cells of the body which has many healing and therapeutic benefits.
How does Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work?
According to Henry’s Law of Physics, an increase in atmospheric pressure allows more gas (including oxygen), to be dissolved into any given liquid. Henry’s law is displayed in every can of soda causing it to be carbonated. When the can is opened, the pressure is released. Without the pressure to keep the gas dissolved, the soda will become flat in a few hours. This same principal applies to oxygen and any of the body’s fluids (the body is 80% water). When the body is under pressure, oxygen will readily dissolve into the plasma (the liquid part of the blood), cerebrospinal fluid (around the brain and spinal cord), and synovial fluid (fluid in the joints).
Another relevant law of physics is Boyle’s Law. Boyle’s Law states that any free gas (oxygen included), will compress as pressure is exerted on it. The chamber compresses the oxygen so that more can be absorbed into the body. Not only does this increase the amount of available oxygen to the tissues, it allows oxygen to reach areas of the body that would normally be difficult to reach. In our body, under normal conditions, oxygen must be transported by red blood cells. Think of a highway jammed with cars, where the cars are the red blood cells, and the people in the cars are the oxygen molecules. Only so many people can fit into each car. Likewise red blood cells can only carry so much oxygen. And, only so many cars can fit on the road. With hyperbaric therapy, the oxygen can bypass this normal mechanism and dissolve into the fluids getting into areas much easier and more efficiently. Think of our example again where the traffic is jamming the highway. Hyperbaric pressure pushes oxygen into the fluids and around the traffic jam as if there were thousands of people running between, over and under the cars. They can reach areas much faster then the oxygen riding in the cars.
Oxygen is a driving force behind the fuel that our cells produce for energy. That energy is produced by tiny little organelles inside of all of our cells called mitochondria. Mitochondria require oxygen and specific nutrients to produce that energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. For a more in-depth discussion of just how that process works, ask for the article written by Dr. Palmer that describes it.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has shown benefits in the following Musculoskeletal conditions:
• Poor Circulation
In our office, mHBOT is used as an adjunct to chiropractic as a form of physiotherapy to facilitate faster recovery from injury, and improvement with musculoskeletal conditions.
What are the Health Benefits?
Flooding the body with oxygen forces the rapid elimination of other gases, thus reducing damage caused by toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. The elevated pressure used during hyperbaric therapy further accelerates the elimination process. Mild hyperbaric Therapy can reduce edema (swelling), immediately following burns or injuries. It also speeds healing after injuries. It can be a great adjunct to improve the results from chiropractic care.
The immune system is boosted by increasing the activity of the white blood (infection fighting) cells. Our white blood cells release powerful chemicals to destroy bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi and molds.
Many bacteria do not contain the natural defenses to protect them from these chemicals (superoxides, peroxides and other compounds) formed in the presence of enhanced oxygen. More important, the white blood cells are oxygen dependent. When tissue oxygen drops too low, effective ingestion and killing by our white blood cells is retarded. Re-oxygenation of those tissues reinvigorates the white blood cells and our defense mechanisms come back into play.
Some other benefits of this increased oxygenation is increased osteoblastic (bone building) activity, collagen matrix formation (tissue healing), and breakdown of many toxins.
On average, the human brain accounts for only 3% of our total body weight, yet uses approximately 20% of the oxygen we consume. Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments (mHBOT) in a portable chamber, at higher Atmospheres and increase of oxygen, has been shown to improve brain function as measured by SPECT brain scan imaging. It also has shown to improve attention and reaction time. Patients often report a sense of increased alertness, energy, well-being and youthfulness after mHBOT therapy.
Brain injury can cause the injured neurons (brain cells), to go dormant (to sleep). Research shows that these dormant neurons can awaken and function again with mHBOT.
What Is Recommended?
The frequency and duration can vary greatly depending on the severity of and the condition being treated and can range from two to five times per week for four to twelve weeks. Each session is just under an hour. Future treatments would be as necessary to maintain health, energy and fitness. We also combine the mHBOT with products containing specific nutrients that fuel mitochondrial function and a special blend of antioxidants that will further enhance the benefits of the mHBOT. Ask us for more information.
Is It Safe?
Yes! mHBOT is safe with relatively few possible complications. Since our chamber uses filtered ambient air, it can be used regularly without danger of oxygen toxicity in the body. The majority of clients report a pleasant, comfortable experience. In addition, mHBOT can be safe adjunct to most other therapies.
What does it cost?
Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT), is distinguished from hard hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT), These treatments are done in hard shell chambers, whereas mHBOT is done in a soft shell chamber. The difference in cost of mild hyperbaric Oxygen treatment vs. Hard HBOT treatment varies greatly. Mild hyperbaric Oxygen treatment costs from $60- $90, and treatments in hard shell chambers range from $150-$200 (cash price), to over $1000 per session if billed to the patient’s insurance company. Yet, mild hyperbaric is proving to be beneficial just like the more expensive Hard shell HBOT. Often insurance does not cover HBOT, and even the ones that do will only cover a few conditions (i.e. stroke, diabetic ulcers, etc.). Insurance typically will not cover mHBOT.
For additional information and testimonials (even from well known athletes),
To do your own research:
Hyperbaric oxygen websites
www.oceanhbo.com - Watch the video clips of case study on videos.
Find them at About Us / HBO Information / NHNC Youtube Channel
Approximate Cost: $60 per hour
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