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What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing almost pure oxygen in a special room or small chamber.

This therapy helps by increasing the atmospheric pressure in the body. It’s possible to micronize the oxygen molecule into the blood plasma instead of the haemoglobin. Haemoglobin has a specific amount of oxygen it can absorb, then after a certain point, it is maxed out. But when enough pressure is applied to the body, the plasma can absorb up to five times the normal oxygen amount which allows for carbonation of the blood plasma. This promotes an accelerated regeneration of cells throughout the body which attributes to rapid recovery and repair of body tissues. From a chemistry standpoint, we are utilizing Henry’s law of diffusion and Boyle’s Law of permeability of cells.

Benefits of HBOT:

– Increased blood oxygen levels
– Increased Recovery
– Increased Anti-bacterial activity
– Promotes Healing and Angiogenesis
– Prevents release of proteases and free radicals which is the cause of cellular damage

Procedure for Hyperbaric oxygen therapy

It’s always recommended to check with the doctor before going through this therapy. All the metal objects and electronics are outside the hyperbaric chamber. These objects could create sparks, which could cause a fire in the high-oxygen environment.

During the procedure, depending on the chamber you sit or lie in a special chamber. Most hyperbaric chambers are only designed for one person. You would have to lie on a table that slides into the hyperbaric chamber, where you’ll continue lying during the entire session. 100% oxygen delivered in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber will, in effect, deliver “250-300%” O2, depending on the atmospheric pressure. Sessions usually last between 1 and 2 hours. The number of sessions would usually vary from person to person depending on their individual goals.

People can usual resume their daily activities immediately following a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session. Most people see benefits from this therapy after several sessions. It’s important to continue the recommended full course of treatment as advised by the healthcare team.

Is HBOT Safe?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a cure-all for any and every medical condition. In order to be most effective, HBOT must be prescribed by a doctor or a professional healthcare team who specifically understands what the user’s body needs.

Similarly, the hyperbaric treatment must be administered in a clinical environment, under strict supervision.

Although there are minor risks, HBOT is safe. The most common side effects are sinus and barotrauma caused by the shift in pressure – not unlike the pressure one would experience during the ascent and descent of a commercial flight. One can learn different techniques to help clear the ear during compression and decompression, and prevent discomfort during treatment.

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