DOCS is happy to announce the return of our Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Service!
If you aren't familiar with this therapeutic service, or are still deciding whether or not to try it out, here are some key points to know.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a therapy in which patients breathe 92%-100% oxygen in a chamber, under increased, but controlled pressures.
The normal atmospheric condition we all experience on land is called normobaric pressure. Hyperbaric, is defined as utilizing greater than normal pressure.
When divers go under, the pressure of the water and air above them increases with depth. This additional pressure causes several changes in the way a human body processes blood gases like oxygen. A hyperbaric chamber attempts to mimic that environment.
Normally, oxygen gets delivered through your blood system. During hyperbaric therapy, your entire body receives the treatment. As a result, oxygen can actually go beyond the reach of your arteries, extending the healing benefits of oxygen. The oxygen is able to go much deeper into the body to help with healing and repair.
There are full hyperbaric chambers and mild hyperbaric chambers. The difference is in the oxygen percentage and the chamber pressure. Full hyperbaric chambers, which are are mainly found in hospitals, use 100% oxygen with a pressures between 2 ATA to 2.5 ATA. Mild hyperbaric chambers, like the one at DOCS, uses 92%-95% oxygen with a pressure of 1.3 ATA. For comparison, the air we breathe consists of 21% oxygen.
The main idea behind exposing the body to this amount of oxygen is to encourage its natural healing process to work quickly and efficiently, by saturating the blood and tissues with high concentrations of oxygen. This high dose of oxygen stimulates the power of the mitochondria in the cells, which provide the cells with energy. Even more, it attracts stem cells, which are healing cells, to the impaired area.
HBOT chambers can deliver the increased oxygen levels that your body may need in order to recover from ailments that may otherwise not heal due to insufficient oxygen or require a lengthy amount of time at normal levels.
So you may wonder what the HBOT procedure looks like for you. It really couldn't be easier. All you do is enter the chamber, sit back, breathe normally and relax. While in the chamber you can read, meditate and even sleep.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, HBOT helps wound healing by bringing oxygen-rich plasma to tissue starved for oxygen. Wound injuries damage the body's blood vessels, which release fluid that leaks into the tissues and causes swelling. This swelling deprives the damaged cells of oxygen, and tissue starts to die. HBOT reduces swelling while flooding the tissues with oxygen. The elevated pressure in the chamber increases in the amount of oxygen in the blood. HBOT aims to break the cycle of swelling, oxygen starvation, and tissue death.
HBOT prevents "reperfusion injury." That's the severe tissue damage that happens when the blood supply returns to the tissues after they have been deprived of oxygen. When blood flow is interrupted by a crush injury, for instance, a series of events inside the damaged cells leads to the release of harmful oxygen radicals. These molecules can do damage to tissues that can't be reversed and cause the blood vessels to clamp up and stop blood flow. HBOT encourages the body's oxygen radical scavengers to seek out the problem molecules and allow healing to continue.
HBOT helps block the action of harmful bacteria and strengthens the body's immune system. HBOT can disable the toxins of certain bacteria. It also increases oxygen concentration in the tissues. This helps them resist infection. In addition, the therapy improves the ability of white blood cells to find and destroy invaders.
HBOT encourages the formation of new collagen (connective tissue) and new skin cells. It does so by encouraging new blood vessel formation. It also stimulates cells to produce certain substances, like vascular endothelial growth factor. These attract and stimulate endothelial cells necessary for healing.
HBOT has been used for:
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Childhood neurological Disorders
Infection of skin or bone that causes tissue death
Nonhealing wounds, such as a diabetic foot ulcer
Skin graft or skin flap at risk of tissue death
Traumatic brain injury
Vision loss, sudden and painless
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not for everyone. It should not be used by people who have had a recent ear surgery or ear trauma, a cold or fever, or certain types of lung disease, glaucoma, seizure disorders and some other conditions. Always check with your doctor to make sure HBOT is right for you.
Sometimes your body needs a little extra help, and because oxygen is involved in so many of the body's processes, the benefits of hyperbaric therapy can be diverse and plentiful.
If you are interested in experiencing a mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy appointment, or if you have questions about our service,
call us at DOCS Outside the Box! - 727-498-8898.