Are you looking for a better ways to help reduce inflammation, accelerate recovery time and get your body back into balance? If so, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) might be exactly what you’re looking for. Over the last few years this therapeutic technique has become increasingly popular amongst those needing some extra help with healing injuries as well as chronic pain conditions. In this blog post we will explain more about HBOT, how it works and how it can benefit your overall health and wellbeing – regardless of age or activity level. So put your feet up, grab a cup of tea and let’s dive deeper into the world of HBOT!
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and How Does it Work
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves breathing 100% pure oxygen in a sealed chamber, called a hyperbaric chamber, at an increased atmospheric pressure. This process increases the amount of oxygen dissolved in the blood and tissues, which can help to treat several medical conditions.
During HBOT, the patient lies or sits inside the pressurized chamber and breathes pure oxygen being released into the chamber. The pressure inside the chamber gradually increases until it is two to three times greater than normal atmospheric pressure. During each session, patients typically receive oxygen under increased pressure for 60-90 minutes.
The Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
The increased oxygen derived from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can help speed up the healing process and reduce inflammation, making it useful for treating wounds, burns, radiation injury, gangrene and even infection with certain types of bacteria. In addition, HBOT may be used to improve cognitive function by increasing the level of oxygen delivered to the brain, as well as treat many other issues such as carbon monoxide poisoning and decompression sickness. Moreover, it can also be used to enhance athletic performance and reduce fatigue. As this therapy is completely non-invasive and painless, it provides an ideal solution for people who want to benefit from increased levels of oxygen without having to undergo surgery or other invasive treatments. Overall, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a safe and effective form of treatment offering a wide range of medical benefits which can significantly improve one’s quality of life.
What to Expect During a Typical Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Session
At K Wellness Holistic Health Spa, both lay down and sit down chambers are available. Some patients who are sensitive to tight spaces sometimes prefer the sit down option where they can relax, read, and even work from their personal laptop computer or devices comfortably. Others may prefer to lay down to meditate or sleep throughout the duration of the treatment.
Within the first few minutes of the session, patients may feel their ears pop similar to the experience of ascending or descending in an airplane. However, this is only temporary and once their body adjusts to the pressurized environment, one should feel perfectly comfortable.
Patients are provided gum to help with inner-ear pressure, and are welcome to take a water bottle into the session to stay hydrated. They can also request a blanket or fan to help with temperature control. Lastly, throughout a session, patients will have access to a bell that will alert the staff to check on the patient for additional requests or to help them exit the chamber. It may take a few minutes to allow for slow depressurization of the chamber, so patients should allow for additional time if they need to use the restroom or are in a hurry to attend other obligations after their treatment.
Side Effects and Risks Associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
The most common side effect of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is middle or inner ear pain, which occurs when the air pressure within the chamber changes rapidly. Other possible side effects include sinus pain from increased pressure on the nose and sinuses, temporary near- or farsightedness due to changes in eye shape caused by greater pressure on the eyeballs, and nausea or dizziness from breathing pure oxygen at higher levels of pressure. Some patients may also experience claustrophobia from being enclosed in an airtight environment for long periods of time.
The vast majority of patients will experience few side effects and the long-term benefits will far outweigh the potential risks.
How Many HBOT Sessions Are Needed to Heal, and How Often?
The amount of hyperbaric oxygen treatments needed depends on the condition and the severity of the conditions being treated. Below is a general guide on how many sessions you may need.