Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy


How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy(HBOT) uses the power of oxygen to heal the body. Every cell requires oxygen to power the metabolic processes that release energy and produce life. Cells use oxygen in cellular respiration to extract stored energy which can then be used to heal and repair.

HBOT increases the level of oxygen in the blood, which in turn raises the amount of oxygen being delivered to the cells, tissues and organs. For the more technically savvy, HBOT is the use of increased atmospheric pressure and increased pressure of oxygen to facilitate higher levels of oxygen moving into and circulating through the body. When the body is in an environment of increased pressure, cells are able to absorb a greater amount of oxygen. This is because gas under pressure diffuses into liquid (google Henry’s Law for a more detailed explanation). With increased pressure and increased oxygen, more oxygen is dissolved into the blood and is able to enter the cells to trigger healing. There are different types of hyperbaric oxygen chambers with different levels of pressure. Mild hyperbaric chambers are very safe, conformable and relaxing.

Sports performance

One of the areas that is enhanced by hyperbaric oxygen therapy is sports performance. Muscles require an abundant supply of oxygen to trigger protein synthesis, tissue repair and muscle regeneration. When muscle activity requires more oxygen than is available the muscle burns glucose without oxygen. This creates large amounts of lactic acid resulting in muscle pain and fatigue. By increasing oxygen in the body, lactic acid as well as inflammation is reduced allowing recovery to occur at a much faster rate.

Post operative recovery

Post surgery wound healing is also accelerated with HBOT due to the ability of oxygen to down-regulate inflammation, prevent infection and reduce scar tissue. HBOT stimulates the growth of new blood vessels in both acute and chronic wounds helping them to heal and accelerating recovery. HBOT also helps bruising and swelling after plastic surgery.

Brain function

The brain, which is around 2 percent of total body weight, uses more than 20 percent of the body’s oxygen. Its oxygen requirement is very high and for this reason a large amount of research has been undertaken on the effects of HBOT in traumatic brain injury and brain toxicity. Dr. Paul Harch’s book, The Oxygen Revolution, outlines his 15 years of research and experience treating patients with HBOT, most of which involves brain injury and neurological impairment. He believes hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MS.

Benefits of hyberbaric therapy

Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy offers many benefits:

  • reduces stress
  • reduces fatigue
  • promotes healing
  • relieves muscle tension
  • improves memory
  • improves concentration
  • boosts metabolism
  • strengthens lungs
  • strengthens immune system
  • anti-aging
  • detoxification

Frequently asked questions

Is mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy safe?

Yes, absolutely. Both the very young and very old are completely safe in the mild hyperbaric chamber. There is no danger of oxygen toxicity and no known side effects at this level of pressure.

How many sessions do I need?

The amount of sessions required will vary depending on individual circumstances. Chronic illnesses and injuries generally require more sessions over a longer period of time whereas acute cases may require more sessions in a shorter period of time. For general wellbeing and maintenance one session per week or fortnight is optimal.

How long does a session last?

Each session is at least 60 minutes. It takes the body about 40 minutes to fully oxygenate so 60-80 minutes is optimal.

How will I feel inside the hyperbaric chamber?

Our mild hyperbaric chamber provides 1.35 ATA or atmospheric absolute/pressure. It is for most people a relaxing and calming experience, like take off or landing in an aircraft. Some people will experience ear pain for a short time as the chamber pressurises and depressurises but this generally stops once the final pressure is reached. Although the chamber is quite spacious with small windows, we don’t recommend sessions for those who have severe claustrophobia.

What should I wear in the chamber?

Comfortable clothes are best in the hyperbaric chamber. You can safely take your iPad, iPod or mobile phone into the chamber, or simply relax without distraction. It’s totally up to you.