Why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Wow. What a super great question and generally the very first thing people ask me when I share with them what we have been up to lately. Many of the people I speak with about our sessions have heard of the Hyperbaric Chamber. I think it is impressive, but usually upon my initial explanation, they are scratching their heads (I know I certainly did) wondering why we would choose hyperbaric oxygen therapy and for what benefit. 

According to oxyhealth.com, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment. When breathing under pressure, exponential levels of oxygen are able to saturate the blood system, well beyond what the human body is normally capable of processing.

The increase of oxygen into the blood stream increases the ability to produce more red blood cells. This then promotes healing, reduces inflammation, detoxs and increases oxygen levels throughout the entire body.

Our sessions last approximately 90 minutes. Once inside the chamber, it takes 15 or so minutes to acclimate the pressure to its desired level. Then 60 minutes inside at that level.  The final 15 minutes is spent depressurizing the chamber. We really do not feel anything when we are inside the chamber. It’s honestly just a good time to work on the computer, read, maybe even take a nap?! Maci loves to watch shows, color or look at pictures. When the chamber is pressurizing and depressurizing, ears pop just like when you are in a plane or going up into the mountains at higher elevations. One strategy I use with Maci while we are pressurizing and depressurizing is drinking water. This helps her to swallow naturally and keep her ears popping. 

We’ve had 15 sessions as of now with another 25 to go. Ideally, 40 sessions is recommended to see the best results.  I have seen positive benefits from our HBOT, including detoxing and reduced inflammation.  It’s been wonderful and Maci has experienced some very positive results. 

As an example, we started seeing a new chiropractor around the same time we began the HBOT sessions.  In our initial intake appointment, Dr. Cummins took a series of x-rays and a temperature scan and rating of her spine. The x-rays showed the curvatures of her spine and the temperature scan/rating showed markers of how much tension and inflammation she had because of the curvatures in her spine. The markers were extremely high, red graph lines indicating high levels of tension and inflammation.  It was very eye opening to see how bad everything was for Maci.  Amazing to think she could even function throughout her day.

A month later, after having 3 days a week of adjustments with Dr. Cummins and 5 days of the HBOT treatments, we rescanned her spine with the temperature scan to see if the treatments were helping.  To our utter amazement, the scan showed no red graph lines. Every reading of her spine was now all white indicating that tension and inflammation was gone. I was stunned and Dr. Cummins was as well.  He told me he had never seen such a dramatic turn-around in such a short amount of time.

Another small example, I have seen since the HBOT treatments, is a couple of times we have been relaxing on a weekend afternoon and Maci falls asleep.  She has also done that in the hyperbaric chamber during one of our sessions.  Now to you, this may not seem like a big deal or anything important, however, she has not taken a nap or fallen asleep during the day since she was a baby.  And even then, she often times didn’t sleep and would only hang out in her crib until I would come and get her.  To my amazement, all of a sudden, she could fall asleep after 13 years of never having a nap. To me, this is a really great indication she is feeling more comfortable with her body. 

We are not quite half way done with our HBOT sessions.  I am encouraged, excited and eager to see how the last 20+ sessions go for Maci (and me too).  It is a definite time commitment, we go every day during the week, no weekends. Ninety minutes for the session plus drive time to/from the doctor office.  It is also not inexpensive or covered by insurance. The sessions are $75 a visit, however, I do go in with her so we get two people per visit for the cost of one. Even with the time and expense, I do think it is worth it and for our situation is making a big impact. 

Here’s an article that explains more about the benefits of HBOT.  This treatment is working for Maci. Maybe it can for your family, a loved one or patient.