Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment, at a level higher than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). The increased atmospheric pressure allows the body to absorb more oxygen into blood cells, plasma, and cerebral, spinal, and other fluids. This noninvasive therapy is the most trusted for oxygen to dissolve and saturate the blood plasma (independent of hemoglobin/red blood cells), which yields a broad variety of positive physiological, biochemical and cellular effects. The typical treatment lasts for 60-90 minutes, during which the patient lies down and breathes normally.
HBOT Therapy has been demonstrated in several clinical studies to enhance the body’s innate ability to repair and regenerate. It is used as an adjunct therapy to complement and enhance the healing process in both chronic and acute conditions.
HBOT Therapy is based on the fact that at higher altitudes air is “thinner,” meaning there is less available oxygen for the body to absorb. At lower altitudes the opposite is true. At a lower altitude, the pressure is greater and the body can more easily absorb oxygen. Being in the pressurized chamber is like being at a lower altitude where the body begins to absorb a healing dose of oxygen which is infused into every cell of the body. This increase in oxygen exposure is critical for the improved healing response of our cells and the nervous system.
Insurance usually does not cover these treatments for the conditions we are using it for in our office. However, in the United States, there are certain indications which insurance does cover. These include gangrene, radiation burns, carbon monoxide poisoning, and decompression sickness.
HBOT gives me a chance to not only relax but also enhance my recovery at the same time. My endurance and recovery were accelerated and felt like I was more resilient to future stressors. I routinely meditate and HBOT allows me to hit two birds with one stone. It’s safe and painless, you can even do computer work or answer phone calls during it!
During quarantine, while I was playing basketball, I sprained a tendon in my knee. I went to the hospital, where they gave me a leg cast, and told me it would take a couple of weeks for it to heal and that I would need to take an X-ray. The next day, I went to see Dr. Gehrman, where he worked on my leg. After 2 days I was walking without the cast and didn’t feel any pain which the doctors told me would not be possible.