What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment?
While HBOT chambers to treat deep sea divers suffering from decompression sickness (the bends) were first developed by the military in the 1940s, its use to treat disease has been a more recent development.
By the 1960s it was realised that HBOT might be appropriate to other conditions and illnesses and it was used for example for carbon monoxide poisoning cases and other oxygen-depletion scenarios such as gangrene. It was thus shown to increase, not just blood oxygen levels, but tissue oxygen and improve tissue healing.
There are now many other illnesses and conditions for which the idea of increasing cellular oxygen load is accepted as having significant benefits - for example ulceration (caused by radiotherapy, diabetes and so on), brain damage after accidents and plastic surgery. Brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's have been shown to have favorable results with HBOT. Also, Autism and the other disorders on the spectrum have wonderful results larger due to the fact that the brain has a greater call for oxygen than any other tissue.
Using HBOT for cancer is based on the fact that most cancers, at their center, lack oxygen and multiply in a hypoxic environment. Oxygen has shown to aide in the body's ability to kill the cancer.
In 1931 Otto Warburg won a Nobel prize for explaining that oxygen was the enemy of the cancer cell. It kills them. Indeed, cancer cells thrive in an environment where oxygen is depleted (Hypoxia). The abnormal blood supplies created by tumours feature ´hypoxic pockets´ - where there is no oxygen and lower pH (a more acidic environment). These hypoxic pockets seem to protect the cancer cell from the outside world, leaving it alone to burn glucose (glycolysis) and flourish. The pH inside such tumours is highly acidic - around 6.2 pH.
Since Warburg's discovery, many alternative cancer experts have pondered over ways of delivering oxygen to cancerous tissue in the hope of killing the cancer cells and restoring the tissue to a normal state. HBOT can be a wonderful tool to aide in the detoxification, healing and recovery process.
To quote from a 2012 review on the previous 8 years research into HBOT here : ´research has shown that HBO can be inhibitory and reduce cancer growth in certain cancer types´.
In our chamber, one can rest easily watching an iPad, listening to music, or reading a book. There is no need to disrobe and treatment is typically for an hour. There is also no discomfort whatsoever; many people take a nap.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment, at a level higher than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). Increased pressure allows 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. This noninvasive therapy is the most trusted way to increase oxygen levels to all organs of the body. The typical treatment lasts for 60-90 minutes, during which the patient lies down and breathes normally.
HBOT 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.
It’s like when you purchase a bottle of soda, the CO2 (carbon dioxide) gas bubbles are under pressure, which decreases the size of the bubbles enough that they dissolve into the liquid. Therefore, you are unable to see them. When pressure is released, the volume of each bubble increases and the bubbles appear. While an individual is under pressure, the oxygen molecules decrease in size and are able to dissolve into the blood plasma. This exponentially increases oxygen delivery throughout the body and makes it possible for oxygen to reach inflamed tissue and support optimal cellular and organ functionality.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that can be traced back to the 1600’s. In 1662, the first renowned chamber was built and operated by a British clergyman named Henshaw. He erected a structure titled, the Domicilium, that was used to treat a variety of conditions. In 1878, Paul Bert, a French physiologist, discovered the link between decompression sickness and nitrogen bubbles. Bert later identified that the pain could be ameliorated with recompression. The concept of treating patients under pressurized conditions was continued by the French surgeon Fontaine, who later built a pressurized mobile operating room in 1879. Fontaine found that inhaled nitrous oxide had a greater potency under pressure, in addition to his patients having improved oxygenation.
In the early 1900’s Dr. Orville Cunningham, a professor of anesthesia, observed that people with particular heart diseases improved better when they lived closer to sea level than those living at higher altitudes. He treated a colleague who was suffering from influenza and was near death due to lung restriction. His resounding success led him to develop what was known as the “Steel Ball Hospital” located along the shore of Lake Erie. The six story structure was erected in 1928 and was 64 feet in diameter. The hospital could reach 3 atmospheres absolute. Unfortunately, due to the depressed financial status of the economy, it was deconstructed during in 1942 for scrap.
Subsequently, hyperbaric chambers were later developed by the military in the 1940’s to treat deep-sea divers who suffered from decompression sickness. In the 1950’s, physicians first employed HBOT during heart and lung surgery, which led to its use for carbon monoxide poisoning in the 1960’s. Since then, over 10,000 clinical trials and case studies have been completed for numerous other health-related applications with the vast majority of results reporting resounding success.
"There is always a REASON, a 'why', for someone getting cancer. How in the world can anyone truly get better without discovering exactly what that IS." Dr. Conners