Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is offered in our Santa Barbara clinic. It is also known as oxygen diving. The Hyperbaric oxygen chamber is a pressurized tube, that inflates once the client is inside. It is roomy and comfortable. Then, a special mask that delivers oxygen to the client is worn. Due to the pressure in the chamber, oxygen molecules are pushed into the blood plasma (whereas typically one red blood cell will carry 4 oxygen molecules at capacity). This process enriches the blood with oxygen, and the blood then heals and rejuvenates the entire body, from the inside out. While everyone can benefit from this treatment, it is especially effective in cases of head trauma (TBI, stroke, concussion), as well as depression. Hyperbaric oxygen boosts the body’s natural healing capabilities by dissolving free radicals in the body, allowing for inflammation to decrease. HBOT is also used by professional athletes and everyday people as a peak performance enhancer.
HBOT has shown results of improving memory, attention, and executive function for people with brain injuries, both recent and old(1). The mechanism has been shown for this in animal models, demonstrating the brain rewiring (remyelinating) itself when HBOT is given(2). HBOT has also shown to heal physical wounds like cuts, burns and impacts faster(3). Furthermore, depression and anxiety were shown to decrease (4) more than psychotherapy in an experiment with spinal injury patients!
The jury is still out on whether HBOT is an effective treatment for Autism, yet many are optimistic about the effects. Furthermore, HBOT is used by professional athletes, intellectuals, and ordinary people as a peak performance enhancer in order to get the edge in their field.
Each cell in your body would die if deprived of O2 (oxygen gas) for more than a few minutes. The circulatory system transports oxygen to every cell in the body. This complex network of pipes (such as veins and arteries) has a basic unit of exchange: the capillary. This is a tubule through which red blood cells (RBCs) move in single file. The capillary is where oxygen is exchanged for carbon dioxide. The brain is completely woven with capillaries, as are all structures in the body.
RBCs contain a molecule named hemoglobin. This protein can hold four O2 molecules. Each RBC contains around 270 million hemoglobin molecules. There are around 5 million RBCs in the average person's bloodstream. Hemoglobin molecules typically do not carry their full capacity of four O2 Molecules. HBOT attempts to maximize the oxygen in the bloodstream by delivering pure oxygen to the mask to be breathed into the lungs, as well as pressurizing the environment with O2 gas, forcing it into the pores, to deliver as much as possible throughout the tissues.