Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressures in an enclosed vessel-like chamber. Under these conditions, the lungs can gather more oxygen than would be possible by breathing pure oxygen at normal air pressure. The blood carries this oxygen throughout the body. This process helps fight bacteria and stimulate the release of substances called growth factors and stem cells, which promote healing. It also causes oxygen to be absorbed by all body cells and tissues, even those with blocked or reduced blood flow. This increased amount of oxygen fuels and restores function to damaged cells and organs, including those of the liver and brain.
Though not new, HBOT has lately gained prominence for treatment of chronic degenerative health problems related to atherosclerosis, stroke, peripheral vascular disease, diabetic ulcers, wound healing, cerebral palsy, brain injury, multiple sclerosis, macular degeneration, and many other disorders. Wherever blood flow and oxygen delivery to vital organs is reduced, function and healing can be aided with HBOT.
Hyperbaric medicine is an incredibly powerful tool. It can be as helpful and therapeutic as a surgical scalpel in the right patient for the right indication. We’re seeing a rise in specialized wound and hyperbaric centers across the United States,” says Dr. Jeffrey Niezgoda, president of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine.