Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - What is it?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or HBOT - is all over the news recently. Mainstream media has focused in on the benefits that people are receiving from this treatment, and we believe the excitement has just started to build. HBOT is not new to the medical community, but due to some great new things that are happening with Autistim and other conditions, it has been recognized as a new way to benefit these people. This method of treatment has been used for over 300 years. The first documented use of HBOT was in 1662 by British Clergyman Henshaw. 1 Since then, there have been many scientific and case studies on the use and benefits of Hyperbaric treatment.

April is National Autism Month, and the news has been full of stories about how this method helps people affected by Autism. HBOT has been proven effective in reducing irritability, hyperactivity and repetitive behaviors, while improving a grasp of language, eye contact, social interaction and direct contact with siblings and family members. From our experience these findings are true and very exciting. Many times changes can be noticed after only a few treatments.

Most individuals relate Hyperbaric chambers with something used to help divers return to normal after a sudden rise to the top of the water, from a great depth. Chambers are seen in movies and on TV frequently, for this purpose. Those chambers are large metal containers which people are sealed into and watched through a window. Mild Hyperbaric Therapy is done in a similar manner. Our chambers are soft sided and do have several windows. There are pillows and plenty of room for a small DVD player. Since treatments are approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes from start to finish some of our patients take a nap, others listen to their mp3 players, or text message from their phone. It is safe and comfortable.

The experience is about the same as being in an airplane. Your ears feel some pressure, but swallowing several times usually relieves this while you are being brought up to the proper level of atmospheric pressure. Once you are at the optimum level, the timer is started. For one hour your body will be breathing 100% oxygen. Due to the pressure of the chamber, oxygen is absorbed into the fluid (plasma) and other tissues more readily, then carried to places where circulation is poor. Once your hour is completed, the chamber is slowly reduced back to normal atmospheric pressure, which may cause your ears to feel pressure or have that popping sound again. When you are returned to normal pressure this sensation will go away.

Hyperbaric treatment is safe for people of all ages, and occasionally children are accompanied by a parent to help keep them occupied during treatment. HBOT is used for reducing inflammation, it promotes healing, and stimulates blood vessel growth. It has also been used for fighting fungus, harmful bacterias and viruses. It increases energy, and is effective against autoimmune function. Specifically patients have found relief from such things as Migraines, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Lyme Disease, Dermatitis, Athletic Injuries, Brain Injuries and Stroke damage. There are many benefits of using this treatment. You may visit our website for more conditions that are shown to improve with HBOT.


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