You enter a hyperbaric oxygen chamber and breathe in pure oxygen under increased pressure. This increases the oxygen concentration in the blood and other body fluids – up to 1,000 times more than is normal.
During HBOT, the plasma in your blood delivers healing oxygen to damaged tissues. This stimulates the growth of new skin, blood vessels, and connective tissue.
When you receive hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you lie on a table that slides into a clear plastic chamber. The air inside the chamber is pure oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure, making it easier for your body to absorb and distribute healing oxygen throughout all tissues.
Normally, red blood cells deliver oxygen to the blood cells. But under certain circumstances, demand for oxygen in the blood may outpace supply, causing tissue swelling and oxygen starvation.
HBOT helps to break this cycle by delivering oxygen directly into your blood’s plasma, accounting for more than half of your body’s total blood volume.
A study of 31 healthy patients who underwent 60 sessions of HBOT showed that the ejection fraction–the measure of heart muscle function–increased significantly after treatment. The researchers believe this results from hyperbaric oxygen’s effect on white blood cell function, which improves circulation to areas that need more protection from infection and illness.
Improved White Blood Cell Function
When oxygen is abundant, your white blood cells can make powerful superoxide radicals that kill bacteria. This is what happens when you are undergoing hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
In the hyperbaric chamber, your lungs take in pure oxygen at air pressure levels 1.5 to 3 times higher than normal. This causes the plasma in your blood to carry a much higher oxygen concentration to areas with low oxygen levels. This stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, called neovascularization.
This is one of the reasons that HBOT can help to heal nonhealing wounds. It also helps to boost the action of antibiotics against bacteria that can’t get enough oxygen to survive.
You’ll sit comfortably in a glass cylinder for your treatment sessions, typically lasting an hour to two hours. You can pass the time by watching TV or a movie, sleeping, listening to music or podcasts, or reading. You might even choose to play a game of cards with friends or coworkers. A healthcare professional will monitor your treatment progress and adjust as needed.
The hyperbaric oxygen therapy chamber’s elevated pressure helps your lungs absorb more pure oxygen than is possible at normal atmospheric levels. The extra oxygen is then distributed to cells throughout the body, helping them fight infections, promote healing, and stimulate blood vessel growth.
HBOT also counteracts toxins from certain bacteria. It weakens the toxins they secrete, which can then be destroyed by your white blood cells. It can also prevent toxins from building up in stagnant areas, leading to swelling and other health problems.
In a study on mold toxicity and fungus infection, HBOT improved symptoms, including short-term memory loss, confusion, disorientation, and poor attention span. It also reversed the mycotoxins that interfere with normal brain function.
Speeds Up Cell Regeneration
As you age, your body slows down its production of new cells. This is why you may notice that it takes longer to heal injuries and why your immune system is less able to counteract the effects of toxins. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can speed cell regeneration by flooding your tissue with pure oxygen.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves breathing 100% medical-grade oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure in a special chamber. This combination of air and oxygen increases the concentration of pure oxygen in your blood plasma, which then carries this oxygen to areas of the body that have trouble getting enough oxygen for proper function.
HBOT also stimulates growth factors and stem cells that help damaged tissues regenerate, improve the ability of white blood cells to fight bacteria, and boost your natural healing abilities. It treats various conditions, injuries, and illnesses that don’t respond to normal treatment. It is especially helpful in reversing the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning and some types of oxygen deficiency disorders.