What is HBOT? Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy offers a solution to a vast scope of brain conditions. This simple, non-invasive procedure allows patients to see immediate and continued relief. For a therapy that works solely by increasing the amount of oxygen in the body, the results can be surprisingly life-changing.
Whether it’s a mental illness, a sudden brain injury, or a systemic condition that originates in the brain, patients and their families can find the identification, diagnosis, and treatment selection overwhelming. This overwhelm can compound when you learn that the condition has few validated treatment options at the end of a diagnostic journey.
Unfortunately, this scenario is too often the case with brain-centered maladies. There are a lot of unknowns in the way the brain heals and regenerates, making brain injuries and afflictions some of the most frightening conditions to encounter. Luckily, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can offer a lot of relief and healing.
How Does HBOT Work?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy stimulates the immune system and alleviates inflammation, which assists the healing mechanisms in your body to reduce pain. This process provides optimal levels of oxygen required for the body to rapidly heal when dealing with various illnesses and injuries.
The Oxygen Chamber
The air content reaches 100% oxygen at a comfortable and controlled pressure in the oxygen chamber. For comparison, the air we breathe is typically only made up of around 21% oxygen. You will feel the increased pressure in your ears, which you can clear by swallowing, yawning, or chewing gum.
Physical Effects of HBOT
During an HBOT session, the amount of available blood oxygen increases. This supplemental oxygen dissolves in plasma, lymph, and central nervous system (CNS) fluids. From there, red blood cells carry extra oxygen to all body tissues. This added oxygen promotes healing, reduces swelling, kills bacteria, and forms new blood vessels in damaged tissues, slow-healing wounds, and areas of low circulation.
The Research on HBOT
Studies show that HBOT improves cerebral blood flow to promote healing and symptom relief. While HBOT cannot reverse brain damage completely, it can significantly improve damaged tissues, speed up healing, and facilitate healthy cell growth. These processes all contribute to healing brain damage, which is something traditional medicine often struggles to accomplish.
HBOT at All Points North Lodge
All Points North has an HBOT chamber at the Lodge in Edwards, Colorado. This HBOT technology is supplied in partnership with NexGen Hyperbaric and the Center for Wound Healing and Hyperbaric Medicine. At All Points North Lodge, you’ll work with Jason Thompson, our Concussion and Depression Division Director.
What to Expect from HBOT at APN
An HBOT technician will facilitate your session and remain available to assist you for the duration of the treatment. The session takes place inside a glass tube with a pad a pillow for your comfort. When you enter the chamber, there are two things you will notice: the sound of oxygen filling the chamber and the change in pressure. The average HBOT session is about two hours, though the total time can vary based on your health concerns. Typically clients use this time to relax and enjoy listening to music or watching TV.
Side Effects of HBOT
Though the side effects of HBOT are minimal, the most common one is barometric trauma in the ears and sinuses due to increased pressure. Another occasional side effect is temporary, minor vision changes during treatment. In rare cases, oxygen toxicity may occur due to over-oxygenation. The HBOT team at APN has strategies to minimize these potential risks and will be available to help should you experience any discomfort.
Who Can Benefit From HBOT
Clients across a spectrum of health conditions, including concussions and mental health issues like anxiety, depression, and PTSD, can all experience relief through HBOT. Patients who experience multiple mental health issues have seen reduced symptoms and improved overall mental health.
The following conditions are FDA-approved for treatment with HBOT:
- Decompression sickness
- Enhanced healing of selected problem wounds
- Exceptional blood loss anemia
- Necrotizing soft tissue infections
- Delayed radiation injury (soft tissue and bony necrosis)
- Skin grafts and flaps (compromised)
- Thermal burns
- Air or gas embolism
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Clostridial myositis and myonecrosis (gas gangrene)
- Crush injury, compartment syndrome, and other acute traumatic ischemia
- Osteomyelitis (refractory)
- Wounds (non-healing, diabetic foot ulcers)
- Intracranial abscess
Off-Label HBOT Applications
In addition to the above FDA-approved indications, several off-label psychiatric and neurological conditions can improve from HBOT treatments. “Off-label” means use in treating these conditions may not be approved by the FDA yet, but enough evidence has been shown in clinical and laboratory trials to treat patients safely.
Currently, HBOT has shown success in the following off-label conditions:
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
- Arthritis (Rheumatoid, Osteoarthritis, Osteoarthrosis)
- Bone Fractures
- Drug Rehabilitation
- Healthy Aging / Wellness
- Injury Healing
- Memory Loss
- Minimizing Surgical Complications
- Post-Surgical Wound Healing
- Systemic Shock
- Traumatic Brain Injury
Outside of these specific conditions, HBOT has utility as a treatment for common, mild cognitive symptoms that we generally accept as part of life. HBOT can offer some relief for a wide variety of people that experience the following symptoms:
- Brain fog
- Memory issues
- Chronic fatigue
- Poor mood (unrelated to a disorder)
- Inability to focus
- Unexplained insomnia
- Unusual hormonal changes
- Withdrawal symptoms
Get Started with HBOT
HBOT is a safe, effective, non-invasive procedure available for APN clients and in an outpatient setting. If you feel you could benefit from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, please contact the team at All Points North Lodge. We can help you determine whether you are a good candidate, what outcome you can expect, and verify your insurance coverage. Call (855) 510 4585 or start a now.
- Harch, Paul G et al. “Case control study: hyperbaric oxygen treatment of mild traumatic brain injury persistent post-concussion syndrome and post-traumatic stress disorder.” Medical gas research vol. 7,3 156-174. 17 Oct. 2017, doi:10.4103/2045-9912.215745