Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment that involves delivering oxygen at increased atmospheric pressure to heal injuries to the body. According to Dr. Paul G. Harch, a pioneer and leading authority on hyperbaric oxygen therapy and research, “Oxygen under pressure works as a drug to treat basic disease processes that are common to many acute and chronic conditions. By treating the disease processes the diseases are treated also.” Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) works by fully enclosing a person in a chamber, increasing the pressure in the chamber, and then delivering pure oxygen. The entire body and all organs and tissues in the body are exposed to increased oxygen pressure. The oxygen is breathed into our lungs where it dissolves in the blood and is distributed throughout the body.
At sea level, or 1 atmosphere (ATA) of pressure, the air we breathe is only 21% oxygen. This small amount of oxygen is enough to saturate 98% of the oxygen carrying protein in our blood, the hemoglobin. With hyperbaric oxygen, the body is exposed to 1-3 atmospheres of pure oxygen or 100%-300% oxygen, nearly 15 times the amount of oxygen in our air. At Revolutions we use 1.3 atmospheres of pressure effectively oxygenating up to 130%. Less is often more in regard to oxygen; toxicity is well known over 300% (3.0 ATA alone) and if HBOT is combined with other oxidative treatments threshold of toxicity may be less (high dose vitamin C, ozone etc). Oxygen tolerance is also individual to the human and the disease process within.
Many of the positive studies on HBOT have demonstrated low level (or mild) therapies to be as efficacious and generally less toxic to the body than higher pressure treatments. This is especially true when the HBOT treatment is part of a larger protocol since it provides synergy. In neurological cases any useful IV or oral therapy will be synergized by HBOT and enhance the effect. HBOT creates an increased pressure gradient of nutrients flowing from the plasma to the cell and mitochondria (energy producing organelle).
Studies have shown that hyperbaric oxygen promotes muscle regeneration even at 1.25 ATA with normal air, suggesting that mild hyperbaric oxygen is a viable adjuvant therapy to promote healing of severe muscle injury. For most neurological purposes 1.3 ATA systems work as well as higher pressure systems. The more evidence we consider the more we see a place for lower pressure hyperbaric protocols, and in many indications it is likely lower pressure protocols are as efficacious as higher pressure protocols.