What Is HBOT?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is a safe non-invasive therapy that uses an increase in atmospheric pressure to increase oxygen supply to cells and tissues. In physics Henry’s law states that the amount of dissolved gas in a liquid is proportional to it’s partial pressure above the liquid.
At a greater pressure additional oxygen dissolves into the blood plasma and enters the tissues directly. This stimulates the body’s healing processes, increases stamina and endurance and helps the body reach a state of balance and wellbeing.
How Does It Help?
Normally it is the red blood cells which distribute the majority of oxygen in your body, however with hyperbaric oxygen therapy the increased pressure forces oxygen into the body fluids, more oxygen is dissolved into the plasma greatly increasing the oxygen levels.
Oxygen is needed to complete the metabolic processes in each one of our cells.
Let’s Talk About Blood Flow
Normal Blood Flow
This is what a normal well functioning capillary should look like where blood is being diffused into the tissues.
Occluded Blood Flow
When we have an occlusion, only the plasma is able to get through the blockage so no red blood cells carrying oxygen are able to get to the damaged tissue. The tissue then begins to break down further due to lack of oxygen which is needed for repair.
100% oxygen under pressure diffuses from the plasma up to three times further into the tissues.
More oxygen is forced into the tissues which encourages new blood vessels to form. Bringing more oxygenated blood to the tissues and forming new pathways.
The Benefits Of HBOT
When the oxygen-saturated plasma moves from the circulatory system into tissue spaces it penetrates areas where blood flow is diminished or compromised and carries oxygen molecules with it.
Therefore more oxygen is delivered to more cells than can be delivered by hemoglobin. Other body fluids, such as the cerebrospinal fluid, are also infused with molecular oxygen. The body has now become hyper-oxygenated.
Here are some of the many beneficial effects of HBOT:
- The amount of oxygen available to cells increases, which allows them to function beyond a “maintenance” status, or to be fired into a functioning state. Hyper-oxygenated cells perform at an optimal level with less energy expended.
- Oxygen now effortlessly crosses the blood brain barrier providing the brain tissue with a source of readily available molecular oxygen. Cells are able to metabolize vital glucose, necessary for the production of neurotransmitters essential in brain function, without expending extra energy which would use vital nutrients.
- The amount of stem cells within the body increases.
- There is stimulation of growth for new capillaries (tiny blood vessels) which then allows circulation to be either improved or restored. This reduces or even eliminates hypoxia in affected areas. An increased network of blood vessels promotes deeper circulation of oxygen and nutrients under normal conditions. Normal circulation allows certain medicines and antibiotics to penetrate farther into muscles and tissues which also helps to combat microorganism growth.
- The process involved in the normal re-modeling of normal bone is also stimulated.
- Swelling is reduced and mitigates damage to the surrounding cells, tissues and blood vessels, this is particularly important to brain injuries. Swelling reduction in the brain lowers intracranial pressure. It is therefore also a useful adjunct in treating body trauma and certain sports injuries.
- It has been shown that 40 sessions of HBO at 2 ATA increases the circulating endothelial stem cells by 8 fold (Endothelial stem cells are responsible for angiogenesis or formation of new blood vessels); this can be very helpful in wound healing and repair.
For an even further breakdown of the advantages and benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and to find out whether this therapy is right for you, please don’t hesitate to contact the qualified professionals at our Gold Coast centre.
Conditions Supported by HBOT