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START HEALING FROM WITHIN

The Miracle of Oxygen 

Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy

What if you could reduce your post-workout fatigue, alleviate the aches and pains associated with fibromyalgia or simply feel more energetic — all by simply sitting and breathing? One of QFMC’s unique services is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves breathing pure oxygen while in an increased pressurized chamber. Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Treatments, which were developed by the U.S. Military in the 1930s, were originally geared specifically toward treating decompression sickness experienced by deep sea and scuba divers. HBOT sessions, also known as a dive, are conducted here at QFMC under the supervision of Dr. Lee and his highly trained staff who will provide the caring support and attention needed during your healing process. 

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a simple procedure utilizing the physics of increased pressure and the movement of gases to assist in developing an ideal environment for healing, detoxification, rest and relaxation. It is a therapeutic treatment which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. It is used for a wide variety of conditions usually as a part of an overall care plan. This level is much higher than the 21% oxygen found in the air around you.

Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach all of the damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment. Small increases in pressure have shown tremendous effects on human physiology when paired with increased breathing oxygen levels.

Role of Oxygen in Our Body~

On average, an individual consumes about 6 pounds of oxygen per day, far outweighing any other nutrient demands and consumption. The primary role of oxygen in our bodies is energy production, although oxygen performs many roles. Food is energy, at least fats and carbohydrates are a form of stored energy. This stored energy is unusable in it’s current form. Cells must convert this energy into molecules of ATP, and to accomplish this sustainably oxygen must be present. So oxygen is extremely important in cellular energy.

Under normal conditions, oxygen is transported to the various tissues of the body via the circulatory system. However, the circulatory system can become compromised due to atherosclerosis, edema, inflammation, and acute trauma or surgery that may result in damaged blood vessels. When a tissue is injured, it requires more oxygen to heal and survive. HBOT therapy increases the amount of oxygen to your blood arteries. An increase restores the normal levels of blood, gases and tissue function to promote healing and fight infection. Under normal conditions, the hemoglobin (the carrier of oxygen in the blood) in arterial blood is saturated with 97% with oxygen.

What is the Hyperbaric Chamber?

At QFMC we operate monoplace chamber that is clear single-patient units to deliver hyperbaric oxygen treatments. These chambers are 7.5 feet in internal length and 33 inches in diameter. A wide range of hyperbaric chamber health benefits have been reported by individuals undergoing programs of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. In short, HBOT is believed to jumpstart the body’s own healing processes by forcing oxygen deep into the tissues.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works?

Normally, when we breathe air (usually at sea level), in order for the oxygen contained within that air to be absorbed by our cells, it must travel from our lungs to our bloodstream; however, our cells are only capable of absorbing about 25% of that oxygen.  Therefore, to use it, the organelles inside of our cells, called mitochondria, create energy in the form of ATP which is what our body uses during everyday functioning.

 

When inside an inflatable hyperbaric oxygen chamber, however, the pressure of the chamber not only forces oxygen into our lungs, but into our bloodstream and cells, which increases absorption rates from 25% to 40-50%. When this happens, there is an increase in the load of available oxygen to our cell’s mitochondria, which enhances overall energy production. In fact, only 50% of our energy comes from the fats, carbohydrates and protein that we eat on a daily basis. The rest comes from energy stores in our body, so in order to make this stored energy useful, our cells must be able to convert it into molecules of ATP by using oxygen. Therefore, with an influx of oxygen available, our bodies become more efficient at converting those energy stores into something which can be used for enhanced performance.

Ideal Candidate for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Let’s be clear that this treatment is safe to use on people of any age with many types of ailments. HBOT sessions are given here at QFMC last between 60 – 90 minutes. During your therapy session, you are able to relax in the chamber. You can also use this time to take a nap or just relax. While obviously beneficial for those suffering from various ailments and injuries, there are huge benefits for everyday people simply looking to lead a more complete life. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is great for body detoxification, and it helps people dealing with fatigue, stress, insomnia, and chronic illness improve their overall well-being. Many of our patients frequently use this service and consider it an integral part of their healthy lifestyle.

Medical and Health Conditions Respond to HBOT?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been successfully used for such conditions as severe cases of anemia, decompression sickness (the bends), diabetic foot wounds and skin grafts. In addition, practitioners have also used HBOT in support of:

  • Crush injuries

  • Osteoradionecrosis

  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome

  • Migraine Headaches

  • Injury Recovery

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Post-op Recovery

  • Immune Deficiency

  • Post-workout Fatigue

  • Stroke Recovery                                    

  • Actinomycosis

  • Air embolism

  • Compromised skin graft and flaps

  • Decompression sickness (the bends)

  • Gas gangrene

  • Osteomyelitis (bone infection)

  • Necrotizing infections

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Athletes

It’s not just about healing damaged tissues or increasing oxygen to the brain and tissues.  Many athletes use HBOT for athletic advantage pre and post competition. More oxygen to the tissues equals better performance. It’s also used for enhance recovery time from training thus helping to prevent chronic over training injuries. It’s used for stress reduction, and for faster recovery from acute injuries.

Pre- and Post-Operation Patients

Before a procedure, hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help prepare your body for faster recovery.  After surgery, it not only helps decrease tissue inflammation, bruising, and swelling, but it also has an antimicrobial effect which reduces instances of postoperative infection.

Patients with Slow-Healing Wounds

Lesions, sores, and wounds need oxygen to heal properly, and exposing a wound to 100% oxygen can, in many cases, rapidly speed up the healing process. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is effective at healing wounds and, in turn, reducing your risk for amputation, particularly if you have diabetes.

Cancer Patients Undergoing Radiation

According to the American Cancer Society, “Research has shown hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help when used as a mainstream treatment for the prevention and treatment of osteoradionecrosis, a term for delayed bone damage caused by radiation therapy. There is also some evidence suggesting HBOT may be helpful as an extra treatment for soft tissue injury caused by radiation."

Cellular Improvement Observed from Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

HBOT has been used to successfully treat or manage a wide range of illnesses, injuries and diseases. Below are just some of the benefits every HBOT patient receives:

  • Decreased Inflammation

  • Saturates the body with oxygen, including the plasma and white cells, increasing the oxygen level by 20-30%.

  • Increases the body’s ability to fight infection.

  • Creates new capillaries and increases blood flow.

  • Clears and deactivates toxins and metabolic waste from the body.

  • Stimulates the body to create new blood cells

  • Increases the body’s production of stem cells 800% (after 40 treatments)

  • Accelerates the rate of healing

The HBOT Process at QFMC

First time patients often have a lot of questions before taking a “dive” (that’s what we call HBOT treatment.) Sometimes children can be a little scared and even some adults may feel nervous climbing inside for the first time. At QFMC, we’ve taken every precaution to make sure your treatment is safe and relaxing and that you emerge smiling and ready for more. Below is a brief outline of what you can expect during treatment.

  • The patient lay down inside our special chamber

  • 100% pure oxygen is inhaled 

  • The air inside the chamber is slowly pressurized to allow the ears and sinuses to adjust.

  • During pressurization patients may yawn, swallow or hold their nose and blow to clear their ears – just like taking off or landing in an airplane.

  • “Dive” times vary depending on the condition treated. The patient can simply relax while in the chamber.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatment Schedule

The number of HBOT treatments you need ultimately depends on the condition you’re trying to treat, and the duration and pressure level of your treatments. Treatment protocols can vary widely. For example, clients seeking HBOT treatment for something like diabetic wound care may get daily treatments for a month, while those seeking relief from migraine headaches may receive therapy less frequently but for a longer amount of time. Sessions are typically one hour in duration. Our team will work together with you to determine the optimal HBOT schedule to meet your health goals.

What Can I Expect to Happen During My Session?

The hyperbaric chamber will seem smaller when deflated than when it is when fully pressurized; however, within one minute, the chamber will inflate completely and allow enough room for an adult to sit upright or lie fully extended. After it inflates, it will begin to pressurize. For this reason, we ask that our patients refrain from drinking large amounts of fluid before beginning a session since a trip to the restroom will require the chamber to be completely deflated. Additionally, we ask that our patients do not wear perfume or cologne when coming in for a hyperbaric session because we may have other people scheduled at a later time who are sensitive or allergic to certain fragrances.

How to Prepare for the Treatment? 

It's easy. A person can go into the chamber fully clothed. It is recommended to wear loose, comfortable clothing. Shoes, jewelry, or any sharp objects should be removed before getting into the chamber. We recommend that our patients do not wear stockings in the chamber, because it may cause feelings of claustrophobia.

Are There Any Side Effects to HBOT?

The most common side effect is to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure similar to going up in an airplane.  About 5% of patients – typically those who report ear pain with flying – have this side effect. To minimize this effect, patients learn techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during compression. Occasionally, some patients may experience minor temporary changes in their vision during their treatment period. A rare side effect is oxygen toxicity, which is caused by administering too much oxygen.

Oxygen is Life~

The range of clinical conditions responding favorably to HBOT is growing rapidly. Many individuals have shown vast improvements with HBOT and the results are generally based on patient treatment outcomes as well as scientific studies. Often times these chronic medical conditions languish in an individual’s life unless the individual requests that HBOT be added to their overall health care program and included in their treatment protocols. Call at our office and schedule your next HBOT appointment today!

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