Category Archives: hyperbaric oxygen

Hyperbarics and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Did you know that each year, traumatic brain injuries (TBI) contribute to a substantial number of deaths and cases of permanent disability? The Centers for Disease Control estimates that there are approximately 2.87 million annual TBI-related emergency room visits, hospitalizations, and deaths in the US, including over 837,000 of these health events affecting children. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is showing positive signs of enhancing the recovery from a TBI and augment brain activity. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of HBOT when facing a traumatic brain injury. 

What is TBI? 

Traumatic brain injuries are a bump, blow, or jolt to the head caused by incidents such as sports concussions, car accidents, or even war injuries. The severity of a TBI may range from “mild,” which could mean a brief change in mental status or consciousness to “severe,” which could include an extended period of unconsciousness or amnesia after the injury. People with a mild TBI typically recover within a few weeks but, for as many as 20%, problems can linger for months or years. 

For patients who are in the latter category and find themselves dealing with symptoms for months or years, hyperbarics may help. Known as post-concussion syndrome, Many patients find themselves suffering from post-concussion syndrome with symptoms including depression, cognitive problems, headaches, fatigue, anxiety, and mental fogginess. While antidepressants can lift a patient’s mood, painkillers can ease the headaches, and physical therapy may help alleviate dizziness, most researchers agree that these remedies don’t heal the injury within the brain.

That is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy comes in. A growing body of evidence supports the belief of many scientists that HBOT can dramatically help cases of TBI. 

What is HBOT and how can it help? 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment where a patient breathes 100% oxygen in what’s called a hyperbaric chamber, and the result is a dramatic increase in the amount of oxygen in the blood and a dramatic decrease in swelling and inflammation.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy “can help augment brain activity by reducing hypoxia and neuroinflammation, while increasing circulation in the brain. In addition, HBOT has been reported to synergistically enhance the effects of other therapies including standard intensive rehabilitation for TBI patients to help accelerate recovery.” (Source: International Hyperbarics Association) 

Clinical studies have demonstrated the benefits of HBOT for TBI in the following ways: attenuates the effects of hypoxia and inflammation in the brain, promotes neurogenesis, moderates mitochondrial, enhances stem cell mobilization and proliferation, increases the penumbra tissue recovery, stimulates neuroplasticity, induces remyelination, and augments concussion recovery. 

Patients may experience improvement in gross and fine motor control, improved speech and cognitive understanding, advanced cognitive functions, and improved balance. Patients have also experienced fewer seizures and an alleviation of spasticity. 

A 2014 controlled longitudinal study showed evidence of motor function improvement in children who underwent hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The eight-month study examined 150 children with cerebral palsy. HBOT was included in three of the four groups of children with their standard rehabilitation. A control group did not undergo HBOT and only were offered standard therapy. Each group that was offered HBOT received 40 one-hour sessions, six days a week. Each HBOT group was treated with different levels of ATAs (atmospheres absolute) ranging from 1.3 to 1.75 ATA. 

The results were promising. All four groups improved in motor control. However, the three groups that also received HBOT showed, on average, 3 times higher improvement in fine and gross motor control! 

Hyperbaric treatment massively increases the amount of oxygen to the brain. The benefits can be life-changing for those afflicted with traumatic brain injuries. Check out the research and studies by clicking the links. For more information on how HBOT could help you, contact Angel Healing Group. 

The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Lyme Disease Treatment

What is the fastest-growing infectious disease in the United States? One might guess HIV/AIDs, Hepatitis, or one of the other pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, parasites, or fungi, spread directly or indirectly. The answer is the tick-borne illness known as Lyme Disease. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 30,000 cases of Lyme disease are reported by state health departments and the District of Columbia annually. However, this number does not reflect every case of Lyme disease that is diagnosed in the United States every year. Recent estimates using methods other than the standard national surveillance by public health officials suggest that approximately 300,000 people may get Lyme disease each year in the United States.

This number may be shocking to many, especially those who live in Lyme prevalent areas such as the northeast and Great Lakes region of the United States. Add to these statistics the fact that many cases of Lyme Disease go misdiagnosed or underdiagnosed and we have a recipe for years of pain and suffering by those who have inflicted. 

What Is Lyme Disease? 

The CDC describes Lyme as a disease caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected blacklegged tick, AKA the deer tick. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, the infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is usually diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings such as a tell-tale rash, and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Unfortunately, many people who have been bitten do not experience symptoms or the rash as it may lie dormant in the human body for years. 

The science behind the dormancy or lack of immediate symptoms lies in the characteristics of the bacteria itself. The tick-borne bacterium, or spirochete, is protected by a biofilm it creates to hide from the immune system. Often times, antibiotic intervention falls short of providing much needed symptomatic relief. 

The Role of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a procedure that takes place inside an air sealed, transparent chamber filled with 100% pure oxygen increased atmospheric pressure. This process helps the body to absorb oxygen in a greater amount and transports it to the blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid, and other body fluids. HBOT has been shown to elevate tissue oxygenation, which can be lethal to bacteria. This oxygen therapy also increases white blood cell activity and enhances antimicrobial responses. According to studies reported in the International Hyperbarics Association, “Oxygen is critical in the killing of bacteria and by exponentially raising oxygen levels throughout the body, the efficiency of bactericidal action of white blood cells can be enhanced dramatically.” 

Clinical data and case reports have demonstrated the lasting benefits of HBOT for Lyme disease. Some improvements of note include decreased neuroinflammation, enhanced short term memory, reduced chronic fatigue, improved concentration, decrease in chronic headaches, lowering the risk of depression, and moderation of insomnia. 

A trial at Texas A&M University examined the impact of HBOT on 91 patients with Lyme Disease. All of the patients in the trial failed to respond to intravenous antibiotics. During the trial, 67% of the patients remained on antibiotics throughout the trial. During the trial, 75% of the patients completed between 10-133 HBOT treatments. These treatments lasted one hour, twice a day, five times a week. Approximately 85% reported significant improvement with either a decrease in symptoms or a complete elimination of them. Most patients continued to see improvement even well after HBOT treatments. Long-term follow-ups showed that, from 6 weeks to 6 years, the benefits were sustained in 70% of patients. 

“Love Your Body” Guide – Valentine’s Day Edition

Social media, commercials, and the beauty industry bombard us daily with an unrealistic and often unhealthy view of what our bodies should look and feel like. We are shown photoshopped and edited versions of real women and men to shape our ideas of what beauty is. It’s time we get back to loving our amazing bodies and how they function. This Valentine’s Day, our staff at Angel Healing Group recommends celebrating your body for what it can do rather than what the media tells us we should believe beauty to be.

The statistics in our society are scary, at best. The National Organization for Women (NOW) reports that “By age thirteen, 53% of American girls are unhappy with their bodies. This number grows to 78% by the time girls reach seventeen.” In order to counteract these negative feelings and sense of body-shaming, experts suggest de-emphasizing numbers such as the ones we see on the scale or on the tags of clothing. In fact, neither weight nor Body Mass Index tells practitioners anything substantial about body composition and overall health. Instead, eating habits, activity patterns, and other self-care choices are much more important in the larger scheme of things.

While there is no magic cure to solving our society’s obsession with beauty, we can counteract some of these messages with our own challenge to you this year – “Love Your Body.” How can you do this? Here are just a few of the ways that you can begin to embrace and celebrate the way that our bodies work to keep us safe, healthy, and happy.

  • Find a holistic practitioner who can help you discover the right foods for your body. This will include a guide to wholesome foods to eat and an adequate water intake.  Avoid fad diets and how problematic these can be. At Angel Healing Group we help clients discover their constitutional body type according to Ayurveda so people can choose foods and herbs that are more appropriate for their constitution versus a “one diet for everyone.”
  • Change your mindset about your body. You are a person, not a number on a scale or a size on a tag. Your body is made up of interdependent parts. When one part is not working correctly, all parts are impacted. Therefore, if there is an imbalance in one area, it may be affecting another area. Take care of your whole body and help it function the way it was meant to.
  • Explore alternative methods to support your body. For example, our IonCleanse® Foot Soaks can help detox your body and give your organs and systems the support they need to cleanse themselves. Or consider Therapeutic Body Massage to improve: muscle tone, circulation, sleep patterns, mental clarity, mood and range of motion. For those of you struggling with long-term or chronic health challenges, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy or Far Infrared Therapy may be a better fit. Our practitioners can discuss which treatment is right for you and your lifestyle or health situation.
  • Think about how you feel. For many on a better health journey, they forget to consider how they feel on a daily basis. Are aches and pains subsiding? Is there a better range of motion when doing tasks around the house? Can you enjoy your hobbies or sports? Instead of envisioning what the media has taught us about being healthy and doing activities, like going to the gym, think about how you feel on a daily basis.
  • Be mindful. When you hear yourself thinking negative things about your body, or comparing yourself to airbrushed models, remind yourself about your body’s abilities. Transform those negative thoughts into reflections of how far you have come or how good you feel after eating right, exercising, or taking part in meditation. Loving your body starts in your mind!

 

This Valentine’s Day, enjoy being with your loved ones, but don’t forget to love your body too. Nurturing the parts of your body, mind, and spirit as one can make this year a great one. If you are interested in supporting your body in order for it to work the way it was intended, contact our practitioners through the contact page on our website. Happy Valentine’s Day to all. May this year be the one you learn to appreciate and love your body both inside and out.

 

The Medical Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – HBOT

What do you know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its many medical benefits? Many of us think of sci-fi movies when we think about a hyperbaric chamber, but there is so much more to this natural therapy that can greatly speed recovery and promote healing for many different medical conditions. Angel Healing Group has an onsite Hyperbaric Chamber and Oxygen Concentrator that can help with some of these medical issues in a safe and natural way. Read on to find out more about our HBOT therapy and the medical benefits it provides.

What Is HBOT?

To understand Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy it is important to understand the way it works. First, the terms may seem confusing, but they are actually describing exactly what an HBOT chamber does. “Hyper-” means increased and “-baric” means pressure. Therefore, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a special chamber where the normal 21% oxygen breathed under typical atmospheric conditions increases to 100%. This non-invasive chamber supports the entire body as it pressurizes to 100 percent oxygen – the equivalent of diving 33 to 45 feet below sea level.

What are the Benefits of Increasing Oxygen to 100%?

Oxygen is necessary for the production of cellular energy in the mitochondria of every cell in the body. By using 100% pure oxygen, the HBOT chamber has been shown to have extraordinary health benefits. When the human body takes pure oxygen into the bloodstream it dissolves at a greater rate. This means that the blood plasma becomes saturated, carrying 20 to 30 times the normal amount of oxygen to the body’s tissue. More oxygen to the tissues can speed healing and recovery time. Over time and with multiple sessions of HBOT, the increased oxygen can support the body’s natural (oxygen dependent) wound healing mechanisms, reduce inflammation in bones and tissue, and improve new blood cell formation and nerve growth. HBOT improves oxygenation and can help patients with non-healing wounds, chronic wounds, ulcers, diabetic damage to feet/lower extremities, and aid in the healing of injuries and sores due to radiation therapy for certain cancers. Research has also found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy also has medical benefits including the following:

  • Restoration of functions for patients with traumatic brain injuries
  • Decompression illness due to diving
  • Patients with rapidly spreading infections
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Thermal burns
  • Brain abscesses
  • Crush injuries
  • Amputations
  • Reduction in inflammation for those with radiation injuries
  • Some positive improvements in the functioning of autistic patients such as receptive language, eye contact, cognitive awareness, and an overall improvement in functioning.  in some.

In general, HBOT can: increase oxygenation to the body’s tissues, increase blood flow and circulation, boost white blood cell counts, enhance the effectiveness of antibiotics, and reduce swelling and pain. Our trained technicians can show you exactly what the therapy entails and how you may feel during the procedure. Most of our clients report feeling extra pressure in their ears, similar to going up or down in an airplane, but that regulates after a short time. The time spent in the chamber can be a time to relax, nap or watch some television.

Are you looking to find out more about HBOT beyond what the celebrities and science fiction movies have portrayed? Talk to one of our technicians about how this therapy can benefit you. We have included resources for you to explore, but don’t hesitate to contact us through our contact page on our website.

 

 

Resources:

“Hyperbaric oxygen inhibits stimulus-induced proinflammatory cytokine synthesis by human blood-derived monocyte-macrophages.” Clinical and Experimental Immunology

The Health Benefits of HyperBaric Oxygen Therapy

Novant Health – Hyperbaric Healing