Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment, which enhances the body’s natural healing processes. How does it do this you might ask? By enclosing a patient in a 100% pure oxygen environment and putting this environment under pressure. By submerging yourself in 100% pure oxygen environment under pressure, the oxygen is pushed into every cell of your body: muscle tissue, internal organs, brain tissue, etc. When oxygen is applied in this fashion, cells produce higher amounts of neurotransmitters called growth factors, which allow cells to repair and regenerate faster than at normal conditions. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is used for a wide variety of treatments usually as part of an overall medical care plan.
There are two types of chambers, monoplace and multiplace. A monoplace chamber is simply a chamber built for one person, while a mulltiplace can fit two or more people at once. There are also two different types of monochambers. The chamber of choice, a “hard-shell chamber”, is a steel frame unit which supports an acrylic tube which can withstand up to 3.0 ATA and uses 100% pure medical grade oxygen. The other type of monoplace chamber is considered to be “mild” hyperbaric and are inflatable “bags” usually made of canvas with zipper closures. These are known as “soft-shell chambers”.
There are several reasons to use the hard-shell chambers verses the soft-shell. Just a few of these reasons are:
- In a hard-shell chamber oxygen is delivered greater than in the soft-shell chamber and is 100% pure medical grade.
- Hard-shell chambers can be put under greater amounts of pressure than a soft-shell, thus enhancing the efficacy of the treatment.
- All valid scientific research demonstrating the benefit of HBOT were performed at pressures higher than those able to be achieved in the soft-shell chamber.
- The FDA does not recognize soft-shell chambers as a medical device for hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
- Scientific literature shows that oxygen becomes bacteriostatic at 1.5 ATA—meaning infective organisms are not killed by pressures less than 1.5ATA. Since soft-shell chambers can only produce 1.3 ATA, they do not prevent bacteria from growing. They may actually enhance the growth of some molds, fungus and aerobic bacteria.
Mt. Rainier Clinic is most proud to have two hard sided Seachrist monoplace chambers.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy benefits a large number of medical conditions including, but not limited to:
- Stroke Recovery
- Traumatic Brain Injury such as concussion
- Multiple Sclerosis, ALS, Parkinson’s disease
- Adjunctive Cancer Treatment
- Migraine Disorders
- Chronic & Acute Pain
- Nerve Injury
Written by Dr. Kolbo DC, ND