Las Vegas Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – Campbell Chiropractic Wellness Center
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT or HBO) is a painless procedure in which a person is exposed to increased pressure, thus allowing greater absorption of oxygen throughout body tissues. This increased pressure allows more oxygen to reach the cells within the body therefore contributing to the many healing and therapeutic benefits. The concept of hyperbaric oxygenation has been in existence as early as 1662 but has only gained recognition in conventional medicine over the past 40 years.
How Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Work?
A pressurized environment allows a greater amount of gas (in this case oxygen) to be dissolved into a liquid (in this case plasma). This is known as Henry’s Law of Physics. For instance, when a carbonated beverage is canned at the factory, a great amount of pressure is applied so that more carbon dioxide can be dissolved into the beverage, which causes carbonation. When the beverage is opened, the pressure is released, and the amount of carbonation decreases over time resulting in a “flat” beverage.
It is this same law that applies to hyperbaric therapy. Greater amounts of oxygen are absorbed into the plasma, synovial fluid and cerebral fluid when the body is pressurized using a hyperbaric chamber. In addition to the greater absorption, the oxygen is also allowed to reach areas in the body that are difficult to reach without the increased pressure.
The key mechanism involved in HBOT is known as hyperoxygenation. As the patient is immersed in the pure, pressurized oxygen, their bodily tissues are forced to soak up increased levels of oxygen. Oxygen saturates the skin and enters the blood stream, causing a number of biological reactions, which work to reduce pain and treat illness. In particular, hyperbaric oxygen therapy helps to:
- stimulate the development of new blood vessels, improving circulation
- stimulate the action of white blood cells, helping the body to fight off infection
- narrows certain blood vessels, reducing inflammation and swelling
- inhibit the growth of foreign bacteria and organisms
How Does Hyperbaric Help in Healing?
Humans can live without oxygen for approximately 5 minutes. Oxygen is essential to our existence, as evidenced in the numerous conditions caused by oxygen deficiencies in our bodies. This lack of oxygen results in a dysfunction of organ systems, causing numerous chronic health conditions. When utilizing HBOT, oxygen is forced into the tissues, organs, brain and fluids throughout the body through the pressurization of the hyperbaric chamber.
- Oxygen floods areas that are oxygen starved to stimulate cell growth and regeneration.
- Hyperbaric oxygen increases neural brain function due to oxygen saturation.
- Oxygen displaces toxins and other impurities to assist in detoxification of your system.
- Hyperbaric oxygen acts as an anti-viral and anti-bacterial, as bacteria and viruses typically cannot tolerate oxygen.
- Oxygen reduces tumor growth in cancer patients.
- Hyperbaric serves as an immune modulator, supporting the immune system to bring T and B cells within normal levels.
- Hyperbaric oxygen provides many other condition specific benefits.
Is Hyperbaric Painful?
Hyperbaric therapy is typically a relaxing and comfortable experience where users can either read or sleep inside the chamber. It is a painless treatment, but some people experience a “popping” of their ears, similar to the feeling experienced when changing altitudes in an airplane. People can alleviate this condition by chewing gum, popping their ears, or using “ear planes”. It is a normal sensation that is experienced when pressurization changes are felt when air is forced behind the eardrum through the Eustachian tube.
Multiple Sclerosis and Hyperbaric Therapy
The number of Americans suffering from the debilitating effects of Multiple Sclerosis is estimated to be a quarter of a million and growing. MS is a central nervous system disease that is thought to be an autoimmune condition generated by a virus, although definite causes are unknown at this time. The condition is characterized as a relapsing and remitting disease that is aggravated by stress and an abnormal immune system, which results in inflammation, damage and hardening of myelin and nerve fibers that typically occurs in the spinal cord, brain stem and optic nerves.
Multiple Sclerosis symptomology includes weakness, severe pain, loss of vision, and extreme pain, which are caused by slowed nerve impulses as a result of damage to the nerves or myelin, which is known as demyelination. Persons with MS also suffer from balance problems, bladder and bowel dysfunction, difficulty walking, vision loss and pain in eyes, depression, neurological dysfunction, spasticity of muscles, and debilitating fatigue.
By breathing pure oxygen while under increased air pressure (hyperbaric oxygen) many people find relief from their symptoms and, it is thought, some help in slowing down the progression of the disease.
HBO is not a cure for MS – but it seems to offer effective help with such critical symptoms as fatigue, poor balance and mobility, sensory perception difficulties, incontinence and, in some cases, speech problems. People intending to take up the therapy are provided with more detailed information by the centre and a note for their GP so that their records will include their use of the therapy. The note will also indicate that you may be given advice on nutrition or offered neuro-physiotherapy and will ask the GP whether you have any contra-indicated conditions. Rarely, an MS symptom will deteriorate and therapy may be discontinued.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Extensive international medical research, over the past twenty years, has demonstrated that hyperbaric oxygen therapy will be considered an integral role in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. In many parts of the world, hyperbaric is considered a key component of an effective MS treatment program. In some countries in Europe, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is covered by insurance and is the main treatment for MS.
Some theories suggest that Multiple Sclerosis could be attributed to a lack of oxygen in the body, resulting in the lesions that appear on the spinal cord of patients undergoing SPECT scans. Regardless of what the causes of MS are, there is irrefutable evidence supporting the treatment of MS patients with hyperbaric oxygen.
More and more medical researchers have come to regard hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a potent therapy for the successful treatment of multiple sclerosis without the side effects associated with many pharmaceuticals. Hyperbaric has been shown to reduce pain significantly, modulate the immune system, increase energy, alleviate sleep dysfunction, and reduce cognitive impairment. In most cases, patients are also able to discontinue use of many of their pharmaceuticals.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy raises oxygen levels in the body by up to 1000% through the increased pressure of the HBO chamber. Viruses are unable to survive in the presence of abundant oxygen, therefore a significant “die-off” of viruses and bacteria is experienced when undergoing hyperbaric treatments. Hyperbaric also acts as an immune modulator and allows organ and gland functionality to normalize, reducing many debilitating MS symptoms. Because of the pressurized environment inside the chamber, hyperbaric acts as a detoxifier as well. By forcing oxygen into the tissues through this pressure, toxins, chemicals and other impurities are forced out.
A recent study sited by the New England Journal of Medicine demonstrated compelling evidence of improvements in MS symptomology. Forty chronic Multiple Sclerosis patients, in the advanced stages of the disease, were treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy at 2 ATA for 90 minute sessions. Seventy percent of those treated received relief from the effects of MS after the 20 study treatments. Patients in the study who received the greatest benefit from the hyperbaric were those who had a less severe form of MS, however, because the study consisted of only 20 treatments, the results on more severe MS were not as evident.
Researchers in another study testing the effects of hyperbaric on the T and B lymphocytes of Multiple Sclerosis patients tested patients suffering with the condition on an average of more than 9 years. Ninety percent of patients tested demonstrated immune modulation after hyperbaric treatments. Some medical professionals state that the most effective protocol for hyperbaric oxygen on persons with MS is that of lower pressures at 1.5 ATA or below for longer treatment times. Some studies suggest that pressures of 1.5 ATA or below are most beneficial in correcting immune imbalances and pressures at higher levels can have a negative impact on the immune system.
Autism and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
There is an estimated 1 to 1.5 million Autistic individuals in the United States. With an annual growth rate of 11-16%, and a 172% increase from the 1990’s, Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability in this country. The condition effects communication and social interactions and is the effect of neurological dysfunction. Autism is a spectrum disorder, with varying degrees of impact and is the most common of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders (PDD). Other disorders in this spectrum range include; Asperger’s Syndrome, Rett’s Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Not Otherwise Specified Pervasive Development Disorder.
While the cause of Autism is unknown at this time, there are many theories as to the source of the condition. Some medical professionals claim that the Autism is caused by a state of hypoxia, or lack of oxygen to areas of the brain. Others state that the condition was due to a high fever or infection, trauma during birth, mineral or other nutritional deficiencies, vaccination reactions, mercury poisoning, chemical exposures, or abnormal blood flow in the brain. While there is currently no cure for Autism, researchers are investigating new and revolutionary means of treating the condition with promising results.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy used in Autism
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been utilized to treat Autism in many countries throughout the globe. The rationale behind using hyperbaric for Autism is that the treatments increase cerebral blood flow and thus oxygen is delivered to areas of the brain, which are thought to be oxygen deficient. Greater amounts of blood and oxygen begin to stimulate cerebral tissues and aid in recovery of idling neurons. HBOT also reduces excess fluids and swelling of brain tissues which aid in neurological function and a less confused state in Autistics.
Hyperbaric is also used as a complementary therapy for the treatment of heavy metal detox for such materials as mercury. Hyperbaric assists in the metabolism of heavy metal removal. It can help a patient counteract the effects of heavy metal poisoning and helps body deal with toxins even as noxious as cyanide. It is often used in conjunction with chelation and other detox procedures to help support the body to deal with the impact commonly seen in the removal of heavy metals, mercury, toxins, and other contaminants.
Worldwide, medical researchers are discovering promising results with the effects of hyperbaric therapy on persons with Autism.
So the question is- how can hyperbaric help with Autism? Scientists have varying opinions on why the therapy is so successful as a treatment for the condition. Some theories suggest that the brain in some persons with Autism, as well as Cerebral Palsy and other neurological disorders, is lacking oxygen and in a dormant, or sleeping state due to lack of blood flow. Hyperbaric forces oxygen into tissues throughout the body including brain tissues and fluid, resulting in a re-awakening of dormant areas of the brain. Other theories state that excessive swelling in the brain results in a lack of oxygen causing cerebral impairment that can cause behavioral problems, confusion, etc. Oxygen is forced into these damaged areas, through the pressurization of hyperbaric, which alleviates brain swelling by constricting blood vessels. In addition, hyperbaric is thought to provide an optimal environment to assist in the regeneration of brain tissue.
Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Help Fibromyalgia Patients?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relatively new treatment for fibromyalgia. However, initial studies seem to illustrate that HBOT has a positive effect on the symptoms of fibromyalgia, including muscle pain and tender points.
A study performed by medical researchers at a Turkish military hospital revealed astonishing results when it comes to using HBOT on fibromyalgia patients. This double blind, placebo-controlled study exposed fibromyalgia patients to 15, 90-minute hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatments. Researchers recorded information regarding the patient’s tender points and pain threshold before the study began, throughout the treatments, and again following treatments
The results of the study showed that the fibromyalgia patients receiving HBOT reported a decreased number of tender points and an increased pain threshold. In fact, after 15 sessions, the patients recorded half the number of original tender points and twice their original pain threshold. Those patients who received placebo HBOT recorded no improvements.
What To Expect with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
When you go for your first HBOT session, you will be given a set of rules that you must adhere to. These rules are to ensure your safety in the oxygen chamber. In particular, you will be asked to ensure that your skin and hair is completely clean of all products, including moisturizers, leave-in conditioners, perfume, and talcum powder. Because the chamber contains pure oxygen, it is highly flammable, and these products could cause a fire risk. You will also be asked to wear clothing made out of 100% cotton.
Most chambers are designed for one person only, and are made out of clear plastic. You will be able to read, nap, or listen to music inside of the chamber. The chamber will also have a microphone inside, so that you can communicate with your chamber operator.
The therapy itself lasts between 60 and 90 minutes. You may notice that your ears begin to pop a little, as they work to equalize the pressure in the chamber. After your session is completed, the chamber will be decompressed, and you will be allowed to go home. Sessions run 60 to 120 minutes at a minimum in our clinic. HBOT sessions are $125 per hour.
Possible Complications Associated with Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
HBOT is not without its side effects, a few of which can be quite dangerous. However, when professionally monitored, these complications are rare. One of the main complications is known as barotrauma. This occurs when the pressure in the chamber causes body tissues to become compressed, which can result in a burst eardrum or lung. Another complication, known as oxygen toxicity, occurs when the body absorbs too much oxygen. This can result in nausea, vomiting, and seizures.
Finding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Most HBOT labs are located in large hospitals and run by qualified technicians familiar with working with gases that are stored under pressure. You can book private sessions from one hour on and up, at a cost of $125 per hour at the Campbell Chiropractic Wellness Center. Please call to make an appointment. Currently, insurance is not accepted for hyperbaric therapy at the Campbell Chiropractic Wellness Center.
Richard A. Neubauer, M.D., Pioneer in the Use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Neurologic Conditions, Dies at 83.
Richard Allen Neubauer, M.D., internationally recognised pioneer in the application of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for a variety of neurologic and related disorders, died on June 11, 2007. He remained active with research and clinical work until the last few weeks of his life and died at his home in Pompano Beach, FL.
Dr. Neubauer became interested in potential applications of HBOT during the early 1970s, at which time he acquired a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. He went on to establish and direct the Ocean Hyperbaric Neurologic Center in Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, FL, where he treated people coming to the Center from throughout the world. His research and clinical practice led to the conclusion that with a hyperbaric chamber, pressurised oxygen could be provided to damaged central nervous system neurons and help restore their function. Among the conditions researched and treated at the Center have been multiple sclerosis, near drowning, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, anoxic encephalopathy, coma, and stroke. A recent focus has been the treatment of severely afflicted children with mitochondrial diseases.
His international reputation led to invitations to speak at numerous scientific meetings throughout the world. His travels as a lecturer on hyperbaric medicine included Europe, Asia, Africa, South American, and Australia. He also hosted six international hyperbaric oxygen symposia in South Florida. He was the author of Hyperbaric Oxygenation for Cerebral Palsy and the Brain Injured Child: A Promising Treatment and was coauthor of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. He has appeared on The Today Show, The Discovery Channel and countless national and international news broadcasts. He also wrote numerous book chapters and scientific articles on the treatment of neurologic conditions with hyperbaric oxygen. His letters and articles appeared in many scientific journals, including JAMA, Lancet, Stroke, The New England Journal of Medicine, The British Medical Journal and American Family Physician. Dr. Neubauer was dedicated to advancing knowledge about the potential of HBOT and he personally trained many physicians from around the US and multiple other countries. As a result, many patients even in the far corners of the world have benefited from this safe and effective type of therapy.
He was a native of Wilmington, DE. He attended the College of William and Mary, where he was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honorary society. He completed his medical training at the University of Virginia in 1947 and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha (honorary medical). He was involved in research and clinical medical practice in Wilmington and Philadelphia before relocating with his family to South Florida in 1962. There he developed a thriving practice in internal medicine and was instrumental in the establishment of Beach Hospital (later Cleveland Clinic) in Fort Lauderdale where he served as Chief of Staff and Director of Medical Development.
Among his many honours was his election to the Royal Society of Medicine. He was a founder of the American College of Hyperbaric Medicine and a member of the World Federation of Neurology Executive Committee on Underwater Medicine.
He is survived by the love of his life, his inspiration and his soul mate; his wife of 61 years, Winnie “Winkie” Isabelle Neubauer; four children, Richard Allen Neubauer, Jr. of Marysville, CA, David N. Neubauer of Baltimore, MD, Virginia Isabelle Neubauer Reilly of Margate, FL, and Marion Elizabeth Neubauer of Fort Lauderdale, FL; as well as two grandchildren, Rebecca Lynne Neubauer and Robert Martin Neubauer, living in Maryland.
For more information on hyperbaric therapy visit HBOTreatment.com