Everything you need to know about hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a new and innovative treatment that causes oxygen to be absorbed by all body cells and tissues, including those that may have blocked or reduced oxygen flow. It involves the participant entering into an enclosed chamber, in which pure oxygen at higher than atmospheric pressures can be breathed in. It can restore function to damaged cells and organs, including the liver and the brain.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy basically increases the amount of oxygen that is breathed in. Breathing in more oxygen allows a significant increase in the amount of oxygen absorbed into the bloodstream. This increased concentration of oxygen means that the amount of oxygen that enters the cells and tissues is, in turn, increased, improving and stimulating their function. When tissues are damaged, the capillaries that supply the blood are also damaged, which can lead to oxygen deficit in the cells, even when the amount of oxygen being carried in the bloodstream reads as normal. Increasing oxygen levels can initiate and stimulate normal cellular repair mechanisms, which gives these capillaries the necessary means to begin to repair themselves and restore the adjacent cells to full health.
There are plenty of advantages to hyperbaric oxygen therapy. The extra oxygen in the bloodstream can also enhance the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, boosting the immune system. It also reduces swelling at sights of injury and allows new blood vessels to grow quicker in any areas where the capillaries are damaged.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is administrated in a simple, painless and non-invasive treatment which many find very relaxing. It is administrated in a secure and comfortable chamber, which is overseen throughout by a trained operator. Sometimes, a client will be accompanied. Clients can use a chair or sit on the floor, and it is recommended that participants wear comfortable clothing and remove jewellery.
The treatment consists of three phases. The first, compression, involves the air within the chamber increase in pressure. Clients will feel fullness in the ears similar to the feeling of being on an airplane. Once the pressure has reached the desired measurement, the second phase, treatment, will begin. The client then wears a mask and begins to breathe in the pure oxygen. After the treatment, the final decompression stage occurs, during which the pressure is lowered at a comfortable rebate. The sessions usually last around an hour and can be repeated every day if necessary.
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