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hyperbaric chamber.Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical procedure that enhances the body's natural healing process. It accomplishes this by bringing oxygen to tissues of the body that have either been injured or are lacking adequate blood supply. Normally, oxygen is distributed to the tissues and organs of the body by red blood cells. Hyperbaric therapy consists of exposure to concentrated oxygen under pressure. This process allows us to saturate the red blood cells with oxygen and also forces free oxygen into the body fluids, including the plasma, lymphatics and cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord. This additional oxygen helps the body to repair and restore damaged tissues and organs. Recent studies have also shown that hyperbaric oxygen therapy stimulates the body's bone marrow to produce stem cells. These stem cells are undifferentiated cells that can basically become any cell type upon maturity. These stem cells can travel to damaged tissues in the body and help repair the damage. It is also postulated that these stem cells can help repair damaged nerve cells, helping patients with nerve injuries, spinal cord injuries and closed head injuries/stroke.

In our office, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been successfully utilized as a treatment modality for delayed wound healing, postsurgical healing, autism spectrum disorder, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue syndrome, Lyme disease, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's disease, macular degeneration, stroke, diabetes, dementia, concussion, etc. Recently, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been increasingly used by professional athletes, to increase stamina, decrease recovery time, and increase mental alertness.

There are no “side effects” to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, which makes it one of the few medical therapies that can make this claim. During treatment the patient lays on a mat in the hyperbaric chamber and while breathing supplemental oxygen, the chamber is pressurized. The only discomfort that some patients have noted is a feeling of fullness in the ears, which occurs while the chamber is pressurizing and de-pressurizing. This discomfort is temporary and is not experienced by the majority of patients.

If you are curious as to whether your condition would respond to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you can come into the office for a no charge consultation, or do a Google search with “your condition” and “hyperbaric oxygen therapy”.