What is it?
Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a chamber pressurised with air. The air pressure is increased to 35% higher than normal air pressure which raises the levels of oxygen in the body's blood plasma leading to higher amounts of oxygen being delivered to all the body's tissues. This helps fight bacteria, reduces inflammation and stimulates the release of growth factors and stem cells, thereby promoting healing.
How it works
Gas under pressure diffuses into a liquid (Boyle's Law). When the body is subjected to increased pressure, the fluids, tissues and cells are able to absorb much more oxygen than we would normally.
Blood is made up of three main components; white blood cells that fight infection, red blood cells that carry oxygen, and plasma, the fluid that carries both kinds of cells throughout the body. Under normal circumstances, the red cells carry the majority of oxygen while the plasma carries about 3% oxygen. Since mHBOT forces oxygen into the body fluids, more oxygen is dissolved into the plasma greatly increasing the oxygen levels. The plasma then carries the extra oxygen throughout the body to enhance the body's natural healing process.
Increased oxygen levels in the blood plasma thereby gives the body tissues the ability to become more concentrated with oxygen, creating a more effective environment to support healing and improve the metabolic function of cells and support and strengthen the immune response.
mHBOT promotes relaxation, stimulates the body's healing processes, increases stamina and endurance and also helps the body to return to a state of balance and wellbeing.
mHBOT for Sports
Many elite athletes use mHBOT regularly and they report less muscle fatigue, lower levels of lactic acid build up and greater endurance. Higher concentrations of oxygen in the blood at the cellular level allows them to increase performance and healing to occur at a much faster rate and recover more rapidly.
Sports training is tough on the body. If you want to succeed you have to push yourself. But your body also needs time to recover. mHBOT helps your body to recover faster by reducing inflammation and accelerating muscle repair. So you can push yourself further than before with more rigorous training schedules which will give you better results.
Ever wondered why a muscle tear (strain) heals quicker than a ligament tear (sprain)? The answer is oxygen! Muscles have an abundant supply of oxygen providing them with the necessary energy needed for increased protein synthesis for tissue repair and regeneration. Ligaments and tendons on the other hand, do not. So the question remains how do we get more oxygen to the tissues? The answer is simple - pressure! mHBOT supplies pressure optimally.
mHBOT and Surgery
The increased oxygen carried to the cells can decrease the amount of post-operative inflammation, scar tissue, bruising, swelling and infection and bring faster healing.
mHBOT can also provide effective treatment for some medical conditions by helping to reduce hypoxic (insufficient oxygen) areas of the body.
• may speed healing for serious infections, sports injuries, neurological conditions, wounds and decompression sickness
• increases oxygen concentration in body tissues, even those with reduced blood flow
• stimulates the growth of new blood vessels to locations with reduced circulation
• causes a arterial dilation, resulting in an increased blood vessel diameter
• stimulates an increase in superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of the body’s antioxidants and free radical scavengers
• aids the treatment of infection by enhancing white blood cell action
• may activate parts of the brain to restore function after injury from concussion, stroke, cerebral palsy or trauma (TBI’s)
• may help with autism spectrum disorders, Asperger's syndrome and foetal alcohol syndrome
• may assist in healing diabetic ulcers and potentially gangrenous legs and feet caused by blocked circulation
• may assist in post-surgical recovery and healing by decreasing inflammation, scar tissue, bruising, swelling and infection.
A course of mHBOT may
• improve strength, energy and endurance
• relieve tension and stress
• improve concentration and memory
• detoxify the blood
• promote healing and rejuvenation
• strengthen heart and lungs
• reduce headaches and migraines
• improve metabolism and aid digestion
• reduce fatigue and improve sleeping patterns
• relieve muscle stiffness
• improve skin conditions
• strengthen the immune system
• enhance feelings of wellbeing
How will I feel during and after a treatment?
Generally, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a relaxing experience – in fact most people drift off to sleep. Afterwards, you may feel more alert, awake and energised. Some people may temporarily experience minor detox symptoms after a treatment; most commonly fatigue - possibly for 10 minutes or so.
What does it feel like in the chamber?
You may feel a change of pressure in your ears, similar to the sensation of descending in an aircraft or diving deep in a pool. During a treatment you may feel slightly warm whilst the chamber is pressurising, comfortable when the chamber is at pressure and slightly cool as it depressurises. Your heart rate and blood pressure will settle as the pressure increases helping you to relax. The increased level of oxygen promotes a deep sense of relaxation. One hour in this oxygen rich environment may be equivalent to three hours of quality sleep.
Is mHBOT safe?
Yes, it is safe for the very young to the elderly. There have been no known side effects reported for mHBOT. The chamber can be used without the danger of oxygen toxicity.
The only absolute contraindications to mild HBOT are pneumothorax and air-trapping emphysema.
Other issues such as seizures, myopia (nearsightedness), cataracts, and oxygen toxicity do not relate to mild HBOT therapy as they are unheard of at pressures below 1.3 ATA.
In the following cases, going into the chamber should be avoided:
- Acute asthma attack
- Cardiac disease: patients with an ejection fraction less than 35% are contraindicated for therapy
- Congenital spherocytosis (due to the fragility of the red blood cells)
- COPD or Emphysema with CO2 entrapment; in combination with HBOT this might lead to pneumothorax
- High Fever
- History of recent thoracic surgery; this is usually not a problem although caution should be taken as there might be air entrapped in chest wounds.
- Retinal detachment repair with 'oil bubble' preset
- Optic neuritis
- Uncontrolled seizure disorder
- Upper respiratory infections or ear infection; this might make it difficult for patients to equalise the pressure in their ears or sinuses during the treatment
If you are taking the following medications you should speak with your primary healthcare provider about discontinuing them prior to receiving mild HBOT.
- Cis-Platinum—a chemotherapy agent
- Disulfiram (Antabuse®)—an oral tablet used to treat chronic alcoholism
- Doxorubicin (Adriamycin®)—a chemotherapy agent
- Mafenide Acetate (Sulfamylon®)—a topical cream used to prevent and treat bacterial or fungal infections
Pregnancy is a relative contraindication. If you think you may be pregnant please speak with your hyperbaric technician.
Your mHBOT therapist will give you an assessment before you undergo a treatment.
How long is a session?
A usual sessions is 90 minutes, however you can safely use the chamber for much longer. We accept bookings for both shorter and longer sessions.
What should I wear?
You will be fully clothed during treatment and it is important that you relax, so wear something loose and comfortable.
What can I do in the mHBOT chamber?
Whilst in the chamber you can listen to your favourite music, meditate, use our mind machine, read a book, or simply relax and breathe in the benefits.
Our state of the art chamber is designed so you can either sit up or recline completely in our specially designed folding chair.
How many sessions will I need?
Treatment length will depend on your individual situation and objectives. Most treatment requires an initial concentration period and then further assessment and treatment relevant to the initial response to mHBOT. Your mHBOT therapist will discuss your lifestyle and health goals before any treatment is commenced.
After successful treatment, occasional mHBOT may be recommended to ensure that oxygen levels remain optimum.
Comments about mHBOT
"The side effects of chemotherapy treatment for my rare blood disorder were exhaustion, nausea and headaches. The results of mHBOT have been phenomenal. My energy is nearly normal, headaches are greatly reduced and I'm experiencing minimal nausea. My quality of life is greatly improved." S.B.
We currently have a 1.3 ATM chamber available in Raumati South on the Kapiti Coast - about 40 minutes drive from central Wellington.
Special introductory price of $50 for a 90 minute session. Discounts are available for multiple sessions.
Sessions are available 7 days a week during the day and evenings.
To book your session and for enquiries
Please phone PRM: 04-905 6363 or email firstname.lastname@example.org