We are often contacted by clients seeking information on the reasons why Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is so beneficial to certain health conditions. They have often discussed the treatment with their consultants or GP only to find that they are not even aware that the treatment exists. This is, in part, due to the fact that in the UK medical schools do not teach their students of the potential benefits whereas in other parts of the world HBOT is a common complementary therapy.
A Science Lesson
Our bodies are amazing. We each have about 4 trillion cells in our body, each entirely dependent on the delivery of oxygen from our lungs. Of course, we all breathe in oxygen and as we do so, it enters into the bloodstream. The heart then pumps this haemoglobin-enriched blood through our blood vessels and then into our tiny blood capillaries.
However, with each breath, the air we take into our lungs contains just 21% oxygen, which is reduced further still, when it enters into the blood. Therefore the cells which are so vital to life are often fuelled by less than 1% oxygen.
If your health is compromised due to circulatory or respiratory disease, sadly this vital supply of oxygen to the cells can be reduced even further, often to critical levels.
The reduction of oxygen levels is called the oxygen cascade and where the concentration of oxygen in the blood cells of the body falls to lower that 0.5% this is referred to as Chronic Tissue Hypoxia.
During Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, the blood can carry extra oxygen, dissolved in the plasma, leading to higher rates of oxygen penetration into areas compromised by hypoxia.
During HBOT, you enter a state-of-the-art chamber where you breathe pure oxygen at increased atmospheric pressure. These conditions enable an increased supply of oxygen to be taken in by your lungs and dissolved into your blood.
A good analogy is this: if you try to dissolve a teaspoon of sugar in a cold glass of water, it will only partly dissolve. Warm up the water and all the sugar will dissolve. This is what happens to oxygen under pressure. The extra oxygen in your body will boost your energy, fitness and general wellbeing and enhance your body’s ability to heal itself.