What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen at a higher than normal atmospheric pressure. HBOT is an adjunctive medical treatment which helps the body heal itself.

The medicinal and therapeutic benefits of heightened oxygenation to the human body have been known to the health and wellbeing industries for many years.

Traditionally HBOT has been used for treating divers and aviators suffering from the ‘bends’ or decompression sickness. Today HBOT is recognised primarily as an adjunctive therapy for a long list of diagnosis and conditions, many of which are covered by both Medicare and Private Health Insurance.

Through the enhanced delivery of oxygen that it offers, HBOT promotes healing and increasing vascularity in hypoxic tissues where an otherwise insufficient supply of oxygen prevents normal healing processes, such as chronic wounds (common in diabetes) and radiation-damaged soft tissue (common with cancer treatments).

Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body only by red blood cells. With HBOT, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph, and the bone and can be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. In this way, extra oxygen can reach damaged tissues and the body can support its own healing process. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria, reduces swelling and allows new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into the affected areas. It is a simple, non-invasive and painless treatment.

To learn more about HBOT, we invite you to watch a brief, informative video featuring Dr Ekholm, Medical Director of the Advanced Hyperbaric Recovery Center of Marin.