What is Mild Hyperbaric Therapy?
Mild Hyperbaric Therapy (mHBT) is a treatment in which a person is exposed
to increased atmospheric pressure inside an inflatable chamber. The typical
pressure reaches about 1.3 atmospheres, which can also be expressed as to 4
pounds per square inch. The increase in pressure allows more oxygen to
reach the cells of the body which has many healing and therapeutic benefits.
How does Mild Hyperbaric Therapy Work?
According to Henry’s Law of Physics, an increase in atmospheric pressure
allows more gas (including oxygen), to be dissolved into any given liquid.
Henry’s law is displayed in every can of soda causing it to be carbonated.
When the can is opened, the pressure is released. Without the pressure to
keep the gas dissolved, the soda will become flat in a few hours. This same
principal applies to oxygen and any of the body’s fluids (the body is 80%
water). When the body is under pressure, oxygen will readily dissolve into the
plasma (the liquid part of the blood), cerebrospinal fluid (around the brain and
spinal cord), and synovial fluid (in the joints).
Another relevant law of physics is Boyle’s Law. Boyle’s Law states that any
free gas (oxygen included), will compress as pressure is exerted on it. The
chamber compresses the oxygen so that more can be absorbed into the body.
Not only does this increase the amount of available oxygen to the tissues, it
allows oxygen to reach areas of the body that would normally be difficult to
reach. In our body, under normal conditions, oxygen must be transported by
red blood cells. Think of a highway jammed with cars, where the cars are the
red blood cells, and the people in the cars are the oxygen molecules. Only so
many people can fit into each car. Likewise red blood cells can only carry so
much oxygen. And, only so many cars can fit on the road. With hyperbaric
therapy, the oxygen can bypass this normal mechanism and dissolve into the
fluids getting into areas much easier and more efficiently. Think of our
example again where the traffic is jamming the highway. Hyperbaric pressure
pushes oxygen into the fluids and around the traffic jam as if there were
thousands of people running between, over and under the cars. They can
reach areas much faster then the oxygen riding in the cars.
Oxygen is a driving force behind the fuel that our cells produce for energy.
That energy is produced by tiny little organelles inside of all of our cells called
mitochondria. Mitochondria require oxygen and specific nutrients to produce
that energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP. For a more in-depth
discussion of just how that process works, ask for the article written by Dr.
Palmer that describes it.
Hyperbaric Therapy has shown benefits in the following Musculoskeletal
• Muscle/Tendon pain
• Poor Circulation
• Disc Herniation
• Wound Healing
In our office, mHBT is used as an adjunct to chiropractic as a form of
physiotherapy to facilitate faster recovery from injury, and improvement with
Click here for a list of other conditions that can be treated.
What are the Health Benefits?
Flooding the body with oxygen forces the rapid elimination of other gases,
thus reducing damage caused by toxic gases such as carbon monoxide. The
elevated pressure used during hyperbaric therapy further accelerates the
elimination process. Mild hyperbaric Therapy can reduce edema (swelling),
immediately following burns or injuries. It also speeds healing after injuries. It
can be a great adjunct to improve the results from chiropractic care.
The immune system is boosted by increasing the activity of the white blood
(infection fighting) cells. Our white blood cells release powerful chemicals to
destroy bacteria, viruses, yeasts, fungi and molds. Many bacteria do not
contain the natural defenses to protect them from these chemicals
(superoxides, peroxides and other compounds) formed in the presence of
enhanced oxygen. More important, the white blood cells are oxygen
dependent. When tissue oxygen drops too low, effective ingestion and killing
by our white blood cells is retarded. Re-oxygenation of those tissues
reinvigorates the white blood cells and our defense mechanisms come back
Some other benefits of this increased oxygenation is increased osteoblastic
(bone building) activity, collagen matrix formation (tissue healing), and
breakdown of many toxins.
On average, the human brain accounts for only 3% of our total body weight,
yet uses approximately 20% of the oxygen we consume. Mild Hyperbaric
Treatments (mHBT) in a portable chamber, at 1.3 Atmospheres and 24%
oxygen, has been shown to improve brain function as measured by SPECT
brain scan imaging. It also has shown to improve attention and reaction time.
Patients often report a sense of increased alertness, energy, well-being and
youthfulness after mHBT therapy. Brain injury can cause the injured neurons
(brain cells), to go dormant (to sleep). Research shows that these dormant
neurons can awaken and function again.
Mild Hyperbaric Treatments (mHBT) in a portable chamber, at 1.3 Atmospheres
and 24% oxygen, has been shown to improve brain function as measured by
SPECT brain scan imaging. It also has shown to improve attention and reaction
time. Patients often report a sense of increased alertness, energy, well-being
and youthfulness after mHBT therapy.
What Is Recommended?
The frequency and duration can vary greatly depending on the severity of and
the condition being treated and can range from two to five times per week for
four to twelve weeks. Each session is just under an hour. Future treatments
would be as necessary to maintain health, energy and fitness. We also
combine the mHBT with products containing specific nutrients that fuel
mitochondrial function and a special blend of antioxidants that will further
enhance the benefits of the mHBT. Ask us for more information.
Is It Safe?
Yes! mHBT is safe with relatively few possible complications. Since our
chamber uses filtered ambient air at 1.3 atm, it can be used regularly without
danger of oxygen toxicity in the body. The majority of clients report a pleasant,
comfortable experience. In addition, mHBT can be safe adjunct to most other
What does it cost?
Mild Hyperbaric Therapy (mHBT), is distinguished from hyperbaric oxygen
therapy (HBOT), whereby with HBOT the person breathes concentrated pure
oxygen while under pressure. These treatments are done in hard shall
chambers, whereas mHBT is done in a soft shell chamber. The difference in
cost of mild hyperbaric treatment vs. HBOT treatment varies greatly. Mild
hyperbaric treatment costs from $50 - $80, and treatments in hard shell
chambers range from $150-$200 (cash price), to over $1000 per session if billed
to the patient’s insurance company. Yet, mild hyperbaric is proving to be
beneficial just like the more expensive HBOT. Often insurance does not cover
HBOT, and even the ones that do will only cover a few conditions (i.e. stroke,
diabetic ulcers, etc.). Insurance typically will not cover mHBT.
|Dr. Tim Morgan, Director of Light of the Soul Center, proudly
displays his new Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber