I recently added HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) into my clinic. Why? Because chronic illness needs a multi-faceted approach.
With the clients that work with me, they have heard me discuss systems and sequences of illness. The 3 primary systems involved, in a sequence of imbalances go neuroendocrine, gut/GI, and then liver/detox. This was broken down to me by a mentor Dr. Dan Kalish.
One of the earliest responses to injury is a shift into sympathetic expression (fight or flight). This doesn’t matter if it’s an acute physical injury, an injury from autoimmune factors, emotional trauma, chemical onslaught, or repetitive, postural injury.
What does this mean? It means there’s the release of numerous substances into the circulation, such as catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline), glucocorticoids (cortisol) and mineralocorticoids (aldosterone, angiotensin) and pro-inflammatory cytokines.
You may have a bad taste for these signals and heard people label them as ‘bad’ but I can assure you the body does nothing stupid. Every response is appropriate. BUT, every response is dose dependent. Elevating blood pressure will help you escape a bear attack but elevated too long will take your life. Sleep is phenomenal for recovery but sleep for weeks on end is called a coma.
All those neuroendocrine signals and inflammation are intended for you to escape and enhance your immune expression and healing ability by attracting nutrients, fluids, clotting factors and large numbers of neutrophils and macrophages (white blood cells) to the damaged site.
A lack of regulation of the inflammatory response can lead to uncontrolled inflammation that ultimately harms the body becoming toxic to other cells, damaging tissues, vessels and organs far away from the initial injury site. Like I said in my book, ‘chronic inflammation is like making love to a gorilla. You don’t stop until the gorilla stops.’
An overfilling of the ‘third space’ (interstitial space – spaces within body tissues that are outside the blood vessels) becomes critical, oxygen transfer from capillary (tiny blood vessels) to cells are impaired, producing hypoxic (a lack of oxygen) damage to organs. If the changes cannot be reversed or slowed, organ dysfunction and failure follow.
During hypoxic injury, blood flow falls below a certain critical level that is required to maintain cell viability. The interrupted supply of oxygenated blood to cells results in anaerobic metabolism and loss of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and cellular membrane disruption. Once ATP production is disrupted, the body will conserve energy resources to what will keep you alive in the next 30 seconds but at the expense of what will build your legacy and life enjoyment for the next 30 years.
With chronic illness, this process is occurring on a microscopic level of cell damage. We have 100 trillion cells. We’re not going to notice when a few cells are damaged.
In Dr. Tom O’Bryan’s book, ‘The AutoImmune Fix,’ he discusses this as a cascade from cell damage to tissue damage to organ inflammation to organ damage to SYMPTOM to finally someone gets a diagnosis. This process can take months, years, and even decades before you actually realize something it wrong. And because it has been happening so gradually and over such a long period of time, you blame it on old age and your doctor blames it on genetics because your yearly labs come out great…until then don’t.
A lack of ATP plus a rise in anaerobic respiration is a fail safe recipe for fatigue, the #1 symptom entering my officer, regardless of diagnosis. What do I also find more often than not? An overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in the gut.
And this is why I put an HBOT into the clinic. An increase in aerobic respiration, and increase in ATP production, and faster cellular healing.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment, at a level higher than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA). In the case of my chamber, 1.5 ATA.
Increased pressure allows for oxygen to dissolve and saturate the blood plasma (independent of hemoglobin/red blood cells), which yields a broad variety of positive physiological, biochemical and cellular effects. This noninvasive therapy is the most trusted way to increase oxygen levels to all organs of the body.
Pressure is required for a gas (oxygen) to effectively dissolve into a liquid (blood plasma). When inside a hyperbaric environment, greater levels of oxygen are able to reach deep into the tissues of the body.
As pressure increases, the size of oxygen molecules decrease, creating a denser oxygen environment. Oxygen molecules in the alveolus (lung membrane) become more concentrated and make it possible for more oxygen molecules to be transferred to the blood by diffusion, which saturates the blood plasma.
While inside a hyperbaric chamber, the temperature will increase as pressure increases. The increase in temperature has a direct effect on the volume of a gas, thus increasing the volume of available oxygen.
The benefits are far reaching for virtually any condition from post-concussion, the myriad of autoimmune disorders, anaerobic pathogen issues like Lyme’s and SIBO, post-stroke, and just athletic recovery for the semi-competitive worker-outers like myself.
Got questions? Start here.