HBOT – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Your Southern Colorado Spot for HBOT
How Does HBOT Work?
It all comes back your high school physics class…crap.
Henry’s Law adapted: 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.
Boyle’s Law adapted: 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.
Charles’ Law adapted: 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.
What Conditions Does HBOT Treat?
The only insurance reimbursable conditions approved by the FDA are the following: Decompression sickness, Gas embolism, CO and cyanide poisoning, Gas gangrene, Selected aerobic and anaerobic soft tissue infections, Osteomyelitis, Intracranial abscess, Management of fungal disease, Radiation injury to tissue, Exceptional blood loss/anemia, Crush injury/compartment syndrome, Ischemia reperfusion injuries, Skin grafts and flaps, Healing in selected problem wounds, Treatment of thermal burns
Keep in mind, these conditions above are candidates for the high pressure, 100% pressurized oxygen chambers seen in hospitals. The chamber we possess is considered a mild, pressurized air chamber (m-HBOT).
But just because it’s mild, it’s not weak. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy DOES NOT work specifically because of the amount of oxygen, it WORKS because of pressure. We are not in the business of treating conditions but supporting the body’s innate healing ability by giving it a little external help.
What about m-HBOT?
The only treatable condition approved by the FDA is Altitude Sickness (or Acute Mountain Sickness). We are familiar with this in Colorado Springs living at roughly 6500 feet of elevation. All other uses are categorized as off-label conditions.
With that said, many use mild HBOT in support of:
Does Insurance Cover Treatments?
No, but you can use your HSA or FSA. Care credit is also available for those that qualify, if your course of treatment is completed under 30 days.
If Insurance Doesn’t Cover It, Then How Much Does It Cost?
We charge $125 per session (60 minutes) for single sessions. You can purchase a 5 pack for $575, a 10 pack for $1100, or a 20 pack for $2,000.
Renting a chamber is always an option. Contact us on how to set that up.
The gold standard of treatment is the ’40-hour protocol.’ But many studies report that HBOT produces a strong pain-relieving effect after only five to 10 sessions. HBOT’s effects on promoting new blood vessel formation (angiogenesis) can take place in 10 to 20 sessions.
How Long Before I Will Experience Benefits?
Everyone is different. Some see immediate benefits and others may not notice any until completion of their series of hyperbaric sessions. In terms of the “40-hour protocol”, it is not uncommon for many benefits to be reported up to four weeks following completion.
How Many Visits Do I Need?
We can discuss more specifics on what you are looking to achieve but here are some considerations.
1-5 sessions: Improve cellular energy and optimizes tissue functioning. Those with residual carbon monoxide (i.e., smokers) or with mild anemia can show immediate benefits with cellular energy. Inflammatory markers can decrease considerably and begin a natural repair process.
5-10 sessions: Typically used for acute injuries with soft tissue damage, particularly if pain is involved.
10-20 sessions: Use with more serious acute injuries or chronic injuries.
20-40 sessions: Commonly used for major tissue damage (i.e. autoimmune) and when new tissue is required, through HBOT’s regenerative stem cell properties.
Under 20 hours of exposure
Increased superoxide dismutase – Major Antioxidant; Increased oxidative phosphorylation – How ATP is formed (universal energy currency); Increased oxygen perfusion – Oxygen exchange with tissues; Increased energy production – ATP again; Decreased inflammation.
Over 20 hours of exposure
Immune system regulation; Neurotransmitter regulation; Hormonal regulation; Increased stem cell release; Increased mitochondrial size and density; Increased wound healing; Increased angiogenesis – new blood vessel formation; Anaerobic infection fighting (SIBO, Lyme, etc)
Can I Use HBOT For General Health And Wellness?
Yes, and that is why we like to focus on physiological benefits as opposed to medical conditions. In saying that, it is highly recommended that you speak with us about having a general screening for being inside of a hyperbaric chamber (i.e., being “fit for hyperbarics”). As low as the risks are, this will help to minimize any potential problems you may experience. Feel free to book a discovery call to discuss any concerns.
Can I Use a Hyperbaric Chamber if I’m Pregnant?
It is not generally advised to undergo hyperbaric therapy if you are pregnant. Some people feel that there is benefit, quoting research done in Russia. However, until further safety studies are performed, it is not advisable to be inside a hyperbaric chamber during pregnancy.
I Heard That I Can Get The Same Effects By Going To An Oxygen Bar Or The Single Serve Oxygen Tanks. Is That True?
No, because it is the pressure that plays the most critical role in the effective dosage of HBOT. This is because the extra oxygen is dissolved in the blood plasma, which, alongside the added pressure, travels deeper in the body where blood flow and oxygen levels have been limited. An oxygen bar or tank only delivers higher oxygen concentrations, not pressurized oxygen. It cannot deliver the same effects as HBOT. Only HBOT can force significantly more oxygen into the blood plasma.
My Doctor Said Ozone Is Just As Good. Is This True?
Though there are similarities between the two practices, there are also fundamental differences. No one procedure should replace the other, and the appropriateness should be thoroughly investigated before deciding which is best for you.
Is Mild HBOT Strong Enough?
Don’t confuse mild with weak. Mild HBOT provides the body with significant extra oxygen. More importantly, the extra oxygen is traveling in the body’s plasma (the liquid portion of our blood) and can get into areas that most other oxygen molecules cannot.
In saying that, there are certain times that higher doses are required (i.e., a life-threatening condition) and in this case, m-HBOT would not be appropriate. This does not mean that it does not work. It just means in certain cases mild is more appropriate and in other cases high pressure 100% oxygen is more appropriate.
I Heard That You Are Not Supposed To Take Electronics Inside The Chamber. Is That True?
It’s true for the more powerful chambers that use 100% pure oxygen. Mild hyperbaric chambers utilizing oxygen concentrators are considered safe for electronics and have been deployed in this manner for the last 20 years without incident.
Can Children Use HBOT? If So, How Young Can They Be?
Yes, children can safely undergo hyperbaric therapy. There is no age restriction. The pressure can be altered based on the child’s comfort.
Our chamber is also large enough for a parent and child to comfortably be in the chamber together. We encourage the parent to be in the chamber with the child.
Can I Get Injured Or Hurt?
Anything is possible and if you have weak lungs or some type of lung condition, then you are at a higher risk. It is still extremely low and is pressure and time related. Reducing both would reduce the risk. If you are concerned about your lungs, speak to us about your hyperbaric experience and see what precautions they use to help ensure the highest level of safety for you.
If you have sinus pressure or ear pressure, it can get uncomfortable. We recommend those with ear infections or sinus infections hold off until you are recovered.
Will Using The Chamber Cause Seizures?
Oxygen-induced seizures are rare (1/10,000) and typically seen at higher pressures, we use mild HBOT. It should be noted that this is not epilepsy and will not cause further seizure activity, but instead is a one-time episode that is treated by discontinuing the oxygen session.