Hyperbaric Therapy – Delivering Oxygen Efficiently!
What happens when you stop breathing? Okay, of course this is a bit of a silly question, but one that brings focus to the role of oxygen in the body. If you stop breathing you will ultimately die. Why? Because your cells utilize oxygen to help in metabolizing the stored energy that you consume in the form of food. Without the oxygen your cells wouldn’t be able to produce ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) which you can think of as the energy units that power your cells. Without the energy your cells die.
Needless to say, oxygen is imperative for the healthy functioning of your body. Too little oxygen and your body even at its smallest levels won’t be working as it should. Low oxygen flow can result from many things including poor circulation, damaged tissues, disease, and injury. When you aren’t getting enough oxygen you need a tool to help push oxygen into your system. Hyperbaric therapy is just the modality for the job.
Hyperbaric therapy is a modality that has the patient breathing concentrated oxygen while in a chamber that is pressurized to greater than normal atmospheric pressure. The added pressure in hyperbaric therapy is really the crucial key in making this tool so effective.
Normally as we breathe our hemoglobin in our red blood cells will pick up oxygen and then our circulation will help to deliver that throughout your body. However, your hemoglobin have a carrying capacity that they’ll reach once you’re full of oxygen. Once this carrying capacity is reached your body has a harder time picking up additional oxygen. An oximeter is a device that you can use to actually see what percentage of your hemoglobin are carrying oxygen. A normal reading would be between 94-98%. That means a majority of the time your red blood cells are carrying their maximum amount of oxygen. Even if you were to breathe 100% pure oxygen you would only have about 2-6% more oxygen that could be absorbed into your body. That’s why the pressure exerted in hyperbaric therapy is so incredibly crucial.
During hyperbaric therapy your body is able to take on drastically greater amounts of oxygen than normal. The reason for this is grounded in basic physics laws that say when a gas is under pressure it can be more easily absorbed into liquids. Hyperbaric therapy allows you to bypass your main oxygen carrier, hemoglobin, and turns your plasma (the liquid part of your blood), tissues, and body fluids into oxygen carrying devices. Breathing 100% pure oxygen at 1.3 ata pressure your body would take on almost 600% more oxygen than it normally would. Without the pressure exerted in hyperbaric therapy this would never be possible.
The healing ramifications of this added oxygen into your body is tremendous. Your cells are able to take this oxygen and function at much higher levels and produce the ATP they need to survive. This is why it’s no wonder that we’re hearing so many wonderful stories of how hyperbaric therapy is helping to heal those with such a wide variety of conditions around the world!