Of all the current “alternative” therapies reviewed by Stand For The Troops (“SFTT”), hyperbaric oxygen therapy or HBOT is clearly supported by evidence-based clinical trials and an abundance of evidence (both scientific and anecdotal) that it help reverse brain trauma.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (“HBOT”)?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical treatment which enhances the body’s natural healing process by inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is increased and controlled. According to Harch Hyperbarics, “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. 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.”
How Does HBOT Work?
The Mayo Clinic explains the HBOT procedure: hyperbaric oxygen therapy typically is performed as an outpatient procedure and doesn’t require hospitalization. If you’re already hospitalized and require hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you’ll remain in the hospital for therapy. Or you’ll be transported to a hyperbaric oxygen facility that’s separate from the hospital.
Depending on the type of medical institution you to do and the reason for treatment, you will receive HBOT in one of two settings:
- A unit designed for 1 person. In an individual (monoplace) unit, you lie down on a table that slides into a clear plastic tube.
- A room designed to accommodate several people. In a multi-person hyperbaric oxygen room — which usually looks like a large hospital room — you may sit or lie down. You may receive oxygen through a mask over your face or a lightweight, clear hood placed over your head.
What is the VA’s Position on HBOT
Based on their own trials, the DoD and the VA insist that there is insufficient evidence to support the use of HBOT in treating Veterans with PTSD. Nevertheless, the VA is currently conducting new HBOT trials at VA facilities in Oklahoma and California.
How Much Does HBOT Cost?
A one-hour “dive” in an HBOT chamber can cost anywhere between $200 and $1,800. While prices tend to be lower at independent clinics, HBOT facilities tied to hospitals can charge more because HBOT treatment may be covered by medical insurance. In the case of PTSD and TBI, an initial series of 40 dives is recommended to occur over a two-month period.
Selected SFTT Posts on HBOT
SFTT is convinced that there is overwhelming scientific evidence to support the use of supervised HBOT to help Veterans with PTSD and TBI. SFTT has written extensively on this issue over the last several years. Please find below suggested posts:
Other Useful Third-Party HBOT Resources
Anecdotal Evidence in Support of HBOT
There is an overwhelming number of “stories” detailing the benefits of HBOT. Found below are just a few that were posted on the SFTT website.
While no one will claim that HBOT or any therapy will work 100% of the time, the application of hyperbaric oxygen in a controlled and carefully monitored environment has produced significant improvements in patient outcomes. More importantly, HBOT is a non-invasive procedure without the often unpredictable effects of addictive prescription drugs.