Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, works by delivering 100% pure oxygen to a patient through increased atmospheric pressure in an enclosed, hard chamber.
At pressures greater than normal, the body is able to incorporate more oxygen into blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid and other bodily fluids. The increased oxygen absorption significantly enhances the body's ability to aid in its own healing.
In the increased atmospheric pressure, the body reduces inflammation, increasing the delivery of oxygen to oxygen deprived areas increasing the healing process.
The body's natural healing mechanisms can now function efficiently because the damaged tissues are receiving more oxygen. Even when the blood supply has been compromised, tissues can still receive the healing benefits of oxygen from other body fluids and plasma in the surrounding area.
The air we breathe is 21% oxygen, and our lungs transfer this oxygen to our red blood cells (via hemoglobin). These oxygen-filled red blood cells are carried around the body by the plasma (fluid), which travels through the blood vessels. The oxygen diffuses into the surrounding tissues, ensuring that it is delivered to where it is needed most.
When there is a restriction (occlusion) in blood flow due to surgery, illness, or injury, the red blood cells block the blood vessel and are unable to transfer oxygen to the cells on the other side of the occlusion. This causes swelling and starves the area of oxygen, causing hypoxia (a lack of oxygen), when this occurs the tissue begins to break down.
Breathing 100% oxygen under pressure causes the oxygen to diffuse into the blood plasma. This oxygen-rich plasma is able to travel past the restriction, diffusing up to 4 times further into the tissue. The pressurised environment helps to reduce swelling and discomfort, while providing the body with at least 10 times its normal supply of oxygen to help repair tissue damaged by the original occlusion or subsequent hypoxic condition.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) forces more oxygen into the tissue, encouraging the formation of new blood vessels. As these new blood vessels develop, the red blood cells start to flow, delivering even more oxygen to the affected area. This creates the optimal environment for the body's natural healing processes to repair damaged tissue.