Oxygen is an essential element of life. We breathe it in and use it to fuel every cell in our bodies. Not only is it important for biological processes like creating energy, but it is also needed for building new cells and fighting disease.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is a form of therapy that delivers pure oxygen to the body in a pressurized chamber. The air pressure inside hyperbaric chambers is three to four times normal air pressure, increasing the oxygen delivered to your body’s tissues.
HBOT is used medically to treat conditions such as decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, brain injuries, complicated wounds, and gas embolisms. However, many athletes and celebrities have spoken out in recent years about the many benefits of HBOT as a means to accelerate healing, recovery, and performance. There are even claims that it can help you live longer. Some of the greatest athletes of our time, including Michael Phelps, LeBron James, and Tim Tebow, all swear by the health benefits of HBOT. But does it live up to the hype? Let’s take a look.
What does HBOT do for healthy people?
During HBOT, the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream increases significantly. Oxygen molecules are then rapidly delivered around the body, absorbing into blood, tissue, and all major organs. If the oxygen encounters damaged or swollen tissues, it stimulates the release of healing chemicals, allowing the body to regenerate new cells.
What are the health benefits of HBOT
As the popularity of HBOT grows, more research is being done to investigate the possible benefits of HBOT for different populations. Whether you’re struggling with chronic illness, an athlete looking for an edge, or simply interested in boosting your own health– HBOT may be worth a try. Here are the known benefits of HBOT:
- Stronger immunity: Oxygen sessions are an excellent way to build a stronger immune system. HBOT is commonly used as a way to boost the immune system of people who have undergone traumatic injuries. It can improve your ability to fight off disease in a couple of different ways. HBOT strengthens immunity by blocking the action of harmful bacteria and disabling toxins. Increased oxygen levels in tissues also improve the activity of white blood cells and help you better resist infection.
- Brain boosting: Your brain is the captain of your ship and it’s often derailed by things like inflammation, fatigue, and toxic byproducts. Increased oxygen levels to the brain can help reduce cell death and lower inflammation by inhibiting inflammatory proteins. Additionally, HBOT increases growth factors in the brain which can improve learning, memory, and mood. HBOT sessions have the potential to improve wellbeing, cognitive processes, and even IQ and motor speed.
- Increases your lifespan: Recent research found that HBOT sessions may significantly increase telomere length. Telomeres are the ends of DNA, and they decrease in length as we age. Telomere length is associated with longevity, and finding methods to delay their shortening or increase their length is one of the most popular targets for anti-aging. As a result, many are now flocking to HBOT centers in search of the fountain of youth (and longer telomeres).
- Reduces inflammation: Reducing general inflammation is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health. Inflammation occurs due to injury, stress, diet or other biological processes. HBOT combats inflammation by blocking the activity of inflammatory proteins in the body. It also stimulates pathways for healing damaged or inflamed cells and tissues, further reducing inflammatory responses. Reducing inflammation can dramatically improve your quality of life.
- Better skin: One of the most exciting aspects of HBOT is its ability to encourage new skin cells. HBOT sessions boost collagen production and encourages new blood vessel formation. This not only leaves your skin glowing after a session but can also improve skin’s elasticity and help reduce fine lines and wrinkles over time.
- Improves circulation: Your vascular, or circulatory system, is made up of the vessels that carry blood and lymph through the body and carry away waste. A healthy vascular system is vital for overall health, immunity, and wellbeing. HBOT stimulates cells to produce vascular endothelial growth factor, which encourages the growth and repair of blood vessels. This means that HBOT sessions set off biological processes that can help repair damage to blood vessels and improve circulation.
- Reduces Pain: HBOT sessions have been shown to reduce pain in people with chronic pain disorders like arthritis. HBOT improves nerve activity and reduces the need for painkillers. Sessions can also help relieve pain for both acute and chronic injuries.
- Improves gum health: Research has found that HBOT may be a secret weapon for better gum health. Studies show that HBOT can be used as a treatment for mild to moderate gum disease and also promotes healing after dental procedures.
- Heals injuries and wounds: Injuries and wounds cause damage to the body’s blood vessels resulting in fluid release around the injury site. The pooled fluid causes swelling, which deprives damaged cells of the oxygen they need to heal, leading to tissue death. HBOT reduces swelling and floods damaged tissues with oxygen. This not only speeds healing but also minimizes the damage caused by the injury or wound itself.
- Boosts performance: One of the most popular uses of HBOT is to aid in recovery from exercise and training. HBOT not only speeds up recovery processes but also helps your body build new muscles, improves bone density, and boosts performance. Athletes who use HBOT find themselves able to train harder and longer with improved results.
What happens during HBOT?
You can seek out HBOT treatments through healthcare providers and oxygen clinics. During your session, you will relax, sit, or lie comfortably in a hyperbaric chamber. Sessions last up to two hours. It is normal to experience pressure between your ears, similar to taking off in an airplane.
The number of sessions required will depend on your purpose for treatment. Most people need a minimum of three sessions to experience significant benefits. Bio-hackers often incorporate sessions into their lives as a part of a monthly wellness plan.
Side effects of HBOT
When a session is complete, you may feel lightheaded or experience fatigue and headaches. Some people may also experience eye or sinus complications. You should always talk to your healthcare provider about other risks and benefits of HBOT before proceeding with a session.
HBOT is a highly recommended treatment for various medical conditions. However, the benefits of HBOT for healthy people makes it an exciting form of therapy for people seeking an edge in life. Whether you want to boost performance, recovery, mental edge, or overall wellness, HBOT is worth exploring. It’s possible it may even extend your lifespan. Try tracking your progress after HBOT sessions using the Ultiself app. Make sure to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning HBOT sessions to ensure it’s right for you.
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