I've recently become a huge fan of something called “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy” treatment.
After getting an HBOT USA softshell unit for my home (the Vitaeris 320 model), I've been in it every day for 40-60 minutes for reading or napping, and it's become a complete game-changer in my personal recovery and health protocol.
You can read more in my guest's new book “Oxygen Under Pressure: Using Hyperbaric Oxygen to Restore Health, Reduce Inflammation, Reverse Aging and Revolutionize Health Care,” but the benefits include:
- Hyperoxygenation: The delivery of 100% oxygen under pressure (1.5 to 3 ATA) within the hyperbaric chamber provides up to 20 times normal oxygen to all tissues within the body. This oxygen supersaturation is in marked contrast to breathing room air (21% oxygen at 1 ATA).
- Direct Pressure to Oxygen Molecules: Inside the hyperbaric chamber, oxygen molecules are compressed and become more soluble, obeying the scientific principles of Boyle’s Universal Gas Law. This phenomenon allows oxygen to effortlessly cross cell membranes and enter all of the body’s fluid systems, including plasma, synovial, lymphatic, interstitial (between cells) and cerebrospinal fluids. Normally, only the red blood cells are capable of transporting oxygen throughout the body. Now, all body fluids combine to provide alternate transport routes for extra oxygen and cumulatively can provide up to 20 times normal O2.
- Bactericidal Ammunition – Aids in Killing Bacteria: Conditions created within the hyperbaric oxygen chamber are not favorable for the viability of bacteria, fungi, and viruses – organisms that cannot survive in an oxygen-rich environment. Extra oxygen is provided to the white blood cells (leukocytes) which become supercharged in the battle against bacteria responsible for causing infection and illness.
- Angiogenesis – The Formation of New Blood Vessels: Hyperbaric Oxygen stimulates the body to grow new capillaries (angiogenesis), essentially building a new collateral circulatory system to serve injured and healthy tissues alike. The resulting neovascularization is extremely helpful for reaching tissues and organs that have restricted blood flow (ischemic areas) as well as areas of the body that are lacking or compromised in available oxygen (hypoxic areas).
- Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) Stimulation – A Surge of Antioxidant Capabilities: Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) is an important enzyme found in human cells that inactivates superoxides, the most common free radicals in the body, responsible for the destruction of cells. Hyperbaric Oxygen stimulates SOD production thereby helping the body to rid itself of the byproducts of inflammation and damaging free radicals.
- Synergy With Antibiotics: Hyperbaric Oxygen has been proven to create a synergistic effect when administered in conjunction with certain antibiotics. Synergy can be understood as two or more agents working together to produce a result not obtainable by any of the agents independently. Administration of HBOT biomechanically potentiates the effectiveness of antibiotic therapy. The capabilities of sulfonamides are increased up to ten-fold when HBOT is added. Increased oxygen levels from HBOT alone also act as antibiotics by impairing bacterial metabolism.
- Improves Osteoblast and Osteoclast Production: Faster regeneration of bone is derived by hyperbaric oxygen’s ability to stimulate and increase the production of specialized cells (osteoblasts and osteoclasts) responsible for bone repair and formation.
- Increases Fibroblast and Collagen Production: These essential building blocks of connective-tissue, tendon and skin matrix (fibroblasts and collagen) provide the structural framework throughout the body and play a critical role in wound healing. Fibroblast and collagen reproduction and growth are aided by the added availability of increased oxygen provided during hyperbaric conditions.
- Decreases Inflammation: Inflammation, one of the most common mechanisms of disease and injury, is caused by biochemical byproducts that are manufactured by the body’s natural immune response. Hyperbaric oxygen markedly decreases inflammation by stimulating the body’s own anti-inflammatory defenses. This may be the single most important function of HBOT.
This podcast is all about HBOT. Jason Sonners, DC, DIBAK, DCBCN is the owner and clinic director of Core Therapies Family Wellness Center, New Jersey Hyperbaric Oxygen Center, and HBOT USA Corp. As the owner and one of the doctors at Core Therapies, Dr. Sonners primarily practices functional medicine, taking on complex cases including autoimmune conditions, chronic inflammation, and neurologic dysfunction and using treatment methods to help improve function and tap into the body’s innate ability to heal. He uses nutrition, detoxification, hyperbaric oxygen, and herbal therapies to improve the health and quality of life for his patients. Dr. Sonners works with families all over the country helping them find answers to their toughest health questions.
As the clinical director of New Jersey HBOT and HBOT USA, Dr. Jason Sonners utilizes hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) for many of his chronic patients and helps get hyperbaric oxygen both into the homes of patients in need as well into the offices of doctors who want to build hyperbaric therapy clinics.
Dr. Sonners is on the faculty for the Medical Academy of Pediatric and Special Needs (MedMAPS) as well as the International Hyperbaric Association (IHA), educating other doctors on alternative and complementary treatment methods. He also lectures for various functional medicine conferences around the country talking about the use of nutrition, fasting, red light therapy, and hyperbaric oxygen in helping the chronic illnesses plaguing our country.
During our discussion, you'll discover:
-What HBOT is, and how Jason began using it…10:22
- Herniated disk and injured foot; suffered drop foot for 18 months as a result
- Several months of HBOT led to full recovery
- Jason's father had amazing improvements in his MS after HBOT
- Eventually implemented it in his clinic
- What is HBOT?
- Hyperbaric = increased pressure
- Air is 21% oxygen
- Add varying amounts of pressure and oxygen to create different “doses”
- Used traditionally in hospitals for more severe conditions: gangrene, radiation burns, diabetic neuropathy, etc.
- How HBOT assists w/ wound care:
- Trauma, infection damages micro-circulation (in the capillaries)
- Hyperbaric oxygen can get into areas of the body that are oxygen-starved
- HBOT is able to bypass the red blood cells and inject oxygen into the plasma; much more expedient delivery mechanism
-Various delivery mechanisms and how much oxygen one needs using HBOT…18:20
- All gases move in gradient (high to low pressure)
- A pressurized environment causes the pressure in your body to increase
- The more pressure you're exposed to, and higher percentages of oxygen, the larger the gradient of pressure
- Oxygen concentrator increases the amount of oxygen you're breathing in (and that's pressurized in an HBOT chamber)
- HBOT chambers in hospitals can have 100% oxygen inside
- 3 types of chambers:
- Hospital-grade (~$200k + cost of oxygen)
- Hard chamber ($90-100k)
- Home model ($15-22k)
-Actual use frequency and volume of an HBOT chamber…22:42
- Match the right tool to your goals
- Short-term benefits:
- Increase in oxygenation
- More ATP production
- Some immune activation
- Long-term benefits:
- Superoxide dismutase increase
- Body begins replicating mitochondrial content
- Increase in stem cells
- Rebuilding blood vessels
- Antimicrobial benefits
- Stem cell proliferation study
- Front-load the therapy for the most efficacy in therapy (first 3-5 months), then space it out
- Sessions range from 60-120 minutes
- There is a point of diminishing returns
- Extra oxygen stimulates parasympathetic nervous system (increased relaxation)
-The effects of HBOT on aerobic or endurance activity…35:23
- Performance-enhancing effects do not come from red blood cell changes
- Red blood cell adaptation has to do w/ hypoxia, not hyperoxia
-How HBOT promotes angiogenesis when cancer cells are present…38:04
- BGF podcast w/ Dr. William Li
- The understanding of the metabolism of cancer has changed in recent years
- Cancer cells don't use oxygen to make ATP
- Drive blood glucose levels down, oxygen levels high
- Starve cancer cells, while nourishing healthy cells
- Bottom line: Angiogenesis isn't the concern
-Antioxidant mechanisms affected by HBOT…42:35
- Superoxide dismutase (SODS) upregulation is stimulated by HBOT
- Hormesis: induce stress to the body, produce an adaptation
-The effect of HBOT on bacterial growth in the microbiome…47:11
- Upregulation in your own immune system:
- HBOT will affect neutrophils and macrophages
- Used on anaerobic pathogens (serious infections)
- Environment of high oxygen is conducive for healthy bacteria to thrive
- Watch out for a new BGF podcast w/ Dr. Matt Cook!
-How HBOT works with bone repair and formation…51:25
- It's all about cell signaling
- Growth factors are the signals for healing and recovery
- Regenerator cells
- Platelet derived growth factors
- Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) promotes angiogenesis
- HBOT is one of many modalities used for healing
-Treatments that work well in conjunction w/ HBOT…57:07
- High-dose red light right before HBOT
- JOOVV lights
- Synergy between red light and oxygen
- Ben uses holotropic breathwork
- BGF podcast w/ Dr. Nick Berry of Essential Oil Wizardry
- Dr. Nick's Essential Oil Wizardry “Inspire” Oil
- Do not hold your breath while transitioning between pressure
-Safety concerns w/ HBOT chambers…1:01:05
- The risk is when there's 100% oxygen, not a home chamber
- Oxygen is not flammable, it's an accelerant
- Pneumothorax (collapsed lung) will be problematic in an HBOT chamber
- Don't do w/ ear pain
- The pressure you're in is equivalent to being 10 feet under water
-How HBOT affects mental performance…1:06:10
-HBOT vs. exercise w/ oxygen therapy (EWOT)…1:07:31
-And much more…
Resources from this episode:
– Book: Oxygen Under Pressure by Jason Sonners
– Dr. Nick's Essential Oil Wizardry “Inspire” Oil
– JOOVV Red Light Therapy
– LiveO2 for EWOT
– BGF podcasts mentioned:
- Sebastian Wasowski of Vasper Co.
- Nick Berry of Essential Oil Wizardry
- Niraj Naik, The Renegade Pharmacist
- Dr. William Li
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