Introduction to Hyperbaric Oxygen

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy shows promise for relief of many TBI-related symptoms. Hyperbaric oxygen treatments have helped many people (we think they were helpful for Brittny, but not nearly as powerful as CFX, Plasticity, or Mind Eye) lessen the impact of their Post Concussion Symptoms. In my own research to help Brittny heal, I found some great information on hyperbaric oxygen that I’ve compiled and shared in this blog post. You’ll find a handful of case studies in this article showing brain-injured people who’ve recovered using hyperbaric oxygen. However, because double-blind, placebo controlled studies haven’t proven hyperbaric oxygen’s effectiveness on healing brain injuries, many “by-the-book” doctors won’t suggest it to their patients. 

Dr. Dan Engle’s research in the Concussion Repair Manual has made this article possible. My purpose in compiling this article is to make his work more understandable and useful for TBI survivors searching for recovery. You can purchase his book here – refer to pages 73-77 for his work on hyperbaric oxygen therapy. 

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Significantly Improved Function in Post Concussion Patients and Their PCS Symptoms 

There is a mountain of anecdotal evidence suggesting that hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an effective treatment for traumatic brain injuries. Patient video testimonials and case stories of TBI survivors are seeing amazing benefits.

A 2012 Journal of Neurotrauma study followed 16 servicemen who had mild to moderate post-concussion syndrome. The subjects were treated with hyperbaric oxygen at 1.5 atmospheres twice a day for five days per week for one month. The figure below shows the before and after blood flow scans from the first treatment to the last.

Out of 16 subjects, one withdrew from the study and 12 (80%) reported improvements in most of their post concussion symptoms after HBOT. “Headache, sleep disruption, short-term memory loss, cognitive problems, decreased energy, self-characterized PTSD symptoms or nightmares…short temper/irritability, mood swings, imbalance, photophobia, and depression, which were present in a majority of subjects, were improved in 44-93% of the subjects.” They also experienced an average 14.8-point increase in IQ scores and noted significant increases in their cognitive, physical, and emotional function after hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

Can Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Reverse Brain Damage? With Joe Rogan

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy works

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, or HBOT, creates a high-pressure, oxygen-rich environment that forces more oxygen into your blood which then flows to your brain. Oxygen stimulates cell production and growth and is critical for healing damaged tissue. By using hyperbaric oxygen therapy, it’s possible to increase the level of oxygen available to the brain. When applied correctly, this increase in oxygen stimulates nitric oxide production, normalizes cellular signaling and function, and increases blood flow through by developing new blood cells. All together, hyperbaric oxygen boosts the brain’s ability to make needed repairs.

In order to do hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you need to use a hyperbaric chamber in order to increase the atmospheric pressure, hold it for some time, and then gradually and safely return to normal levels. Oxygen is administered to the person inside the pressurized chamber 90 minutes (Dr. Steenblock recommended 90 minutes to us even though other doctors say 60-90 minutes). In this hyperbaric chamber, oxygen levels in the blood (and therefore your brain) increase dramatically. 

For example, increasing the atmospheric pressure by one-half will raise blood oxygen levels by 700%. The FDA has approved hyperbaric oxygen to treat decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, thermal burns, and 13 other conditions. In addition to these “approved” uses, there is a growing body of evidence to support HBOT’s use for a variety of conditions, including autism. For example, after receiving 40 hourly HBOT sessions, 33 autistic children showed “significant improvements in overall functioning, receptive language, social interaction, eye contact, and sensory/cognitive awareness” compared to 29 children in a control group, which did not undergo HBOT.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy For Brain Injury Stories

Dr. Mercola on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 

FAQ’S with Dr. Joseph Mercola on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (High pressure oxygen therapy)

Dr. Sherr on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy 

Dr. Scott Sherr – Full HBOT Presentation – 2018 Integrative Healthcare Symposium

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in context for a brain injury.

Treating a brain injury gets expensive – especially because insurance rarely covers the most effective treatments. Unfortunately, the amount of money someone has greatly impacts their ability to heal in many cases. For me and Brittny, it didn’t matter what was “FDA approved” or not – if a new brain injury treatment had even a sliver of potential to help her heal, we tried it. Because that was our mindset, doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy made sense to us. 

However, if we approached recovery only willing to do treatments that were covered by insurance and FDA approved, we wouldn’t have done hyperbaric oxygen treatment. In fact, we wouldn’t have done any of the treatments or worked with any of the doctors that actually helped her heal if we had that limiting mindset. So before doing hyperbaric oxygen therapy, you need to ask yourself how much time and money you are willing to invest for a chance at healing. Of all the treatments we’ve done, there are only three treatments that I recommend to everyone recovering from a brain injury – if you’re on a tighter budget, you should start here.

Good Doctors Who DON’T Promote Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Because my main purpose in writing this post is to share information and NOT to promote any treatment, I’ll include a few other resources here to consider.