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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy FAQ

Main Title

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an American Medical Association (AMA) recognized medical treatment which uses pressurized oxygen administered in a specially designed chamber to deliver 100% pure oxygen to the body. The pressure allows the oxygen to dissolve in 100% of the blood and all bodily fluids. This saturation of oxygen to all body tissues super-charges the body’s regenerative capabilities. This can result in dramatic benefits for stroke injuries, traumatic head and spinal injuries, plastic surgery recovery and most surgeries, diabetic ulcers, burns along with other conditions in which circulation plays a role.

How does hyperbaric oxygen therapy work?

The treatment will take place at our facility in Irvine inside a specially designed medical grade hard chamber, in which you can comfortably sit up, or lay down and breathe pure oxygen while the pressure in the chamber is slowly increased to 2 to 3 times that of normal atmospheric pressure. At this pressure oxygen which is normally delivered to the tissues via the hemoglobin in the red blood cells and dissolves in all of your bodies’ fluids, specifically the plasma, cerebral spinal fluid in the brain spinal cord and lymph fluid. It is then easily transported to all tissues in the body, even those with a poor blood flow. Up to 15 times as much oxygen will be delivered to tissues than under normal atmospheric pressure. The typical treatment session can last 1 to 2 hours, during in which you can watch a movie, read a book or simply relax. You may notice a slight pressure change in your ears similar to that of air travel. When the session ends the pressure is then slowly returned back to normal. We specialize in individual treatment protocols for different patients based on their needs. Typically from 5 to 40 sessions maybe prescribed at a time, depending on the ailment.

Is Hyperbaric Therapy New?

Hyperbaric therapy originated in 1665. Hyperbaric treatments started slowly in the early 1900’s and really started to pick up momentum around 1980. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is more widespread in Russia and Europe than in the United States, where it is used to treat hundreds of conditions.

Is hyperbaric Therapy Only Approved for Scuba Related Injuries?

No. The Hyperbaric story only began with undersea medicine. Besides “Decompression sickness” or “The bends” the Undersea Hyperbaric Medical Society (U.H.M.S) recognizes over a dozen conditions for which physicians may prescribe HBOT. This list is constantly growing with current medical research, so that today it has shown positive results globally for over 167 medical conditions.

I Don't Fall Into One Of Those Recognized Conditions, Can My Doctor Still Prescribe Hyperbaric Therapy?

Yes. Physicians today are free to prescribe HBOT for a variety of “Off label” uses as they see fit. HBOT has been shown to be effective for a large number of conditions that are not yet recognized by the UHMS/AMA as the standard recommended treatment. Hyperbaric therapy also holds promise in many areas of medicine where researchers are just now beginning to gather and weigh the clinical evidence.

I Read About A Celebrity Who Sleeps In A Chamber To Slow The Aging Process And Help With Insomnia

There are many claims about HBOT and its many benefits and uses. Michael Jackson is one example of a celebrity that used HBOT. Many professional athletes use Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy because of it’s acceleration of the healing process after injuries (ever wonder how a football player can break a leg and be playing 4 weeks later?).

Why Isn't There More Clinical Evidence On Hyperbaric Therapy?

This can be a complex question to answer. Some experts say it’s because investigators find it difficult to design good double blind studies and case groups. In a double blind study, putting someone in a pressurized chamber without oxygen could actually be detrimental, which makes it difficult. Others claim there is no deep-pocket pharmaceutical or government agency to fund expensive human clinical trials on such a wide range of uses for HBOT, since there is no patent and extreme profits to be had. Still others believe that it’s also because the healthcare consumers and patient advocate groups have not been given a loud enough voice.

We would be happy to share with you our experience and that of the other experts in the field over the decades of practice in the field. It has been our experience that our patients appreciate our individual consultation and the time to their individual questions answered.

I'm Claustrophobic

Manufacturers offer chambers in many different shapes and sizes. We will gladly give you a tour and show you our state-of-the-art hyperbaric chambers. We have both lie-down and sit-up chambers at our facility. Most patients find our chambers comfortable, enjoy the movies and find the time goes quickly when receiving their treatment. Call us today for a tour and consultation.

Is Hyperbaric Therapy Covered By Insurance?

It all depends on your condition, insurance policy and documented medical need. The U.S Center for Medicine Services (CMS) reimburses HBOT for over a dozen conditions (where HBOT is recognized as one of the best available treatments for the condition). Ask your insurance company about other conditions. We have Medicare specialists available to answer your questions and assist you where we are able.

Many people who have investigated Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy decide to commit to the time and investment for their health. Our commitment to you is to provide you with value and personalized care while you are under our care. You will receive a private consultation with Dr. Jolly-Gabriel, a 30+ year leading expert in the field. We care about you. Please call us for a consultation.

While In The Chamber Will I Need A Mask?

It depends on the type of chamber. Ideally the safest method is to use an oxygen mask to prevent the chamber to be over-saturated with Oxygen. This is the method we practice to avoid any unnecessary risks. Contact us today for a consultation and a tour. We are here to help.

How Much Pressure Will I Be Under Inside The Hyperbaric Chamber?

Standard treatments range from 1.4 to 2.5 atmospheres (depending on condition being treated). That’s about 2.5 to 3.5 time’s normal atmospheric pressure. In scuba diving, that’s equivalent to a very moderate 17 to 35 foot dive. Our chambers are capable of exceeding these figures for some conditions which require it. The protocol prescribed for you Hyperbaric therapy is based on what medical research has shown to be best.

How Does It Feel In The Chamber When It's Pressurized?

A trained and certified technician will always be close by and checking in with you. The pressure in the chamber is controlled and very gradually increased. The change in the ears is similar to ascending or descending on an airplane flight or when you are driving up a mountain.

I Have Diabetes With Poor Circulation In My Legs. How Hard Is It To Enter The Chamber?

We welcome you. We have different hyperbaric chambers and will work with you to determine which one is most comfortable for you and fits your needs. Our team is prepared and trained to handle individuals with disabilities and those who are going through health challenges. Please contact the center in advance regarding any accommodation concerns you may have prior to your treatment or if you have any questions. We would be happy to set up a consultation and a time where you can tour the facility. One of our knowledgeable patient care specialists will work with you, so you are most comfortable when you have your first session. If you are bringing a loved on in, please do not hesitate to call. We know how important the dear family member of friend are to our patients. Call us, we are here to help.

What Should I Wear For My Treatment?

The right clothing is important for your comfort and safety. A hyperbaric technician will consult with you in regard to what may or may not be appropriate in a chamber and why. You’re always more than welcome to contact our facility with any questions, comments, or concerns. We will provide a blanket if you need it.

How Do I Evaluate A Treatment Facility?

The experience of the Director of the facility, physicians and staff play an important role in your care. Accreditations, institutional affiliations, medical grade hyperbaric chambers, certified technicians all are important. It is always a benefit to hear real patient testimonials. Don’t be afraid to ask for references. Equipment that is state-of-the art and comfortable for our patients is a priority. Dr. Jolly-Gabriel, the founder of the Hyperbaric Oxygen Institute, also started one of the largest hyperbaric facilities in North America and was the Director of the Whitaker Wellness Institute's Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment Center for over 10 years. Dr. Jolly-Gabriel cares deeply people, their health and quality of life. Call us to set up a consultation and we will give you a tour of our beautiful facility. We are here to help.

Do I Need A Prescription?

One hundred percent pure oxygen is considered a drug by the FDA, and therefore requires a prescription. We also need to make sure that you don’t have any medical conditions where pressure could cause injury, and that needs an evaluation from a doctor.

What Proof Is There For Hyperbaric's Effectiveness?

The FDA requires a double-blind studies to certify a drug. These studies are very difficult to setup for a treatment like Hyperbaric Oxygen. Having said that, there are many conditions for which the FDA has approved Hyperbaric Oxygen already, with more conditions every day. Hyperbarics are used in Russia and Europe today to treat more than 160 conditions successfully. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been around since the 1600’s. Dr. Jolly-Gabriel has been working in the field since the late 1970’s. Dr. Jolly-Gabriel been involved in treating over 90,000 patients. Please contact us for a consultation and we will review your specific health concerns and needs in detail. We are here to help.

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