Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is rapidly emerging as a much-needed medical alternative for traditional treatments:
“…the [list of conditions approved for HBOT] also includes osteomyelitis, sudden hearing loss, burns, severe anemia, carbon monoxide poisoning, decompression sickness, necrotizing soft tissue infections, crush injuries and arterial gas emboli.
In the majority of these conditions, hyperbaric oxygen is utilized as an adjunct to mainstream treatment. In the case of chronic wounds, this includes debridement, infection control, specialized dressings and offloading.”
Research estimates the HBOT market will be worth $3.91 billion by 2025, with 30,000 treatments performed per year.
This begs the question of why HBOT is becoming the latest interest of biohackers around the world.
In order to provide a complete answer, we must first understand why oxygen carries such great importance for fully optimized health.
Why Is Oxygen So Essential For Human Health
Oxygen is the most important substance for proper bodily function and survival.
We take roughly 23,000 breaths per day without consciously thinking about it.
Even though oxygen being essential for providing our cells with energy, it is one of the most overlooked and under-utilized nutrients.
(FYI: Oxygen is technically a nutrient as it provides nourishment that is essential for growth and the maintenance of life)
We can live for 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water, but only 3 minutes without oxygen:
“Between 30-180 seconds of oxygen deprivation, you may lose consciousness.
At the one-minute mark, brain cells begin dying.
At three minutes, neurons suffer more extensive damage, and lasting brain damage becomes more likely.
At five minutes, death becomes imminent.”
And it turns out we are living in the most oxygen-deficient atmosphere in history:
“Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%.
This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth.”
Considering this fact, those who are serious about their long-term health should know about the benefits of enhancing their oxygen levels:
“Increasing your oxygenation levels and being fit and healthy has shown to be important for your health as optimum oxygen levels can improve wound healing, vision, mental clarity and intelligence, boost your immune system, help fight cancer cells, reduce stress levels, improve your heart and respiration and help you to lose weight.”
But is there such a thing as “too much” oxygen?
What Is The Optimal Dose Of Oxygen For Better Health?
We can generally divide the dose for any nutrient into 3 ranges:
- Recommended Daily Amount (RDA): The minimum amount required before we express obvious disease or dysfunction as a result of deficiency.
- Optimal Range: The amount required to ensure we have enough of the nutrient to fulfill the complex biological processes taking place within our body.
- Megadose: Certain situations call for much higher doses to help our body overcome a health problem.
When you think about it, virtually all forms of disease and dysfunction can be reduced to either a deficiency or toxicity.
This goes beyond nutrients – the concept applies equally to our emotional resilience and the way we move our bodies.
In order to achieve peak performance health, we need to get rid of anything which sabotages our efforts towards reaching that state.
If we are toxic, we have an excess of something our body needs to get rid of.
If we are deficient, we are missing something our body requires to perform optimally.
Let’s use this understanding to deduce the right amount of oxygen for optimal health…
An oxygen deficiency is known as hypoxia, a condition where the body cannot efficiently absorb or deliver oxygen to our cells.
Hypoxia can either be systemic yet it can also be local to a specific tissue type or organ.
In the case of local hypoxia, it may be result of an injury or chronic inflammation which does not allow the tissue to be properly oxygenated.
Keep in mind that you don’t need to have hypoxia to be oxygen deficient.
It may be the case you have sufficient oxygenation for your daily routine, yet cannot efficiently increase oxygen supply for an activity such as rigorous physical exercise.
In this instance, your body would have an RDA of oxygen.
Since oxygen is a rate-limiting step in each cell’s ability to produce energy, the conclusion appears to be simple:
Increasing your oxygen absorption increases your capacity to heal, detoxify, produce energy and step up your mental and physical capacities for performing at higher levels.
On the other hand, breathing pure oxygen all of the time is equally deadly:
“Our blood has evolved to capture the oxygen we breathe in and bind it safely to the transport molecule called haemoglobin.
If you breathe air with a much higher than normal O2 concentration, the oxygen in the lungs overwhelms the blood’s ability to carry it away.
The result is that free oxygen binds to the surface proteins of the lungs, interferes with the operation of the central nervous system and also attacks the retina.”
So what is the optimal dose of oxygen?
You ideally want 97-100% of your red blood cells to be saturated with oxygen.
But here’s the catch: Are you are standing right now, most of your cells are already saturated with oxygen and can carry a maximum of 1-3% more.
Commonly Used Methods For Increasing Your Oxygenation Levels
It should be evident that simply buying a mask and a tank of oxygen will not make a meaningful difference in your overall health or rate of recovery.
With this said, there are several tools and techniques which can help you become more oxygen-efficient:
- Breathing more effectively and deeply via techniques such as Wim Hof breathing and holotropic breathing.
- Eating foods that are rich in iron
- Increasing your vegetable intake
- Spending more time outside in sunshine and fresh air
- Vigorous exercise
- Drinking more water
However, all of these methods will lead to an insignificant difference.
Without question, the most powerful way to deliver oxygen and enhance oxygenation of your tissues and cells is through hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy And How Does It Work?
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a very straightforward process:
“Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is a medical procedure in which the patient is enclosed in a total body chamber, inhaling 100% pure oxygen (O2) which is not present at normal atmospheric pressure.
HBOT involves the patient breathing in at least five times the oxygen than in normal air, where oxygen is composed of 21% of the total composition and the composition of nitrogen is at 78%.”
Allow me to explain why the first sentence is the most important one in the quoted description.
We need pressure exerted from the atmosphere in order to absorb oxygen.
At sea level, the atmospheric pressure exerted on our bodies at all times is roughly 14.7 psi.
The pressure is sufficient enough for oxygen to flow from an area of higher concentration (the atmosphere) to an area of lower concentration (our lungs).
Here is a simplified diagram which shows how this process of oxygen diffusion works (credit to Dr. Jason Sonners):
Let’s examine this principle in 3 different scenarios:
Oxygen Absorption At High Altitudes
Suppose you are 8,000 feet above sea level, where the atmospheric pressure is reduced.
The pressure of air is 564 mmHg and the pressure of oxygen is 118 mmHg.
Compare that to sea level, where the pressure of air is 760 mmHg and the pressure of oxygen is 159 mmHg (hence why air is ‘thinner’ at higher altitudes).
In this case, you would experience far less oxygen absorption.
Fortunately, your body can “feel” this difference and increase red blood cell production, which in turn improves your body’s ability to efficiently carry oxygen.
This is made possible through hypoxic induction factors (HIFs), which are helps your body adapt as the pressure of oxygen – and oxygen percentages – change.
You can think of them as “oxygen sensors”.
This may not sound like a big deal, but the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for 2019 was awarded to a group of scientists who discovered how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability:
“…the response by gene expression to changes in oxygen is directly coupled to oxygen levels in the animal cell, allowing immediate cellular responses to occur to oxygenation through the action of the HIF transcription factor”
Oxygen Absorption Below Sea Level
The phenomenon described for high altitudes works the opposite way in lower altitudes.
As we descend below sea level, the pressure increases and therefore our ability to absorb air and oxygen also increases.
Pretty straightforward, right?
Here’s where HBOT sets itself apart from other oxygenation methods.
We can actually control the amount of pressure exerted on a person and the amount of time spent in this pressurized environment.
Therefore, HBOT helps the practitioner predictably control the amount of increased oxygen absorption a patient can take into their cells.
Once absorbed, this “extra” oxygen can be used for making ATP and energy, increasing the capacity for working tissues to perform (or increase the capacity of healing and recovery).
This induces a state called hyperoxia, a state where the body has a greater supply of oxygen than necessary.
The University of Iowa provides a straightforward description of how hyperbaric environments work:
“The high level of oxygen in the blood allows improved oxygen delivery to tissues that are not getting enough oxygen at baseline (i.e. hypoxic tissues).
Having times of alternating hyperoxia and hypoxia (as occurs during a series of HBO treatments) promotes the growth of new blood vessels into the hypoxic tissues, a process known as neovascularization.
Hyperoxia enhances the body’s ability to kill certain bacteria.”
In other words…
Through by-passing the red blood cells and absorbing oxygen directly into our plasma and tissues while in a chamber, we increases oxygen absorption by 28-40%.
If you want to understand the concepts discussed in greater detail, I highly recommend watching this short primer video on HBOT:
The Most Important Health Benefits Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
With a full understanding of how HBOT works, the health benefits it provides to patients are fairly obvious.
Even though 120 reported conditions (and counting!) are proven to be effectively treated by HBOT, here are the 5 most important ones:
1) Reduces Incidence Of Disease
HBOT has the ability to improve oxidative metabolism in cells without increasing production of harmful reactive oxygen species.
In turn, this significantly reduces the incidence of lifestyle diseases such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes.
2) Heals Wounds
HBOT has the ability to stimulate angiogenesis, which is the process through which new blood vessels are formed.
Angiogenesis is an essential process for healing wounds, as increased blood flow is necessary to provide nutrients and oxygen to the affected tissue.
This same mechanism allows HBOT to be useful for patients suffering from erectile dysfunction!
3) Reduces Inflammation
Another reason why HBOT is so effective at healing soft tissue injuries is due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
This was observed in a cellular study published in Nature where HBOT was able to oxygenate injured muscle and regenerate skeletal muscle.
4) Possesses Anti-Microbial Properties
HBOT can enhance the immune system’s ability to kill harmful micro-organisms, while working synergistically with other antimicrobial agents.
In doing so, HBOT can be used to treat deep and chronic infections and therefore prevent them from expanding.
5) Assists In Fighting Against Cancer
A very comprehensive review of HBOT’s effects in treating malignancies came to the following conclusion:
“We conclude that the administration of [HBOT] can provide many clinical benefits in the treatment of tumours, including management of highly malignant gliomas.
Applied immediately before irradiation, it is safe and well tolerated by patients, causing rare and limited side effects.
…[HBOT] can also increase the cytostatic effect of certain drugs, which may render standard chemotherapy more effective.”
In particular, HBOT is effective due to its ability to treat areas of tutors where local hypoxia is taking place.
What You Must Know About Your First Session With Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
If you are using HBOT for the very first time, you may have some questions:
- How many sessions do I need to do?
- Can I use a soft chamber or a hard chamber, and which one is better?
- What’s the best HBOT protocol for health optimization?
Each patient is a biochemically unique individual, which means there is no universal answer.
Three variables are manipulated during the treatment: Time spent under pressure, pressure levels used, and oxygen levels the patient is exposed to.
Some conditions will require higher oxygen levels and/or higher pressure levels, such as radiation burns and open wounds.
For other conditions, you will notice the following being used: Frequent and longer sessions, mild pressure levels, and lower oxygen levels.
This is especially true if a soft HBOT chamber is being used in the convenience of your home. ‘
As long as you are not exceeding two hours per session and the chamber pressure is 3 times less than normal atmospheric pressure, side effects of HBOT are mild to non-existent.
How You Can Start Using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy At Home
Having used HBOT myself, I fully endorse the practice.
If we want to influence our body to improve recovery, performance and overall quality of life, it is a useful tool in any biohacker’s arsenal.
Whenever I feel run down or find myself suffering from soft tissue pains and strains, HBOT helps me rapidly recover and heal.
And if you want to use an in-home HBOT chamber to get the benefits of oxygen therapy, look no further than HBOT USA.
This organization is run by Dr. Jason Sonners, one of the world’s leading HBOT doctors and the author of Oxygen Under Pressure.
When you sign up to receive one of his high-end HBOT machines, you will receive two things:
- A generous discount exclusive to my subscribers
- An in-depth consultation to see what your issues are, your health goals, and the protocol that’s both safe and effective for your circumstances.
Be warned: These chambers are a significant financial investment.
Unless you are absolutely serious about your health and optimizing every single facet of your life, you will not experience the full extent of the benefits provided by HBOT.
But if you are fully committed to high-performance health, however, then HBOT USA’s chambers are right for you.
When you’re ready to start using HBOT, you can sign up and get my discount by clicking here.
And as always…
If you want access to the world’s best health optimization intel before anybody else finds out about it, subscribe to my email list!