How Much Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Do I Need, and How Often Should I Do It?

With the right amount of sessions, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy has been shown to improve a wide range of inflammatory conditions from chronic pain and fatigue, brain health, infections, athletic performance and so much more.

Which conditions are inflammatory? Most of them! Inflammation is generally regarded as the root cause of most disease, pain, and dysfunction when it’s response in the body is unbalanced.

How Does HBOT Help?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy activates an accelerated healing response in the body by providing 1) a greater than normal amount of oxygen for the cells to utilize, and 2) a pressurized environment.

At Beyond Oxygen, our clinic in Oakdale, MN, we use a combination of 94% concentrated oxygen and mild pressure (1.3 ATA) to optimize your body’s ability to absorb oxygen directly into tissues and plasma, bypassing the need for red blood cells to be the only mechanism carrying oxygen around the body.

So, how many sessions do you need and how frequently do you need them in order to see the benefits of HBOT?

The amount of HBOT sessions needed depends on the patient’s health and goals, and our team will work with you to determine the most optimal protocol for you.

Research shows, however, that we can expect these changes to happen within the body during the first 20 hours and after the first 20 hours:

Under 20 Hours of HBOT Sessions:

  • Decrease in inflammation immediately (pump out toxins and provide cell energy)
  • Antibacterial / Antimicrobial benefits
  • Increased oxygen perfusion
  • Increased SOD
  • Increased energy production
  • Increased oxidative phosphorylation
  • Increased immune function
  • Decreased musculoskeletal inflammation (in 15-10 hours)

Over 20 Hours of HBOT Sessions:

  • More Immune system regulation (cell turnover, anabolic processes)
  • Neurotransmitter regulation
  • Hormonal regulation due to growth factor release
  • Increased stem cell release
  • Increased mitochondrial size and density (ATP increase is immediate but amount of mitochondria and size take longer to be affected)
  • Increased wound healing
  • Increased angiogenesis (repair and replace old tissue)
  • Increased anerobic infection fighting
  • Increased neuroplasticity (closer to 40+ hours)

Once you and your healthcare practitioner have determined the initial number of sessions you may need, how frequently should those sessions be done?

Frequency and Duration:

Generally, HBOT sessions should be done as frequently as possible.

Research shows that, in many cases, when trying to obtain many of HBOT’s healing benefits, frequency trumps duration. More frequent sessions create a hyperoxia-hypoxia paradox that stimulates a response in the body to repair and regenerate tissue.

So, coming in and out of the chamber more frequently but for shorter session times creates a continuous wave of increased and decreased oxygen levels that stimulates our body’s healing response more effectively than doing sessions less frequently but for a longer time.

Are Long Breaks Necessary Between a Series of Sessions?

Generally, once a patient has reached 75-80 hours of chamber sessions, a 2-4 week break would be beneficial to allow the body a longer span of time to mobilize and utilize extra oxygen into the system.

The body needs a bit of time from the start of therapy to materialize the accumulated effects of extra oxygen in the cells. Furthermore, even after a series of sessions stops, the body retains the healing benefits you gained from your sessions! It even continues to improve for a time as the body continues operating off the previous oxygen surplus. For example, stem cells will keep increasing 2-4 fold even after the therapy stops!

If HBOT is something you’ve been considering, reach out to us to set up a consultation to determine what HBOT protocol would be best for you based on your health history, lifestyle and goals.

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