The Role of HBOT in Improving Mental Health Disorders

With the uptick in mental health disorders, we’ve witnessed an increase in treatment options–from medication to meditation.

Among these, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has gained significant traction because of its impressive effect on physical, mental, and emotional health.

Let’s take a look at hyperbaric oxygen therapy, explore the crucial role of oxygen in brain function, and discover how you can leverage HBOT to help treat mental health disorders.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment that involves breathing an increased level of oxygen within a pressurized chamber. Oxygen plus pressure is the key to significantly enhancing the body’s ability to absorb oxygen, which can accelerate healing and improve overall health.

Peer-reviewed studies have greatly increased over the years and continue outlining the powerful benefits of HBOT on physical and mental health.

The Role of Oxygen in Brain Health

Everyone knows that oxygen is fundamentally necessary to our survival! Beyond survival, though, more oxygen actually helps us thrive.

The key lies in ATP, or adenosine triphosphate, which is our primary energy source stored at the cellular level. Our cells use oxygen as fuel, and the more they can get, the more ATP they produce. ATP is vital for many essential functions, one being cognitive processes. If we can increase ATP, we can enhance optimal functioning of the brain and therefore the mind.

It’s not about getting enough oxygen to survive – it’s about getting enough oxygen to thrive!

Mental health conditions that can benefit from hyperbaric oxygen therapy:

● Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

● Anxiety

● Depression

● Memory and Attention Conditions

● Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Can Help These With Mental Health Disorders

While it might seem impossible that breathing in almost pure oxygen can affect your mental health, it makes sense when you look at how HBOT affects the brain.

Increased Blood Flow

HBOT’s ability to help the body create new vasculature and decrease inflammation means the brain, as well as the rest of the body, receives increased blood flow, even into areas that have experienced trauma and have previously had blood circulation decreased or cut off. Inadequate blood flow and oxygen to the brain contributes to a number of mental disorders, however, conditions can be reversed when adequate oxygen and blood flow is re-introduced.

Inflammation Reduction

Chronic inflammation can trigger chemical imbalances in the body that affect brain function and the neurotransmitters responsible for mood regulation such as serotonin and dopamine. HBOT reduces pro-inflammatory cytokines in the body and increases the production of anti-inflammatory molecules, leading to decreased overall inflammation, in the brain and body.

Neurotransmitter Rebalancing

Neurotransmitters are chemicals in your brain responsible for sending signals between different parts of the brain and body. Key neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin are responsible for mood regulation, memory formation, and supporting cognitive function.

If these neurotransmitters don’t receive enough oxygen, they can’t successfully transmit signals. That’s when our mental health suffers.

HBOT increases the amount of oxygen in the brain, which the neurotransmitters then use to synthesize and release signals. This rebalancing process enhances brain function, offering significant benefits for individuals struggling with mental health conditions.


Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to adapt and reorganize itself in response to internal or external stimuli. This capability allows the brain to form new neural connections and pathways. Neuroplasticity plays a vital role in the brain’s ability to heal and improve its function. HBOT and the increased oxygen in your brain encourage new brain development, including new blood vessel formation and repairing damaged brain tissue.

It’s like a computer update for the brain that enhances learning, response time, focus, mood, memory and more!

Using HBOT in conjunction with other modalities

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) does incredible things for brain function and mental health as a stand alone therapy, however, in conjunction with other physical and mental health modalities such as QNRT and Functional Medicine, all physical, mental and emotional aspects of mental health can be addressed.

Quantum Neural Reset Therapy (QNRT) is a subconscious protocol designed to initiate a quantum shift in the nervous system by resetting the brain’s response to emotional triggers for both past and present emotional trauma and stress.

Dr. Erika Way specializes in helping people understand the physical and emotional impact of the stress response, as well as identify specific stress response triggers and life events by assessing a person’s neurology.

Dr. Erika’s practice of Functional Medicine focuses on the body’s systems holistically and seeks to address the root cause of dysfunction using tools such as genetics testing, stool and urine testing, hormone and blood panels, and more.

Together these strategies work on the physical, mental and emotional aspects behind mental health disorders to heal your body and life from the inside out.

Contact us today to restore your health, peace of mind, and quality of life!