What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

September 04, 2019 // 1 min read Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

The name itself can be a mouthful.

For the average person, the word “hyperbaric” can stir up all sorts of questions. What in the world is "hyperbaric"? Why would someone do that? Does it hurt?

Thankfully, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is really quite simple and uniquely powerful - contrary to how it may sound or what you may have "heard." HBOT is a non-invasive treatment that involves patients breathing 100% oxygen at pressurized levels. Breathing pure oxygen directly into the body enables optimal healing by allowing oxygen, our body's most essential nutrient, to preserve, repair, and enhance cellular function.

Let’s spell it out.

Hyperbaric: By definition, "hyperbaric" refers to gas pressure that is greater than normal. Specifically regarding HBOT, oxygen pressurized at above-normal levels allows the O2 to be absorbed more quickly into the blood stream.

Oxygen: The body’s most essential element, oxygen is crucial for sustaining life. During HBOT treatment, the gas is used as the healing “drug,” which is all-natural and has very few risks or side effects in its application.

Therapy: This simply refers to a prescribed treatment intended to relieve or heal a condition.

How does it work?

Hyperbaric oxygen is administered to patients through a vessel known as a hyperbaric chamber. During each session, patients can enjoy watching a movie or a television show while they rest comfortably for a prescribed amount of time. Patients are monitored in the chamber by experienced hyperbaric technicians and medical staff.

This combination of increased atmospheric pressure and breathing 100% oxygen drives up to 1200% more oxygen into the body, causing a cascade of cellular changes, including dramatically decreased inflammation, increased stem cell mobilization, optimized cellular energy production, and more efficient wound healing at every stage. In short, HBOT optimizes the body's ability to heal, recover, and thrive. 

How long does it take?

Each patient is different. A doctor will conduct an in-depth consultation with the patient to determine his or her individualized HBOT treatment protocol. 

what-is-hms-hero.jpgWant to Learn More?

Download our comprehensive eBook, What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy? to learn more about this revolutionary healing therapy.


Alan Katz, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, UHM/ABEM

Written by Alan Katz, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, UHM/ABEM

Dr. Alan Katz, medical director at Hyperbaric Medical Solutions (HMS), is double board certified in Emergency Medicine and Hyperbaric Medicine. He directs clinical operations, as well as education and research initiatives for HMS, particularly in exploring the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the treatment of traumatic brain injury, Lyme disease, and other inflammatory processes. He earned his medical degree from SUNY Health Science Center at Brooklyn, and completed his Emergency Medicine Residency at Long Island Jewish Medical Center....

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