June 2021 A hyperbaric oxygen chamber may look like something out of a science fiction film, but this is actually a therapy that’s been refined over a hundred years. If you think it’s just for treating scuba divers with “the bends,” you’ll be surprised to learn the numerous health conditions it can help alleviate—it’s even possible you or a loved one is suffering from something that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) could improve. The Chambers With two brand-new Sechrist chambers—the kind used in hospitals—and a nurse practitioner always on hand, the Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic opened its doors to treat patients in June. Their single-occupant chambers are the most spacious available and are the only ones of their size in Hamilton County. You’ll be happy to see that these chambers aren’t the metal tubes of yesteryear with tiny portholes to peek out of and bulky oxygen hoods to strap over your head. They are entirely clear acrylic, pressurized with 100% pure oxygen and equipped with an entertainment system. Clinic manager Kathleen Clark says, “This isn’t the soft-sided style chamber you find in spas or can buy for your home—those chambers can’t pressurize to the same therapeutic treatment depth. This is medical-grade therapy designed to provide lasting results.” What Can Be Treated The FDA, the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine Society, and most insurance companies approve of HBOT for 15 medical indications. These “on label” conditions include diabetic wounds, radiation-induced tissue damage, compromised skin flaps, and more. There are many additional conditions that studies have shown are responsive to hyperbaric oxygen therapy, however. People all over the country are taking matters into their own hands and finding clinics like this one where they can experience the healing power of HBOT for themselves. Medical Director Kurt Riegner, M.D., says, “The medical community still tends to see this as alternative therapy, but we are here to make it mainstream because we know it really works.” People are often surprised to learn hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help with Lyme disease, erectile dysfunction, and fibromyalgia. It helps plastic surgery patients recover more quickly with less bruising and swelling. While scientists aren’t calling it a fountain of youth, HBOT has even been shown to have antiaging effects, such as lengthening the telomeres of our DNA. HBOT helps stroke victims in rehab, teens with concussions, veterans with PTSD, and athletes looking to get an edge on performance and injury recovery. HBOT clinics are now seeing COVID-19 victims with brain fog and hypoxia starting to feel better with a course of HBOT. How It Works HBOT makes oxygen more soluble, increasing plasma oxygen levels to 20 times above the usual level and saturating tissues. Cells use this oxygen for healing energy. It drives the regeneration of damaged tissue and strengthens the immune system. Stem cells are mobilized by HBOT and inflammatory markers are reduced. HBOT causes the growth of new blood vessels and neurons. It promotes collagen, bone, and cartilage regeneration. If you’re wondering if there are any risks, nurse practitioner Marci Jefferson says, “Before you begin HBOT, we will do a complete history and physical to rule out any risks. We will talk about possible complications, and I’ll teach you how to avoid the most common side effect.” How to Find Them The Hyperbaric Oxygen Clinic is open weekdays at 14555 Hazel Dell Parkway, Suite 140B in Carmel. Call them at (317) 669-6970, email at firstname.lastname@example.org or find them online at hyperbaricoxygenclinic.com.