Another new experience- hyperbaric oxygen therapy.. and breathe!

Today I did something new. I experienced hyperbaric oxygen as suggested by Patricia Peat. I visited the MS therapy centre near my home and was greeted by some lovely men and women who all suffer with MS. I was a bit nervous as expected. It was a bit strange to say the least. My mask didn’t fit exactly and I didn’t really know what to expect but now I am home and have time to reflect I can say it was actually a painless experience. I sat in a pressurised chamber for an hour whilst breathing oxygen through a mask. I have to admit I did have a few moments of panic but that is me and wanting to control everything. It’s happened ever since I had an MRI scan. When I am told I can’t move or do something for an extended length of time I get all panicky and want to get out there and then but I calmed myself down. I took books with me to read and took the opportunity to catch up for an hour. The problem was I needed the toilet hallway through. Ha ha! I crossed my legs and wished the hour away.

The only sensation I experienced was similar to being in an aeroplane when you take off and land. Your ears pop and you simply have to equalise them. I have rebooked but initially I thought it wasn’t for me.

Despite the view from Prof Harris that it could actually encourage canSer cells to grow because they like the oxygen I have some research from this year that suggests that hyperbaric oxygen is great at combating canSer. Here is a link to the research;

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120503194219.htm

 

What is hyperbaric oxygen?

HBOT delivers 100% pure oxygen to you through increased atmospheric pressure in an enclosed chamber. When oxygen is delivered at higher than normal pressure, your body is able to absorb more O2 into your blood cells, blood plasma, cerebral-spinal fluid, and other bodily fluids.

Once in the chamber, your body responds by reducing inflammation. And with reduced inflammation, blood flow increases to oxygen-deprived areas.

Besides reducing inflammation, HBOT also:

  • Saturates your body with oxygen (including the plasma and white cells), increasing your oxygen level by 20-30%
  • Increases your ability to fight infection
  • Creates new capillaries and increases blood flow
  • Clears and deactivates toxins and metabolic waste
  • Stimulates your body to create new blood cells
  • Increases your stem cell production 800% (after 40 treatments)
  • Accelerates your rate of healing

 

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy used for?

HBOT treatment can help in a number of different situations where body tissues have suffered from a decrease in oxygen levels. These include:

  • decompression illness (‘the bends’)
  • severe carbon monoxide poisoning
  • smoke inhalation
  • chronic wounds and some infections
  • wound healing after reconstructive surgery
  • radiation necrosis (body tissue dying off after radiotherapy treatment)
  • acute blood loss where a blood transfusion is not possible (for example, for Jehovah’s Witnesses)
  • sports injuries
  • diabetic foot ulcers

    What does HBOT do for cancer?

Hyperbaric oxygen tackles two major characteristics of cancer that make it dangerous and likely to spread.

  1. Cancer thrives in a low O2 environment, and hates higher oxygenation. It is well documented that a body low in O2 prevents optimal uptake desired from other treatments, both chemotherapy and natural supplements.
  2. Cancer thrives in an acidic environment, so the more alkaline your system, the more resistance you provide to your cancer cells.

One of the major benefits of hyperbaric oxygen is to reverse the common condition of hypoxia (sometimes called hypoxemia) — or, inadequate oxygenation of the blood — that’s so common among cancer patients.

Breast Cancer

A 2007 animal study found that hyperbaric oxygen helped prevent or reduce breast cancer metastasis to the lung.3

3 Haroon ATMY, Patel M, Al-Mehdi AB. [2007]. Lung Metastatic Load Limitation with Hyperbaric Oxygen. Undersea Hyperbaric Medicine, 34:2, 83-90.

And in general…

HBOT saturates your blood plasma with oxygen, reaching the areas of damage/injury more efficiently than red blood cells. It provides all your cells and tissues with oxygen — your body’s much needed healing agent.

Hyperbaric oxygen increases the number and actual size of blood vessels in your damaged tissues and wounds, allowing you to heal faster.

Cells involved in the healing process are highly dependent on oxygen to heal… and that’s exactly what HOBT supplies, by way of blood that’s hyper-saturated with oxygen.

HBOT has often been used to help cancer patients after a round of radiation therapy. Radiation damages both cancerous cells and healthy ones, and the burst of oxygen helps heal the damaged cells.

A growing number of conventional doctors acknowledge that HBOT is a beneficial adjunct to chemotherapy, as they believe the pressure pushes the drugs deeper into your system… although there are still doctors who insist you shouldn’t do chemo and HBOT at the same time.

 

You may be thinking that it is another cost but it is actually very cheap. As the centre I go to is a charity they only charge £15 for the hour and they are lovely bunch of people. I feel they are going to be my new group of friends! All a bit elderly (some deaf and wearing their clothes in a funny order but nevertheless adorable) I am going to take them some cakes next week.

In order for me to start having HBOT I had to complete forms and send them to my doctor for him to approve first. This for me was actually quite easy as my doctor called me and asked how I was. He is very cool and signed it off for me immediately.

Anyone locally who wants to give HBOT a go here are the details for the centre;

http://www.omstc.org/about/

On a more sombre note, yesterday Pete woke to an email with some very sad news. A couple, whom we had befriended after I appeared in the newspaper, had been contacting us as we exchanged information and advice. The young woman, wife and mother had two very young children and sadly were diagnosed only in February this year with TNBC. By July it had spread to her lungs. She was undergoing chemo and approaching other options with gusto. Sadly she had heart failure that night as the progression of canSer had been very strong in her lymph nodes. We are both hugely saddened at this news and wish her family our deepest condolences at this terrible time.

Scary how things can change….. I stay optimist though that my journey and path is clearing every day and I continue to strive to become stronger and just hope that if I haven’t found a formula yet to kick canSers butt that I will one day very soon (please, thank you!)

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