Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: Can It Turn Back the Clock?
Nobody enjoys the little signs of aging we see when looking in the mirror each morning. We spend billions of dollars a year on products and surgeries to help us look and feel younger: hair re-growth products, dyes to hide the grey, anti-wrinkle face and eye creams, cosmetic injections, surgeries and more.
Yet none of these products or procedures actually stop the biological clock, or regrow that within us which has diminished with age. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if after generations of searching, we actually did discover a true fountain of youth? As noted in Desert Health’s lead story, Dr. Andrews’ work certainly looks promising and may lead to that discovery in our lifetime.
In today’s modern medicine, there is a therapy that is proven to offer anti-aging benefits through healing or regrowth of damaged cells: hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). In HBOT, patients breathe 100% pure oxygen while the pressure of the treatment chamber is slowly increased. Pressurized oxygen is delivered into the chamber, which increases the pressure of oxygen within a person’s body as much as 15 times normal tissue saturation. Each cell is literally saturated with 100% pure oxygen, accelerating the body’s natural healing processes.
Oxygen therapy can help to jump start the body’s antioxidant defenses, boost metabolism, and counteract low oxygen levels that lead to sluggish cell activity and oxidative stress. Research has shown that it can also help to improve the efficiency of hemoglobin in transporting oxygen around the body; improve blood flow by helping to keep cell membranes flexible; suppress inflammation; and detoxify and fight infection by destroying bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi that thrive in low-oxygen environments.
HBOT is also commonly used in treating many age-related diseases and conditions such as stroke, rheumatoid Arthritis and cancer treatment recovery.
In addition to its often lifesaving work in the medical industry, HBOT is gaining widespread recognition for its success in treating a breadth of cosmetic concerns. Regular treatment is widely thought to increase aging skin elasticity and to stimulate collagen production which, over time, can improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and scars. Plastic surgeons often prescribe the therapy to enhance recovery from reconstructive surgery.
But true aging goes beyond those fine lines and wrinkles.
Scientists have found that the chromosomes in our cells progressively shorten each time the cell divides. Eventually, the chromosomes can shorten no further and stop dividing. When this happens, the cells become senescent (sleepy) and die. In premature aging, the lifespan is shortened due to the effects of various stressors to the human body. The most obvious, and often the most common, are alcohol, tobacco, and drugs. These substances have a tremendous aging effect on the human body and can cause progressive ‘wounding.’
In his book, The Oxygen Revolution, Dr. Paul G. Harch expresses that hyperbaric oxygen therapy will “likely become most appreciated by those Baby Boomers whose life spans have been compromised by years of drug experimentation in the 1960s and 1970s.” Wounds in the brain register as areas of low blood flow and low oxygenation, which cause decreased neurological function. Most commonly, this decreased neurological function leads to the premature aging diagnosis we call dementia.
Dr. Harch calls HBOT a “generic drug for repair of brain wounds.” The stereotypic chronic brain wound typically responds well to low pressures of hyperbaric oxygen treatments. What Drs. Neubauer, Harch, and others have shown in the past 30 years is that these premature aging wounds can be repaired for improvement neurologically, cognitively, behaviorally, and emotionally.
Repairing these chronic wounds is considered by many to be a reversal of premature aging by use of HBOT, aiding in prolonging longevity and an enhanced quality of life.
Considering that it delivers a natural substance which helps our body repair itself and has many significant medical benefits, including mending our DNA, it is easy to see why a growing population is utilizing hyperbaric oxygen as an anti-aging therapy.
For more information on hyperbaric oxygen therapy for anti-aging and other conditions, visit www.DesertHyperbaricMedicine.com or call 760.773.3899.
Sources: 1) The Oxygen Revolution. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy: The Groundbreaking New Treatment. Paul G. Harch, MD. 2007. 2) www.altmd.com/Articles/Hyperbaric-Oxygen-Therapy-HBOT-for-Anti-Aging; 3) http://hyperbaricrx.com/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-articles/1hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-for-anti-aging/
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