Dedicated to treating the root cause of illness and using the most advanced integrative methods in a safe environment, the Stram Center for Integrative Medicine, under the medical supervision of Dr. Ron Stram, will utilize the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen as an adjunct therapy to complement and enhance the healing process in both chronic and acute conditions of our patients.
WHAT IS HYPERBARIC OXYGEN THERAPY?
This safe and non-invasive therapy is the most trusted way to deliver a large concentration of oxygen to all organs of the body, even to areas with poor blood flow. HBOT is the medical use of oxygen in a pressurized environment (“hyperbaric” means under pressure) at a level higher than 1 atmosphere absolute (1ATA). Increased pressure allows for a large concentration of oxygen to dissolve and saturate the blood plasma independently of hemoglobin in red blood cells. This results in a broad variety of beneficial physiological, biochemical and cellular effects, not achievable with any other therapy.
Safe and painless, the typical treatment lasts 60-90 minutes, during which time the patient relaxes in the pressurized chamber and breathes normally. The patient may listen to music, watch a movie or just rest. For the full benefits, it is recommended to have upwards of twenty successive treatments, 4-5 days per week, increasing pressure as tolerated up to 2 atmospheres of pressure equivalent to approximately 33 feet below sea level. This level of oxygenation cannot be achieved with soft chambers; HBOT at the Stram Center is administered in a state of the art, medical steel hyperbaric chamber. HBOT is performed under the medical supervision of Dr. Stram. His trained staff will monitor the patient closely during therapy; patients are in constant view and two way communication with the attending nursing staff.
The patient experiences a feeling similar to flying in a plane or diving. Air pressure must be equalized in the ears during the 15 minute compression and decompression phases by either swallowing or yawning.
HOW DOES HBOT WORK?
When you breathe oxygen at normal atmospheric pressure, this gas is transported on hemoglobin in the red blood cells. Under pressure, however, oxygen molecules decrease in size and are able to dissolve and saturate the plasma, cerebrospinal fluid in the brain and spinal cord, lymph and other body fluids. Higher concentrations of oxygen is therefore easily delivered to all tissues, including those with poor blood supply. The tremendous healing benefits of oxygen are therefore accessed by all areas of the body.
More oxygen= more energy which translates to the repair of damaged tissues, enhanced regeneration of tissues throughout the body, and optimal levels of cellular function on all levels. Damage from hypoxia or low levels of oxygenation to cells, most dramatically demonstrated in Stroke, heart disease, cancer and diabetes can be significantly effected by hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Increased oxygenation also plays a role in fighting harmful bacterial and viral infections by enhancing the cellular functions of the immune system and causing a toxic environment for anaerobic bacterial infection.
It has long been known that healing many areas of the body cannot take place without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. Most illnesses and injuries occur and often linger at the cellular or tissue level.
At the cellular level, higher concentrations of oxygen from HBOT have the following effects:
- Promotes healing,
- Supports the growth of new tissue and blood vessels,
- Decreases swelling and inflammation,
- Stimulates collagen production,
- Increases the body’s ability to fight infections,
- Helps metabolize toxins.
HBOT has been demonstrated in many clinical studies to have dramatic benefits for stroke, traumatic head and spinal cord injuries, diabetic ulcers, slow healing wounds, burns, skin infections, anemia and autism. In addition, a broad range of other conditions have seen benefits from HBOT including:
- Pre & Post Surgery
- Sports Injuries
- Aid Fracture Healing
- Skin infections
- Radiation tissue damage
- Arthritic diseases
- Fibromyalgia/ Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- CRPS (Complex Regional Pain Syndrome)
- Lyme Disease
- Peripheral Arterial Insufficiency
- Brain Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Skin Repair and Anti-Aging benefits
The most significant contraindication to receiving hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an untreated pneumothorax.
The most common side effect is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by the change in pressure. To minimize this, patients will learn techniques during compression and decompression to clear the ears. Occasionally, some patients may experience changes in their vision during the treatment which are usually minor and temporary.
For some specific conditions, including the following FDA accepted HBOT indications, HBOT is accepted for insurance reimbursement. These include: crush injury/traumatic ischemia; decompression sickness, enhancement in healing in selected problem wounds, exceptional anemia, radiation tissue damage, thermal burn, gangrene, necrotizing soft tissue infections, refractory osteomyelitis, air or gas embolism, carbon monoxide poisoning, arterial insufficiency
The following conditions are considered off-label which may or may not be covered by insurance or Medicare: Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Lyme Disease, Migraine, Multiple Sclerosis, Near Drowning, Recovery from Plastic Surgery, Sports injuries, Stroke, Traumatic Brain Injury.
We will begin offering HBOT in mid October 2018 to our established patients as well as new patients self referring or being referred by their provider. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment for a consultation please contact us! 518.689.2244