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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Anti-Aging

Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy, also called HBOT, is a well known and widely used medical treatment.  It is generally used to help heal wounds or skin injuries, and to help people who are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.  But now anti-aging experts are researching potential benefits as well, both cosmetic and for holistic health.

What is hyperbaric oxygen therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen chambers look like something out of a sci-fi movie.  Even though it looks futuristic, HBOT is actually a fairly old therapy.  It was first used in the early pary of the 20th century by Orville Cunningham.  He used a high concentration of pure oxygen to treat a person suffering from the flu.  The oxygen helped to restore normal body function by repairing tissues.  Cunningham experimented a little bit, but abandoned the project when he figured out that it’s uses were limited.

In the 1940’s, the US Navy started using HBOT to treat decompression sickness for divers.  About twenty years later, scientists discovered HBOT can help people suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning,  To this day, both conditions are still treated this way.  

Other uses have since been discovered:

  • Cyanide poisoning

  • Treatment of wounds

  • Inadequate blood flow

  • Radiation injury

  • Infection of the bones and skin

  • Diabetic wounds

  • And more

HBOT works by flooding the body with oxygen in a pressurized chamber.  This helps the blood create rich plasma that flows to the  oxygen starved tissue.   HBOT limits swelling and ultimately tissue death caused by wounds or infections. 

When you get wounded, your body releases fluid that leaks into the body and causes swelling.  Severe damage occurs when this oxygen deprived blood returns to the tissues.  This leads to the creation of free radicals that can do permanent damage to tissues and blood vessels.  HBOT keeps the oxygen flowing and encourages antioxidants to seek out free radicals.  By attacking free radicals, the body is better able to heal itself.  

Source: Wesley Hyperbaric

Due to the increase of oxygen in the tissues, HBOT can stop the spread of some bacteria. The oxygen feeds the white blood cells which helps the body resist infection.

HBOT also helps skin cells make collagen which in turn makes new, healthy skin cells.  This is what has the anti-aging community excited.  That said, hyperbaric oxygen therapy should always be supervised by a healthcare provider and may even require a prescription.  Mild side effects are fatigue, headaches and claustrophobia.  Because the therapy takes place in a pressurized chamber, there is a risk of ear trauma, eye damage and sinus problems.  Oxygen poisoning is rare, but if it happens, it can lead to seizures, fluid in the lungs and other problems.  

The FDA has approved using HBOT for certain conditions such as those listed above.  But because it has worked so well in reinvigorating damaged tissue, scientists are researching other possible applications.

Potential anti-aging HBOT applications

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy centers have started popping up all over the US.  They are medically supervised.  Depending on what you are wanting to achieve, your health insurance may cover it.  But if the treatment is “off label” meaning it isn’t yet approved by the FDA or if it is for cosmetic reasons, you are likely paying out of pocket.  

Anti-aging applications for HBOT are still a little big controversial, but research is being done to learn more.  One study looked at 35 people over age 64 over a period of 90 days.  Results showed that some major aging processes were actually reversed.  Blood cells grew younger and immune cells got stronger.  There was also a 37% decrease in senescent cells, which are the cells that contribute to aging and age related disease.  

Many potential benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy haven’t been studied, but anecdotally, people are sharing their experiences:

  • Younger looking skin

  • Better circulation

  • Less chronic pain

  • Benefits cognitive function and memory

  • Stronger immune system

  • Bounce back from injury sooner

Right now, research on the topic is very limited but based on personal experience.  Hopefully scientists will continue to look into HBOT as anti-aging therapy.

In the meantime, you can get great anti-aging benefits with Qyral’s customized skincare line of products.   Until we know more about oxygen therapy, this is a great way to fight the effects of aging in a convenient way from the comfort of your home!

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