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What Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) and How Does It Work?

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

In the second episode of a series on healing with oxygen, Dr. Daniel Amen and Tana Amen take you under the hood to see exactly how hyperbaric oxygen treatment works, and why it can be effective when other treatment types have been less successful. Daniel and Tana also break down the many circumstances in which hyperbaric oxygen can be efficiently used, ranging from reducing simple inflammation to saving someone’s life.

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Dr. Daniel Amen: Welcome to The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr. Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics, where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD, where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Welcome back. We are talking about hyperbaric oxygen. Before we talk about why hyperbaric oxygen works, I want to read this review.
"I've been a long time fan of Dr. Amen since Change Your Brain, Change Your Life came out. Somehow I didn't know this podcast existed. I just discovered it recently and I love it. I find topics that are important to me. The shows are informative and entertaining. Wonderful information. Vinny F." Awesome.
I want to explain to people what hyperbaric oxygen is and why it actually is stimulating the healing process. It's under pressure, correct? Explain to them what it means.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Hyperbaric oxygen, you go into a chamber and generally people don't feel claustrophobic because it's not really close to your body. Think of it almost like you're in this big balloon. You go inside a chamber where they blow it up, put you under pressure-
Tana Amen: Almost like diving.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... and often increase the amount of oxygen in the air. Not always, but often.
Tana Amen: There's soft chambers and hard chambers. If you go in the soft chamber, you can take your computer, your phone, whatever. If you go in the hard chamber, you can't. You take a book.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Well, it depends on the chamber but soft chambers can go up to 1.3 atmospheres of pressure, so basically it's the level of pressure as if you were 10 feet-
Tana Amen: Underwater.
Dr. Daniel Amen: ... underwater.
Tana Amen: Okay, so it's like your diving.
Dr. Daniel Amen: For people have more significant problems that doctors often recommend higher levels of pressure. 1.5. I talked about the head trauma study we did on soldiers and we did that at 1.5 atmospheres. You need a hard chamber. You can't do that with soft chambers.
Sometimes to really enhance stem cell production and healing of broken bones and things like that, they'll go up to two atmospheres of pressure.
For most of my patients, they use soft chambers and the reason they do is they can rent them and have them at home since for all eight of our clinics, half of our patients come from out of state or far away and their local communities may not have hard chambers. I mean, you clearly google HBOT hyperbaric oxygen therapy and find places in your community that have it.
Tana Amen: By being under pressure, it's forcing the oxygen into your blood. That's the theory, is it's forcing it into your blood. You're forcing more oxygen into your blood, which is now stimulating stem cells. It's stimulating what else?
Dr. Daniel Amen: Something called angiogenesis, which is your body actually producing more blood vessels.
Tana Amen: Does it also stimulate growth hormones?
Dr. Daniel Amen: I'm going to read this from hyperbaricmedicinecenter.com. "Breathing oxygen under pressure causes oxygen to diffuse into blood plasma. This oxygen-rich plasma is able to travel past the restriction and gets up to four times further into the tissue and that helps with blood vessel regeneration, stem cell production, some evidence it can also decrease inflammation and promote healing overall."
One of my favorite stories is Grace. You remember Grace, who basically had a mitochondrial deficiency and was in the hospital for three years. When her insurance ran out after they spent like $10 million in the hospital, they-
Tana Amen: This was in the UK, right?
Dr. Daniel Amen: No, this was here in the United States. This was here in the US. They were basically going to send her home to die and the mom was not having any of it and took her to a hyperbaric chamber in Florida. Had a SPECT scan which showed overall very low blood flow to her brain.
On very low pressure, actually 1.1 atmospheres, she began to see better for the first time. She's like three-and-a-half years old. She's had many treatments and just graduated from high school.
Tana Amen: She went to prom.
Dr. Daniel Amen: She went to prom. Yeah, no, it's just a stunning story.
Tana Amen: She was pretty disabled.
Dr. Daniel Amen: She was very disabled.
Tana Amen: Yeah, very disabled.
Dr. Daniel Amen: I have a whole list of scans of people before and after they've had a stroke, before and after they've had a head injury, before and after they had toxic exposure. It can just make a really significant positive difference.
I have on my computer under research where hyperbaric oxygen, they've used it to enhance memory with people who have Alzheimer's disease. It's been used in autism and there's published studies on that. Carbon monoxide poisoning, fibromyalgia, head trauma; there are number of head trauma studies. Mold exposure, Lyme disease. I think of it for anything that decreases blood flow or activity to the brain, it can be a potential treatment.
It's not without any side effects. Sometimes if you go under the higher pressures, you get that increased pressure in your ear. That's a possibility. Sometimes it'll change your eyeglass prescription, but by and large, of the hundreds, maybe more patients we've referred, side effects aren't the issue. Really, it's compliance. It's getting able to do it consistently on a regular basis.
Tana Amen: Well, and the decreasing inflammation. Like I said, when he's in the hospital for infections and things like that. Improving healing.
Dr. Daniel Amen: Just an option. Learn more about it. You can learn more about it, actually, in my book Memory Rescue or Feel Better Fast and Make It Last. I talk about the healing powers of hyperbaric oxygen. You can also call our call center at Amen Clinics. Go to amenclinics.com and learn more about hyperbaric oxygen and where we have our eight clinics.
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Dr. Daniel Amen: If you're considering coming to Amen Clinics or trying some of the brain-healthy supplements from BrainMD, you can use the code podcast10 to get a 10% discount on a full evaluation at amenclinics.com or a 10% on all supplements at brainmdhealth.com. for more information, give us a call at (855) 978-1363.