Every day, the scientific community is slowly expanding its understanding of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as research efforts around the world continue to uncover groundbreaking facts about its benefits.
Its ability to speed up our body’s rate of healing, coupled with patient reports of feeling vibrant and renewed after treatment, gives some people the impression that hyperbaric oxygen therapy could somehow reverse aging.
The evidence seems compelling, but before we declare this as the new fountain of youth, let us first take a closer look at the science behind the phenomenon of aging itself and how this fascinating new technology can affect it.
What Does Longevity Really Mean?
The average human lifespan is significantly longer today than it ever was in any period of human history thanks to modern medicine and nutrition.
We’ve defeated countless debilitating and life-threatening diseases, endured devastating plagues, improved our use of preventive medicine, and have become more aware of the importance of healthy living.
Despite our great strides in health and wellness, our longevity still has a limit — we have yet to overcome the seemingly inescapable phenomenon of aging.
No matter how healthy we are our bodies still weaken, deteriorate and inevitably expire over time.
Conditions such as diabetes, arthritis, and heart disease still plague many of us as we grow older, sapping us of our energy and vitality the longer it goes on.
The true measure of longevity is not in how long you can stay alive, but rather how long you can stay healthy.
We can mitigate the factors that cause aging and enhance our experience through life as we continue to age by treating some of the common conditions that hinder our life expectancy.
Proper diet, exercise, ample sleep, good stress management, and wellness regimens can all go a long way, but that only goes so far. There is so much more that can be done. This is where hyperbaric oxygen therapy steps in.
Regular use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy encourages our body’s natural healing processes to flourish, which helps us better recoup lost resources, allowing us to remain active, independent, aware, alert, and engaged in our own lives even into our senior years.
Ways Hyperbaric Oxygen Can Improve Wellbeing in Your Later Years
There are several ways this revolutionary new therapy can help seniors feel younger and more energetic for as long as possible. In order to understand how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit us, we must delve into the science behind aging.
Stem cells provide new cells for the body as it grows by replacing specialised cells that are damaged or lost.
They have two unique properties that enable them to do this: they can repeatedly divide to produce new cells, and as they divide, they can transform into the other types of cells that make up the body.
As stem cells age, however, their regenerative ability also deteriorates, and their ability to differentiate into diverse cells is altered. This results in the myriad conditions we observe in people of advanced age.
It has even been suggested that this apparent deterioration of stem cell functions may play a crucial role in aging itself, and could be the cause of various age-related disorders such as the noticeably reduced healing and recovery rate among the elderly.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy infuses our cells with the oxygen and energy they need to significantly increase stem cell production, leading to improved regeneration and recovery rate, as well as reduced inflammation in damaged tissues.
The current leading cause of death among seniors is heart disease and the older we get, the more susceptible we become.
Today, 14.2% of people aged 45 or older suffer from coronary heart disease (CHD), have experienced a stroke, or both. 9.6% of whom are between 45 to 64 years of age, and a staggering 21.7% of whom are aged 65 years and older.
Trials and research have found that regular hyperbaric treatments have proven to strengthen heart function in both ill and healthy seniors. It has also been shown to ease fibromyalgia symptoms, a chronic pain condition that can make it very hard for people to move around as they get older.
Not only does it prolong lives, but also improves quality of life by eliminating debilitating physical conditions.
In a study released by Dr. Shai Efrati from the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research, he shows us that hyperbaric oxygen therapy gives multiple holistic benefits for both brain and body.
The brain uses oxygen as an energy source. It consumes 24% of the body’s total oxygen demand and is responsible for distributing oxygen to where we need it most.
Most of our bodily functions rely on the brain to provide them with oxygen in order to perform tasks and recover from injury.
Much in the same way that hyperbaric treatment has been shown to enhance the regeneration of damaged tissue, damaged brain tissues directly benefit from all that extra oxygen, as well as from the boost in stem cell production and formation of new blood vessels.
Stroke patients who received regular hyperbaric oxygen treatments were better able to learn new skills, recover more brain functions, regain mobility, and experience reduced levels of pain as compared to similar patients who did not receive the treatment.
Increased blood oxygenation through hyperbaric oxygen therapy has been observed to actually help the brain heal itself faster and allow it to function better, thereby improving the rest of the processes of the entire body.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy has also produced observable improvements in the neuroplasticity of patients.
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to modify its neural connections through cell regeneration in order to adapt to adverse conditions, such as injuries and degenerative disease.
It is essentially our brain’s way of rewiring and rebuilding itself as time goes on, giving us our ability to learn, remember, and comprehend new information as we get older, in order to continuously adapt.
Without this ability, the brain would simply be unable to develop from early infancy through adulthood or heal through injuries like concussions or surgical procedures.
With aging comes a noticeable decline in neuroplasticity, and some studies have even linked this as a possible cause for various chronic cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Regular use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy could potentially alleviate these cognitive conditions, or at the very least mitigate its debilitating effects on our memory and awareness.
More Research Still Needs to Be Done
The current research behind hyperbaric oxygen and its effects on aging are groundbreaking and exciting. However, Dr. Jason Sonners and other experts in the field are pushing for broader, more comprehensive studies.
More research through first-hand use of hyperbaric therapy in the US and other parts of the world would put more eyes and minds to work on examining the effects of this therapy, speeding up the technology’s development and bringing us closer to understanding, perhaps even overcoming, the onset of aging.
Better access to clinics that use hyperbaric oxygen chambers could shift many people’s lives in a better, healthier direction.
Unfortunately, doctors in the US currently do not have as many available opportunities to access this technology as their counterparts do over at Israel HBOT.
The United States’ system of private healthcare has made hyperbaric oxygen therapy too expensive for average patients to afford, and doctors cannot recommend its use despite the obvious benefits this treatment could give their patients.
Right now, the use of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a means of disease prevention or recovery support remains largely uncommon. Most people only have access to insurance-approved sessions for treating serious problems like gangrene or osteomyelitis.
To truly realize the potential of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in staving off the effects of aging, this treatment needs to become available to a wider group of doctors, researchers and patients in the near future.
Here at HBOT USA, we are always looking for ways to improve our understanding of hyperbaric oxygen therapy and its multitude of benefits. We work very closely alongside leading specialists like Dr. Shai Efrati at Israel HBOT to further our knowledge, gain crucial insights and stay relevant in the field.
We aim to demonstrate the potential of hyperbaric oxygen therapy to the scientific community in the hopes of one day making this technology readily available to the general public.
We believe the benefits of this revolutionary new therapy will not only improve our length and quality of life, but will also redefine the limits of health and the human body.
To learn more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy and how it can positively impact your lifestyle and wellness, contact us today.