What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
Oxygen is essential for human life and simply breathing in and out provides all the oxygen the body needs. Oxygen reaches blood cell and blood plasma transport oxygen throughout the body by the cardiovascular system but like any system it can be compromised. When the body is under stress due to chronic illness, anxiety, depression or injury, your body become hypoxic or low in oxygen. These parts of body need extra oxygen for tissue regeneration and repair.
There are many situations where an improvement in oxygen circulation can significantly enhance body’s natural ability to repair itself. Hyperbaric Oxygen therapy is a form of oxygen therapy that raises the level of oxygen in body blood plasma.
Is Oxygen Therapy Effective in Treating Depression and Anxiety?
A significant number of scientific studies indicated the effectiveness of Oxygen Therapy in improving mental health functioning. Most of the people who do Oxygen Therapy have reported increased energy, increased immune system efficiency, help with detoxification, increased ability to focus, energizes the entire body, and reduces fatigue. A number of scientific studies found significant reduction of depression, anxiety and PTSD symptoms of patients undergoing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. One study explored the effectiveness of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in relieving depressive symptoms during a 6-session cycles in HBO for 3 weeks. Participants showed pathological mood depression, were included in the study. All participants displayed significant improvement in depressive symptoms as registered on several rating scales, including the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (1).
Another study tested the effect of oxygen inhalation daily to 59 geriatric patients at a nursing center who were withdrawn and met the criteria for depression. Fifty percent of the participants became more alert, less confused, less hostile, more cooperative, more sociable, and much more interested in the world around them. There were no side-effects from treatment. The study concluded that oxygen therapy is a simple and relatively effective aid in the control of depressive symptoms in elderly patients (2).
Is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy effective in Relieving Migraine Symptoms?
Even though the scientific research in indicating the effectiveness of HBO on migraine headaches is in initial stages, some studies have indicated nonsignificant reduction of symptoms in participants (3).
Another study reviewed the existing literature to indicate oxygen’s therapeutic effect on cluster headache and found that oxygen treatment is close to an ideal treatment because it is effective and safe (4).
1. Lenzi, A., et al. “Usefulness Of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy In Organic Depression.” New Trends In Experimental
& Clinical Psychiatry 3.3-4 (1987): 207-212.
2. Fraiberg, Paul L. “Oxygen Inhalation In The Control Of Psychogeriatric Symptoms In Patients With Long-Term
Illness.” Journal Of The American Geriatrics Society 21.7 (1973): 321-324.
3. Eftedal, O. S., et al. “A Randomized, Double Blind Study Of The Prophylactic Effect Of Hyperbaric Oxygen
Therapy On Migraine.” Cephalalgia 24.8 (2004): 639-644. PsycINFO. Web. 4 Feb. 2017.
4. Petersen, Anja S., Mads C. J. Barloese, and Rigmor H. Jensen. “Oxy gen Treatment Of Cluster Headache: A
Review.” Cephalalgia 34.13 (2014): 1079-1087.