Hyperbaric chambers have been associated with numerous medical treatments and are particularly useful in the treatment of those who suffer from decompression sickness, which is also called "the bends." If you've ever scuba dived, you likely were warned against the potential hazards of decompression sickness, a potentially fatal condition that attacks divers who resurface too quickly after coming down to the ocean's depths. Divers can become fatally ill when they spend too much time underwater, or when they experience hyperbaric chamber decompression therapy. Understanding the physiology and anatomy of the human body and how it reacts to various conditions is crucial for determining whether or not hyperbaric oxygen therapy is indicated in your case. Hyperbaric oxygen chambers, sometimes called "the bells" or "the jets," can be used for a wide variety of different applications and therapies.
Hypoglycemia is one condition where hyperbaric oxygen therapy may be indicated. When blood sugar levels are dangerously low in the body, the brain often does not respond appropriately to the hormone insulin. This can result in a number of different conditions, including seizures, ketoacidosis, hypoglycemia, and a poorly handled diabetes shock syndrome. By keeping blood sugar levels at normal or above, the brain can properly respond to stimuli, such as stress, anxiety, or other physical impairments. In the past, the only viable treatment for hypoglycemic people involved massive doses of oral glucose-lowering drugs, which carry significant risks of side effects and can be difficult to maintain once you stop taking them.
Another condition often treated in a hyperbaric chamber involves the control of seizures. Seizures can occur for a number of different reasons, and they can be triggered by a number of different things. Some medications may cause a seizure disorder when used without proper supervision. A monoamine oxidase inhibitor (MAOI) drug used to treat depression and chronic fatigue may also trigger a seizure disorder when it is abused.
There are several other conditions that have been successfully treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy in clinical settings. One of these is decompression sickness. The symptoms of this condition are similar to those of cerebral palsy, and the cure rate with hyperbaric Chambers has been quite good. The cure rate in the therapeutic setting is much higher because more pressure is needed to decompress the spine and brain.
Hyperbaric therapy is an excellent way to relax and unwind, but sometimes there is need for other forms of stimulation during therapy. One method of stimulation is to watch tv while in the hyperbaric chamber. Hypnosis is another option. Both of these methods are very effective at promoting relaxation and healing. Hypnosis works better if the therapist is skilled but watching tv is very affordable and can be done by almost anyone.
The greatest benefit of this therapy is that it does not use up any medical staff time. There is no need for the therapist to monitor the oxygen levels in the chamber, or for the technician to measure the pressure of the gas. There is no need for the patient to wear any equipment that would interfere with the hyperbaric chamber or prevent the therapist from working. All of these tasks are taken care of for the patient during the therapy session.
Because of the physical and mental stress involved with living with hyperbaric chamber anxiety is often present. Because of the lack of physical contact the therapist has no way to know if the person's psychological state is conducive to healing. It is not uncommon for people to enter a chamber for the first time and immediately exhibit signs of panic and fear. These symptoms are brought on by the sudden increase in pressure within the chamber. Once the symptoms disappear the anxiety returns and sometimes the panic even becomes worse.
One way to combat the return of anxiety is to take part in a relaxation and stretching exercise before the start of the therapy. This will allow the person to build up their strength and improve their ability to remain calm in the face of adversity. For example, during the pressurized phase of a hyperbaric oxygen chamber a patient may feel a pressing need to urinate. This can be alleviated with a few minutes of stretching exercises that will loosen the muscles and prepare the body for the release of the pressurized air.