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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatment (HBOT) most commonly refers to the delivery of increased levels of oxygen at greater than ambient pressure for a prescribed duration of usually 60 to 90 minutes. Combining HBOT with other therapies will enhance the effect of those treatments.

A typical treatment will raise oxygen levels in plasma eight to twelve times normal (800 percent to 1,200 percent). Under normal circumstances, oxygen is transported throughout the body solely by red blood cells. When a person undergoes hyperbaric oxygen therapy, oxygen is dissolved into all of the body’s fluids, the plasma, the central nervous system fluids, the lymph nodes, and the bones. Oxygen can also be carried to areas where circulation is diminished or blocked. The increased oxygen greatly enhances the ability of white blood cells to kill bacteria. Swelling is reduced and new blood vessels are grown more rapidly.

No one has found a substitute for oxygen in the human physiological processes, and any injury caused by a lack of oxygen can be expected to benefit from HBOT with the right oxygen dosage.  Saturating with oxygen is a safe procedure when all of the correct protocols are followed, and side effects are extremely rare.

Based on various research studies, hyperbaric oxygen therapy showed improvement in patients with the following conditions.

  • Brain Injury
  • Autism
  • Post stroke (CVA)
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Spasticity
  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Spina bifida
  • Ataxia
  • Athetosis
  • Speech disorders
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Anti-aging
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Developmental delays
  • Lyme Disease
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Post-Surgery
  • Migraine Headaches
  • Vascular Disease
  • Burns


For members and veterans of our military, along with people who have suffered from traumatic life events, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder can be a common affliction. Physical pain can increase the symptoms caused by PTSD. Chiropractic care can provide pain reduction treatments while keeping in consideration the mental and emotional needs of the PTSD sufferer.

PTSD is a common problem for returning veterans. 11-20% of soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from PTSD says NBC News. PTSD coupled with chronic pain (sometimes caused by the military service itself) can have a magnifying effect on PTSD symptoms. In fact, in a study of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans,1 it was found that physical injury increased the risk of PTSD at least twofold. 

While on active-duty, members of our military usually suffer from some types of physical strain.

Some examples of physical strain include:

  • Decrease quality of sleep
  • Physical and mental strain from staying vigilant at all times
  • Battle Injuries
  • Pain and posture issues from carrying large loads

Chiropractic care reduces the physical pain suffered by a PTSD sufferer so they can start to mentally heal. Due to the Choice Act that was signed by President Trump, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is now allowing veterans to seek local chiropractic treatment through providers who meet the right criteria. The VA states “If you are already enrolled in VA health care, the Choice Program allows you to receive health care within your community. Using this program does NOT impact your existing VA health care, or any other VA benefit”


This factsheet looks at the evidence for acupuncture in the treatment of PTSD. There are related factsheets on anxiety, stress and depression.

There are preliminary positive findings for acupuncture in the treatment of chronic anxiety associated with PTSD. A systematic review of acupuncture for PTSD found that the evidence of effectiveness is encouraging (Kim 2013): all four reviewed randomised controlled trials (RCTs) indicated that acupuncture was equal to or better than orthodox treatments, or that it added extra effect to them when used in combination. Three of the four are Chinese studies that used earthquake survivors and one similar RCT (Wang 2012) was too recent to be included in the review. There is also some evidence that the acupuncture effects may continue for at least a few months after the treatment course is finished (Hollifield 2007).

A review that looked at the effects of combining brief psychological exposure with the manual stimulation of acupuncture points in the treatment of PTSD and other emotional conditions found evidence suggesting that tapping on selected points during imaginal exposure quickly and permanently reduces maladaptive fear responses to traumatic memories and related cues (Feinstein 2010).

Kim’s review (Kim 2013) also included two uncontrolled trials (they too had positive outcomes). A more recent uncontrolled pilot study found that acupuncture appeared to be a therapeutic option in the treatment of sleep disturbance and other psycho-vegetative symptoms in traumatised soldiers (Eisenlohr 2012).

Although more high quality trials are needed to substantiate these results, the overall evidence does lie promisingly in a positive direction, and, given the very low level of side effects and lack of demonstrably superior outcomes from other interventions, acupuncture could be considered as one possible therapeutic option alongside the existing repertoire. (See table overleaf)

In general, acupuncture is believed to stimulate the nervous system and cause the release of neurochemical messenger molecules. The resulting biochemical changes influence the body's homeostatic mechanisms, thus promoting physical and emotional well-being.

Research has shown that acupuncture treatment may specifically benefit anxiety disorders and symptoms of anxiety and stress by:

  • Acting on areas of the brain known to reduce sensitivity to pain and stress, as well as promoting relaxation and deactivating the ‘analytical’ brain, which is responsible for anxiety and worry (Hui 2010);
  • Regulating levels of neurotransmitters (or their modulators) and hormones such as serotonin, noradrenaline, dopamine, GABA, neuropeptide Y and ACTH; hence altering the brain’s mood chemistry to help to combat negative affective states (Lee 2009; Zhou 2008);
  • Stimulating production of endogenous opioids that affect the autonomic nervous system (Arranz 2007). Stress activates the sympathetic nervous system, while acupuncture can activate the opposing parasympathetic nervous system, which initiates the relaxation response;
  • Reversing pathological changes in levels of inflammatory cytokines that are associated with stress reactions (Arranz 2007);



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