The Science Behind Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

The Science Behind Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
Posted on April 9th, 2024

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is gaining traction in the health and wellness industry for its broad spectrum of benefits, ranging from treating decompression sickness to enhancing recovery from chronic conditions. At Harmony of Nature in Lemont, we integrate HBOT as a core part of our holistic approach to health, seeing profound benefits in a diverse range of cases. Let’s explore the intricacies of this advanced therapy method and understand why it's becoming a cornerstone treatment in modern health care practices.

What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a medical treatment that enhances the body's natural healing processes through the inhalation of 100% oxygen in a total body chamber, where atmospheric pressure is controlled and increased. Typically, the pressure is about two to three times higher than normal air pressure. Under these conditions, your blood carries more oxygen to organs and tissues to aid repair and fight infection.

In essence, HBOT helps increase oxygen levels in the plasma, which can reach areas with reduced or blocked blood flow. This saturation supports and speeds up healing processes, particularly useful in wound healing, infection control, and recovery from various types of injury.

The Historical Backdrop

The concept of using pressurized air to treat medical conditions dates back to the 1600s, but it wasn't until the 1930s that HBOT began to be used for deep-sea divers suffering from decompression sickness. Its application has expanded significantly since then. During the mid-20th century, the military further researched and developed HBOT for treating carbon monoxide poisoning and gas gangrene sustained in wars.

Over the years, the medical community has continued to research and validate the effectiveness of HBOT across a wide array of conditions, including its ability to enhance recovery from plastic surgery, crush injuries, and even radiation injury from cancer treatments.

How Does HBOT Work?

The mechanics of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are fascinating. By increasing atmospheric pressure, oxygen is dissolved into the body’s fluids such as the plasma, central nervous system fluids, and lymph nodes, significantly increasing oxygen uptake by the cells, tissues, and organs. This high level of oxygen promotes healing by reducing swelling, fighting infections through the enhancement of white blood cells' abilities, and promoting the formation of new blood vessels (angiogenesis).

This therapy also stimulates fibroblast and collagen activity, which are crucial components in the wound healing process. Additionally, the elevated oxygen levels can help break down certain toxins and enhance the effectiveness of some antibiotics, making HBOT a multifaceted tool for medical treatment.

Common Conditions Treated with HBOT

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is incredibly versatile, applicable to a wide range of medical conditions. At Harmony of Nature, we’ve successfully treated patients with chronic non-healing wounds like diabetic foot ulcers, which are particularly challenging due to the impaired blood circulation often associated with diabetes.

Beyond wound care, HBOT is effective in treating serious infections like necrotizing fasciitis and osteomyelitis by enhancing the body's immune response and antibiotic effectiveness. It’s also used for treating sudden and severe conditions like air or gas embolism and carbon monoxide poisoning, where rapid intervention is critical.

The Experience in a Hyperbaric Chamber

The experience of undergoing HBOT is unique and tailored to ensure comfort and safety. Our chambers at Harmony of Nature are equipped with transparent acrylic, allowing natural light entry and visibility, which helps alleviate any feelings of claustrophobia. During the session, patients can relax, listen to music, or simply rest.

Sessions typically last between 90 to 120 minutes, depending on the condition being treated. During this time, patients breathe normally in the chamber, as the increased pressure and oxygen do their work. Our trained staff monitor the entire process, ensuring a secure and comfortable experience for each patient.

Benefits of HBOT

The benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy extend far beyond wound healing. It has shown promising results in enhancing the quality of life for patients with multiple sclerosis, autism, and even those recovering from strokes. The therapy’s ability to rapidly increase oxygen concentration in plasma and tissues makes it valuable for fighting infections, preparing patients for surgeries with a high risk of infection, and treating conditions where blood flow is compromised.

Sports medicine has also adopted HBOT to accelerate recovery times for athletes, reducing inflammation and soreness after intense physical activities. This can be a game-changer for high-performance individuals looking to maintain optimal physical condition.

Safety and Side Effects

While HBOT is generally safe, it is crucial to understand the potential side effects and contraindications. Common side effects include fatigue and ear discomfort, which can typically be managed with minor adjustments during the session. More serious risks, like oxygen toxicity or barotrauma to the lungs, are very rare but possible, which is why treatments are conducted under strict medical supervision.

At Harmony of Nature, all potential risks are thoroughly discussed prior to treatment, and every session is conducted by certified HBOT professionals who specialize in delivering this therapy safely and effectively.

Why Choose Harmony of Nature for HBOT?

Choosing Harmony of Nature for your hyperbaric oxygen therapy means entrusting your care to a team that is deeply committed to your health and well-being. Our facility is renowned for providing top-tier HBOT, which we seamlessly integrate with a comprehensive, holistic approach to health care. We take into account every aspect of a patient's lifestyle, medical history, and individual health needs to create a personalized treatment plan.

At Harmony of Nature, we believe that effective treatment goes beyond addressing symptoms. It involves understanding and treating the whole person. This philosophy ensures that each session of hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not just about delivering oxygen under pressure but about fostering an environment where healing can occur on multiple levels—physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our dedicated staff are trained to provide not only expert care but also compassionate support throughout your healing journey, ensuring that you feel valued and cared for every step of the way.


Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is more than just a treatment; it’s a gateway to enhanced recovery, better health, and improved quality of life. At Harmony of Nature, we are committed to providing our clients with the best possible care, utilizing advanced therapies like HBOT to help you achieve your health goals. If you’re interested in exploring how HBOT can benefit you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Call us at (630) 755-4359 and let us help you take the first step towards a healthier, more vibrant life.

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