Even very slight hyperbaric pressures produce benefits.
For many years, hyperbaric pressures as mild as 1.3 ATA were considered to have no extra therapeutic value. At times, they were even used as a placebo in hyperbarics research. Over the past two decades, a steady influx of data and research has confirmed that lower pressures can indeed have large physiological benefits.
1.0 ATA (the atmospheric pressure experienced at sea level) is now considered the threshold pressure for hyperbaric therapy. Anything below this level delivers 'elevated oxygen levels into the body. The higher the pressure, the more oxygen in your system. It's like taking an "oxygen supplement" with every breath.
Our scientific understanding of mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT) has come a long way since its misplaced status as a placebo treatment. Dr Paul Harch MD is the Director of the University Medical Center Hyperbaric Medicine Department in New Orleans, and he rebutted these misconceptions in the Journal of Neurotrauma.
Citing a variety of scientific documents, Dr Harch was able to clearly demonstrate the physiological benefits of pressures as low as 1.04 ATA.
You can check out the full article here:
In HBOT, less can be much, much more
Lower pressures can not only provide very powerful effects, but a landmark 2013 study in a mainstream and peer-reviewed hyperbaric medical journal found the benefits to be even more powerful than those observed at higher pressures.
Researchers monitored 92 inflammatory genes at 2.4 ATA and 1.5 ATA. The results were stunning:
"Interestingly, oxygen at 1.5 (ATA) affected many genes much more strongly than oxygen at 2.4. The reasons for this effect are unknown, but it does raise questions about the most appropriate treatment pressures for inflammatory conditions".
Just three months later, another landmark peer-reviewed study in the journal Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine supported the use of lower pressure protocols.
Researchers monitored an intensive 8 month exercise program for children with cerebral palsy, and applied protocols of 1.3 ATA (with ambient air), 1.5 ATA (with pure oxygen), and 1.75 ATA (pure oxygen).
The results were astonishing. Not only did all three pressures give significant improvements, but there was no difference in results. The significance was particularly startling because the lowest pressure protocol didn't even use an oxygen concentrator, just ambient air. This study confirmed what mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT) practitioners had known for decades: low pressure protocols can lead to significant physiological benefits.
Read the 2013 research here:
See the full 2014 results here: