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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

What is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Renewal Hyperbarics Retreat XL Mild Hyperbaric Chamber with J-Access

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in alternative and complementary therapies that aim to improve health and well-being. One such therapy gaining attention is mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT). While hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used for decades to treat various medical conditions, mHBOT is a more accessible, affordable, and less intensive version of the treatment, albeit quite effective at supporting a variety of health and wellness goals. Read along to delve into the world of mHBOT and explore what it is, its potential benefits, details about what mild hyperbaric chambers are like and who might benefit from this innovative therapy.

Understanding Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT)

Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy, often abbreviated as mHBOT, is a non-invasive and less intense form of hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Unlike traditional HBOT, which is typically administered in a high-pressure chamber, mHBOT takes place in a mild or soft hyperbaric chamber, which is designed to provide a lower level of pressure. During an mHBOT session, patients breathe pure oxygen while inside the chamber, and the atmospheric pressure inside is slightly increased, typically between 1.3 to 1.5 atmospheres absolute (ATA).

The idea behind mHBOT is to increase the oxygen concentration in the body’s tissues and cells, promoting various potential health benefits. It’s worth noting that mHBOT is considered a safer and more accessible option for most individuals compared to traditional HBOT.

Benefits of Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT)

Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy is believed to offer a range of potential health benefits. In recent years, more and more peer-reviewed mHBOT studies have been conducted and the findings have been very promising. Some of the key advantages associated with mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy include:

  1. Enhanced oxygen delivery: Breathing in pure oxygen under slightly increased pressure can help saturate your bloodstream with oxygen, which may promote healing and recovery.
  2. Improved circulation: Increased oxygen levels in the blood can enhance blood flow and nutrient delivery to tissues, aiding in tissue repair and overall well-being.
  3. Reduction in inflammation: mHBOT is thought to help reduce inflammation, which is associated with a wide range of health issues, including chronic pain, autoimmune conditions, and more.
  4. Brain health and cognitive function: Many individuals have reported improved focus, mental clarity, and cognitive function after undergoing mHBOT sessions.
  5. Faster recovery from exercise and injuries: Athletes and active individuals often use mHBOT to expedite recovery from workouts and injuries.
  6. Support for various medical conditions: mHBOT is being explored as a complementary therapy for various conditions, including post-concussion syndrome, cancer, Lyme disease, wound healing, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and more.
Pressure Gauge and Interior of a Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber | Renewal Care Hyperbarics & Wellness | Beaverton, OR and SW Portland, OR

The interior of a mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber can be quite comfortable. The chamber shown has a diameter of 36 inches.

Who Can Benefit from Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy is generally safe for most people–young or old–and its non-invasive relax-based nature makes it an attractive option. Individuals who may particularly benefit from mHBOT include:

  1. Athletes and fitness enthusiasts looking to speed up recovery and improve performance.
  2. People dealing with chronic pain, inflammation, or conditions like arthritis.
  3. Individuals with neurological conditions such as brain fog, multiple sclerosis, post concussive syndrome or traumatic brain injury.
  4. Those undergoing pre- and post-surgical care and recovery, as mHBOT has been shown to aid wound healing.
  5. People with autoimmune disorders, as the therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation.
  6. People who have acute injuries such as a sprained ankle, minor shoulder tears, or general wear and tear on the body as mHBOT can support with tissue repair and oxygenation as well as stem cell mobilization.

It’s important to note that while mHBOT offers many potential benefits, it should not replace conventional medical treatments. Always consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new therapy to ensure it is safe and appropriate for your specific situation.

Clinical Studies and Research Supporting Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Most hyperbaric oxygen studies have been conducted in clinical settings. Instead of mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers, these facilities typically operate hardshell high-pressure chambers capable of going to deeper pressures. Therefore, a lot of the currently published research is for pressure levels above 1.5 ATA.

However, many recent clinical studies have shown that milder pressures may actually be preferred for certain medical conditions and may even outperform deeper pressures when it comes to reduction in inflammation. It is expected for more and more mild hyperbaric oxygen studies to be published in the coming years. Currently, there are more than 200 studies in process from around the world linked from the FDA’s website. So far, the results have been very promising and offer greater access to more and more individuals around the world.

What Does A Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Chamber Look Like?

A mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber, also known as a mild hyperbaric chamber or soft-shell hyperbaric chamber, is a therapy device designed to deliver elevated levels of oxygen in a pressurized environment. Unlike traditional HBOT chambers used for medical treatments at higher pressures, mild hyperbaric chambers operate at lower pressures, typically around 1.3 to 1.4 atmospheres.

The appearance of a mild hyperbaric oxygen chamber can vary, but there are some common features, materials, designs and sizes, accessories, safety features and experience perks that make mHBOT sessions unique and quite relaxing.

  • Material: Soft hyperbaric chambers are often made of thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) or canvas material. TPU is typically milky white or light yellow in color and known to be flexible, tough, durable, and resistant to abrasions.
  • Design: Traditionally, mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers were mostly cylindrical in shape. Depending on an individual’s condition, a cylindrical style chamber with a straight zipper entry may be challenging to enter or exit. For this reason, more and more chamber shapes and entry zipper designs have entered the market more recently.
  • Ventilation: The chamber is continuously pressurized with ambient air through the use of a specialized compressor designed for HBOT chambers. Pressure relief valves are used to stabilize and maintain the pressure inside the chamber to allow for air and carbon dioxide to safely leave the chamber. Some HBOT chambers may include an additional fan or ventilation system to help regulate temperature and maintain airflow. Select hyperbaric providers offer chambers that include a dehumidifying system incorporated into the machinery operated, which can make the HBOT session an even more pleasant experience.
  • Windows: Most HBOT chambers have circular clear windows to provide a view outside and reduce feelings of claustrophobia.The windows can also serve as an important visual communication portal as well for someone inside the chamber to convey messages to someone outside the chamber (see the “Safety” section below to learn more about other communication techniques).
  • Pressure Control: Typically, pressure relief valves are used to maintain the desired pressure level. Pressure gauges are also used to monitor pressure levels inside the chamber.
  • Size: Mild hyperbaric chambers come in different sizes and shapes to accommodate various numbers of occupants and personal preferences for how a person would like to spend their time inside the chamber, i.e. sitting up, reclining, or laying down fully. (See the photos below for a look at four different style chambers available through Renewal Hyperbarics.)
  • Accessories: The hyperbaric chamber usually comes with basic accessories such as a mattress and cover, chair, and other basic comfort features. Added accessory items can make the in-chamber experience more comfortable and even luxurious, such as a rechargeable portable fan, reading lantern, blanket, extra pillows–including specialty wedge, neck and support pillows–caddy system to keep personal items like books and phones organized, and a bottle of purified water in case of thirst and to help provide another way to equalize pressure in the ears easily (great for kids).
  • Experience Perks: With mHBOT, individuals are allowed to use small electronics inside the chamber safely, including cell phones, tablets, laptops and other convenience items like small fans, lanterns, small gaming devices and more. This allows for a more enjoyable HBOT experience that can actually feel more like a spa-like luxurious therapy where blankets, pillows and a movie make for a fun and relaxing time. Depending upon the style of HBOT chamber one is using, an individual may even have enough room to take the time and opportunity to deepen their relaxation experience with stretching, meditation, use of a portable red light therapy device or even a rechargeable massage device to maximize HBOT’s already incredible self-care aspects.

Photo Gallery of Different mHBOT Chamber Styles (Interior & Exterior)

Is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Safe?

Mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers typically come with several safety features. There are a number of reasons why many professionals and consumers alike view mild hyperbaric oxygen chambers as safer than their high pressure counterparts. These include the fact that mHBOT chambers are pressurized with ambient air instead of 100% oxygen, significantly reducing the risk of flammability.

Additionally, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy carries significantly less risk of complications such as oxygen poisoning, vision changes, and sinus and lung damage.

Pressure changes in a mild hyperbaric chamber are experienced similarly to flying on an airplane during ascent or descent in altitude.

Additional means of communication are also often used and include a personal cell phone, walkie-talkies and call buttons.
It’s important to note that while mild hyperbaric chambers are available for home use, their use should be approached with caution. Consultation with a healthcare professional is recommended before using such devices, as improper use may have adverse effects.

Additionally, mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy is not a substitute for traditional medical treatments and should be used under appropriate supervision.

To Sum Up Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy is an intriguing and accessible option for individuals seeking countless health benefits, improved recovery, and overall well-being. While it’s not a cure-all, mHBOT has shown promise in a variety of areas, and ongoing research may reveal even more of its therapeutic potential. If you’re interested in exploring mHBOT, be sure to consult with a healthcare provider to determine whether it’s a suitable option for your health and wellness journey.

Disclaimer: Statements, testimonials, and services provided by Renewal Care, LLC are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease or illness. [more]

Nothing on this site is to be construed as medical advice; the authors are not doctors. The testimonials and feedback received are voluntarily provided and do not necessarily represent the views of this company. They have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Any recommendations made by Renewal Care, LLC do not constitute as a medical recommendation and are intended for informational and educational purposes only, and no claims (real or implied) are being made. While studies support the use and effectiveness of the available therapies when used to help an individual facing various medical conditions, individual results may vary and it is the responsibility of the client to do their own personal due diligence; always ask your doctor about all treatment options, including all risks and benefits. Renewal Care, LLC is not a health care provider. Please discuss your personal health, including any options or ideas you may read on the internet (on this site or others) with your personal, qualified health practitioner before making changes to your lifestyle, diet, treatments, therapies or adjusting/discontinuing use of any medication.