By Amanda Jones
Most people are familiar with the “What”, “Why” and “Who” of remedial massage, however, the hyperbaric chamber (another service we offer) and it’s benefits aren’t widely understood.
This blog breaks down what the hyperbaric oxygen chamber can do for you, and how you can incorporate it into your treatments alongside remedial massage (or vise versa) at our Kingscliff clinic.
What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy involves breathing in high levels of oxygen in a pressurized environment*. This allows your lungs to gather more oxygen than they would in a normal day-to-day environment. Your lungs then push this extra oxygen into your bloodstream to be distributed throughout your body.
A quick overview on how oxygen gets into the bloodstream can be found here, and we break down the importance of oxygen further into the article.
Should everyone be getting Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?
While the majority of people who look into HBOT are seeking it’s benefits to help injuries or other conditions, it can also benefit those who don’t suffer from any specific ailment. If you are a regular remedial massage client, check out what a couple sessions in the oxygen chamber can do for you!
Not everyone is a candidate for this treatment though, so don’t hesitate to ask if it’s suitable for you!
While we do not guarantee results of any nature, some of our clients have reported benefits like:
- Improved skin rejuvenation due to increased cell regeneration/renewal and collagen production ***
- Better wound healing – especially skin graft acceptance. As more Australians are getting problem spots removed, HBOT can potentially get that extra circulation to the areas that need it the most.
- Feeling better in the gut, when they suffer from irritable symptoms.
- Bouncing back faster from minor sports injuries.
- Assisting the body to naturally deal with inflammation.
- It is a forced “time out” (stress relief!), allowing your body to rest and recover, with the added benefits that come with extra oxygenation.
- As a hangover cure! While we don’t see too many people coming in for this reason, it’s true that the increase in oxygen can help alleviate migraines, fatigue and nausea to get you back to 100% quicker!
When can HBOT be used in conjunction with remedial massage therapy?
The below are a few examples of when HBOT and massage can be combined. This is not a limited list! Contact us if you would prefer to discuss your particular circumstances.
1. When recovering from certain injuries and surgeries, the combination can possibly aid in recovery. While the oxygen can assist with the body’s healing process, massage can also assist to calm the nervous system and provide a release of any associated “tension” you might be feeling.
For example, if a client has recently had a knee reconstruction (or even a sprained ankle!) and is in the process of rehabilitation, the massage can address any muscle pain that might be sleep related, load bearing related, crutches, etc. to give you immediate relief.
2. You can combine the two to give you immediate relief. As previously mentioned, HBOT is a cumulative therapy that will see gradual results over time, and massage is something that you feel the effects of the moment you leave the treatment room. In most circumstances, remedial massage can be combined with HBOT safely to bring immediate relief of muscle tension, improve sleep quality and promote relaxation to help your body heal.
3. For improved everyday performance. Whether you are an athlete, work in a demanding job, find your sleep quality is poor, or all of the above, a combination of HBOT and massage might be the trick to give you the much needed fix you are seeking. Taking care of cell rejuvenation from the inside out, while getting the autonomic nervous system back in check with a massage, can bring you decreased pain, increased focus, calm and thus; the energy to keep going.
So what’s the big deal about increased blood oxygen levels?
If you are a healthy individual, chances are you are getting adequate oxygen to maintain your health. If you have experienced disease such as lung disease, heart disease, asthma, sleep apnea or take medications that slow your breathing, you have a higher chance of low oxygen levels in your blood.
When you have enough oxygen in your blood, or put EXTRA oxygen in your body (a controlled amount) – through Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy – your cells can function optimally.
Oxygen fuels your cell’s metabolic needs**, you could even think of it as your cell’s ‘food’. The cells that make up your entire body are responsible for maintaining the balance (homeostasis) of your internal systems. They do this by removing waste and CO2, fighting bacteria, reducing inflammation, providing you with energy, and very importantly – healing – cell renewal and cell growth.
One client has said after being in the oxygen chamber, “it feels like [I am] being reset from the inside out”.
Our bodies cannot store oxygen, which is why we need to keep breathing! It is also another reason why many people who choose to get Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy will do a series of treatments to achieve their desired results.
If you are someone whose body might not be getting the baseline oxygen levels to maintain a healthy homeostasis, several treatments within a close period of time (such as 7 days) can be a great way to rebuild that blood oxygen level saturation. If you are someone who wants to explore HBOT and see how it can work on your body, start with 5 sessions and go from there.