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Oxygen therapy

What is it?

Oxygen therapy includes a group of treatments that use various forms of oxygen to promote healing, kill microorganisms, and neutralize toxins in the body. In the United States, oxygen therapies are considered controversial and are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). European doctors have been using oxygen therapies safely for many years for a variety of conditions.

Most people have seen a person with a nasal tube receiving oxygen in the hospital. This is a common form of oxygen therapy, but oxygen therapy also includes unconventional methods. These include hyperbaric oxygen, ozone treatments, and the use of hydrogen peroxide.

Scientists have known about the benefits of oxygen for over a hundred years. In 1879, a French doctor used extra oxygen in his operating room. Hydrogen peroxide was used in 1919 influenza treatments and helped reduce the death rates. Ozone was used in World War I to combat battlefield infections.

Every cell in the body needs oxygen to function. Experts estimate that the available oxygen levels in our atmosphere have decreased significantly in the last 100 years. Scientists have found that normal cells will become cancerous when they lack enough oxygen and that oxygen can kill cancer cells in tissue cultures. These concepts are the basis of oxygen therapy.

There are three main forms of oxygen therapy. All three forms attempt to increase the oxygen level in the body. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves giving the patient 100% oxygen to breathe while they are in a pressure chamber. Ozone therapy uses a special form of oxygen that consists of three oxygen (O 3 ) atoms instead of two (0 2 ) to increase the oxygen levels in the body. Hydrogen peroxide therapy uses 35% medical grade hydrogen peroxide liquid to improve oxygenation in the tissues.

Poor dietary habits, environmental pollutants, lack of exercise. and illness all contribute to abnormal oxygen-related biochemistry in the body. Oxygen therapy may help to "kick start" these oxygen-dependent reactions and return them to a normal, healthy state.

Oxygen therapies can be given intravenously, rectally, vaginally, or through the skin. Both ozone and hydrogen peroxide may have a beneficial effect against viral, bacterial, and fungal infections and increase the oxygen levels in the tissue.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is very effective when used in traumas, such as crash injuries, burns, and wounds. Additional uses for hyperbaric treatment include gangrene, carbon monoxide poisoning, diabetic ulcers, skin grafting, post surgical healing, stroke, drug and alcohol detoxification, multiple sclerosis, cancer, and infections. However, hyperbaric oxygen therapy has not been proven to work for all of these conditions.

Ozone and hydrogen peroxide treatments may be helpful for many different conditions. These include acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), arthritis, cancer, candida, depression, lupus, multiple sclerosis, headaches, allergies, diabetes, and chronic infection.

There are a few possible side effects with hydrogen peroxide and ozone treatments. Intravenous treatments could cause inflammation of the veins at the site of the injection, chest pain, shortness of breath, heart or breathing depression, fatigue, headache, coughing, and temporary faintness. Rectal use can lead to an inflammation of the large intestine. Oral hydrogen peroxide can cause nausea and vomiting. Ozone is usually tolerated by most body tissues but high concentrations can cause damage to lung tissues.

People looking for doctors that use oxygen therapies may have difficulty locating a doctor in their area. State laws vary regarding the legal use of ozone and hydrogen peroxide for medical conditions. Be sure to ask a possible doctor about their training in oxygen therapies, how long they have used the treatments, and what kind of results have they had in people with similar conditions.

  • The American College of Hyperbaric Medicine (305) 771-4000
  • ECH 2 O 2 Newsletter (305) 758-8710
  • International Bio-oxidative Medicine Foundation (405) 478-IBOM x 4266
  • International Ozone Association (203) 348-3542

References:

1. Burton Goldberg Group: Alternative Medicine: The Definitive Guide. Future Medicine Publishing, Puyallup, WA; 1994.

2. Inglis B & West R: The Alternative Health Guide. Alfred A. Knopf, NY, NY; 1983.

3. Kastner MA: Alternative Healing: The Complete A to Z Guide to Over 160 Different Alternative Therapies. Halcyon Publishing, La Mesa, CA; 1993.

4. Sifton DW: The PDR Family Guide to Natural Medicines and Healing Therapies. Three Rivers Press, NY, NY; 1999.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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