The Lyme community has long used hyperbaric oxygen to heal from Lyme disease. I am becoming more convinced that this is a very viable option. Not just for Lyme disease, but for healing the body from damage and restoring proper function.
In fact, I picked up a used home hyperbaric chamber last week. If you’ve been following my story, you know of my foot injury and related issues (read the archives of this blog for details). I’ll keep everyone posted on my progress.
If you have made some progress with other methodologies but are not out of the woods yet, I would very much suggest you look into hyperbaric therapy (under the care of a physician, of course). There’s a lot to talk about on this subject, a lot of details and “how to’s” you need to be aware of before starting. Too much for one blog post, but feel free to post any questions you have in the comments section below and I’ll try to point you in the right direction.
A few points you should be aware of:
There are two “camps” in the hyperbaric community. First, those who use high-pressure, hard-shelled, “deep dive” chambers in a clinic setting to treat Lyme disease. These chambers are very powerful, come with some side effects, can’t be used long term due to unwanted effects, are expensive, not generally for home use, etc. These were used a lot 10-20 years ago to treat Lyme disease with mixed results.
The second camp, are those who use what we call “mild” hyperbarics. These are soft-shelled chambers. This is often referred to as mHbot, or “mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy.” This route comes with much fewer side effects, can be used daily, and are safe and relatively affordable for home use. The people in this camp believe that even if you lived close to, and could afford, the hard-shelled powerful chambers, that such a direction wouldn’t be ideal because those chambers can’t be used indefinitely, and the key to attaining long-term results with hyperbarics is doing it daily for a really long time – years. The necessity for long-term use is in agreement with many of the user testimonials for this therapy. Most of the people who got well, or much better, with hyperbarics, used it for 1+ years to attain those results. In fact, one of this therapy’s most vocal advocates, almost returned her chamber after 30 days because she didn’t have any results yet. She was convinced by another user to keep going, and she credits that encouragement with saving her life; she kept going, and at one year, she was almost completely recovered from Lyme disease.
I have personally chose to go with the mild option, for a number of reasons which I stated above and which we’ll continue to explore below.
Another controversy related to hyperbarics is that it “feeds” certain co-infections like Babesia. While I do believe there are credible reports that oxygen therapy can flare Babesia and possibly other infections, I am of the opinion that these flares may not negate the net benefit of hyperbarics and may in fact be nothing more than “Peeling layers off the onion.” In other words, perhaps a “necessary evil.” Though, admittedly the jury is still out on this topic. I will keep everyone posted with my own progress in this area, since Babesia has been an issue of mine. I also plan to use intermittent babesia treatment throughout the process.
Hyperbarics are proven useful for so many different issues that affect Lyme sufferers. It really is a shotgun approach that covers so many bases. It just so happens that it also heals bone infections and non-healing skin wounds, which is what originally attracted me to it for my own foot wound issue that has been ongoing for a number of months. While my foot wound has healed and the skin has closed relatively quickly, my foot continues to bother me and the whole episode triggered a cascade of other systemic symptoms which I’ve written about.
And, it is very desirable because it is natural, non-toxic, non-invasive. It doesn’t introduce powerful herbs and other substances which our bodies have to further deal with. And because it can be done at home on a convenient schedule, it fits into the lifestyle of someone who is busy and can’t take the time off of life to travel for long arduous inconvenient treatments. Myself, having three kids and many responsibilities, it fits into my lifestyle well. I can hop into my chamber at 8:30pm after I put the kids to bed, get out at 10:30pm, and go to sleep. While I’m in the chamber I can work on my laptop, listen to a sermon or podcast, or read.
There’s a lot more to say about this topic and I’m even exploring the idea of publishing a book on it! However, in the meantime, here are some links I suggest you read if you want more information. A book would be great because most of the really helpful information is fragmented and scattered across the internet; we need a central place to store and access information.
http://freeradicalshyperbaric.com/ Website of a woman who got her life back from hyperbarics and is an expert on helping others get started with the therapy. She has been a great help to me.
http://bit.ly/2mZQWyf Selected posts from a Lyme doctor who has written a lot about hyperbarics and has a lot of good info.
http://flash.lymenet.org/scripts/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=1;t=125201;p=0&r=actu This is a very long discussion thread on Lymenet, with many Lyme sufferers discussing their use of hyperbarics. If you are serious, I suggest reading the entire thread. It will take a while to read, but you’ll learn a ton.
http://www.oxyhealth.com/respiro-270.html This is the model chamber I purchased. I purchased it used not only to save money, but also because new ones are known to have very intense offgassing issues for a prolonged period of time, and I didn’t want to deal with the toxic smells in my house.
Remember to post any comments, experiences, or questions in the comments below.
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