Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)

Your first experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy might be filled with excitement, curiosity, and of course lots of questions, we would love to assist you in learning more about hyperbaric oxygen treatments and how this amazing, safe and innovative treatment option can benefit you and/or your family. Below are a few commonly asked questions and additonal information.

We invite you to call 416-789-HBOT(4268) or email us to discuss available treatment options and HBOT protocols for your specific condition.


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What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT)?

The average individual breathes approximately 21% oxygen or 6 pounds of oxygen daily. During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, the individual is placed in a chamber where the atmospheric pressure is increased and oxygen is delivered. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy dissolves oxygen directly into the plasma, brain and cerebrospinal fluids creating a multilevel effect on the central nervous system: reducing swelling of inflamed tissues; repairing the blood-brain barrier and stabilizing cell membranes. It also increases the ability of white blood cells to stabilize or “clean up” damaged areas and - perhaps most importantly - creates new blood vessels in areas where they are needed.  This is a process called angiogenesis*.
The large "total body" chamber allows the atmospheric pressure to be increased and controlled. This results in a greater amount of oxygen being used to facilitate the angiogenesis process.
The brain is one of the body’s most sensitive organs and it suffers greatly if oxygen is deficient. Miraculously, the brain is also the most responsive to hyperbaric oxygen! This is why such positive gains are found when hyperbarics is used to treat those with autism, brain and nervous system-related conditions, stroke victims and those who suffer with cognitive difficulties. 

What is a HBOT treatment like?

It is pleasant, comfortable and many people find it enjoyable! Before starting your treatment, you change into scrubs, which are provided by the centre. Once you are ready, you lie down on the bed and our certified hyperbaric technician will roll you into the chamber. The door is then closed. As the treatment begins, you feel a little pressure on your ears, much like that of being in an airplane. Your technician will be right there; monitoring your treatment. When the treatment pressure depth is reached, just lay back and relax. You can listen to music, take a nap, or watch a movie! Drinking a little water during the pressurization and treatment can help the young ones clear their ears. When the treatment is over, the technician will indicate that the chamber is now decompressing. The overall experience is quite pleasant, and relaxing. Most children find it fun and many ask to return!

How long has hyperbaric oxygen therapy been in use?

Though many people believe that hyperbaric oxygen therapy, better known as HBOT is a new therapy; in actuality the first chamber used to treat patients was constructed in 1662 by British Physician and Clergyman, Henshaw. This makes this treatment method over 350 years old. Clinically HBOT has been used since the 1800’s, as surgical suites; aiding in a speeding of healing resulting in a better outcome for patients. Most people recognize or identify hyperbaric treatments with the diving industry, where it has been a common treatment for decompression illness since the 1930’s.

Why have I not heard about this as a treatment option in Canada?

This is a sad reality and hopefully this will change, as this treatment is a valuable, proven and non-invasive therapy.  In Europe, China, the U.K. and Russia, HBO is widely used and a standard treatment for a variety of neurological and non-neurological diagnoses since the 1970s. To view an extensive list of conditions treated with hyperbaric oxygen therapy, please refer to our "conditions" tab

Will I feel claustrophobic?

This is not an uncommon fear...but a fear that quickly disappears once our clients experience the comfort and openness of our chambers. Our chambers are spacious, providing our clients a 36" internal diameter cylinder. To put this in perspective, our chambers will easily accomodate two average size adults lying side-by-side comfortably. Our clear, larger, patient-friendly chambers reduce any confinement anxiety.

How many treatments will be required?

Every condition, whether autism or other malady, must be judged on what length of treatment protocol will be best. Because each person's degree, severity and length of illness vary so will the treatment duration and results.
Our goal is to keep all our clients comfortable, and to initiate and maintain the healing (angiogenesis) process as quickly as possible. We understand that HBO therapy is an expensive treatment option and that is why we base all our treatment protocols on what treatment duration demonstrates the most benefits.

How soon before I see improvements?

Clients usually report seeing changes within the first 10-40 sessions. Some in as little as 2 or 3 treatments! There is no definite answer to this question, as each individual is unique. We do strongly encourage people seeking Hyperbaric Oxygen as a method of treatment to also investigate and implement other treatment options to be use in conjunction with HBOT! Addressing and supporting the "whole" body is vital to the overall health of each patient.