“It’s amazing where I am now compared to where I’ve come from,” says Anthony Davis, the former running back whose USC career earned him induction into the College Football Hall of Fame. “It’s scary what my head used to be like.”
Davis played five years professionally, including two in the NFL. He says he’s “one of the lucky ones” because he had only two diagnosed concussions. Even so, when Davis first came to Amen Clinics, he was 54-years-old with a brain that looked like that of an 85-year-old.
Today, Davis says, “I feel like a new person, a new man,” in large part to undergoing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) as part of a comprehensive brain rehabilitation program.
What is HBOT?
HBOT involves breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber in which the atmospheric pressure is raised up to three times higher than normal. Under these conditions, your lungs can gather up to three times more oxygen than would be possible breathing oxygen at normal air pressure.
HBOT works as its name implies – hyper (more of) and baric (pressure) – and that is exactly how it works. It is the increased pressure of the gas we breathe every day that can signal the DNA in our cells to perform healing tasks that the body normally can’t do.
Having been used for decades among scuba divers to re-introduce them to standard atmospheric pressure, today HBOT is finding many uses in the medical and mental health professions.
The Benefits of HBOT
HBOT improves the quality of life for people dealing with a variety of issues, especially when standard medicine is not working.
Often, healing is inhibited by a restriction of blood flow to the injured part of the body. Healing is promoted by maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood that can reach the injured area.
It has long been known that healing cannot take place in many areas of the body without appropriate oxygen levels in the tissue. HBOT provides this extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects.
HBOT benefits a variety of conditions in multiple ways including speeding healing, boosting the immune system, decreasing inflammation, killing bacteria, and helping the body build new connective tissue.
Most excitingly, HBOT can bring an injured brain back on line by improving the function of the cell’s energy centers – the mitochondria. It’s like bringing your car’s misfiring pistons back into proper timing. It’s all about energy and if your brain has the energy it needs to function better, everything gets better!
HBOT can be used to treat conditions which benefit from more oxygen being available in the tissues. HBOT has been used successfully to improve many conditions including, but not limited to:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
- Sports Injuries
- Cerebral Palsy
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Lyme Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Vascular Dementia
HBOT is perhaps the safest procedure in medicine at the pressures used to treat brain injuries.
As for Anthony Davis, he considers it a lifesaver and says that after following HBOT, he had more energy, better focus, improved comprehension, and overall felt more relaxed.