Frequently Asked Questions About Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT)
uses a special chamber, sometimes called a pressure chamber, to increase the
amount of oxygen in the blood. The air
pressure inside a hyperbaric oxygen chamber is about two and a half times
greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. By
providing pure oxygen at pressures greater than found at sea level, HBOT can
deliver 10-15 times more oxygen than the body normally absorbs at sea
level, which then can transfer into affected tissue that requires extra
energy for support - particularly in the repair and regeneration of
tissue. This takes time, and typically the procedure is applied daily for
up to 40 hours. The increase in oxygenation helps to reverse states of
tissue in oxygen depletion, clinically known as hypoxia which is often the
cause of most cellular damage when an individual is affected by a
disease. HBOT has been shown to help ameliorate several indications
related to inflammation and compromised blood flow and conditions that thrive
in a hypoxic state: cancer, diabetes, stroke, autism, traumatic brain injury,
cerebral palsy, macular degeneration, Lyme disease and neurological
disorders. The final effects from the typical application of HBOT
has been shown to create new blood vessels (angiogenesis),
generate new tissue and collagen, increase the body's stem cell production and
mobilization and support immune activity. In
other words, HBOT promotes the growth of new blood vessels, decreases swelling
and inflammation, increases the body’s ability to fight infections, clears out
toxins and metabolic waste products, and improves the rate of healing.
HBOT is not a temporary
fix. Case histories show that the procedure produces progressively dramatic
results with continued use. Children with severe autism or cerebral palsy have
seen remarkable progress. Heart attack victims have been known to leave the
hospital in half the time and return home, instead of needing long-term care in
nursing homes. Brain scans show marked improvement in treating the cellular
trauma associated with multiple sclerosis. Athletes have been known to use HBOT for rapid recovery from sports injuries and to
gain optimal performance.
following conditions are off-label:
Anoxic Brain Injury
Chronic Inflammatory Disease
Decreased Immune Function
Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
Spinal Cord Injury
Plastic Surgery (Pre and Post)
Traumatic Brain Injury
Although there are minor risks with HBOT, like all medical treatments, overall hyperbaric oxygen therapy is extremely safe. HBO therapy has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to treat non-healing wounds and several other medical conditions. The most common side effect is ear pain. Some people may subjectively feel fatigue following hyperbaric treatment, but this is not a consistent finding. Some general precautions to remember are:
List all medications. Some medications can change the way your body responds to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, so it is very important to give your Hyperbaric physician a detailed list of all prescription and over-the-counter drugs that you may be taking.
No Smoking. Tobacco products can limit the amount of blood and oxygen circulating to your body tissues.
Cold and flu symptoms may require a temporary delay in your treatment schedule until you feel better.
Most of the HBOT treatments is close to an
hour. Depending upon the condition and
severity, most patients receive 3~4 treatments per week for 10~20 days. In
general, patients with chronic or severe conditions usually receive a longer series of
treatments (ie. 20~40 treatments/round of treatment) than patients with acute
During therapy, you are placed into a
comfortable and relaxing see-through atmosphere-controlled chamber. There is
plenty of room in the chamber for freedom of movement. At the start of the treatment, some patients
experience a sensation similar to that felt while flying and/or landing in an
airplane. As pressure builds, it is common to feel pressure in the ears. At the
end of the treatment, as the pressure is released, the ears "pop"
automatically. Most patients rest comfortably throughout treatment. Many read,
sleep or listen to music.
Frequently Asked Questions About Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)
What is Acupuncture? Acupuncture is part of the overall system of TCM, which also includes herbal medicine, qi gong, TuiNa massage techniques, GuaSha, Cupping, and Eastern nutrition. Acupuncture is a therapy developed by the ancient Chinese that consists of stimulating designated points on the skin by insertion of needles.
The Chinese discovered that certain locations or “points” on the surface of the body are related to internal body function. According to that tradition, there is a network of energy that flows through the body and connects these points through “channels” or “meridians”. When the flow of the energy is impaired, physical, mental, or emotional disorders will occur. So the goal of acupuncture is to restore the balance of the energy flow. The points used in treatment are carefully chosen by the TCM practitioner to disperse any blockages and to bring the patient's Qi into balance. All needles are disposed of immediately following the treatment.
Does it Work? The World Health Organization lists more than 40 conditions for which acupuncture and TCM may be used:
Heartburn, Abdominal Pain, Constipation, Diarrhea, Spasms of esophagus and cardia, Hiccough, Gastroptosis, Acute and Chronic Gastritis, Gastric hyperacidity, Chronic duodenal ulcer (pain relief), Acute duodenal ulcer (without complication), Acute and Chronic Colitis, Acute Bacillary Dysentery, Paralytic Ileus.
Asthma, Acute Bronchitis, Common Cold and Allergies, Sinusitis and Rhinitis, Tonsillitis
Neurogenic Bladder Dysfunction, Parkinson’s Disease, Stroke, Headache and Migraine, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Facial palsy (early stage, within 3-6 months), Paresis Following Stroke, Peripheral Neuropathies, Sequelae to Poliomyelitis (early stage, within 6 months), Meniere’s Disease, Nocturnal Enuresis, Intercostal Neuralgia, Cervicobrachial Syndrome, “Frozen Shoulder”, “Tennis Elbow”, Sciatica, Low Back Pain, Osteoarthritis
Cataracts, Poor Vision (in children), Acute Conjunctivitis, Central Retinitis, Toothache, Gingivitis, Acute and Chronic Pharyngitis, Tinnitus
In addition, the N.I.H. and the American Medical Association have noted that Acupuncture can be helpful for a variety of conditions. Acupuncture can be effective when other treatments have failed.
Are Acupuncture and TCM accepted in US? Yes, and growing. In the United States, the use of acupuncture and TCM is at an all-time high. According to a recent study conducted by the National Institutes of Health's National Center for Complementary & Alternative Medicine (NCCAM), an estimated 36 percent of U.S. adults use some form of alternative therapy, and 25 percent have tried acupuncture. 64 percent of physicians have referred patients to certified practitioners of alternative therapies, including acupuncture and TCM, and more than $17 billion is spent on the therapies annually. "Acupuncture and other traditional Chinese medicine therapies are gaining momentum and popularity at a rapid pace, but it's important not to rush off to a practitioner without proper research," said Kory Ward-Cook, Ph.D., chief executive officer of the NCCAOM. "Consumers should be responsible about ensuring that the practitioner they visit is properly trained. Knowledge is power when it comes to making informed healthcare decisions.”
Is it Safe? We use disposable needles only. One of the great advantages of acupuncture over other treatments is the rarity of serious side effects or dependency. Most side effects are minor, including occasional dizziness and slight bleeding after needles are withdrawn. Infection at the needle site and other side effects are very rare.
Does it Hurt? The needles we use are completely different than the hypodermic needles used for injections. We use very thin needles that are virtually painless. They are about the thinness of a hair. 10-15 acupuncture needles can fit in a hypodermic needle. You may experience a slight sensation upon the insertion of the needles and then a dull pressure or surging feeling when the needles reach the “qi” at the correct level.
Is Acupuncture and TCM regulated as a profession? The practice of TCM including acupuncture is highly regulated in the U.S. More than 40 states and the District of Columbia have recognized the practice of acupuncture and/or East Asian medicine. Most states require acupuncturists to pass a comprehensive state or national licensure exam following graduation from a college accredited by the Accreditation Commission on Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (ACAOM). Scope of practice varies from state to state ranging from Acupuncturists requiring referrals from MD’s in some states to Acupuncturists serving as primary care providers in other states.
What is the Education for Acupuncturists? An acupuncturist receives a Master’s level degree in Acupuncture in 3~4 years after roughly 3,000 hours of theoretical and clinical training in Acupuncture (or 4,000 hours in TCM that includes the Herbal training as well). It is a much more comprehensive training than the 300 hours of “Medical Acupuncture” received by a medical doctor, osteopath, naturopath, or chiropractor.
What is Moxibustion? Moxibustion is actually a part of Acupuncture modality. It is the process whereby a dried herb (Artmisia Vulgaris) is burnt, either directly on the skin or indirectly above the skin over specific acupuncture points to warm the Qi and Blood in the channels. Moxibustion is most commonly used when there is a requirement to expel Cold and Dampness from the body.
How is Herb Used in TCM? Herbal medicine is by itself a powerful method of healing in TCM. In China, they are considered the primary method of treatment with acupuncture being secondary. In many of the infertility issues as well as other chronic conditions, herbs and acupuncture combination will help to achieve the maximum result.
In Chinese Herbology, each herbal medicine prescription is a cocktail of many herbs tailored to the individual patient. It often incorporates ingredients from all parts of plants, the leaf, stem, flower, root, and also ingredients from animals and minerals. Many ingredients are used to make the best balance for the patient’s condition. Sometimes, ingredients are needed to cancel out toxicity or side-effects of the main ingredients. Some herbs require the use of other ingredients as catalyst or else the brew is ineffective. The herbal practitioner may prescribe herbal pills, powders or tinctures instead because these are more convenient for the patients. However, the raw herbs are much stronger and always more adaptable to the patient’s condition.
In general, high quality herbs have very or no side effect when used properly. But it can cause problem when it is being misused. That is why you will need a knowledgeable board certified herbalist to prescribe herbal formula for you.
What is Qigong? Qigong involves the coordination of different breathing patterns with various physical postures and motions of the body. Qigong is mostly taught for health maintenance purposes.
What is Tui Na? Tui Na is a form of Chinese hand-on-body manipulative therapy using acupressure whose purpose is to bring the body into balance
What is Cupping and Gua Sha? Cupping involves the placement of glass or bamboo cups on the skin to create a vacuum suction. Gua Sha uses a round-edge instrument to stroke/scrape on the skin. Both methods help to draw out pathogenic substances from our body.
What is in a Facial Rejuvenation Treatment? Our face’s skin beauty is more than skin deep. It is a reflection of our body’s internal environment. Therefore, in our Facial Rejuvenation treatment, we do acupuncture not only to smoothen and tighten the skin, but we also focus on balancing your body from within. Results are often seen in as few as two treatments. A series of ten treatments is recommended for best result.
What can I expect from the treatment? The treatment begins with an intake which includes a gathering of the patient’s medical condition and history (In the 1st visit, a thorough medical and personal history will be taken so the total session time maybe 90 minutes instead of 60 minutes), and a physical examination which always include taking of the pulses at the wrist and examining of the tongue. From the gathered information, a treatment plan is developed for the patient. Besides 20~30 minutes of needling session, the treatment may include any of the other methods commonly used in TCM.
What should I bring to my first visit? Please bring with you any information about your case you may have from your other doctors, including things like lab tests, blood work, reports of x-rays or MRI's, etc. Please also bring cash or credit cards (Visa/Master) as it is the form of payment expected at the time of your visit.
How many treatments will I need? The answer to this question will differ for each patient. Generally speaking however, for minor or recent complaints, such as a simple muscle strain or the common cold, only a few treatments will be necessary. The longer a condition has existed and the more serious the condition is, the more treatments will be necessary. For conditions that have lasted years several dozens of treatments may be necessary over a long period of time.
Will insurance cover the cost of treatment? Many insurance companies cover acupuncture costs. If we are in network with the insurance company, we will verify your benefit and submit the claim for you. If we are out of network with your insurance company, you will have to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement after paying for treatment in the office. We can provide you a bill for you to submit to the insurance company.