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Extending the Power of HBOT to Wounded Warriors

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How The Healing Heroes Network Provides Healing Services at No Cost to Returning Combat Veterans

In my last blog post, I shared a study about how effectively hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can help ease the suffering of Iraq and Afghanistan war combat veterans with traumatic brain injury (TBI). I have practiced neurology for over 30 years, and have specialized in hyperbaric medicine for over 17. And it makes me proud to support our wounded warriors with the benefits of this incredible therapy.

Since the wars springing from the events of September 11, 2001, I have urged U.S. legislators and military leaders to make HBOT available to the 347,962 service members suffering from TBI’s devastating effects. It’s why my wife, Stacey, and I founded the Healing Heroes Network.

In brief, our organization’s mission is to heal America’s Heroes by providing quality medical care to the men and women of the armed forces injured in the line of duty on or after 9/11/01. Through a nationwide network of medical professionals willing to provide services, Healing Heroes Network treats these brave warriors free of charge, for services not covered, or delayed under the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs benefits system.

Everyone who’s involved with the Healing Heroes Network is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of our brave returning military members. We consider it a small contribution when compared to the great sacrifices these injured combat veterans have made to serve our country.

On October 6, 2011, I received the Marine Corps League National Commandant’s Award of Excellence for my service to our wounded warriors. What an honor that felt like to me! As National Commandant of the Marine Corps League, Vic Voltaggio, handed me the award, he said these words that were music to my ears:

“It will be our mission to help with your efforts to provide this invaluable healing therapy to our severely wounded warriors! And I’ll personally do all I can to enlist the support of effective legislative leadership to assist in urging the V.A. to likewise provide this therapy.”

The Healing Heroes Network helps to rehabilitate returning heroes who endure combat-related trauma after sustaining brain and body injuries. When the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs doesn’t provide adequate therapy or deliver care and services in a timely manner, our non-profit organization steps in to help. We have a network of caring providers all over the country who are ready, willing and able to treat combat veterans with hyperbaric oxygen therapy and other valuable treatments.

Our organization also supplies tablet computers to Iraq and Afghanistan war vets who have sustained Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and/or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) to help them plan and organize their days. The services and therapies that the Healing Heroes Network provides are made possible by the generosity of donors, who, like us, feel so proud to play a part in returning brave soldiers to more normal, productive lives.

If you’d like to learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and whether it could benefit you or a loved one, please contact our Palm Harbor, Florida center for a hyperbaric oxygen therapy consultation. HBOT treatment for combat veterans is provided at no cost through the Healing Heroes Network. Schedule your appointment online or call 727-787-7077 today. A member of our office staff will be glad to respond to your questions and confirm your appointment.

To learn more about the Healing Heroes Network, please visit www.healingheroes.org or call the main office in Palm Harbor, FL, at 877-470-HERO (4376).

Healing Traumatic Brain Injuries with HBOT

· Brain Injuries, HBOT, Healing · Comments Off on Healing Traumatic Brain Injuries with HBOT

Study Shows Hyperbaric Oxygen Successfully Treats Combat Veterans with TBI

Did you know that 57% of Revolutionary War soldiers survived their wounds? By contrast, in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, thanks to Kevlar vests and helmets, 90% of our soldiers survive them. About a third of all damage from IEDs and other weapons occurs to the head – and injuries are often invisible. Many of our brave combat veterans sustain devastating traumatic brain injury (TBI) that disrupts brain function and yet goes untreated for years. A study by Dr. Paul Harch now shows conclusively how hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) helps to ease the suffering of those who have sustained brain injuries.

Living with Traumatic Brain Injuries

Combat veterans with TBI suffer from headaches, disrupted sleep, anxiety, depression, ear-ringing, seizures, difficulty balancing, light sensitivity, and trouble thinking and planning. Their decision-making abilities are also often impaired. No wonder so many TBI sufferers feel agitated and angry. They are truly suffering. Doctors routinely prescribe psychiatric medications, sleep aids and pain killers. But results of studies show how soldiers can successfully ease symptoms with HBOT so that they can rely less on these oftentimes addictive drugs.

The Promise of HBOT as a Treatment for Soldiers with TBIs

A 2011 study published in prestigious peer-reviewed Journal of Neurotrauma and conducted by Dr. Paul G. Harch and colleagues at LSU School of Medicine New Orleans, the University of North Dakota School of Medicine, and the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine and Amen Clinics shows the promise of HBOT to treat soldiers with TBI. The researchers treated 16 active duty and retired U.S. veterans with HBOT nearly three years after IED and rocket-propelled grenade explosions caused them to sustain brain injuries.

Physical exams, cognitive testing, high resolution SPECT brain blood flow imaging and individual self-reports of life quality were used to gauge the success of the therapy.

After having 40 low pressure HBOT treatments within a month, each of the combat veterans made significant gains. Incredibly, results showed the veterans had a nearly 15 points IQ increase.

That’s about the difference between the IQ of a construction worker versus the IQ of an engineer! The veterans’short term memory, executive function and concentration all improved significantly. This has clear implications for HBOT to help veterans to go back to college or achieve higher paying jobs. Importantly, the imaging analysis was able to prove that the blood flow improved significantly with hyperbaric oxygen treatments, and also that the resulting cognitive improvements could not be explained away by a placebo effect.

Veterans in the study had marked reductions in headaches and depression – as well as suicidal thoughts. Almost two thirds of those taking psychiatric medications were able to cut back on these or discontinue the meds altogether. All of the study’s subjects reported significant improvements in quality of life after just a month. At a phone follow-up six months later, almost all of the veterans reported they continued to sustain their improvements.

In 2014, Dr. Harch and others at Louisiana State University in collaboration with the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command conducted a long-term, randomized study that included 100 participants. We are still eagerly awaiting their published results.

Do I believe that HBOT is a magic bullet that reverses all effects of TBI? No, I don’t. But I have seen over and over how effective this low-risk treatment is for easing the devastating symptoms of traumatic brain injuries. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy truly allows our wounded warriors a better quality of life and an unparalleled opportunity to recover.

If you’d like to learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and whether it could benefit you or a loved one, please contact us for a hyperbaric oxygen therapy consultation. HBOT treatment for combat veterans is provided at no cost through the Healing Heroes Network. Schedule your appointment today online or by calling 727-787-7077. A member of our office staff will be glad to respond to your questions and confirm your appointment.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Naturally Helps The Healing Process

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HBOT: Ease Pain Without Drugs or Surgery by Boosting Your Body’s Own Healing Power

Did you know that your body has amazing powers of healing? Yes, when left to its own devices, the body will normally do everything it can to support and heal itself. Think about it. When your body engages in a full day of active labor, does it wake up restored the following morning? If you cut calories and exercise regularly, does your body begin to shed pounds? When your finger gets a paper cut, does the blood begin to clot and form a healing scab? But sometimes we get injured. Or let’s face it, we neglect our bodies for months at a time and then wonder why we have trouble getting up of the couch…or worse. But what happens when our body gets so diseased it no longer has the ability to heal itself?

FDA-approved Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) uses pure oxygen to fight off infection and illness and enhances your body’s ability to heal on its own…

To schedule an appointment at our Palm Harbor, Florida office, call 727-787-7077.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) works by delivering high concentrations of 02 to your body at varying atmospheric pressures. At these pressures, your lungs literally suck in far more oxygen than they’re able to while breathing in normal room air. That life-giving oxygen circulates around your body via the bloodstream in order to distribute vital nutrients. Injured tissues need lots of oxygen to heal and begin functioning properly again, which these super high O2 levels provide. Yes, oxygen naturally helps to fight off infections and promote healing.

Our bodies are made up of 50 to 75 trillion cells. Each cell type has its own lifespan, and most cells naturally die off as new cells form to replace them. For example, skin cells live for two to three weeks, red blood cells live around four months, while white blood cells can hang in for more than a year on average. Believe it or not, our brain cells normally last an entire lifetime!

Each of these cells relies on oxygen for its processes to occur. When our bodies are in peak condition, they heal themselves from minor injuries and disease. But when areas of our body get badly injured or diseased, they become inflamed. This further reduces blood and oxygen flow to the area, and our bodies lose their natural ability to heal themselves.

HBOT restores oxygen and nutrients to swollen and injured areas. Think of it as an 02 super-saturation treatment. As you lie comfortably in a sealed chamber, pure oxygen finds its way into body areas that need help and healing.

Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments (HBOT):

Here are just some of the benefits your body could experience. HBOT:

  • Fires-up neural activity in the brain
  • Wakes dormant brain cells that are alive but not working properly
  • Increases thought and memory power
  • Enhances ability to fight off bad bacteria and viruses
  • Reduces toxins
  • Stimulates new capillary growth in injured areas
  • Eradicates free radicals
  • Reduces tissue swelling and inflammation.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is non-invasive and safe. For over a century it has been used to treat divers suffering with decompression illness (the bends). Now it’s a commonly used treatment for many conditions and accepted by the FDA to treat 14 major health conditions and other off-label uses.

People have used HBOT to successfully recover from chronic pain symptoms of Lyme disease and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD). The treatment is also routinely used on stroke and brain injury patients to help them recover their lives.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments and Sudden Deafness

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HBOT May Help To Restore Acute Hearing Loss

Acute hearing loss, also known as sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSHL), happens when somebody loses hearing over the course of several days, or even instantly, with no apparent reason. Sometimes people hear a loud pop! sound just before they lose hearing. And the condition is often accompanied by dizziness or ringing in the ears. So how else might someone experience the deafness of SSHL? I’ll explain:

We measure the loudness of sounds in decibels. Normal speech is around 60 decibels, while complete silence is zero. Whispering is around 30 decibels. And those who experience acute hearing loss hear normal speech like a whisper at best. As you can imagine, to suddenly lose that much hearing can really change your life! And becoming suddenly deaf is not an occurrence to take lightly.

What Should I Do if I get Sudden Hearing Loss?

The most important advice I can give you is to see a doctor right away. Don’t wait thinking that the condition could go away on its own. Sudden hearing loss should be treated like an emergency! That’s because if you don’t get treatment within 10 days of onset, your hearing function will have limited chances of recovery. The first course of treatment is steroids. And adding hyperbaric oxygen therapy to this treatment has been proven to significantly improve outcomes for sudden hearing loss sufferers.

Medical evidence confirms that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a viable natural treatment for SSHL – and so does the FDA, which is why insurance companies often cover the therapy for our patients if they come in to see us within three months of the initial symptoms. Many patients have found that HBOT successfully reduces the severity of hearing loss.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps to Restore Hearing

During hyperbaric oxygen therapy, patients lie in a sealed acrylic chamber where they breathe in pure oxygen at higher than normal atmospheric pressure. Having treatment feels somewhat like being in a pressurized airplane cabin. A patient’s ears may get a little plugged, but they can quickly relieve that sensation by holding their nose and blowing gently. Most people find the chamber is very comfortable.

Basically, HBOT treatment works by stimulating regeneration of the inner ears’ sensory cells. When patients lie in the chamber they are able to get far more oxygen than their lungs would normally allow. This O2 carries vital nutrients throughout the body via the bloodstream and stimulates growth factors and stem cells that promote healing. Please remember that the best possible hearing improvement occurs when patients get HBOT treatments right away!

If you have recently experienced sudden deafness and would like to learn how HBOT could reduce the severity of your hearing loss, please contact us without delay. Medicare and other insurers may pay for treatment if your hearing loss meets certain conditions. We will also gladly provide a personalized hyperbaric oxygen therapy consultation to see whether you could benefit from treatments. Simply click here to schedule an assessment. Our office staff will confirm your appointment soon. Otherwise, feel free to call us directly at 727-787-7077.

HBOT for Hard-to-Heal Diabetic Wounds

· Diabetes, HBOT, Healing, Wound Care · Comments Off on HBOT for Hard-to-Heal Diabetic Wounds

How Two Patients Saved Limbs from Amputation with Hyperbaric Oxygen Treatments

For decades, hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been used to treat diabetic wounds and help prevent lost limbs. For much of that time, HBOT was considered out of the mainstream. Not anymore. Far from it! Today, some of the most prestigious university hospitals in the country routinely use hyperbaric oxygen chambers to heal stubborn diabetic wounds and save limbs. And it’s hardly surprising. Consider that around 60 percent of those with diabetic foot ulcers get relief with traditional medical treatments. But when you add hyperbaric oxygen therapy, almost 90 percent of those wounds successfully heal! That’s no small potatoes – especially if you have a stubborn wound putting you at risk for gangrene and other serious infections. Here are just two stories of how HBOT worked successfully as part of an overall treatment plan to help patients avoid amputation.

How HBOT Saved Limbs of Two Men Suffering from Advanced Diabetic Wounds

When it comes to saving diabetic limbs from amputation, the results of hyperbaric oxygen therapy can be truly amazing. Here are two stories I’ve previously tweeted about HBOT’s effectiveness:

One retired attorney who served in World War II suffered from diabetes. To make matters worse, the patient had blocked arteries that reduced blood flow to his legs. A resulting diabetic ulcer had become infected all the way to the bone. When this serious infection resisted treatments, the attorney went to a vascular surgeon who restored the blood flow to his legs. The surgeon recommended that his patient seek out a wound care center in San Marcos, CA. Wanting to save his limb, the attorney took the surgeon’s advice. The wound center treatment team included an infectious disease specialist, a podiatrist and a doctor who focused on HBOT treatments. This multi-pronged medical approach, including time in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, enabled the attorney’s wound to heal fully. Even more significantly, it allowed him to save his leg.

Another story I like to tell is of a Texas man who developed a red spot on his shin that refused to heal –even with antibiotic creams. Over time, the spot enlarged and spread to the opposite leg. The man delayed getting treatment, so his legs became severely infected. What began as a small red spot got so out of control that the wound now had dead muscle and skin surrounding it. Doctors diagnosed the man with diabetes, and warned him that he would need to have his limbs amputated.

Thankfully, one doctor had heard how an area wound center was successfully treating diabetic wounds with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. He advised the Texas patient to give the center a try. As in the previous story, the man’s multi-pronged treatment approach included HBOT. After three months or so, he regrew healthy, pink skin on his legs!

With any integrative approach that includes HBOT, treating diabetic wounds as quickly as possible improves a patient’s chances to heal and avoid amputation. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy uses pure oxygen under varying sea level pressures in order to improve blood circulation and fight off infections. Over the past 14 years, I have successfully treated many patients suffering from stubborn wounds. And, as the two stories well illustrate, HBOT helps both to save limbs and restore lives.

Will Insurance Cover HBOT Treatment for Non-Healing Wounds?

Medicare and other insurances often cover HBOT for non-healing wounds. It may depend on the wound’s severity. Our center’s doctors can let you know with more certainty if they observe your individual condition. If you’d like to learn whether HBOT could benefit you or a loved one, contact us directly at 727-787-7077.

Vitamin Cocktail Boosts HBOT’s Healing Power

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New Hope for RSD and Diabetes: Adding IV Vitamins to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Helps Patients Get Better Faster

It’s nearly impossible to get enough vitamins and minerals through our food intake. And that’s on a normal eating day – never mind when we’re sick! But one thing we can do to greatly accelerate the healing process is to boost our intake of nutrients. When we take vitamins intravenously, they bypass the digestive tract, so our bodies can assimilate them much better.

Pure oxygen delivers nutrients efficiently through the body, too. In fact, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is the most effective treatment I know of for both RSD and stubborn wounds. But researchers have learned that infusing the body with a vitamin cocktail during HBOT can produce an additional nutrient boost that helps free RSD and diabetes patients from pain and other symptoms…Wondering if HBOT with IV Vitamins can help bring you relief? To schedule a pain assessment at our Palm Harbor, Florida, Center, call 727-787-7077.

HBOT with intravenous (IV) vitamins involves receiving pure oxygen while lying in a clear, sealed, hard-shell chamber, while simultaneously receiving nutrients through an IV. One popular IV vitamin therapy is known as the Myers cocktail, which doctors have been using since 2002. We’ve discovered that combining this vitamin cocktail with Hyperbaric Oxygen makes the O2 therapy even more effective than it already is. And that’s great news for those suffering with RSD or with diabetic wounds that are hard to heal.

Oxygen and vitamins are both vital to new cell growth, better health and a stronger immune system. State-of-the-art HBOT treatment uses varying sea-level pressures to power oxygen into areas of the body that regular breathing can’t possibly reach. That oxygen stimulates the growth of new blood vessels, promotes wound healing, boosts the immune system, and even increases the effectiveness of antibiotics. When we add IV vitamins to the mix, the body gets an abundant dose of the fundamental ingredients it needs to function well and heal fast. Patients feel stronger, live better and suffer less pain.

Want to learn more about HBOT and IV Vitamins’ ability to heal RSD and stubborn wounds? Dr. Spiegel will be happy to provide an assessment to determine if you could benefit from the combination treatment. To schedule your personalized appointment online, simply click here. Our office staff will confirm your appointment soon. For many non-healing wounds HBOT is covered by Medicare and other insurances. Otherwise, we can review payment options that help make the treatment affordable. Please call our office at 727-787-7077.