Frequently Asked Questions
Please click a question to learn more about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
How does it feel?
The initial experience is a bit like being in an airplane (more like first-class than economy, we like to think). Just like with take-off, when the body is adjusting to changes in pressure, in the chamber, you’ll experience a similar pressure in the ears that will clear up relatively quickly - up to 6 minutes in the mild chamber and up to 20 minutes in the high-power. For most people, this process is aided by chewing gum or frequently swallowing. Once you’ve reached pressure, i.e. “made your dive”, you should feel normal and can enjoy the relaxed time however you like.
“I laid back and closed my eyes as Alex started a countdown. The started to feel the ear popping she had mentioned but wasn't too noticeable. I popped on my headphones and turned on some guided meditations. Whilst sitting there, I could def feel a tingle through my body as the chamber did it's work on me. The 90 mins flew by as I Alex reappeared from the front office and gently radioed in and woke me up. As I climbed out I could immediately feel a difference in the way I was moving.” - Shahil P. 7/30/2018 (yelp)
Is it comfortable inside?
Holistic Hyperbarics was born out of a desire to bring hyperbaric oxygen therapy out of its limited medical context and into a more comfortable, spa-like setting. We’ve designed the space for guests to recharge, relax and focus on their health and wellbeing. Consistent with other elements of your visit, we think you’ll find the chamber a comfortable, healing environment. Here’s what our guests say:
“I was also pleasantly surprised by how roomy and comfortable the chambers are. I began looking forward to the time for meditating and reading, knowing that afterward I'd feel both relaxed and energized.” - Loralie F. 9/1/2018(yelp)
“Lighting you can control, easy communication via walkie-talkie should you need it, snacks, water, and a hot towel after. The pod is set up to be as comfortable as can be with pillows and blanket. [your guide] does a wonderful job preparing you for your experience, making you feel safe and informed. They create an excellent container for treatment.” - Whitney M.(yelp)
“Now let me tell you about the chamber.. it is pretty big, comfortable, and it even have changing color lights! I was on my phone for probably ten mins and then decided I would nap. It was so easy to fall asleep because [your guide] provides you with a comfy blanket and pillow”-Haley D (yelp)
Is clearing your ears hard to do?
For most people, clearing their ears isn’t an issue. In fact, they barely notice the pressure changes after a few moments of light popping. The pressure is similar to taking off in an airplane, which might mean swallowing more frequently or chewing gum to ease the process. If you have trouble clearing your ears on an airplane, you might want to let your guide know beforehand so that they can make sure you’re comfortable.
What do you do inside the chamber?
We welcome you to enjoy your time in the chamber however you like. For some people, that means catching up on work calls or emails, or sinking into a new book; for others, it’s a nap or meditation. Remember, this is your time.
“The chambers are quite roomy and equipped with fans, lights, pillows and blankets. I have two young kids and I look forward to my "dives" as a chance to get a break, relax and rest. I can comfortably read, journal or do things on my phone when I'm in the chamber.” -Julie S.(yelp)
How do you feel after a session?
You may feel slightly disoriented when you first come out of the chamber, as your body re-acclimates to the lower oxygen levels in the ambient air. This is a normal part of readjusting post-treatment. We provide comfortable seating for you to relax, get your bearings, freshen up with warm towels, and replenish your body with vitamins and hydration before you go move onto the rest of your day. Like most of our guests, you may find yourself feeling more energized for the rest of the day and likely sleep better than night. Results may vary depending on your treatment goals and existing condition.
“...HH is well versed in so many health issues, including ones like mine on the fringe of medical science. I struggle with a lot of symptoms and have tried a lot of protocols, but after only three hyperbaric treatments I'm feeling more energized, clear, and sleeping better then I have in years. I cannot recommend this place higher.. I would if I could!” - Gailen G. 9/1/2018(yelp)
“I did sessions twice to three times a week for a couple of months. After about two weeks I began feeling mentally clearer, more enthusiastic, and much less anxious.” -Loralie F. 9/1/2018(yelp)
“Just after one 90-minute session, I felt like a new person. The inflammation decreased significantly (my bandages were visibly looser than when I had arrived), I could feel that there was less fluid in the surgical area, I breathed better, and the pain decreased by 90%! Since my first experience, I've come in 2 more times and each time I feel much stronger. I feel like I found the secret to hacking my healing process! It makes sense logically as bodies need oxygen to carry out certain functions to heal and this is a way to do this more effectively!” - Grace S. 1/3/2019(yelp)
How do I communicate with staff when I'm inside?
Walkie-talkies are in every chamber to communicate with your guide whenever you need.
Why Do I Need a Prescription?
A hyperbaric chamber is an FDA-regulated Class-II medical device and legally requires a prescription for use. If you don’t already have a prescription from your doctor, we provide a seamless process through our online booking to secure you one at no additional cost.
What’s the Difference Between mHBOT and HBOT?
Mild hyperbaric oxygen therapy (mHBOT) chambers have one pressure setting, equivalent to 10 feet depth of diving. Our “high-power” HBOT chambers have six settings, ranging from the mHBOT setting of 1.3 ATA to 3.0 ATA, or a dive of 66 feet.
All of our guests are required to experience the mild HBOT chamber before considering the high-powered chamber. When you’re learning to swim, you don’t start in the deep end. In fact, for many people, they don’t need a deep dive. The milder chamber provides as much healing and restoration as their body needs. Starting with the milder chamber gives us guides and our guests the opportunity to test out the waters and make adjustments as necessary.
When should I arrive for my appointment?
We recommend that guests arrive 10-15 minutes before their scheduled appointment. This allows time for finding parking, using the restroom, and taking a few moments to arrive mentally.
I am healthy. How can I benefit from this treatment?
Even healthy guests experience benefits from using hyperbaric oxygen therapy. HBOT may improve energy levels, sleep, focus, tissue function, stem cell mobilization and immune health, among others.
How many sessions do I need?
Every body is different, and everyone comes in with their unique health goals. What we know is that the frequency of HBOT can play a major role in achieving many physiological benefits. For our guests with more acute chronic conditions, this means more regular visits and a profound cumulative effect of the treatment and its benefits over time. For others, the occasional recharge works best. You’ll find what works for you over time.
Can my child receive treatment?
Children 5 years and older are welcome to use the mild chambers. Both child and caregivers are required to have a prescription (see above). Children under 14 will need to have their caregiver with them in the chamber.Yes, Children can receive treatment. Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. Both the child needing treatment and the adult chaperone will need prescriptions.Be sure to speak with your child’s pediatrician before starting HBOT treatment.
Will this treatment cause a seizure?
Oxygen toxicity seizures are rare but normally triggered by low blood sugar or increase of body temperature. We keep all our chambers cooled and provide snacks before and after treatment. If a seizure should occur, our staff is trained to end the session and begin emergency protocol. If you are prone to seizures, please let your dive guide know.
More information on HBOT and seizures: http://hyperbaricexperts.com/faq/
Will insurance cover my treatment?
While HBOT has been shown to be effective in treating any number of off-label conditions, insurance providers will generally not cover the treatment. However, if you have one or more of the 14 FDA-recognized conditions, there is a good chance of insurance reimbursement. HH is happy to provide a point-of-sale receipt and detailed invoice that you may take to your insurance company to request reimbursement. If you have any of the 14 conditions below and are concerned about reimbursement, there are other local centers that work directly with insurance companies.
FDA insurance-approved conditions are listed under FDA “On-Label” Conditions on our About The Treatment Page
Side Effects and Conditions to be Aware
Common Side Effects HBOT’s most commonly reported side effect is trauma to the ears and sinuses caused by changes in pressure. It’s important to understand that this effect is only temporary and resolves itself after exiting the chamber following treatment. While decongestants may be helpful for some, most individuals respond well to frequent swallowing and chewing gum during (de-)pressurization to mitigate the effect. Our dive guides will teach you auto-inflationary techniques to promote adequate clearing of the ears during treatment to prevent any discomfort associated with this side effect.
Less Common Side Effects While other side effects of HBOT are far less common, we want our guests to be aware of them, including those below:
Pulmonary Oxygen Toxicity may occur in those requiring supplemental oxygen between treatments.
Claustrophobia, while widely recognized in both pop culture and medical contexts, affects a minor percentage of the population. The condition can managed by maintaining communication (via walkie-talkies, which are provided to all our guests), and practicing relaxation techniques during treatment. If you suffer from claustrophobia, please let us know so that we can make your dive as comfortable as possible.
In very rare cases, individuals who use the chamber extremely frequently may develop temporary changes in eyesight. These minor changes usually disappear within 20 minutes after a session to eight weeks following the end of treatments.
Patients with cataracts may experience accelerated maturation of their cataract. However, the treatment itself does not cause cataract formation.
A Word of Caution We’ve included some notes below for guests with the following pre-existing conditions or prescribed medications. If you have any concerns, we advise you to speak with your prescribing doctor or ask one of our dive guides to help direct you to more information.
Conditions Asthma: Small airway hyper-reactivity may result in air trapping and damage to the lungs while the chamber is de-pressurizing. There is some evidence that administering bronchodilators may increase the incidence of gas embolism to the brain through pulmonary vasodilation.
Congenital Spherocytosis: For those individuals with fragile red blood cells, treatment may result in massive hemolysis.
Emphysema with CO2 retention: Patients with emphysema may become apnoeic (have difficulty breathing) in the chamber and require emergency care. In addition, gas trapping and subsequent lung rupture can occur. This is also true for any condition that is associated with bullous formation in the lungs. Therefore, we caution strongly against use of high pressurization or high oxygen concentration.
High fevers: Fevers above 38.5ºC (around 101-102ºF ) tend to lower seizure threshold due to O2 toxicity and may result in the delay of relatively routine therapy. If we decide to proceed with treatment, we would attempt to lower your temperature with antipyretics (such as aspirin or acetaminophen) and physical measures. We generally caution against dives when guests have high fevers.
History of middle-ear surgery or disorders: Please notify us of any ear problems, past or present. Guests who are unable to clear their ears risk further injury.
History of seizures: As HBOT may lower the seizure threshold, some advocate increasing the baseline medication for such certain individuals who suffer from seizures.
Optic Neuritis: Those with a history of optic neuritis have reported failing sight and even blindness after receiving HBOT. Though extremely rare, this outcome would indeed be tragic.
Pneumothorax: A pocket of trapped gas in the pleura will decrease in volume on compression and re-expand on surfacing during an HBOT session. These changes may result in further lung damage or arterial gas embolization. Communication between lung and pneumothorax with a tension component presents a potentially dangerous situation as the pressure is lowered. As Boyle’s Law predicts, a 1.8 liter pneumothorax at 20 msw could become a life-threatening 6 liter pneumothorax at sea level. For this reason, it is mandatory to have a chest tube in place to relieve a pneumothorax before considering HBOT.
Chest trauma or thoracic surgery: Please let us know if you have a history.
Upper Respiratory Tract Infections: These are relative contraindications due to the difficulty such individuals may have in clearing their ears and sinuses. It may be best in such cases to postpone treatment for a few days.
Viral Infections: While there may be concern that viral infections could worsen considerably after HBOT, no studies have shown convincing evidence of this nor of activation of herpetic lesions. On the contrary, some believe HBOT to be helpful in eliminating viral infections.
Medications Cisplatinum: There is some evidence that this medication actually slows wound healing when combined with HBOT.
Disulphiram (Antabuse): There is evidence to suggest that this drug blocks the production of superoxide dismutase, which may severely affect the body’s ability to neutralize oxygen-free radicals. Experimental evidence suggests that a single HBOT dive is safe; however, subsequent treatments may not be advised.
Doxorubicin (Adriamycin): This chemotherapeutic agent becomes increasingly toxic under pressure. Animal studies suggest at least a one-week break between the last dose and first treatment of HBOT.