How HBOT Treatment Can Help Treat PTSD in Soldiers?
The role of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in treating a multitude of medical conditions has often been the center of discussion.
Off lately, another interesting finding has surfaced to confirm the efficacy of hyperbaric treatment – this time it has to do with treating PTSD conditions in soldiers.
Reportedly, the study conducted in Israel involved more than thirty army veterans who were subjected to hyperbaric sessions as both psychotherapy as well psychiatric medications failed to bring about any change.
In this post, we mull over the findings of the study and discuss the role of HBOT opening newer frontiers of research in treating critical ailments.
Understanding PTSD and Why It Largely Affects Army Veterans
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD happens to be a certain mental disorder, often triggered by a series of fateful incidents.
Often, the affected individual is known to have faced or undergone a scary, emotionally disturbing, or shocking event in the past. As a result, the subconscious mind tends to trigger uncontrollable ruminations in the form of flashbacks, anxiety, and nightmares.
In extreme cases, some people have also reportedly confirmed having suicidal thoughts to escape the sheer agony. In other words, it’s more like a cassette that keeps playing over and over at random intervals.
For soldiers who have had first-hand experience in fighting and killing people on the battlefield, PTSD symptoms are known to trigger “split-second changes” across the body and the brain as a natural defense mechanism. No wonder why they say a soldier is always fighting a war, whether on the field or deep within.
HBOT Intervention Making a Difference
In the research conducted by Tel Aviv University and Shamir Medical Center, a total of thirty-five army veterans formed the subject for the study. They all represented the Israel Defense Forces at some point in time and are known to have exhibited moderate to severe symptoms of PTSD.
With the intervention of HBOT, the symptoms that were earlier resisting traditional treatments and medicines depicted massive improvement across all classes.
The outcome of the study was published in PlosOne, a popular scientific journal, and is now being considered as the basis for treating other civilian patients. What makes this study significant is how the researchers, for the very first time, have relied wholly on oxygen to treat the recurring issues associated with psychological trauma.
One of the key researchers involved in this study, Dr. Keren Doenyas-Barack explained how he assumed a personal approach to spend time with the patients and make a note of their reactions and symptoms. According to the doctor, the root cause of the symptoms is very much within the limbic system–a good look at them, and one can tell whether they are under stress or generally calm. Some of the notable symptoms included:
Looking blank or lost, not having a clue why and what they are doing
Getting scared with loud noises, like an airplane flying over
Getting impatient standing in a queue
Constantly worried about being followed
Such indications ensured that they were way out of their comfort zone as normal reactions to things would be immensely dramatic.
Why Does Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Work Like a Charm?
Hyperbaric treatment has been a significant game-changer in the field of alternative medicines. Ever since its inception to treat decompression sickness in deep-sea divers, HBOT has come a long way to positively impact a myriad range of medical conditions that include the likes of gangrenes, gas embolism, diabetic skin wounds, carbon monoxide poisoning, and inflammations that won’t subside naturally. Currently, the FDA has given the nod for HBOT to be used as an off-label treatment option for not one or two but fourteen different conditions.
In recent times, the onset of the COVID pandemic has also witnessed the use of hyperbaric chambers to help stabilize patients showing symptoms of hypoxia.
HBOT, by all means, is one of the foremost ways of harnessing the power of pure, unadulterated oxygen within a specialized chamber where the patient is led in. Typically, a prescribed hyperbaric session lasts anywhere between 60-90 minutes during which the patient breathes in oxygen using the supplied mask. This enables one to absorb almost five times more oxygen than one can breathe naturally which gets picked up by the bloodstream faster to reach all deprived tissues.
When it comes to treating PTSD, it generally has to do with treating biological wounds right within the brain tissues.
With the newfound protocols of hyperbaric treatment, the researchers were able to devise mechanisms that would directly address the affected brain tissues, thereby reactivating and proliferating stem cells, making way to generate new blood vessels for increased brain activity. That is why, several athletes have embraced HBOT as a way to rest up, heal their field injuries faster, and boost stamina to perform better naturally.
The World Health Organization reports how close to four percent of the global population and at least thirty percent of combat soldiers are prone to developing PTSD. The current research outcome is a significant step-up to preserve all improvements contributing towards successful completion of PTSD treatment, and in essence, a better future for all suffering individuals.