Oxygen is one of nature’s primary healers – the body normally heals itself using a course of oxygen from the air. Giving more oxygen extends the body’s ability to heal, and can limit the damage which the disease causes.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy allows breathing pure oxygen at higher atmospheric pressure in an enclosed chamber which allows the oxygen to be absorbed by the body fluids and cells. Breathing oxygen under pressure causes the dilated and leaky blood vessels in MS to constrict back to normal size and reduces the swelling due to fluid gathering which can lead to cells dying
The oxygen boost can help white blood cells kill bacteria, reduce swelling and allow new blood vessels to grow more rapidly into damaged tissue. As more oxygen is delivered to the blood stream the effect is to improve and accelerate the normal healing process.
The aim of oxygen therapy in MS is thus to minimize the amount of damage being caused, promote rapid healing and to limit scar formation which can prevent nerve function being restored. HBO is not a cure, but relieves the symptoms. The most significant benefits are in improved balance, sensory perception and the control of incontinence. Other symptoms also show beneficial changes in different people
It is more beneficial to start therapy as soon as the diagnoses has been made.
The Centre’s MS advisor will discuss the treatment with you and assess your symptoms and how you cope with every day tasks which she will review throughout the course of the treatment.
A new client will go through an induction period, during which time we aim to: a) saturate the body with oxygen in order to kick-start the healing process as described above, and: b) establish at which pressure the person feels the most benefit. Each individual is different and so responds to different pressures.
The treatment consists of visiting the Oban Centre for daily treatment of 20 consecutive days (weekends excluded). Whilst having the treatment you will breathe pure oxygen within the chamber for one hour. We use three different pressures which are the equivalent to the pressure at 16.5, 24 or 33 feet below sea level.
At the Centre in Oban, the chamber seats up to four people in comfortable chairs. We can also accommodate a wheelchair and one other chair for a carer, in the chamber. To pass the time you will be able to read, listen to the radio, do the crossword or Sudoku or play scrabble with other clients. After your treatment you come in to the lounge to relax with a cuppa before you leave. You will be at the MS Centre for around one and a half hours.
When you have finished the 20 sessions, you should come back once or twice a week for ‘top up’ sessions. This is to maintain a good balance and well being and hopefully keep any remissions at bay.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy at Oban MS Centre
Registered Office 252 Union Street, Aberdeen,
Registered Company No. 115820, Scottish Charity No. SCO16889