It’s been proven time and time again over the past 100+ years that oxygen promotes healing. And when you add oxygen and pressure together, the result is pretty miraculous as the oxygen can saturate the body at an impressive increased rate to turn off inflammation and accelerate healing.  Thus, hyperbaric oxygen therapy is being used more and more frequently by the service members of the United States.

Thankfully, in the search for a noninvasive therapy that would work to heal veterans post-war, it has also been discovered that HBOT not only speeds up wound healing – like for amputees – but it also has an unexpected positive side effect. HBOT may ease the debilitating symptoms many veterans experience with TBI and PTSD.

Some might think this is a fairly new discovery that happened in the past few years, but it’s not.  In fact, it was over 7 years ago that a National Veterans Foundation article written by Shad Meshad highlighted the importance of linking HBOT with PTSD and TBI.

HBOT appears to have a positive effect on PTSD and TBI.  When you think about it, this makes sense, since TBI is often a result of a concussion, a brain injury.  Kenneth Governor, New York State’s American Legion Commander, quoted in American Legion News in July last year, said, “There’s growing evidence that a significant number of PTSD and mTBI cases should be treated as medical conditions, not psychiatric conditions.” He says a growing number of physicians consider many cases of PTSD as post-concussive syndrome.

Currently there are clinics across the country using HBOT for off-label treatment in the civilian sector.  Meshad reminds us that we must all work together to bring awareness to alleviating PTSD with HBOT.

I’m not suggesting that HBOT Therapy is for every case because it isn’t.  But at the very least, I think we need to raise awareness of HBOT therapy as a possible mode of treatment for veterans who have returned from Iraq and Afghanistan with visible and invisible wounds. Don’t we owe them that?  If you agree, call your representatives and tell them.