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What is Mild Hyperbaric Therapy?

Mild Hyperbaric Therapy (mHBT) is a natural therapy to expose an individual to increased atmospheric pressure inside an inflatable chamber resulting in increased available oxygen on a cellular level. mHBT is a safe and effective method of delivery more oxygen to the body and is recognized for the treatment of altitude sickness as approved by the FDA. Altitude sickness is due to the natural laws of pressure, where at higher elevations the barometric pressure is lower and the lower pressure decreases the oxygenation of blood, which is known as anoxia.

Anoxia is caused by the low barometric pressure at high altitudes pushing the oxygen in the air we breathe with less force against the walls of the inside of our lungs. The decreased force in pressure leads to less oxygen getting into our blood, even when the concentration of oxygen in the air is the same. This phenomenon is explained by Dalton's Law of Physics, where the total pressure of a gas mixture (Oxygen in air outside and inside the lungs) is the sum of the pressures of each of the gases leading to what is driven into the blood. Mild Hyperbaric Therapy is based on Henry's Law of Physics, which shows that when a gas (Oxygen) and liquid (blood) interact together, the amount of gas that dissolves in the liquid is proportional to the pressure applied against their interaction. In other words, Henry's Law helps predict how much Oxygen will dissolve in your blood when you control the pressure through hyperbaric therapy.

For example, at sea level the amount of Oxygen being delivered to your blood is 1 atmosphere of pressure X 760mmHg (pressure at sea level) X 21 (% of Oxygen in air we breathe). This calculates to 1 X 760 X 0.21 = 157mmHg. During mHBT the pressure is increased to 1.3 atmospheres and the oxygen will concentrate to 24%, which calculates to 1.3 X 760mmHg X 0.24 = 237mmHg, a 51% increase in blood oxygen availability (237mmHg - 157mmHg = 80mmHg increase/157mmHg (normal available oxygen) X 100% = 50.96%).

Why all the Hype about Hyperbarics?

The February 2009 issue of Sports Illustrated magazine featured Hines Ward or the Pittsburgh Steelers climbing into a Vitaeris 320 mHBT chamber, as found in our office, reporting the ability of hyperbaric therapy to accelerate the recovery after a sport injury.

Additionally, hyperbaric therapy has been reported to support health concerns related to head injuries, neurological conditions such as Autism, Alzheimer's Disease, Asthma, Bell's Palsy, Brain or Spinal Cord Injury, and Cerebral Palsy, Depression, Heart Disease, Hepatitis, Migraines, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson's Disease, and Stroke. Although the FDA currently only recognizes mHBT for altitude sickness, below are links showing the use of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for some of these above conditions and more.

  • Addictions Clinic - Treatment with HBOT Report
  • Attention Deficit Disorder and Attention Span (Study)
  • Autism (Study)
  • Asthma and HBOT (Opinion)
  • Autism - Rossingal & Rossingal Study using HBOT
  • Autism - (Independent Study)
  • Bell's Palsy and HBOT as treatment (study)
  • Bells palsy - facial palsy (study)
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (study)
  • Cerebral Palsy - HBOT in children with CP (Cornell University Study)
  • HBOT for Children with Cerebral Palsy (Lancet Study)
  • Cerebral Palsy - HBOT in Children with CP (case study)
  • Cerebral Palsy - Pediatric Case treated by HBOT (pilot study)
  • Effects of HBOT on Children with Cerebral Palsy
  • Reduction of Spasticity in Children with Cerebral Palsy with HBOT (Study)
  • Cosmetic Surgery Healing with HBOT (Study)
  • Diabetic Neuropathy and HBOT treatment (Study)
  • Headache- Study on Cluster Headache and HBOT
  • Lyme Disease - Findings of HBOT in Experimental Lyme Infection Study
  • Multiple Sclerosis- Presentation with HBOT literature
  • The Retreat of Multiple Sclerosis (Article)
  • Multiple Sclerosis - Hyperbaric Textbook
  • Neurologically Impaired - Treatment with HBOT Study
  • Pain - Neuropathic Pain Study
  • Parkinson's Disease (study)
  • Radiation induced Myelitis or Necrosis: reports of a cases treated w/ HBOT
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis and HBOT (Study)
  • Rheumatic Diseases - Use of HBOT (Study)
  • Sports Injuries (Study)
  • Stroke - A New Hope (Article)
  • Stroke - Management of Hemorrhagic Stroke with HBOT(Case Report)

    NOTE: The above study links incorporate medical High Pressure Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) and not mHBT. HBOT incorporates higher pressure states (1.5 - 2.3 atmospheres of pressure) than mHBT (1.3 atm.) and puts the client in a 100% oxygen rich environment. *At Pittsburgh Alternative Health, Inc. we can offer supplemental oxygen during mHBT, with a valid prescription from your medical doctor. However, research has been performed that showed mHBT to be equally as effective to HBOT for neurological improvement in children with Cerebral Palsy. This study shows that mHBT improved oxygen availability to the central nervous system in study participants. Due to the risk of seizures and oxidative damage potential with HBOT vs. safety shown with mHBT, at Pittsburgh Alternative Health, Inc. we believe this study supports the need for further research into the medical benefits mHBT and improved cellular oxygen availability for any applicable health concern.

    Please understand that the FDA gives clearance of a device for a specific use after they have reviewed what they consider valid scientific evidence supporting that use. At this time the FDA has determined that mHBT devices are safe and effective as a legally U.S.-marketed device. At Pittsburgh Alternative Health, Inc. we believe in the use of valid science to verify health benefits of a device or substance, and based on the potential benefits and safety of increased oxygen states we are excited to bring mHBT to the Pittsburgh area and support research in this field.


    mHBT sessions are 1 hour in time and begin when the chamber is fully pressurized. Initial session requires intake forms and short consultation to ensure safety and provide understanding of therapy.