Long-term alcohol use can lead to loss of brain function and cause cell death, especially in the frontal lobe, where decision-making and strategic thinking take place. Studies have shown that HBOT or Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can accelerate brain recovery and help addicts whose brain has been damaged from years of substance abuse. Therefore, many holistic alcohol rehab centers use HBOT as an integral part of their holistic addiction recovery treatment.
Oxygen is the natural antibiotic of our body, which helps the damaged bodies of people with an addiction to recover by speeding up the healing process. When oxygen absorption is increased, it reduces the time toxic substances remain in the brain. Since alcohol and drug abuse can result in the aldehydes and acids build-up in the brain, HBOT can help create the body of such toxins. Thus, this therapy forms a useful component of alcohol detoxification in any holistic alcohol rehab since it is an effective tool that the brain needs to heal itself.
Alcohol-Related Brain Damage
Alcohol addiction damages both the body and the brain. Hence, those who are addicted to alcohol can get brain damage, which can worsen memory and general cognitive function over time. This alcohol-related brain damage can result in mild cognitive impairment, or it could lead to more serious conditions. This is sometimes also called alcohol-related dementia, as it can impact the person’s ability to handle basic everyday tasks. Studies have found that people suffering from mild cognitive impairment show improved memory and cognitive function after undergoing HBOT treatment, as it changes the structure of vessels in the brain and allows more blood to get through.
Since it is a therapy that delivers oxygen to the parts of the brain that are not reachable when breathing at sea level, HBOT has shown promising results in helping patients with brain injuries. Brain imaging is often used to determine the areas of the brain that have been damaged from addiction and do not get enough blood flow and oxygen. These damaged cells are unable to detoxify properly, thus slowing down the brain’s healing process.
This damage to the brain can be reversed after 20-40 HBOT treatment sessions. It helps to increase the blood flow in the brain, supplying the brain cells with the essential nutrients needed for healing. After HBOT sessions, patients will experience higher energy levels, better memory, and overall well-being. Most issues caused by addiction occur at the cellular or tissue level. Hence, the healing process cannot happen without appropriate tissue oxygen levels.
HBOT therapy can produce the extra oxygen naturally and with minimal side effects, thus improving the quality of life of people in recovery in numerous ways in which traditional medicine may not work. It helps to reduce inflammation and swelling, improve sleep patterns and circulation in damaged tissues, reduce cravings, stimulate appetite, normalize enzyme systems, and regenerate tissues. HBOT can also help the damaged liver, pancreas, and brain heal and aid the detoxification process in the body and brain cells.
How Does HBOT Help?
When a person quits taking their substance of choice, they can experience withdrawal symptoms due to their physical dependence. These symptoms include cravings, anxiety, changes in heart rate, vomiting, irritability, body aches and pains, constipation, difficulty concentrating, restlessness, weight gain or weight loss.
When the detox starts, the severity, duration, and discomfort level of withdrawal symptoms can lead to a relapse. But if the course of withdrawal is altered with HBOT, it improves the chances of success and also reduces the risk of relapse. It helps detoxify by opening up the circulation into damaged tissues and normalizing various enzyme systems. This leads to a healed and metabolically healthy cell that can participate in the required chemical steps to detox the brain and help reduce cravings.
HBOT is a non-invasive treatment with minimal side effects and can be used as a part of the treatment regimen for those fighting addiction. Exposing the body to 100% oxygen can speed up the healing process by allowing more oxygen to reach areas of the brain cells to detoxify properly. This helps it heal more quickly, leading to a better memory and higher patient energy levels.
HBOT treatment takes place in a single-person pressurized chamber where the patient must wear a mask that delivers pure oxygen to the body. During this treatment, the air the person breathes is 100% oxygen, while the normal air is 21% oxygen. The pressure is also high inside the chamber, which helps the body and lungs to take up more oxygen. A single session usually lasts for about an hour.
HBOT is The Perfect Detox Solution
A pressurized atmosphere of 100 % oxygen helps our body to take in more oxygen, thus allowing the oxygen to reach areas of the body that have been damaged by alcohol or substance abuse, including the brain. This extra oxygen helps heal the damaged tissues and facilitates detoxification. Thus, this treatment has the capacity to help the brain and body to heal themselves.