John F. Ruhland, ND — Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine — 206-723-4891
Dr. Ruhland’s goal at the Natural Health Medical Clinic is
to help you restore balance to your body, mind, and spirit.

  Healing Treatments Offered || Articles || Recipes || Testimonies
New Patient Instructions || New Patient Form || Location Directions

Hours in Seattle by appointment: Tuesday 10am-7pm, Wednesday 8am-noon, Saturday 10am-7pm
House calls, on a limited basis in East Olympia area (Yelm, Rainier, Lacey, Tenino): Monday, Thursday, Friday

Pressured Back to Health: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
by John Ruhland, ND

Dr. Ruhland and the HBOT chamber
photo: Demian
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) places patients in an oxygen-rich, pressurized chamber. Breathing pure oxygen under pressure dramatically increases the oxygen in the blood plasma, as well as in the brain, spine, and joint fluid.

Generally, the red blood cells already have 95 percent or higher oxygen saturation. There usually is little increase in the oxygen that red blood cells can carry under normal conditions.

The pressure chamber forces an oxygen-rich situation, in much the same way carbon dioxide is forced into a bottle of soda.

Increasing the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood has been clearly demonstrated in Europe, Russia and China to improve healing for a wide range of acute and chronic illnesses.

In the U.S., there are 13 FDA-approved uses for HBOT:

  • Air Embolism
  • Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
  • Complications of Radiation Therapy
  • Crush Injuries
  • Decompression Sickness
  • Enhancement of healing in selected problem wounds
  • Exceptional Blood Loss Anemia
  • Gas Gangrene
  • Intra-Cranial Abscess
  • Necrotizing (popularly known as "flesh-eating") Infections
  • Osteomyelitis (bacterial infection of bone or bone marrow)
  • Skin Grafts and Flaps
  • Thermal Burns
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments have successfully been used throughout the world for many other conditions, which in the U.S. are referred to as “off-label” uses.

Here is a partial list of HBOT uses:

  • Atherosclerosis
  • Autism
  • Brain swelling and injury
  • Brown recluse spider bites
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Cosmetic surgery, to improve healing
  • Edema
  • Hearing loss
  • Inflammation
  • Lung diseases, including inflammation, fibrosis and influenza
  • Lyme Disease
  • Macular degeneration and other vision problems
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Near drowning
  • Neuropathy
  • Periodontal disease
  • Serious heart disease, and pain and dysfunction related to heart attack
  • Sinusitis
  • Sports injury
  • Stasis ulcers (bedsores)
  • Stroke
  • Trauma
  • Ulcers
  • Vascular disorders, including congestion
It is thought that HBOT use would be called for with any condition where the body's ability to function and heal would be improved by extra oxygen.

Russia and China are the world's leaders in manufacturing hyperbaric chambers and utilization of HBOT therapy. This may be, in part, due to their socialized medical systems.

In some countries, the government pays for HBOT treatments for autism, cerebral palsy, and brain injuries including traumatic brain injury.

Great Britain’s partially socialized healthcare system treats multiple sclerosis with HBOT therapy. In the U.S., no hospital will treat a multiple sclerosis patient in their hyperbaric chamber, no matter how ill the person is. While it will not cure MS, it will safely and consistently help manage symptoms.

With other diseases, such as non-healing wounds and even necrotizing fasciitis, HBOT can actually cure. U.S. physicians are unlikely to know more than two of the approved uses of HBOT, even though it may be the best treatment option for many other conditions.

While the therapy theory is elegantly simple, the chamber equipment is complicated in that it must be able to withstand high pressures, and provide redundant safety features.

There have been a few, small scientific studies in the U.S. on several of the so-called “off-label” HBOT uses. With few chambers in operation in the U.S., and little funding, researching diseases that could potentially be cured by HBOT therapy is very difficult. In the meantime, the FDA restricts claims for “off-label” uses of HBOT.

I refer patients with serious and life-threatening conditions to Virginia Mason, which will take them if their illness is on the list of FDA-approved indications. Offering HBOT here in Seattle since 2001, my primary interest was been to make treatment available to all patients for whom it could be of potential benefit, primarily those that Virginia Mason will not accept.

If you have a condition you think may benefit from HBOT, call me at 206-723-4891.

September 9, 2008


Resources

“Hyperbaric oxygen chamber, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for Radiation”
      by Dr. John F. Ruhland

“Macular Degeneration Therapies”
      by Dr. John F. Ruhland

“Indications for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy”
      from the Undersea & Hyperbaric Medical Society

Research References on hyperbaric oxygen chamber, hyperbaric oxygen therapy
      from the Rapid Recovery Hyperbarics, hyperbaric oxygen chamber, hyperbaric oxygen therapy Center

“BLKS-303 MK system for hyperbaric oxygenation therapy”
      from Khrunichev Medical


Our sister Web site: Bikes 4 Health, LLC
Because many of our patients are chemical and aroma sensitive, we ask all clinic visitors to refrain from wearing fragrances.

John F. Ruhland, ND — The Natural Health Medical Clinic, LLC — 206-723-4891
On Beacon Hill, just south of downtown Seattle
Web programmer: Demian