What Is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

What Is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

Every journey towards optimal health is inherently unique. With a plethora of remedies and treatment methods available, hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Melbourne has proven to be a surprise standout, offering relief to patients where traditional routes have failed. Notably, the Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT) variant is becoming increasingly popular.

Let’s delve into this intriguing health modality and how hyperbaric oxygen therapy can benefit Melbourne residents.

What is Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (mHBOT)?

When we hear the word ‘Hyperbaric,’ we immediately think of deep-sea divers contending with ‘the bends,’ also known as decompression sickness. However, the use of hyperbaric medicine has moved inland, finding relevance in the medical field and beyond.

Regular Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment involving a strong increase in atmospheric pressure to amplify the body’s oxygen concentration. In mild HBOT, the pressure increase is lesser—usually no higher than 1.3 atmospheres absolute (ATA). This therapy involves a patient entering a mild hyperbaric chamber, where they breathe in enriched oxygen up to 1.5 times the regular sea-level concentration.

Despite the lower pressure, this mild form of therapy can still deliver more oxygen into the bloodstream, thereby assisting cellular metabolism and facilitating the body’s healing process.

The Process of Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Once you’ve stepped inside the chamber, your only job is to relax. A typical session lasts about 60 to 90 minutes, during which the chamber fills with oxygen, and the pressure gradually increases.

The increase in pressure is mild and controlled to ensure patient safety. Whilst it may feel strange at first, akin to being in an aeroplane during take-off, the sensation subsides once the environment gets to the desired pressure level.

How Does mHBOT Work?

Despite its impressive effects, the concept behind mHBOT is quite simple—it’s all about oxygen and pressure.

Under normal conditions, red blood cells transport oxygen around the body. However, diffusion limitations exist. With mHBOT, oxygen pressure is increased within the chamber, consequently enhancing the oxygen’s dissolution in the plasma and other body fluids. This process ensures an improved transport mechanism, extending the range at which oxygen can reach damaged areas that need it the most.

Furthermore, this influx of oxygen leads to a cascade of positive biochemical and physiological changes. It can foster an overall supportive environment for healing and recovery.

Uses of mHBOT

Compelling research underpins the potential benefits of mHBOT across an array of conditions:

  1. Sports Injuries and Performance: Athletes resort to mHBOT for faster recovery from injuries as well as improved performance. Oxygen enhances cellular repair and growth, reducing recovery time while positively impacting stamina and endurance.
  2. Neurological Conditions: Studies suggest a potential protective and therapeutic effect of mHBOT on conditions such as stroke, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
  3. Chronic Fatigue and Fibromyalgia: For patients suffering from constant fatigue or widespread pain like fibromyalgia, mHBOT can offer significant relief. It’s believed to improve the function of mitochondria—the energy powerhouses of cells—boosting overall energy levels.
  4. Autism: Emerging research indicates mHBOT might be a feasible alternative treatment for children with autism. (However, more research is needed to verify these claims).
  5. Anti-Aging: Optimum skin health and rejuvenation relies heavily on oxygen. Increased oxygen delivery to skin cells can potentially slow aging and boost overall skin wellness.

Benefits Of Oxygen Therapy

·       Accelerates Healing Process

Oxygen proves crucial for healing wounds, particularly those stemming from diabetes or severe burns, where healing is often slow. Increasing oxygen concentration enhances the functioning of the fibroblasts, the cells responsible for wound healing, thereby considerably speeding up the process.

  • Facilities Recovery from Major Surgeries

Following a significant surgical procedure, patients might experience a lower oxygen level in their bodies. By administering oxygen therapy in this crucial phase, we can expedite recovery while preventing potential complications related to oxygen shortage.

·       Cardiovascular Health

Uninterrupted oxygen supply is vital for heart health—without sufficient oxygen, the heart muscles can’t function correctly, leading to conditions like heart failure or heart attacks. Oxygen therapy can ensure a constant oxygen flow, helping maintain robust cardiovascular health.

·       Supports Mental Health

Brain cells are particularly sensitive to low oxygen levels. Insufficient oxygen supply can impact cognitive abilities and lead to conditions like depression and anxiety. Regular oxygen therapy can help the brain function optimally, thereby supporting mental health.

·       Neovascularisation

Neovascularisation refers to how your body rebuilds and heals its capillaries. Oxygen therapy, through increased perfusion, not only promotes neovascularisation but also facilitates the reconstruction of the body’s associated microcirculation network. As a result, it may boost regenerative response and healing ability.

·       Improved Perfusion

It can increase the amount of blood that reaches the body’s tissues and organs, aiding overall bodily function and tissue health.

·       Increased White Blood Cell Function

It can boost the function of white blood cells, enhancing the body’s ability to fight infections.

·       Nerve Healing

Oxygen therapy can enhance nerve recovery and repair, potentially improving conditions involving nerve damage.

·       Anti-Microbial

The human body is enveloped inside and out by numerous microorganisms such as fungi, bacteria, viruses and mould. This presence is known as the microbiome. It consists of beneficial (‘good bugs’) and pathogenic (‘bad bugs’) microorganisms. The beneficial microbes are typically aerobic, meaning they thrive in the presence of oxygen or at least can tolerate it.

On the contrary, many pathogenic or ‘bad’ microbes are often anaerobes (they thrive in environments with low or no oxygen). Therefore, hyperbaric therapies like mHBOT increase the oxygen levels in the body’s tissues, making the environment less hospitable for anaerobic bacteria and better supporting the growth and function of beneficial aerobic bacteria.

·       Anti-Inflammatory

Our bodies rely on cytokines to manage inflammation and immune reactions. These cytokines are, essentially, ‘chemical messengers’. There are two types of cytokines: inflammatory and anti-inflammatory. At your body’s optimum state, these two are in balance.

Studies have demonstrated that oxygen therapy helps enhance this crucial balance by boosting the anti-inflammatory cytokines while decreasing the inflammatory ones.

Are There Any Risks?

People generally tolerate mHBOT well, given its mild nature. However, as with any therapeutic procedure, potential risks may arise. The most common is barotrauma to the ears and sinuses caused by pressure changes, vision changes, and claustrophobia. If oxygen administration isn’t properly managed, there’s a risk of oxygen toxicity, although this is rare.


Mild Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy is an intriguing modality at the forefront of innovative health and healing therapies. The principle is elementary yet powerful—more oxygen equals better healing.

However, it’s important to remember that mHBOT only assists the body’s natural ability to heal. Experts recommend consulting healthcare professionals before pursuing mHBOT to discuss potential benefits and risks related to your specific health status.

As science latches on to the promise of mHBOT, you’ll likely see it become more mainstream. Fortunately, some specialist clinics already exist. So, if you want to try hyperbaric oxygen therapy in Melbourne, don’t hesitate to contact your local clinic for an appointment.