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Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Other Things That Really Work

As a species, we are always looking for more and more complex ways of dealing with problems, on the premise that complex is better.  And (yes, my mother did tell me not to start a sentence with “and”), if the message is coming from a person in a fine suit with letters after his name, well, even better.  Think about that.  Degrees are about learning what has been.   Perhaps you would be better served looking at what can be.  Few people tend to look outside the conventional box (or start sentences with “and”).

If you hurt your knee and visit an orthopaedic surgeon for an opinion; here is a person who has spent 9 years studying how to cut into knees.  Do you really think s/he is going to suggest turmeric, essential fatty acids and laser therapy? (in case you didn’t get it, the answer is “no”)

I have a friend, Phil.  We did our MBA together (Aren’t we clever? – a qualification in past knowledge)).  Phil can be described as “filthy rich” (okay, so I chose another path and yes I am jealous).   He had an accident on his jet ski, and sustained a head injury.  His wife Kim rang me up to see what could be done.  I recommended hyperbaric oxygen therapy, pulsed electro magnetic therapy and low level laser therapy.  Phil had other ideas. – Complexity, qualifications and fancy suits.  He went to see the most expensive and prestigious doctors in Harley Street, London.

I caught up with Phil and Kim, over lunch, on their return to NZ.  His speech was slurred, his gait was tilted and this was not the quick-witted Phil that I knew.  He expressed his anger and frustration at his lack of progress.  He was on his way to Germany to another neurological clinic.  I wished him well.

Three months later, we were in the same restaurant having the same conversation.  Phil had not improved, despite a significant investment.  During lunch, Kim turned to Phil asked him to give my therapies a chance.   He asked me what I thought.  I told him that I thought that he was a stubborn snob and he should have listened to me on day one.

On our new day one, we tested Phil’s brain function….. Not great.

“Why are you testing that?” he asked.

“Because we have to measure to see if we are making progress.  Think of it like monitoring the share market”, I replied.  He nodded.

I presented Phil with his program.  He was sceptical because it did not match with the therapies he had undergone in the prestigious clinics in London and Europe.  Hmm, how well did they friggin work (Nah, didn’t say it out loud).

Phil wondered how oxygen therapy in a hyperbaric chamber would heal his brain.  I pondered the explanation about how with trauma, brain cells are killed and those surrounding the kill zone go into a state of shock.  Oxygen can bring them out of their shock.  Instead, I chose a simpler explanation.  Stop breathing for 3 minutes.  How did that go? If you need oxygen to feel okay, imagine how good it could be if you had more oxygen to go beyond okay.  He bought it.

Phil’s scepticism with the hyperbaric therapy treatments was repeated with the  low level laser therapy and the pulsed electro magnetic therapy treatments and the nutrients.  Kim could see my patience was running thin and told Phil to pull his head in.  Voila!  We started.

We had been going for four weeks and Phil said that he was not feeling any different.  I told him to hang in.  At the 6 weeks mark we conducted more brain testing.  Yes!  Improvement on three of the six markers.  Begrudgingly Phil admitted that he could walk better, talk better and think better.  Phil continued with the treatments, supplements and lifestyle changes, and his progress continued.

Phil had lots of money, and the reason he had lots of money was because he investigated things thoroughly.  One morning he arrived and announced that he had found a clinic that provided hyperbaric chamber treatments at a much higher concentration level.  Okay, here is the same trap.  More is not necessarily better.  The same chamber that Phil had been using was capable of providing a much higher concentration.  We were providing the concentration that the studies had shown to be optimal for his condition.

Good ole Kim came to the rescue again “Phil, pull your head in”.

Anyway, I guess the proof is in the pudding.  Here we are down the track.  Phil is back, working in his business, making lots of money and taking full credit for his recovery, as well he should.  Kim just shakes her head and smiles.  Smiling is good.

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