Passing Time Easier with Hyperbarics
There is far more to the anti-aging movement than just fighting wrinkles (although it’s definitely a plus!). The aging population wants to stay mentally sharp and physically fit. Genetics and lifestyle play pivotal roles in how a person ages and while there is no way to stop the aging process, there are many things a person can do to prevent or slow down mental and physical deterioration.
As the body ages, tissue begins to break down faster than new cells can keep up to repair it. Production of collagen, the protein involved in giving skin its elasticity and firmness, slows down a little more each year after the age of 20. Research shows that an accumulation of oxidative stress as one ages accelerates the destruction of mitochondria, leaving the body at a deficit in its ATP (energy) production.
The brain also changes over its lifetime. The total volume of the brain shrinks approximately 5% per decade after the age of 40. The cerebral cortex also thins out as it ages. Much research has been done on how these changes affect how people think; many studies are in consensus that memory tends to be the skill that declines first, while cognition tends to remain steady in healthy elderly individuals.
The rate of mental and physical decline can vary depending on a person’s predisposed genetics and the quality of their lifestyle. A common misconception is that a person is stuck with the genes they are born with. In fact, genes are in constant flux; they can be turned on (up-regulated) or turned off (down-regulated) based on environmental exposures to nutrition, stress, exertion, oxygen, chemicals, organisms and more. Someone who spent their lives exercising regularly, ate healthy foods, kept direct sun exposure to a minimum, slept well, avoided stress, and generally took care of their body and wellbeing, is likely to age slower than a person who did not live a healthy lifestyle.
Hyperbaric therapy may be a valuable modality in anti-aging efforts. A randomized controlled clinical trial of 63 healthy older adults showed that hyperbaric therapy appeared to induce cognitive enhancements by positive changes in cerebral blood flow. Increased oxygenation to the brain may support neurological function and overall health. Hyperbaric therapy has been proven to increase the body’s ability to create stem cells and collagen which may help an aging patient keep a more youthful appearance. HBOT has also shown to be a useful tool to support the immune system, which could help prevent illness in an aging patient. Thanks to the ability of hyperbaric therapy to up-regulate anti-inflammatory genes and down-regulate inflammatory genes, a patient may experience less physical pain as they age.