Talking Detoxin & How HBOT Can Help
Not a day goes by in which humans aren’t breathing, touching or ingesting toxins. Luckily, the body is amazingly effective at metabolizing and excreting most of the daily, low-level exposures it takes in. There are multiple detox pathways within every system of the body to help flush out unwanted toxins such as the kidneys, gastrointestinal tract, skin, lymphatic system, liver and the lungs. Every system of the human body either directly performs a detoxification function or supports the process of detoxification.
Toxins can be found in the air, water, clothing, medicine, food, cleaning/hygiene and beauty products; some toxins are even produced within the body. Heavy metals, pesticides and radiological waste can seep into water and food supplies from manufacturing plants and agricultural sites. Many everyday home products are produced with toxic ingredients that can affect hormones and cells.
Exposure to bacteria, mold and viruses cause infections. These infections are often treated successfully with medications or supplements; however, when the microbes die within the body, they produce toxic by-products called endotoxins (bacterial), exotoxins (living bacteria), and mycotoxins (mold/fungi). These toxins can be the cause of the worst symptoms of diseases such as Lyme, Babesia, Borellia, Toxic Mold Illness, Epstein Barr Virus, etc. This effect is referred to as “die-off” or a “Herxheimer Reaction.”
Emotional toxicity is an underrated form of toxicity. Emotions are chemical reactions within the brain, many of which are substances that are required for other cellular functions that deal with digestion, hormone regulation, immune responses and more. If there is a chronic imbalance of chemicals being created or depleted due to severe emotions such as depression or anger, it can manifest into physical disease. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a prime and extreme example of emotional toxicity. The constant heightened stress response causes a cascade of reactions in the brain spiraling down into the rest of the body. Certain areas in the brain lose circulation and go dormant, while inflammation from stress appears in muscles, bones, the GI tract, etc. Research shows that people with PTSD are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with autoimmune and cardiac diseases.
Today’s environment and lifestyles are inundated with such high levels of toxins, both physical and stress-related, that the detoxification organs can’t “keep up” in the metabolizing process from these constant exposures. The toxins continue to build up at a rate too fast for the organs to metabolize and push towards excretion pathways. The toxins are simply “tagged” as waste and pushed into fat, muscle and other tissues for storage. As exposures continue to flood the system, symptoms of toxicity occur, which include: fatigue, painful joints and muscles, constipation, headaches/migraines, brain fog, decrease in cognition, skin and gut problems, hormone imbalances, mood wings and decreased immunity.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy can help boost the body’s detoxification process. When the body is under pressure, it’s receiving more bio-available oxygen. All of that incoming oxygen and pressure helps push toxins out of tissues and towards detox pathways. Most will be passed through the kidneys and output as urine (which is why we always encourage staying very hydrated after a session), but some will find their way out through the skin as sweat and through the GI tract as stool. Hyperbaric therapy is proving to be an excellent modality for emotional toxicity disorders like depression, anxiety disorders and PTSD. Research is showing that by bringing more oxygen to the brain, areas that have gone dormant are essentially being repaired. Neurotransmitters, synapses and hormones can be re-balanced, which can alleviate many of the symptoms of these disorders. Hyperbarics has also been clinically shown to help calm the autonomic nervous system. When the body is in a chronic state of stress, it goes into what is called “sympathetic dominance,” also called “fight or flight” mode. This means that the nervous system is sending S.O.S. messages to every system of the body that it’s in a desperate fight for life, so it will slow down digestion, detoxification, immunity, sleep cycles and other important functions and instead prioritize functions associated with short-term survival, such as adrenaline and cortisol production. This chronic imbalance will cause dysfunction and inflammation within the body. Time spent in the hyperbaric chamber can help bring the nervous system back to a parasympathetic response, which gives the body permission to rest, digest, detoxify, re-balance and heal.