Hyperbaric Treatment for Veterans
This is great news for the Veterans that live in Arizona! A bill has passed for Arizona Veterans to receive Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) for Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and selected post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This brings us up to 5 states that approve HBOT for our Veterans! The five states are; Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Kentucky, and now Arizona. In 2014 Oklahoma was the first state to recognize HBOT as a safe and effective treatment for our Veterans. It is super exciting that more states are now starting to catch on.
At the beginning of my career, I had the honor to work under a Marine who was also a Physical Therapist in Delray Beach, Florida. His name was Raymond Cralle, RPT, Owner of ORCCA Hyperbarics. At this time, he was treating many Veterans Pro Bono combining Physical Therapy to their HBOT. He would fly in Veterans from other states, supply housing, and their food during their stay. I was the Chamber Operator/Safety Director of this facility. I had the privilege to be alongside these amazing warriors while they went through their treatment. One of my favorite memories was when I was able to see the happiness from a mother of a young veteran who had attempted suicide many times prior to starting treatment. At the end of his treatment, she told us “I have my son back”. This was so inspiring and rewarding to be able to see the amazing natural healing effects Oxygen had on this Veteran and the many other Veterans we encountered.
So, the question is how does HBOT assist in the healing our Veterans?
According to the Department of Defense(DOD), they estimate that 22% of all combat casualties from these conflicts are brain injuries. Veterans can develop TBI & PTSD in different ways. It can be a direct traumatic event or indirect exposure which leads them to these terrible illnesses. Every veteran who encounters blast exposure can result in a direct effect on their brain. Even if the blast was not a direct encounter to the body, it could have effects on the brain tissue. They call these invisible wounds of war or “Brain Blast Injuries”. When an IED, Bomb, Missile, ETC., goes off near a person it creates this wave of pressure and this directly effects the tissue of the brain. Veterans would develop a wide range of symptoms which included but were not limited to; physical, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral impairments. Many of these symptoms often occurred along with other conditions such as depression or PTSD.
Most of the Veterans I treated had all 4 limbs are were considered “normal” to the VA, but they knew something was not right and they were not the same person they were prior to serving. Most were suicidal, angry, tired, depressed, on over 10 different medications, and left with a feeling of hopelessness. SPECT brain scans were completed prior to treatment to confirm injury and again after 40 treatments to evaluate the results. I can report that every post treatment SPECT scan I encountered had improvements & many scans reported “significant improvement”. Besides the imaging confirmation their symptoms would be dramatically improved and even eliminated.
Overall there continues to be more and more promising research published on the natural Healing benefits of HBOT for TBI & PTSD. The article states that “There are about 800,000 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans or active service members suffering from concussion/TBI/PTSD”. This is way too many hurt Veterans! Especially when their current course of treatment is meds and more meds. It is time to allow all our Veterans to heal naturally for them to start to reduce/eliminate the many medications they are on and return to the life they once had.
It has taken 4 years for 5 states to approve HBOT for their Veterans, so I just wonder when will it be our turn for the Florida Veterans to begin their natural healing?