There is no way of controlling how much oxygen gets absorbed into the body. HBOT is a way to hypothetically turn up the volume of oxygen absorption by increasing the atmospheric pressure. The pressure inside the chamber is normally two to three times greater than outside air pressure, which means patients are inhaling 100% oxygen.
Hyperbaric chambers work by providing oxygen that can be controlled. Normally, oxygen is transported throughout the body—after it initially gets absorbed by the lungs—then circulates to all the tissues and organs via the heart and blood vessels.
HBOT allows for oxygen to be dissolved in the blood, body fluids, cerebral spinal fluid (the fluid that surrounds the brain and spinal column), bone tissue, and lymph node. Oxygen-rich fluids in the body can then travel to areas where blood circulation is blocked.
HBOT is said to help the body by assisting with the following functions:
- Helping the immune cells of the body to kill bacteria
- Reducing inflammation
- Allowing for collateral circulation (growth of new blood vessels to provide extra oxygen to affected areas of the body)