Here is a PDF regarding the subject of the controversy of hyperbarics... click here
Here is a rather entertaining and informative video regarding the controversy...
Here is an old article regarding the controversy of using hyperbaric chambers in sports...
PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH USE OF
THE HYPERBARIC CHAMBER IN SPORTS:
Update; Nov. 15,1996The following report was sent to all 26 General Managers in the N.H.L. in January 1995
This past season the Vancouver Canucks were using a hyperbaric (oxygen tank) chamber as part of their training program. At the beginning of the season this chamber was used primarily for speeding up recovery time of injured players. Very soon after this the Canucks began to use it on uninjured players. This is when the problems began.
The Canucks management and training staff had been in touch with myself in mid August of 1993 about trying out our ionization system for a period of two weeks (this try out was canceled two days before we were to start). In our meetings before this, the Canucks management had asked me if our system was similar to their hyperbaric system. I told them it was but I was not about to tell them their system could have major drawbacks. (It would have looked like we were trying to put down their hyperbaric system over ours.) In failing to warn the team at the time I must take partial responsibility over the misuse of the hyperbaric system. Thinking the Canucks had a system similar to the one we were proposing there was no need for them to try our system. They began putting players in the chamber who had no injuries, hopefully to improve endurance, reaction time and balance. Initially this seemed to be the case as the Canucks won 7 of 8 games since the beginning of the season. At this time I could not say anything about the problems until they began to surface.
How does the hyperbaric system work ? The chamber is sealed from the outside atmosphere and pressure is increased on the inside of the chamber. The occupant inside the chamber puts on a breathing device that supplies him with 100% pure oxygen. If the player has an injury, the oxygen together with the increase in pressure pushes the oxygen deeper into the injured area. Recovery time can be cut in half for the injured player. I do not dispute these claims.
Why would there be problems using the hyperbaric system? The system is totally cut off from the outside atmosphere. A natural ion count of 5000 ions per cubic centimeter can be measured in nature. This count can fluctuate but no matter where we go, there are ions. In the hyperbaric tank the ion count would be zero. There is no natural or artificial way to produce ionization in the chamber since the corona discharge from an ionizer would cause the oxygen to ignite. Every human being must have ions to survive. It is this reason why the hyperbaric system is so dangerous.
The Russian ion scientist Tchijewsky tried raising mice, rats, guinea pigs, and rabbits in totally de ionized air. Within two weeks almost all of them had died. Despite the fact the autopsies proved they had died for a variety of reasons - fatty liver, kidney failure, heart degeneration, and , among other ills anemia - Tchijewsky concluded that the real cause of death was the animals' inability to utilize oxygen properly.' An organism receiving the cleanest type of air for breathing is condemned to serious illness if the air does not contain at least a small quantity of air ions."
Tchijewsky's colleague D.A. Lapitsky tried raising small animals in air depleted of oxygen. As they were about to die of suffocation he added neg-ions and found that "animals already near death from asphyxiation began to feel better, sat up sniffed the air, and began to run around the chamber. Their respiration frequency increased. Switching off the ionizer again brought them to the verge of asphyxiation." Lapitsky decided the traditional belief that oxygen alone was the sole prerequisite for the creation and sustenance of life had "demonstrated to be false." Or as Tchijewsky had said, "Death of animals in [de ionized] air must be attributed to the absence of aero ions of oxygen essential to the life activity of an organism." More simply put, without ions we couldn't absorb oxygen in the quantities needed to live. And the fewer ions there are, the lower the efficiency of our minds and bodies.
Tchijewsky also discovered increased performance in athletes using negative ion generators in the late 1940's.
In late November side effects from lack of ionization in the players who were using the hyperbaric chamber for injuries became apparent. Two of these players were Gino Odjick and Pavel Bure. Both had come down with flu symptoms and repiratory problems. The Canucks doctors were unable to find the cause of the respiratory problems. I faxed Pat Quinn on Dec. 16, 1993 with an explanation to these problems and background information on problems with the Hyperbaric chamber. He chose to continue using the chamber. In January I talked with Bruce Newton of the Players Association. I explained the problems with the hyperbaric system but he was unable to help me. "The team and the teams doctors were responsible for any training system and the Players Association had no say over those systems."
The fans of Vancouver began to call the Canucks "TEAM SCHIZOPHRENIC". The Canucks were playing poor at home and great on the road. I contacted Pat Quinn by fax again previous to the playoffs to warn him again. He chose to ignore my advice again. I talked to one of the Canuck players just as the playoffs were starting. He confirmed most of the team was using the hyperbaric tank to increase their play.
Word that this news leaked to me must have gone back to management. At this point management gave the doctors and players permission to speak to the media about how the system worked. (The plan was to bury any controversy before it was started).
Why did the Canucks do so well in the playoffs? First, the playoffs took them away from the hyperbaric chamber for extended periods. Second, the brain under environmental stress from increased positive ions or lack of ions produces hormones and chemicals to deal with this stress. The two main hormones released are melotonin and serotonin. Serotonin is increased and fed into the blood stream. The increased serotonin triggers the release of adrenaline which allows the body to work through the stress. Adrenaline is not quickly renewed as are other chemicals in your body. If a body produces to much serotonin for long duration's, the adrenaline gets used up and the chemical system in the body is unbalanced. This is what was happening with these players. A list of side effects from increasing the serotonin levels in your body for a long period of time are as follows:
Anxiety, nervousness, tremors, sweating, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth, upset or irritated stomach, appetite loss, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach gas, rash and itching.
Less common side effects include changes in sex drive, impotence, abnormal dreams, difficulty concentrating, acne, hair loss, dry skin, chest pains, allergy, runny nose, bronchitis, abnormal heart rhythms, bleeding, blood pressure changes, headaches, fainting when rising suddenly from a sitting position, bone pain, bursitis, twitching, breast pain, fibrocystic disease of the breast, cystitis, urinary pain, double vision, eye or ear pain, conjunctivitis, anemia, swelling, low blood sugar, and low thyroid activity.
In addition, many other side effects affecting virtually every body system have been reported. They are too numerous to mention.
All side effects mentioned are also experienced from the pill Fluoxetine Hydrochloride (PROZAC). Prozac is an antidepressant drug and works on increasing serotonin levels in the body. It is the natural cortisone levels in the body that are triggered by the serotonin. This added adrenaline gives the personality a boost. Long term studies on Prozac and other antidepressants that work on increasing serotonin are finding most patients on these drugs are worse off after treatment than before treatment. The Food and Drug Administration (F.D.A.) has never in their history had as many problems with a drug as they have had with these forms of antidepressants.
Side effects from positive ions winds (such as the Chinook wind in Calgary and the Santa Ana winds in southern California) compiled by a Swiss meteorological report in 1974 are as follows:
Physical side effects: Body pains, sick headaches, dizziness, twitching of the eyes, nausea, fatigue, faintness, disorders in saline (salt) budget with fluctuations in electrolytical metabolism (calcium and magnesium; critical for alcoholics), water accumulation, respiratory difficulties, allergies, asthma, heart and circulatory disorders (heart attacks approx. 50% higher) low blood pressure, slowing down in reaction time, more sensitivity to pain, inflammations, bleeding embolisms of the lungs, and thrombosis.
Psychological side effects: Emotional unbalance, irritation, vital disinclination, compulsion to meditate, exhaustion, apathy, disinclination or listlessness toward work (poor school achievement), insecurity, anxiety, depression (especially after age forty to fifty); rate of attempted suicide about 20% higher, larger number of admittance's to clinics in drug cases.
In over 90 years since ions were discovered, no side effects have ever been found from negative ions.SOURCE:
Here is information (only a piece) from Cancer.org about the use of hyperbaric chambers for therapy. This is positive information that tells me that they are not dangerous and that more illnesses should be treated through the use of this therapy, and that it should be covered by insurance.
What is the evidence?
There is scientific evidence showing HBOT works to treat a number of conditions. The Committee on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy of the Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine recommends it for treatment of: These are considered to be proven uses of HBOT. For some of these conditions, HBOT is the preferred treatment. For some others, HBOT is one of many treatment options to consider.
There is conflicting evidence about whether HBOT is helpful in treating fast-spreading infections of the skin and underlying tissues.
A Swedish study of 94 people with diabetic foot ulcers were divided into 2 groups: one group used HBOT for 85 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 8 weeks (40 treatment sessions) for treatment, and the other had placebo sessions. Of the group that was supposed to get HBOT, 52% of them had ulcers that were healed at 1 year, while 29% in the placebo group were healed. Of those in the treatment group who actually got more than 35 HBOT sessions, the healing rate was higher, at 61% in the treatment group. This may reduce the risk of foot amputation in some diabetic patients, but more study is needed to be sure that it works. It would also be useful to find out which patients are most likely to be helped by this procedure.
Early evidence had suggested HBOT might help people with lymphedema (swelling in arms or legs after surgery, which can happen after modified radical mastectomy or other treatments in which lymph nodes are removed or irradiated). A controlled clinical trial published in 2010 looked at 58 women after breast cancer surgery and radiation to the armpit area. There was no difference in arm size between women who had HBOT and those who had standard care, either right away or 12 months after treatment.
The lack of randomized clinical studies makes it hard to judge the value of HBOT for many of its claims. Available scientific evidence does not support claims that HBOT stops the growth of cancer cells, destroys germs, improves allergy symptoms, or helps patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autism, stroke, cerebral palsy, senility, cirrhosis, or gastrointestinal ulcers.
Carefully controlled scientific studies are still going on to find out whether HBOT may be helpful for cluster headaches, migraines, heart attacks, and other conditions.
Are there any possible problems or complications?
HBOT is a relatively safe method for selected patients getting approved medical treatments. Complications are lessened if pressures within the hyperbaric chamber stay below three times the normal atmospheric pressure and sessions last no longer than 2 hours. There are some people who should not get HBOT, however.
Milder problems associated with HBOT include claustrophobia, fatigue, and headache. More serious complications include myopia (short-sightedness) that can last for weeks or months, sinus damage, ruptured middle ear, and lung damage. A complication called oxygen toxicity can result in seizures, fluid in the lungs, and even respiratory (lung) failure. Patients at high risk of oxygen toxicity may be given "air breaks" during which they breathe ordinary air rather than pure oxygen for short periods during treatment.
People with severe congestive heart failure may have their symptoms worsened by HBOT. Patients with certain types of lung disease may be at higher risk of collapsed lung during HBOT. Pregnant women should be treated with HBOT only in serious situations where there are no other options. People getting certain chemotherapy drugs (such as bleomycin, doxorubicin, or cisplatin) should not get HBOT. Anyone getting disulfiram (Antabuse) or using sulfamylon cream should not get HBOT, nor should anyone with a collapsed lung.
A person with a pacemaker, high fever, or even a cold can be harmed by HBOT. Someone with claustrophobia would likely have trouble being in the HBOT chamber.
Hyperbaric oxygen chambers can be a fire hazard: fires or explosions in hyperbaric chambers have caused about 80 deaths worldwide. Medical hyperbaric chambers today are generally well-built and have good safety records, but certain cautions must always be observed.SOURCE: CANCER.ORG
Relying on this treatment alone and delaying or avoiding conventional medical care for cancer may have serious health consequences.