The Benefits of HBOT for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from many experiences. While most people associate this disorder with combat PTSD, trauma from the death of a loved one, sexual assault, natural disasters, and other events can all cause PTSD. Nevertheless, many veterans with PTSD also have a co-occurring traumatic brain injury (TBI) that worsens symptoms and makes a recovery doubly challenging.

Recently, hyperbaric oxygen therapy for PTSD has demonstrated positive effects for people with PTSD, including increased capacity for healing and improved neurological functioning. Since this treatment mobilizes stem cells and neurological healing, many physical changes from PTSD respond well to hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT). Call to explore your treatment options and consider HBOT for PTSD today.

While exploring hyperbaric oxygen treatment for PTSD, understanding the scope of this disorder and treatment can help you evaluate whether this treatment sounds right for you.


Recent studies from Dr. Paul Harsh and the Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center support the efficacy of hyperbaric oxygen treatment for PTSD. From healing physiological changes in the brain to improving neurological functioning, these studies demonstrated significant relief from PTSD after hyperbaric oxygen treatment.

PTSD Symptoms

PTSD symptoms exhibit a spectrum of impacts. The main categories of PTSD symptoms include:

  • Memories: Traumatic events establish harsh memories that can haunt PTSD patients for years. Everyday images and experiences can trigger powerful flashbacks that cause severe emotional reactions and suffering.
  • Avoidance: PTSD patients might try to avoid situations, people, or places that could potentially trigger their trauma responses. This avoidance can adversely impact sufferers’ relationships with themselves, their environment, and their loved ones.
  • Changes in mood and thinking: Many mood changes and thinking patterns present in PTSD resemble other mental illnesses like anxiety and depression. Thus, these changes might be difficult to distinguish, and PTSD can co-occur with other mental health disorders.
  • Changes in physical and emotional reactions: Night terrors, hypervigilance, aggression, and instability are just some of the physical and emotional manifestations of PTSD. These are perhaps some of the most noticeable and violent symptoms of PTSD.

Treatment Options for PTSD

In the past, only a few treatment methods existed for PTSD. Recent developments are expanding the canon of acceptable treatment practices, including HBOT for PTSD.


Traditional treatment for PTSD included psychotherapy and prescribed medications. While many assume cognitive behavioral therapy or talk therapy are the main treatment methods, more options are available.

Some other therapeutic approaches to treating PTSD include:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT): A therapist helps patients talk about and process their experiences to change their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
  • Exposure response prevention (ERP): The patient faces their trauma in a safe space to become more resilient.
  • Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR): This therapy allows the patient to reprocess traumatic memories.
  • Stress inoculation training (SIT): The patient learns coping skills to reduce anxiety and stress responses.

Many doctors combine these approaches with medications to produce positive impacts and improve patients’ symptoms.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for PTSD involves using an oxygen chamber that creates 100% oxygen exposure to the patient. Throughout 80- to 300-minute exposures, rising oxygen levels mobilize stem cells and neurological healing to improve cognitive function and traumatic brain injuries from PTSD.

HBOT for PTSD offers transformative results, as evidenced by Dr. Harsh’s study, which resulted in physiological brain healing in his test subjects.

Why HBOT for PTSD?

HBOT generates groundbreaking data in clinical studies for PTSD patients from various backgrounds. Because of the traditionally tricky nature of dealing with PTSD, this treatment is an excellent option for struggling patients.

A Case Study on the Effectiveness of HBOT on PTSD Patients

A deeper dive into Dr. Paul Harsh’s case study on the effectiveness of HBOT for PTSD demonstrates the results possible from this treatment. 

In his clinical trial, Dr. Paul Harsh studied 29 active-duty or retired military personnel with PTSD and a mild traumatic brain injury. After 40 sessions of HBOT, over 50% of the participants no longer met the diagnostic threshold for PTSD. Furthermore, 10 out of 12 patients who initially expressed suicidal thoughts no longer had ideations.

Corroborating data from the Assaf-Harofeh Medical Center showed similar efficacy with HBOT for PTSD. These data sets demonstrate HBOT’s potential as a primary treatment for PTSD.

How Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Works for PTSD Patients

PTSD patients seeking hyperbaric oxygen therapy will engage in multiple sessions in the hyperbaric chamber, where oxygen levels are three times higher than standard outdoor air pressure. These exposures increase oxygen levels in the blood, mobilize stem cells, and bolster neurological healing to alleviate the severity and impact of PTSD.

HBOT also has proven effects in healing physiological brain injuries. For PTSD patients, changes in the hippocampus, insular cortex, and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis all contribute to their disorder. Pure oxygen exposure can expedite physiological healing in the brain by encouraging neuroplasticity and enabling long-term healing from TBIs.

What to Expect During and After Your HBOT Treatment

For a hyperbaric oxygen session for PTSD, you will go to a hospital or an outpatient facility with a hyperbaric chamber. If your session is in a one-person chamber, you will lie on a table that slides into a plastic enclosure, similar to an MRI machine. You may feel pressure in your ears as the oxygen increases, but there is no pain or discomfort exists.

After your session, the medical professionals will record your vitals, and then you can leave. Some patients feel tired or hungry, but these side effects are normal.

Key Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for PTSD Patients

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for PTSD offers significant benefits for patients, including:

  • Increased mental acuity
  • Decreased physical afflictions like migraines
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved blood flow
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Stabilized mood
  • Improved quality of life


Although the impacts of HBOT on PTSD patients are far-reaching, there are some important limitations to acknowledge. First, HBOT should exist in conjunction with psychotherapy. While oxygen exposures mobilize brain healing, this treatment doesn’t teach the emotional reflectivity and trauma processing integral to many therapeutic approaches. 

Despite improving PTSD symptoms, patients should not assume that HBOT offers an instant cure. Processing trauma requires hard work. However, treatments like HBOT for PTSD can make that work more effective.

Additional Read: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) For Depression

State-of-the-Art Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Treatments From NexGen Hyperbaric LLC

Patients don’t have to go through the challenges and limitations of PTSD alone or without treatments. NexGen Hyperbaric LLC offers hyperbaric oxygen therapy for PTSD, which may significantly improve your brain functionality, TBIs, and PTSD. Our team can guide you through the treatment process and administer treatment to help relieve your suffering from PTSD.

For more information about hyperbaric oxygen therapy for PTSD, call NexGen Hyperbaric LLC at (888) 567-4302.