The usual gloomy prognosis offered by neurologists for stroke patients is now changing because of their ability to accurately assess damaged brain cells and target those cells that can be rehabilitated using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and nuclear PET and SPECT scans. In the last ten years, this quantum-physics technology has caused a paradigm shift in the attitude of neuroscientists and their understanding of how neuropasticity and the power of mental force can aid in the recovery of quality of life for stroke victims.


Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy offers new hope for those that have suffered brain injury

Much scientific information can be gleaned from searching through internet search engines using the words “stroke hyperbaric.” Because each cerebovascular accident is unique to the patient (idosyncratic) we leave this research to the patient and caregivers and are pleased to respond to any questions (email, telephone, personal.) Remember, “Understand the Diagnosis and Defy the Prognosis.” Stroke patients and their caregivers ask us many questions and we are pleased to present some of them here.

Click on the questions below to see the answers

Do I need Doctors Orders?

Yes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) rules that Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy can only be administered at the direction of a licensed medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy.

How many treatments will I need?

This varies from patient to patient. Generally speaking, a minimum of 20 treatments is required to note significant improvements. These treatments are of 90 minute duration and have to be taken on consecutive days.

Is there any discomfort during treatments, will I be frightened?

Depending on the chamber, the answer is usually no. Of course we recommend the chambers we use, they were designed specifically for patients suffering from brain damage. However, some hospitals have large chambers and experienced staff that are aware of your special needs. Two such hospitals in the San Diego area are Grossmont and University of California, San Diego. HBOT is a simple and elegant treatment. There is no need to be nervous.

My stroke was ten years ago, will Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy still help?

Neubauer et al. demonstrated that neurons have astonishing survival times and has successfully treated patients 13 years post stroke. However, Harch et al. has found that patients benefit the most from HBOT if they commence treatments as soon as possible after their injury.

If I have Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, can I stop all other treatments?

No, you should not cease other rehabilitation therapies such as speech or physical therapies. HBOT is an adjunctive therapy and will often accelerate recovery or make these other rehabilitation therapies much more effective.

If I have Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, can I stop all other treatments?

No, you should not cease other rehabilitation therapies such as speech or physical therapies. HBOT is an adjunctive therapy and will often accelerate recovery or make these other rehabilitation therapies much more effective.

Do I need Chelation or special Amino Acid Therapies?

Some stroke clinics make a feature of combining stroke with chelation. While we do not offer, and do not endorse this service, we can refer you to local physicians that provide this form of treatment.

Does your clinic only treat stroke?

We treat all forms of brain injury and illness. For example we have treated patients that have suffered massive closed head trauma from auto accidents, cerebral palsy children, and drowning victims. Many of these patients were in a vegetative state.

Will my Medical Insurance cover Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy?

If your HBOT treatments are for stroke, it is unlikely. However, you should ask your carrier. Our clinics are pleased to supply you with research materials that will justify HBOT in treating stroke. You can pass these on to your physician or insurance company.

How much does Hyperbaric Therapy cost?

We provide HBOT in a professional environment at affordable prices. Our clinics are not located in the high cost environment of hospitals so our price per treatment are usually one third of hospital HBOT charges. Also, if your qualify, certain discount programs are available. Contact our Program Director to discuss these.

Patient Testimonials

These stories illustrate the complexity and time required for rehabilitation.

Seemingly "hopeless cases" are not always without hope.


April 3, 2004, this man was pronounced brain dead. Find out what became of him.

[Read more ...]


Catastrophic stroke – ataxic (unable to maintain balance) and aphasic (slurred and impaired speech. Nick hovered in a coma for five weeks in San Diego Children's Hospital.

[Read more ...]


Can HBOT help in the rehabilitation of traumatic head injury? YES

[Read more ...]

Points to Consider

A great deal of evidence exists to indicate that often a stroke victim, or other comatose patient, may be fully aware of bedside conversations. Numerous non-responsive patients, even some that were declared brain dead, have recovered in time and revealed that they were aware of those around them but unable to move or communicate. Sometimes they slept and other times they were awake inside the horrible prison their body had become.

The patient should be talked to with a positive attitude and assured that their caretakers knew they were aware but temporarily locked inside their bodies and unable to communicate. Gloomy talk should be avoided at all times. A positive “you can do it” attitude should be communicated to the patient at all times.

Caretakers should not expect a “magic wand” or have an “instant cure” mind-set when starting HBOT treatments with a patient. Healing does take time. We try to closely document a patient’s progress with video and records as the treatment progresses.


HBOT should be part of an interdisciplinary approach in rehabilitating any victim of a cerebral insult. HBOT should be considered a highly valuable adjunct to conventional medicine and rehabilitation therapies, making them more efficient and helping to reduce considerably the normal rehabilitation and convalescent periods.

Sequential daily HBOT treatments are recommended as the best protocol, especially over the first few weeks. This is often impossible, however, due to geographical, logistical or financial constraints. As an alternative, continued intermittent treatments over a long period of time can also bring success.

The sooner HBOT is begun after an accident or illness occurs, the greater the likelihood of a positive outcome for the patient. This does not mean that the treatment will be ineffective if not started right away.

Many patients that began HBOT long after the causal event have experienced a great turn-around in their conditions.