Oxygen Therapy is an umbrella term for a number of closely related leading edge therapies that seek to promote healing by flooding the body with oxygen. There are thousands of published papers and articles on the benefits of the various methods of Oxygen/Ozone Therapy for almost every type of ailment. This material is summarised in books such as "Oxygen therapies" by Ed McCabe, "Oxygen Healing Therapies" by Nathan Altman and Saul Pressman's "The Story of Ozone". More technical information is obtained in "The Use of Ozone in Medicine" 3rd English Edition by Dr R. Viebahn Haensler or by reading the many papers published in English.
Ozone is an activated, trivalent (three atoms) form of oxygen. Oxygen is O2 whereas ozone is O3. Over a period of 20-30 minutes, ozone breaks down into two atoms of regular oxygen - by giving up one atom of singlet oxygen leaving a single reactive oxygen atom. Medical ozone is made when medical grade oxygen is electrically activated (using an ozone generator) to form ozone. Ozone is germicidal, bactericidal, and fungicidal. Oxygen has these properties too, but less strongly. Ozone was discovered by Fridereich Schonbein and was described in a letter written in 1826 (The Use of Ozone in Medicine, 3rd English Edition, page 22). It has been used in medical and naturopathic medicine since the 1870s.
Oxygen is the single most important nutrient for the body. The body can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without oxygen. Every cell of the body requires a continuous supply to feed the chemical reactions that generate energy, detoxify both internal and externally derived waste products, and maintain production of the structural cell components. Any reduction in the availability of oxygen to the body, whether by poor posture and breathing, deoxygenated water and refined foods, smoking, lack of exercise, environmental pollution or exposure to carbon monoxide, reduces the optimal performance of these essential cellular functions.
A lack of sufficient cellular oxygen is a major cause of poor health, leading to conditions such as arthritis, low immunity, constant tiredness, regular colds and flus, hayfever, migraine, low vitality, M.E and so on, yet when the body is flooded with an activated form of oxygen, people consistently report that these conditions, as well as their general health and energy levels, dramatically improve.
People with respiratory conditions such as asthma and bronchitis also respond particularly well, though ozone is never actually inhaled - it is applied by various methods which bypass the lungs. (The main method used at the Finchley Clinic is Transdermal Ozone therapy, though other methods of ozone therapy are employed as well where necessary).
Ozone has a long history of use in naturopathic medicine as a treatment designed to detoxify the body rather than to treat diseases as such. However scientifically speaking ozone has been shown to have two main benefits:
Firstly it activates the immune system.
This takes place by stimulating production of cytokines. Cytokines are messenger cells such as interferons and interleukins, which set off a cascade reaction of positive changes throughout the immune system (R. Viebahn Haensler - The Use of Ozone in Medicine 3rd English Edition page 132). The increased availability of oxygen in turn supports the metabolic and detoxification functions of all organs of the body.
The second benefit is in the release of the reactive singlet oxygen which destroys viruses, bacteria, fungi and other pathogens.
Unlike the majority of bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses, our bodies are evolutionarily designed to protect themselves against single reactive oxygen. The protection is provided through the action of dietary antioxidants e.g. vitamins A, C and E, and essential trace elements (e.g. selenium) that are incorporated into protective enzymes of the cell membrane. Thus ozone does not harm healthy cells, but has highly pronounced bactericidal, fungicidal and virostatic properties and is thus widely used in disinfecting wounds, as well as bacterially and virally produced diseases (The Use of Ozone in Medicine 3rd English Edition page 132). Ozone thus kills harmful bacteria, viruses (including HIV), fungi, yeasts, candida and parasites. These micro-organisms are either completely anaerobic or have an anaerobic portion of their life cycle, meaning that they cannot survive in an oxygen rich environment in the body. Healthy cells, by contrast, require a high oxygen environment.
The selective toxicity to a broad spectrum of pathogens (the word 'selective' meaning that ozone does not harm healthy human cells), and enriched oxygen supply for optimal cellular performance are the principal reasons for the recognised application of ozone therapy in over 250 diseases. Specific effects cited by the scientific literature include stimulation of key immune system activators; marked reduction of pain and inflammation; speeded wound healing; reduction of cardiac arrhythmias; facilitation of heavy metal chelation; and normalisation of hormone and enzyme production.
A third benefit of ozone therapy that has been noted has been considerable and lasting levels of pain relief. Examples of where pain relief has been reported include arthritis (both osteo and rheumatoid and arthritis, along with increased mobility), muscular and fibromyalgia pain, relief of migraine, and liver (hepatitis) pain.
Information provided with the help of Mark Lester at The Finchley Clinic
26 Wentworth Avenue, London. N3 1YL
Tel: 020 8349 4730