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Concussion, Traumatic Brain Injury & Hyperbarics

Symptoms of concussion or mild Traumatic Brain Injury (mTBI) can range from headaches and dizziness to seizures and vomiting. Individuals may also complain of difficulty with cognitive tasks required for work or school and possibly changes in personality and mood. The injury becomes increasingly harmful the longer it goes untreated, through edema (swelling), hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen supply), and the release of excitotoxins which overstimulate neuron receptors causing them to be damaged or die.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) has been demonstrated to reduce hypoxia and neuroinflammation, while increasing circulation in the brain, supporting the blood-brain barrier, promote angiogenesis (new blood vessels), and neurogenesis (the growth and development of nervous tissue). Studies conducted with HBOT for the treatment of TBI show a reduction of brain edema even after three 45 minute sessions and inhibited apoptosis (the natural death of cells) after just two 45 minute sessions. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is helpful after any brain injury, particularly when cognitive, mood, or personality changes follow.

Functional medicine takes a proactive approach and begins treatment with hyperbaric therapy daily, possibly combined with neurofeedback and frequency specific microcurrent (FSM) therapy, to reduce the symptoms arising from brain injury. These therapies directly treat the negative results of the head trauma resulting in an improvement in cognitive functioning, reduction in headaches, and return of optimal functioning. Clinical studies have demonstrated the positive benefits of HBOT for TBI with the following:

Enhance Neurological Repair & Regeneration

  • Reduces Inflammation in the Brain
  • Promotes Generation of New Tissue
  • Improves Neuroplasticity
  • Induces Remyelination

Improve Overall Function

  • Advances Cognitive Function
  • Improves Gross/Fine Motor Skills
  • Enhances Speech & Language
  • Alleviates Spasticity
  • Lessens Frequency of Seizures
  • Stimulates Better Eye Contact
  • Improves Balance & Walking
  • Decreases time for complete recovery
  • Increases chances for optimal recovery


East Valley Naturopathic Doctors(EVND) offers affordable access to effective treatments directed toward those with recent or past head injuries. We continue to improve and provide services valuable to under treated patients within our communities such as those with head injuries arising from vehicular accidents, sports injuries, falls, and blast injuries.

We are of the belief that many symptoms following concussive events are treatable, and in many cases reversible, more so if therapy is started soon after the trauma. The first step is to become informed about the available treatments found in the research to be supportive of recovery. The following links below review the leading options for recovery from brain injuries.

Neurofeedback Therapy and improvements in Post Concussion Syndrome

FSM Therapy for improving energy and reducing inflammation

Brain Photobiomodulation for improved cognitive function


Acute head injuries which produce any obvious symptom within the first 36 hours can be greatly benefitted by the immediate application of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. The number of sessions will depend upon the acute symptoms and the extent of the dysfunction produced by the head trauma. Generally 20 sessions are recommended to start, with some individuals requiring 40-60 total sessions before symptoms resolve.

Combining Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy simultaneously with Frequency Specific Microcurrent (FSM) has been demonstrated to reduce inflammation and even heal nerve pathways that have been damaged due to concussive injuries. FSM therapy applies two simultaneous micro-currents which travel through the body to heal brain areas which have been damaged while reducing peripheral symptoms.

The Acute Concussion and mTBI Treatment Program is for patients with symptoms from a head trauma less than 3 months from the initial insult. The program combines two of the most valuable therapies (Hyperbaric Oxygen and Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy OR Photobiomodulation) into one program to treat, in the most thorough and efficient manner, the effects of acute Concussion or mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. We start with 20 sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and 10 sessions of Frequency Specific Microcurrent therapy OR 15 sessions of Photobiomodulation to be completed over an approximate 4-6 weeks.


Chronic head injuries with a history of blast injuries, falls, sports injuries, and vehicular accidents, can leave lasting deficits which may not be immediately noticeable. Common complaints can include personality changes, sleep disturbance, anxiety, reduced tolerance to stress, headaches, depression, increased agitation, sensitivity to noise or light, reduced attention, and memory loss. The easiest method to acquire a baseline of brain function is to do a brain map or QEEG. Brain mapping evaluates hyper and hypo functioning of the various brain waves including Delta, Theta, Alpha, and Beta brainwaves. The brain waves provide a functional description of cognitive functioning, mood regulation, and even localized brain inflammation. 

In addition to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Frequency Specific Microcurrent, and Photobiomodulation,  Neurofeedback therapy also provides significant benefit in helping the brain rewire toward optimal functioning. The combined application of Neurofeedback with HBOT and FSM therapy promotes brain recovery by increasing oxygen, reducing inflammation, and healing nerve pathways in ways unmatched by any other course of treatment. 

The Post Concussion Syndrome and TBI Recovery Program is for patients with symptoms from a head trauma that have persisted or worsened beyond 3 months from the initial insult. The program combines three of the most valuable therapies (Hyperbaric Oxygen, Neurofeedback, and Frequency Specific Microcurrent Therapy OR Photobiomodulation) into one program to both evaluate and treat, in the most thorough and efficient manner, the effects of chronic Post Concussive Syndromes or mild Traumatic Brain Injuries. We start with a baseline QEEG(brain map), then begin with 40 sessions of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, 40 sessions of Neurofeedback Therapy, 10 sessions of Frequency Specific Microcurrent therapy OR 15 sessions of Brain Photobiomodulation, to be completed over an approximate 12 weeks. We monitor the rehabilitation program with a comparison Brain Map or QEEG every 4-6 weeks and follow up visits with the physician as needed to review appropriate labs at 12 weeks.


  1. Zhiguo Liu et al; HBOT has a better cognitive outcome than NBH for patients with mild traumatic brain injury: A randomized controlled clinical trial. 2023 Sep 15;102(37):e35215. doi: 10.1097/MD.0000000000035215. PMID: 37713814.  PMCID: PMC10508512
  2. Paul G. Harch. Systematic Review and Dosage Analysis: Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Efficacy in Mild Traumatic Brain Injury Persistent Postconcussion Syndrome. Front Neurol. 2022; 13: 815056. Published online 2022 Mar 17. doi: 10.3389/fneur.2022.815056. PMCID: PMC8968958. PMID: 35370898
  3. Paul G Harch et al; Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for mild traumatic brain injury persistent postconcussion syndrome: a randomized controlled trial. Med Gas Res. 2020 Jan-Mar;10(1):8-20. doi: 10.4103/2045-9912.279978. PMID: 32189664. PMCID: PMC7871939
  4. Brett B Hart et al; Hyperbaric oxygen for mTBI-associated PCS and PTSD: Pooled analysis of results from Department of Defense and other published studies. Undersea Hyperb Med. 2019;46(3):353-383.PMID: 31394604
  5. International Hyperbaric Association. (2014). TBI. Retrieved from https://
  6. Huang, L., & Obenaus, A. (2011). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury. Medical gas research, 1(1), 21. doi:10.1186/2045-9912-1-21
  7. Hu, Q., Manaenko, A., Xu, T., Guo, Z., Tang, J., & Zhang, J. H. (2016). Hyperbaric oxygen therapy for traumatic brain injury: bench-to-bedside. Medical gas research, 6(2), 102–110. doi:10.4103/2045-9912.184720

Study: Motor Function Improved with HBOT

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) is the medical therapeutic use of oxygen at a higher atmospheric pressure. The United States Food and Drug Administration have approved several clinical applications for HBOT, but HBOT in traumatic brain injury (TBI) patients has still remained in controversial. The purpose of our study is to evaluate the benefit of HBOT on the prognosis of subacute TBI patients. We prospectively enrolled 44 patients with TBI from November 1, 2004 to October 31, 2005. The study group randomly included 22 patients who received HBOT after the patients’ condition stabilization, and the other 22 corresponding condition patients were assigned into the matched control group who were not treated with HBOT. The clinical conditions of the patients were evaluated with the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) and Glasgow Outcome Scale (GOS) before and 3 to 6 months after HBOT. The GCS of the HBOT group was improved from 11.1 to 13.5 in average, and from 10.4 to 11.5 (p < 0.05) for control group. Among those patients with GOS = 4 before the HBOT, significant GOS improvement was observed in the HBOT group 6 months after HBOT. Based on this study, HBOT can provide some benefits for the subacute TBI patients with minimal adverse side effects.


  1. Lin JW, et al. (2008.) Effect of hyperbaric oxygen on patients with traumatic brain injury. PubMed NCBI. Retrieved from pubmed/18642650

These statements have not been evaluated or approved by the FDA. All of the statements made on this document are not anecdotal and have been taken directly from clinical data.