All things Ozone… The Power of Super-Charged Oxygen
As I write I am traveling back from Reno, Nevada where Tammy and I just completed our Ozone Therapy certification with Frank Shallenberger, MD, the founder of the American Ozone Academy and US pioneer of this natural, safe and EFFECTIVE treatment.
Ozone therapy is based on the fundamental principle that as the body ages, tissues lose their ability to utilize oxygen effectively and that this, and ONLY this phenomenon, is responsible for what we call “aging”. Declining oxygen utilization happens at the level of the mitochondria, which are the “energy-producing” parts of each of the cells in our body that enable the cell to have enough resources to function. These mitochondria are the most plentiful in the tissues that use the most energy, such as the brain, the eyes, the heart, the gastrointestinal tract, the muscles and the nervous system. Amazing that these are the tissues that tend to decline as we age. Normally, oxygen goes into the mitochondria and ends up as ATP (energy) and water. When the mitochondria stop being able to utilize oxygen effectively to make energy, they are forced to do so anerobically (meaning, without oxygen) in a slower process that produces lactic acid instead of water.
As we lose the ability to use oxygen at the mitochondrial level, we see that our body parts don’t work as well (because cells are not producing enough energy), we have a lot more aches and pains (because of lactic acid production) and we become functionally dehydrated (no water production from the mitochondria). What’s missing here? Oxygen! How can you deliver oxygen back to the tissues and stimulate healing? Ozone therapy!
Aside from delivering oxygen to the tissues, ozone, through the same mechanism, is also capable of prodding the immune system into action. Those of you who have worked with me have heard me use the analogy that the immune system should be like a ninja. When we are exposed to an infection, before we are even aware we have been exposed, the immune system should sneak in, quietly kill the infection and leave without ever letting us know its been active.
Unfortunately for most of us, our immune systems are tired and kind of clunky, more like a Bigfoot than a ninja. So when we get an infection we get a long, drawn out cold (or “immune response”) that takes a REALLY long time to do its job. Worse, if the immune system let’s something BIG by the goalie, let’s say Lyme, Epstein Barr, candida, strep or any of the other nasty bugs we see cause a lot of problems, we can have years and even decades of chronic inflammation without EVER clearing the infection. In this situation, it’s not enough to kill the bugs. We also have to kick the immune system into gear so the bugs don’t come back. Here is where ozone comes in for the treatment of both acute and chronic infections.
Ozone first made an appearance in Europe in the 1800’s when Werner von Siemens, the founding father of Electrical Engineering, figured out a way to generate the gas that appears after a lightening strike with an electrode. An ozone generator essentially “squashes” oxygen molecules (O2) together so that they temporarily become ozone (O3), an unstable and highly-potent super-charged form of oxygen. Though most of us are familiar with ozone in an industrial sense, it has been known since the early days that the gas is a very potent disinfectant and anti-microbial tool. It was Nikola Tesla who patented the first ozone generator in 1896 and figured out a way to “trap” the gas in olive oil, so that it could be used as a skin treatment for infections. In the beginning of the 20th century Dr. Noble Eberhart of Loyola Chicago University began using ozone to treat tuberculosis, anemia, whooping cough, bronchitis, allergies, asthma, pneumonia, diabetes, gout, syphilis and other afflictions. From there the technology spread out to other countries in Europe and the Caribbean.
Ozone is now used throughout the world in both industrial and medical applications. It is heavily utilized in countries with socialized medicine, in which Doctors are encouraged to use safe and efficacious treatments that are also cost-effective, without as much reliance on pharmaceutical medications as we have in the capitalism-heavy medical industry in the United States. Though ozone gas is an irritant to the lungs, in the medical setting the amount of ozone that escapes into the air to be breathed is carefully minimized and the room is well ventilated.
Should you care to investigate the science behind ozone, there are over 3,000 published peer-reviewed scientific studies from around the world (and more being added all the time!) at the American Academy of Ozone Therapy’s website aaot.us. This is an evidence-based medical therapy that is waaaaaaaaaaay underutilized in the United States due to the dominance of conventional medicine by the pharmaceutical industry. So, let’s see what it can do. Ozone can be administered in many ways. Below is a list of applications and conditions each is useful for:
- Nasal application: sinus infections, dental/gingival issues, common colds/flus, fatigue, brain fog, memory decline
- Ear application: ear infections (imagine never having to use antibiotics for a child’s ear infection again!), dementia, parkinson’s, MS and other pathologies affecting the central nervous system
- Rectal application: IBS, Crohn’s/Colitis, chronic candida and other infections, constipation; this method is great for delivering a large amount of oxygen to the entire body and is often utilized by athletes to oxygenate the body at large to improve muscle function and also by those with chronic long-term systemic infections such as Lyme, Epstein Barr, etc…
- Vaginal application: chronic yeast or bacterial infections, atrophic/post-menopausal vaginitis, interstitial cystitis
- Topical applications (with ozonated olive oil): skin conditions, skin infections, non-healing injuries, can be applied directly to the gums and teeth to stimulate healing
- Bag application/spot application: this is where ozone gas is delivered to either an entire limb or a small infection that needs more attention and is useful for toenail fungus, diabetic neuropathies and ulcers, early stages of gangrene, MRSA infections, spider bites
Please note that for many of these conditions, other therapies must also be utilized, but the ozone application increases the effectiveness and speediness of these therapies.
We are now scheduling ozone treatments all day on Tuesdays and in February we will add Thursdays as well.
Ashley, our Medical Assistant, can administer the simpler nasal and ear treatments anytime she is in the office, but we still request that you schedule the treatment through the front desk with Annalisa or Danielle so that the room does not get double-booked.
This therapy is available to those who are not patients of NENH, though a Consent for Treatment must be signed before the ozone treatment can be received.
The cost of each ozone treatment is $30 and the patient is responsible for materials needed to administer the treatment. Materials include items that are labeled with the patient’s name and re-used at subsequent treatments and range from $1 to $15.
Onwards and upwards….with oxygen!!!