at Alki Wellness
Dr. Marc Grandle integrates pressurized oxygen sessions into chiropractic practice
By Matt Kettman
Read all the articles in our cover ‘Self-care in Santa Barbara, edition 2023’ here.
Forcing oxygen into the human body to promote healing sounds space-age, but the roots of hyperbaric therapy go back nearly 500 years, when a British physician first pressurized a chamber to treat lung and stomach problems. It gained traction in the United States in the 20th century, thanks in part to JFK’s deceased infant son, diving accidents, and Michael Jackson’s burns.
Today, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is federally approved to treat a wide variety of illnesses, from severe wounds, burns, and infections to diabetic ulcers and carbon monoxide poisoning. But it is also effective in promoting healing of other conditions, according to Dr. Marc Grandle, a chiropractor whose Alki Art & Wellness Institute has been based in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone since 2006.
Already familiar with integrating technologies such as digital spinal X-rays and cold laser therapy into his practice, Grandle discovered HBOT about seven years ago after seeing it help his son, who was struggling with Lyme disease. He has since become an authorized retailer of the most popular unit in the country, which costs about $25,000, and has installed about 15 of them to date.
“It’s natural; it’s safe; it’s effective,” said Grandle, who uses a 94 percent oxygen mixture, compared to the 21 percent we breathe outdoors. (The more intensive rooms in hospitals use 100 percent oxygen.) he pressurizes to 1.3 atmospheres, as if you were 14 meters underwater.
“The magic is taking it under pressure,” he said, explaining that the supercharged oxygen can reach all body fluids, lymph and tissues, including damaged areas where circulation is weak. HBOT can help with autism, insomnia, migraines, fatigue and more, believes Grandle, who also sees people who have been battling COVID show improvements for a long time.
I had no particular issues to deal with climbing the tube, including claustrophobia, which is a common hurdle for beginners. I found it perfectly roomy inside – more hot standing shower than cold box – and could listen to a podcast while breathing in the cleanest air of my life. I emerged noticeably refreshed, with somewhat sharper vision and a little spring in my step.
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