In today’s interview I get to speak with Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician with a certification in Hyperbaric Oxygen Medicine, Dr Scott Sherr.
We deep dive into HBOT (i.e.hyperbaric medicine or hyperbaric oxygen therapy).
Scott explains what HBOT is, how it works, and its multitude of benefits to health such as accelerated healing, decreasing inflammation and stem cells release.
We also get a chance to talk about how we can use HBOT as a foundational tool to help optimise our physiology and performance in conjunction with other treatments, diets, supplements etc…
- What is Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy
- Who HBOT is best for
- What are the benefits of using this type of therapy
- What are the different types of hyperbaric chambers
- How to use HBOT to target different conditions
- How using an integrative approach can enhance your experience with HBOT
- What are the important risk factors and contradictions to consider before starting hyperbaric oxygen therapy
- Intermittent hypoxia training vs HBOT
Then this interview is for them.
I really enjoyed this interview as it was very informative and Scott took us through the science of HBOT and provided a great overview for those interested in trying it out.
While listening to Scott talk about the benefits of oxygen saturation people may be asking themselves if this is a concern for cancer growth?
Scott explains the science behind these fears and why the chamber may actually have a mildly regressive effect on cancer.
Special thanks to Scott for joining me on the show.
Enjoy the episode!
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Show Notes with Timestamp Links
Find summarised highlights of what we talk about during the interview.
Use the clickable timestamp links to jump direct to those points in the audio file below:
[00:20] – Introducing Dr Scott Sherr, a Board Certified Internal Medicine Physician with additional certification in Hyperbaric Oxygen Medicine. He works as an integrative HBOT physician in San Francisco and has a special interest in its use for traumatic brain injury and stroke. Dr. Sherr also uses an integrative approach to hyperbaric care using targeted lab work, diet, and supplementation to further advance HBOT’s ability to heal.
[01:21] – Scott describes what is HBOT (also known as: hyperbaric medicine or hyperbaric oxygen therapy). HBOT uses sealed steel room chambers, to create an environment where there is increased atmospheric pressure and an increased amount of inspired oxygen to drive more oxygen into circulation to capacities that are impossible in any other normal breathing way.
[03:13] – Increasing the amount of inspired oxygen results in increasing the amount of oxygen-carrying capacity of the red blood cells.
[06:45] – Scott explains the limits of pulse oximetry when measuring oxygen saturation. It only measures how well you are oxygenating red blood cells but it doesn’t measure the amount of oxygen in the blood stream or tell us anything about mitochondrial oxygen utilisation.
[09:07] – While pulse oximetry is a good marker for how well you are able to oxygenate it is not very useful from a hyperbaric perspective. The number can be lower for smokers or people exposed to carbon monoxide or other toxins etc., and can be a good marker for lung disease and toxicity.
[11:00] – From the hyperbaric perspective Scott looks at other markers depending on what goes on in the chamber in acute and long-term settings. There are four categories: decreased inflammation, reversing hypoxia, killing bugs and releasing stem cells.
[12:59] – Oxidative stress is a universal insult to the system from which the system can either rebound and get more optimal, or if it is toxic, it can deteriorate. Scott explains it is important that the individual is healthy enough to get the benefits and that the levels of oxidative stress are measured in the chamber.
[15:14] – If someone is very sick, are they still able to go into the hyperbaric chamber? Because these individuals very often won’t benefit from it, Scott recommends doing some foundational work first. Health optimisation medicine founded by Dr Ted Achacoso can be helpful.
[19:04] – Hyperbaric therapy is great for healthy individuals looking to optimise their physiology and performance.
[20:11] – There are ways to protect from oxidative stress using antioxidants, ketone supplements and MCT oil. Scott also explains, it is important to know what kind of chamber you are using to get results for specific goals. He talks us through different chamber types and pressure requirements.
[25:05] – In terms of duration, for recovering from a long term condition, a 30-40 treatment regiment of successive days of 60-120 mins (i.e Mon-Fri with weekends off) is recommended. It can also help the healing process of acute injuries happen faster.
[28:12] – The portable soft chambers are more neurologically focused but can also have some ability to help with injury recovery such as helping muscle aches and pains. They also help oxygenate the system better when combined with an oxygen mask post-chamber, optimising performance.
[29:58] – Studies have shown hyperbaric therapy increases multi-tasking capability; it increases frontal lobe executive function ability. Scott is always looking for ways to optimise this which is why he pairs up the chamber with external oxygen. He also recommends considering activities you can do inside the chamber itself.
[33:15] – To help enhance your experience, Scott recommends being ketogenic before the hyperbaric chamber as this seems to optimise blood flow to areas where there is tissue injury. He has also paired hyperbaric therapy with other vasodilatory types of stimuli beforehand in the absence of trauma e.g. cold thermogenesis.
[38:52] – Scott generally recommends using a sauna after the chamber. The same goes for different IV’s. The program he recommends before a patient goes into the chamber to help optimise healing depends on the individual situation.
[42:44] – We talk about intermittent hypoxia training. There is a branch of medicinal researchers looking to research the amount of oxygen we get exposed to through breathing techniques. Scott explains how they are causing relative hypoxia in the chamber.[Biohackers Lab Tip: see our interview with Niraj Naik for more about breathing techniques and intermittent hypoxia training]
[47:09] – Scott believes intermittent hypoxia is beneficial to a point. The concern is that it could cause inflammation that could be difficult to tolerate over a long period of time for certain people. The Wim Hoff breathing technique is also not recommended in the chamber.
[48:58] – Scott emphasises that hyperbaric exposure is not a treatment for cancer, but rather a synergistic approach to other cancer treatments. There are six ways it is used: for radiation injury, in chemo sensitisation, in radiation sensitisation, in surgical oncology, with a combined approach from an alternative perspective and in a holistic approach.
[54:54] – Earlier Scott talked about successive days of treatment in the chamber because it is the epigenetic stress that is causing those changes. However, with cancer we do one or two treatments at a time as we don’t want to cause an antioxidant surge that would protect both the normal and cancer cells.
[55:36] – It is also good to know that cancer tends to be hypoxic and there has been no indication that the use of chambers have pro-cancer growth effect, rather it seems to have a mild regressive effect.
[56:54] – Because the hyperbaric chamber therapy increases the amount of stem cells mobilised exponentially after a couple of treatments, the best way to harvest stem cells is after a couple of treatments of deep depth 2.0-2.4 therapy. Scott explains the multiple ways therapy helps e.g. helping the stem cells work better in areas they need to go.
[59:55] – Scott’s approach to hyperbaric medicine is integrative. In addition to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and health optimisation medicine he likes to recommend different practitioners worldwide to work in collaboration depending on what is happening.
[1:03:23] – Health is bio-psycho-social with a multitude of elements. We need to get the foundations right. Scott believes the ultimate bio-hack is the hyperbaric oxygen therapy as it stimulates and accelerates healing, accelerating the body’s own ability to harness the power of energy to make the system more optimal.
[1:04:34] – While hyperbaric therapy is very safe, there are important considerations to be aware of. Scott shares risks in terms of lung and heart health, uncontrolled seizure disorders and ear trauma.
[1:07:35] – Scott will be talking more about this at the London health optimisation summit coming up this September 2019 in England.
[1:08:18] – To contact, or find out more about, Dr Scott Sherr visit the hyperbaricmedicalsolutions.com website or his Facebook and Instagram. You can also search Scott Sherr M.D online where you will find all his online lectures. He also does worldwide consultation and speaking events.