by Dr. Connie Casebolt, Wellness by Design in Greenville, SC
Ozone therapy is an alternative form of medicine which offers many therapeutic benefits. It’s used on its own or with other medicines to treat a number of conditions. The treatment is suitable for people over 25 years old suffering from conditions such as back pain, arthritis, and fibromyalgia.
Germany uses ozone therapy as an alternative to antibiotics. However, in the US, people aren’t as aware of the benefits it offers. Traditional medicine is common practice, but scientists and physicians are turning to ozone to treat their patients. With so many alternative therapies available today, what makes ozone procedures stand out?
How Does Ozone Therapy Work?
Ozone is a toxic molecule that protects us from ultraviolet radiation. While it may be dangerous, it can have therapeutic effects when applied in small doses. If it’s used correctly, ozone can treat illnesses by reducing the numbers of viruses, yeast, bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. Think of it as a disinfectant, cleaning the area of infection and boosting the immune system. Ozone can be toxic if it’s inhaled, so a professional must perform the treatments. Patients usually receive between 5 to 10 treatment sessions every three months.
Ozone is administered through the skin, intravenously or rectally. All three techniques have their benefits and it comes down to which is suitable for specific conditions.
Intravenous ozone therapy (also known as autohemotherapy) is the most popular technique to use. A specialist extracts 150ml of blood from a patient and mixes it with ozone in a glass vial. The professional then returns the blood to the patient through the same entry point. They do the procedure in a sterile environment with an ozone generator machine.
Rectal ozone therapy is a simple procedure in which 200-300 ml of ozone is administered through a cannula. Both techniques take 20 minutes to perform and won’t interrupt your daily routine.
If a wound is being treated, then it common to apply the ozone directly to the tissue. There are also intramuscular injections which work similarly to the intravenous approach.
Uses of Ozone Therapy
Ozone therapy has been in use for 150 years but it’s only recently gained mass attention. Its primary use has been to disinfect and treat diseases including AIDS. Doctors used ozone therapy as the primary HIV treatment before introducing other medications. Soldiers in the First World War were treated with ozone to reduce the inflammation of their wounds. Some other conditions that benefit from ozone therapy are:
- Breathing disorders: Ozone therapy gives the blood more oxygen, thus reducing the stress on the lungs.
- Diabetes: There is also reason to believe the therapy can reduce the effects of diabetes. It can relieve stress in the body and heal wounds quickly.
- Immune disorders: Ozone therapy boosts the immune system, so there are benefits for individuals with HIV. Results from studies differ as to how effective ozone is for immune disorders, but it can help to decrease symptoms.
Ozone therapy can also:
- Prevent shock
- Reduce bleeding
- Limit stroke damage
- Balance enzyme and hormone production
- Improve circulation
The Potential Side Effects of Ozone Therapy
There are some risks associated with ozone therapy but several studies show that it improves conditions. Ozone is an unstable gas and exposure to high levels destroys red blood cells, so it’s important to take precautions. People may experience some other negative effects which include:
- Poor circulation
- Swollen blood vessels
- Ruptured bowels
- Eardrum damage
- Shortness of breath
- Enzyme inactivation
- Cramping and discomfort from rectal administration
Ozone must never be inhaled. It can cause headaches, vomiting and breathing issues should it enter the mouth, eyes or nose. There have also been reports of the Herxheimer reaction. This is where the person feels worse initially and has flu-like symptoms. However, the effects are short-term and the condition will improve.
Ozone therapy has many positive side effects, which include:
- Better hair and nail strength
- Increased nail and hair growth
- More energy
- Improved sleep
- Healthier skin
The Costs and Outlook
Medicaid doesn’t cover ozone therapy. Seek advice from a professional before undergoing treatment to get an idea of the cost. Research on how effective ozone therapy can be continues, but the outlook is promising. While there are some risks, the treatments can improve the symptoms of many conditions. Find a reputable professional and consider the pros and cons of receiving ozone.