Victoria Bliss-Calkins didn't have to look far for inspiration when deciding to open Oxygen Oasis Hyperbaric Wellness Center, a freestanding hyperbaric oxygen therapy center in Langhorne, Pa.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy, or HBOT, is best known as a treatment scuba divers receive for decompression sickness. The procedure involves placing a person in a chamber where the air pressure is about two-and-a-half times greater than the normal pressure in the atmosphere. Breathing pure oxygen under pressure allows the lungs to gather more oxygen than through normal breathing. The extra oxygen in the bloodstream is carried throughout a person's body — reaching damaged areas including organs and tissues that previously lacked blood supply and oxygen.
Bliss-Calkins' first personal experience with hyperbaric oxygen therapy came when her daughter received the treatment to help her recover faster from a soccer injury. The family again turned to HBOT when Bliss-Calkins' husband, Tom, was struggling with radiation injuries after treatments for stage-four squamous cell carcinoma. "He would be in so much pain," Bliss-Calkins recalled. "It would paralyze him."
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