Ozone was first utilized in a healthcare setting in 1870 when European doctors leveraged its power to disinfect operating rooms and sterilize surgical instruments. In World War 1, the first human treatment application was found when it was sprayed on soldier’s open wounds to sterilize them. This was not the most effective method at the time as it also harmed the skin, but it was a helpful step to developing its current uses.
Modern ozone therapy avoids potentially harmful side effects by mixing it with various gases and liquids before use. Ozone is typically given by injection, with the most popular applications being into your muscles, skin, or veins. Ozone can also be an autohemotherapy, in which blood is drawn from the patient, exposed to ozone, and re-injected into the patient. This is currently used by the military for treating field wounds, stemming from its roots in World War 1, but is also currently being studied for its potential use in civilian patients with Lyme disease.
Patients can use ozone therapy on its own or as part of an existing pharmaceutical or nutraceutical protocol. This makes it an attractive alternative treatment modality and gives patients a lot of flexibility when starting it. The main downfall is most patients will likely need regular treatments to see lasting change.
How Does It Work
When used intravenously, ozone creates a controlled and moderate oxidative reaction in the blood. In response to the oxidation, the immune system releases secondary products that have a beneficial physiological effect.
Ozone is known to stimulate natural stem cell activity and increase oxygen utilization at the cellular level by allowing the organelles, the mitochondria that make energy, to uptake oxygen and create more energy molecules. It has circulation and sleep benefits as well.
Many chronic illnesses are associated with elevated levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and low levels of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Symptoms from chronic infections, such as Lyme disease, are typically caused by a persistent pro-inflammatory immune response. Immune system modulation is another reason ozone therapy is effective at treating chronic infections.
It is critical to consult with a qualified medical professional before beginning ozone therapy to ensure that it is the best treatment option for you. Your doctor can assess your condition and advise you on how to best prepare for ozone therapy. In general, it is advised to avoid eating or drinking anything for two hours prior to ozone therapy and to dress loosely and comfortably. Additionally, to help flush toxins from your body, drink plenty of water before and after ozone therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions
- How long does it take? The length of treatment varies by individual patient. Most people go at least two times a week for 3-6 weeks. At that point, they may go on a maintenance plan or stop, depending on what they decide with their doctor.
- What are the potential side effects? Some patients may experience discomfort or cramping. Others may have a Herxheimer reaction and may need to have their dose lowered. In rare cases, a person might have an allergic or hypersensitive response and be forced to stop treatment immediately.