Ozone is a gas formed from oxygen by electrical charges and carries three oxygen molecules instead of two oxygen molecules in the form of oxygen gas.
Ozone therapy is the use of ozone gas as medicine. The reason ozone gas can be used medically is due to the reactions that occur when ozone gas is entered into the body. (Quick note: ozone gas is, in fact, toxic to our lungs, which is why ozone is not to be inhaled. Everywhere else, though, ozone is awesome. Lungs…bad. Not lungs…good. Got it?…Great). The way I like to think of it is like this. Everyone knows that oxygen is good for us. Besides, breathing it in the air we breathe (room air is normally a little above 20% oxygen), oxygen is a fantastic medicine.
If someone has a respiratory problem and you hook them up to oxygen, you can fix a myriad of problems. More oxygen in our blood stream leads to more oxygen to our cells, which does lots of good stuff. Now I like to think of ozone like regular oxygen, except with another oxygen molecule attached, which makes it like super-oxygen. So when this super-oxygen gets into the bloodstream, it does a ton of beneficial things in the body. So, you know in the animated movie “Frozen” at the end (Spoiler Alert: but seriously if you haven’t seen “Frozen” by now, shame on you), Elsa realizes she has the power to reverse everything and then just raises her hands in the air and all of Arendelle becomes beautiful.
Great scene, huh? Anyway, that’s how I think of ozone reacting in our bodies. It kinda just makes everything better. I know this sounds like an overstatement, but honestly, it does. It improves our red blood cells, which makes oxygen delivery to cells better. It improves our mitochondria, which gives us more energy. It super-charges our immune system, which allows our body to fight like every kind of infection from viruses, to bacteria, to parasites, to you-name-it. It boosts our bodies Glutathione which is an antioxidant leading to decreased dangerous free radical damage. It boosts something called N-R-F-2 (pronounced Nerf Two) which is our body’s own anti-inflammatory system causing a decrease in inflammation. It helps nerves, joints, kidneys, the heart, the gut, eyes, ears, brain, skin, hormones…yup, just about everything.
There are several ways that Ozone Therapy can be performed.
1. Major Autohemotherapy—MAH
So this sounds super fancy and complicated, and kinda is, but really all it is: we draw up blood from your vein, like you’re giving blood, inject it into a sterile bag or glass container, add ozone gas to the bag, and then infuse the super blood back into your body. For anything internal, this is probably the best method, and it is usually even taken up a couple notches depending on the problem, but we’ll get into that another time.
2. Ozone Injection
Needless to say, since I’m a sports medicine doctor, I really like this one. What we do here is first inject a concoction of vitamins into whatever body part I’m injecting, and then we kind of chase with an equal volume of ozone gas. We do this because the ozone needs something to attach to for the best results. What I like about ozone injection therapy is that it is amazing for inflammation AND it provides healing to the area at the same time. The way I like to think about this is it’s kind of like a steroid injection without any of the harmful effects and it heals the area. So instead of putting a harmful substance into an area, we are decreasing pain, decreasing inflammation, and helping the cells. Can you tell I like this therapy?
This is a neat way to get ozone in the body without any needles. So we can put ozone straight up your nose (you gotta hold your breath, though…remember…ozone and lungs=bad), into ears (great for ear infections), and into the intestines via a bag and a tube (yup…just the way you’re thinking). The latter is actually quite effective at getting ozone into the bloodstream and helps the gut at the same time.
4. Ozone Water
For this one, we literally bubble ozone gas right into a bottle of water and then…bottoms up. I hit this all the time at the clinic in between patients and it gives me energy throughout the day. Integrative dentists love this one for oral health.
So we already mentioned the lungs. We don’t need to repeat that one…but we will anyway. Ozone in the lungs=Bad. Other than that, dosage is super important. It’s not so much that it’s going to hurt anything, but it can be uncomfortable if too much is given at once. This is why it’s important to have it performed by someone who knows what they are doing. Also, sometimes ozone can really clean stuff up, very…”effectively.” Sometimes after we do an infusion, people can feel tired initially. I see this as the body fighting off lots of chronic pathogens that have been causing havoc on their system. Usually this is only for a few treatments at most and does not last that long. Also understand this does not happen to everyone. We have several patients that not only don’t feel side effects, but feel absolutely fantastic. I know when I get ozone, I feel awesome and my bike rides and runs after a treatment are absolutely amazing.
Here’s the thing…you shouldn’t do just one. For the infusions we usually recommend starting with one round of ten. Why? Ozone needs to get to a certain dose to work effectively. This is similar to the way antibiotics work. For most antibiotics, you can’t just take 1 pill, right? It really won’t do much if you don’t complete the whole course. Well, it’s pretty similar for ozone. Ozone is best performed as a course of ten. That’s not to say that you won’t feel improvements before ten, but you usually need at least ten, to get to where you need to get. Now, that also means you may need more than ten. It depends on the severity of what you’re being treated for. The good news is, that it really works, and without causing harm like many of the pharmaceutical therapies out there.
For Ozone Injections things are different. We usually recommend a course of at least 4 injections. The injections are normally spaced out 2 weeks at a time. Many feel really good after 2, but will need at least 2 more to get the full benefit.
If you’ve gotten this far, it’s time to come in for a consultation. For more information about Ozone therapy, call the Meeting Point Health office at 215.298.9928. You can also schedule a consultation online at www.meetingpointhealth.com.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Stephen Matta, DO, MBA CAQSM and Mary Anne Matta, MS, MA, LAC
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