by Valerie Burke
As safe and trusted as hyperbaric (high pressure) oxygen therapy is, ozone therapy also harnesses the healing power of oxygen. Since the 1950s, its popularity has increased around the world. Today, more than 45,000 physicians in 50 countries administer ozone therapy to address ailments ranging from endodontic infections and herniated disk pain to arterial plaque and Lyme disease.
According to the American Academy of Ozonotherapy, the widespread medical use of ozone began in Germany and has since spread across Europe as an alternative treatment for antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The academy notes that allopathic physicians caution against ozone therapy largely due to misinformation and a lack of understanding regarding its efficacy, side effects, expense and safety, even though published international studies as well as U.S. clinical trials have shown it can be used instead of more expensive and dangerous methods such as surgery or pharmaceuticals.
Therapeutic ozone has a sound safety record, and no toxic effects have been observed from proper clinical use (Journal of the American Medical Association). Occasional reported side effects are slight weakness, dizziness or drowsiness for short periods of time during or after treatment. Rare allergic skin reactions like nettle rash are possible with local applications, although occurrences are mild and quick to resolve.
“Today, more than 45,000 physicians in 50 countries administer ozone therapy to address ailments ranging from endodontic infections and herniated disk pain to arterial plaque and Lyme disease. “
Ozone is an oxidant. Ozone therapy, like exercise, creates health benefits by delivering measured doses of oxidative stress that activate the body’s internal antioxidant systems. The primary natural enzyme in ozone therapy is superoxide dismutase, which stimulates another enzyme called telomerase that keeps DNA young by maintaining the telomere at the end of each DNA strand.
A study from Cuba’s University of Havana of herniated disc patients found that ozone therapy provided both oxidative protection and pain relief. Such properties make medical ozone therapy a safe and effective treatment for many infections.
It has been shown to be particularly effective for sinus and endodontic infections (Iranian Endodonics Journal), osteonecrosis of the jaw, ear infections, hepatitis (Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine), cystitis, HIV, intestinal and blood infections and Lyme disease. Staff of the Sophia Health Institute, in Woodinville, Washington, report remarkably fast results treating such chronic complex infections by following intensive intravenous (IV) ozone protocols, with individualized systemic support.
Ozonotherapy is a prime treatment for infections, especially viral. Leading experts in oxidative therapy Dr. Robert Rowen, who practices in Santa Rosa, California, and Dr. Howard Robins, director of The Healing Center, in New York City, had good success administering treatment during the Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone. In addition to many patients helped, “It has been reported that ozone therapy rapidly cured five patients with Ebola during the outbreak,” says Rowen. Ozone therapy is now used to relieve arthritis, neuropathy, degenerative joint and disk disease, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A pilot study led by the Universidad de Granada, Spain, saw improvement in the physical and depressive symptoms of fibromyalgia. “Ozone is also effective in treating osteoarthritic knees and, via injection, arthritic hips,” says Rowen. Other individuals describe their experiences of overcoming various diseases using ozone therapy at YouTube.com/user/ RobertRowenMD/videos.
One of the most impressive evidence-based applications is relief from the pain of herniated disks, particularly lumbar. More than one meta-analysis deemed ozone treatment an effective and extremely safe procedure, with pain and functional outcomes equal to or better than surgery and far lower complication rates (less than 0.1 percent), along with significantly shorter recovery times (Pain Physician; American Journal of Neuroradiology).
According to the Journal of Natural Science, Biology and Medicine, oxygen/ozone therapy used in dentistry offers three fundamental forms of applications to treat oral tissue—ozonated water, ozonated olive oil and oxygen/ozone gas. Ozonated water and olive oil have proved to be an ideal delivery system.
Non-toxic and simple to generate, ozone therapy is coming of age as a viable option for both the treatment and prevention of illnesses.
Valerie Burke is a freelance health writer in Olympia, Washington, versed in integrative medicine with a master’s degree in nursing science.