Non-Medical Treatments: An Insight into the Practice of Ozone Therapy
Ozonotherapy or ozone therapy is the use of ozone for initiating the curative response in the body. The treatment involves increasing the concentration of medical grade ozone into the body using different techniques which will be discussed further. The Ozone gas has 3 atoms of oxygen while the normal oxygen that we breathe has 2 atoms. The third atom of oxygen makes ozone highly oxidizing and supercharged and blesses it with all the remarkable medical properties that normal oxygen (i.e. O2) lacks.
Ozone therapy has been found to be effective in treating various life threatening diseases including herpes, AIDS, chronic pain, macular degeneration, cystitis, multiple sclerosis, and many more. It has also found its use in dental procedures. The first medicinal use of ozone was reported in the First World War where it was used for disinfecting wounds. Later, it was used in hospitals for its disinfecting property and for sterilization of surgical tools.
Since that time, its medicinal properties were under consideration and now the ozonotherapy is practiced in various parts of the world. It has been used in Europe for the past fifty years.
Ozone is introduced to a person’s body either directly or by mixing it with other gases and liquids. It is then injected into the body either via the intra-muscular, intra-venous or sub-cutaneous routes. It can also be introduced into the vagina or rectum for systemic and local effects on the area and can be introduced via autohemotherapy.
Autohemotherapy is the method of blood ozonation. It involves drawing the blood out of the patient and exposing it to a limited concentration of ozone for a considerable amount of time. The blood is then re-injected to the body.
In diabetics, the cells become starved for oxygen due to the decrease amount of (DPG) diphosphoglycerate. Ozone stimulates this enzyme by stimulating the uptake of oxygen and thus works efficiently for the diabetic patients. Highly oxygenated blood does not support the growth of cancer cells and thus the ozone therapy helps fight cancer. However, the American Cancer Society stated that there is not enough evidence to support this theory as yet.
Ozone therapy works by activating the immune system of the person’s body thereby fighting infectious diseases. It also reduces ischemia in cardiovascular diseases improving the utilization of oxygen at the cellular level. Supporters believe that it can dramatically reduce or even eliminate chronic pain by acting on pain receptors (nociceptors). It’s also a powerful mitochondrial stimulant.
Food And Drug Administrations (FDAs) of different countries have not supported the use of ozone and claim that it causes hepatitis and damages the linings of the lung tissues when inhaled. It also causes the production of free radicals because of its powerful oxidizing property, which causes cell damage by oxidative stress. However, in small doses it is thought to increase the naturally occurring antioxidants of the body. These antioxidants fight off the cancer cells and other diseases in body.
Ozone therapy is therefore treated as an alternate medicine. But despite the potential side effects of ozone to the body, the therapy is successfully practiced and professional medical ozonotherapy societies have also been setup worldwide.
About the Author: Javeria Kamal is currently studying in 6th semester of pharm-D. She works for the animal rights and human rights as a member of WWF-Pakistan and an internee for ACAP respectively. She has studied phlebotomy and worked as an internee at Abbasi Shaheed Hospital, Karachi, Pakistan and has worked as a patient counselor for the project SMART-DPIC run by KMC-KMDC. Javeria can be reached at [email protected]
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