Hyperbarics for Heroes
Oxygen. It’s Earth’s most abundant element and vital to human life. Oxygen also has incredible healing powers that are still being discovered.
Paul and Sharon Conrady are witnesses to the miraculous results that can come from immersion into an environment of pure, pressurized oxygen. Although they are not doctors, they have seen wounds heal, stroke patients regain their ability to walk, and autistic children say their first words.
It started in 2012 when Paul noticed a man sobbing at church. “Are you okay?” he asked. “No,” was the answer. The man had just returned from military duty overseas with an extreme case of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He’d been kicked out of his house after a near-violent incident, and he had nowhere to go.
A few days before, Paul had met a doctor from the Patriot Clinic who claimed to “help brains heal.” Paul still had the man’s business card, so he called, and the doctor recommended that Paul send him straight to their hyperbaric oxygen chamber.
An Opportunity for Healing
Inside a hyperbaric chamber, which looks much like the inside of a submarine, air pressure is increased to allow the lungs to gather more oxygen than normal–much like the conditions experienced by scuba divers, but without getting wet. As blood carries extra oxygen throughout the body, it helps fight bacteria and stimulate stem cell growth. Paul was so intrigued that he volunteered for the clinic, interacting with veterans suffering from a variety of conditions, often symptoms of PTSD or biochemical damage.
“Forgive me, but I used to hear of PTSD and say, ‘Those people need to just soldier up,’ because I didn’t understand this very real problem. We’re losing 22 veterans a day to suicide,” Paul said, “And yet I was seeing a possible solution.”
Many veterans are suffering brain injuries and chemical damage from the open-air burn pits in Iraq or Afghanistan, where military bases burn materials to keep them from falling into enemy hands. Paul describes it as “the Agent Orange of today,” and it is responsible for many veteran health disorders.
Sessions and Improvements
After repeated sessions in the hyperbaric chamber, many veterans see vast improvements; their bodies are cleansed and their brains are calmed. Paul and Sharon embraced hyperbarics as their mission, buying an eight-person chamber and creating the non-profit, Hyperbarics for Heroes.
Now, every day, the Conradys try to fill all eight seats in the chamber so that there is no missed opportunity for healing. In addition to physical healing, the Conrady’s have witnessed other powerful benefits of hyperbaric sessions: comradery.
“You put a group of veterans together for an hour in the chamber, and they start to talk. No one understands what they’ve been through like other military members,” Paul said. “After the World Wars, soldiers loaded into a boat and traveled home together. They talked and grieved and healed. Today, they fly home one day and are expected to jump back into civilian life the next—and they aren’t ready.”
According to one group of veterans currently undergoing hyperbarics, they’ve been able to open up about their traumatic experiences in ways they can’t with their families. Their comments are poignant: “I can’t change the past, but I’m in a better place now.” “It’s cool to see the edges come off of each other.” “I recently joked with the gas station attendant—I haven’t done that in years!” “I spent thousands trying to find medical solutions that didn’t work—but this is working.” “My tunnel vision went away.”
Hyperbarics for Heroes is still in the building stages. The Conradys have a larger chamber under construction, along with plans for cottages where veterans can temporarily live during therapy. Most hyperbaric treatment is not covered by insurance, and it takes many sessions for ultimate healing. Non-veterans are also welcomed to the Conrady’s chamber for a minimal fee, which helps support the free services for veterans.
“I’ve seen and experienced amazing healings,” Paul said. “And it’s just oxygen! Hyperbarics is a well-established treatment, but oxygen is not something pharmaceutical companies can sell. I want my chambers to help as many people as possible, especially military members who are suffering because they put their life on the line to save ours.”
To learn more visit HyperbaricsForHeroes.org.