Hyperbaric oxygenation therapy is one way to combat spinoffs from this summer's haze, as well as some other maladies, according to a local chiropractor.
There is a hyperbaric chamber at the offices of Carson City chiropractic physicians Daniel Schlenger and Lisa Getas.
Patients get 95 percent pure oxygen in the chamber, which is pressurized during therapy that transmits oxygen into blood and cells to aid the body's self-healing properties.
"It's been around forever," said Schlenger, who uses the chamber himself and recommends the therapy for some patients. He said firefighters, who inhale much more smoke than average residents coping with particulate that comes over the mountains from California wildfires, can benefit from the therapy.
"It purges all the carbon monoxide," he said, or other bad gases that get into the body.
He explained oxygen helps cells, and provided a book that expanded on why:
"Breathing regular air without pressure gets some oxygen into red blood cells, but breathing oxygen in a pressurized chamber gets more into red blood cells, blood plasma and other bodily fluids as well to reach areas of blocked circulation."
The same book, "Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy" by doctors Richard A. Neubauer, MD, and Morton Walker, DPM, gave insight into the chiropractor's assertion about the therapy's longevity. A British physician, hoping to aid digestion and respiration, in 1664 used compressed air in a specially equipped room called a domicilium.
Today, the chiropractor looks toward wider benefits as he talks of effects in the brain.
He said the brain uses a third of the oxygen taken in by the body, so getting more under pressure can help aid some neurological conditions.
Chiropractic assistant Lynda Sieben joined in the conversation as the pair listed various ailments that may respond well to a regimen of hyperbaric chamber treatments over time.
They said among them are smoke inhalation, asthma, burns, wounds, inflammation, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, strokes, fibromyalgia, AIDS, Lyme disease and peripheral neuropathy.
"It helps just about everything," the chiropractor said, adding that doesn't include "contra-indicated" maladies like cancer and lung disease.
The chiropractors note that the chamber doesn't claim to cure, treat or prevent any specific disease or pathology.
The chiropractic office charges $50 per treatment, according to Schlenger, who said that is a fourth the cost for a similar treatment in Reno.