Ozone therapy is the administration of ozone (O3) in the body for therapeutic purposes either as a monotherapy or as a complementary therapy to other treatments.
Ozone for medical use is a mixture of oxygen-ozone, which is achieved by passing pure oxygen (O2) by an electric shock which is both at a high voltage and high frequency. This chemical reaction performed by a special electromedicine team, produces a gas with distinctive concentrations of ozone according to the pathology and treatment. The gas, when in contact with the body, reacts with the unsaturated fatty acids, converting them into oxonides, and later into peroxides, which produce therapeutical chemical changes.
Therapeutic Effects of Ozone
1. STIMULATION OF BLOOD CIRCULATION:
Ozone cures because it improves the metabolism in an integral way. On the one hand, it improves the blood flow in the affected tissues. On the other hand, it transports oxygen and therefore the energy supply to the inflamed areas is improved. Likewise, by activating the blood circulation, it promotes detoxification of the liver and reduces the levels of cholesterol and uric acid, helping to eliminate the solid components of the blood. The successive applications of medical ozone, generally result in a significant increase in oxygen in all body cells, which basically means an improvement in the cellular capacity to auto repair, substantially decreasing cell damage due to lack of oxygen, regardless of the underlying disease.
2. ACTIVATION OF THE IMMUNE SYSTEM:
The immune system is stimulated positively by medical ozone. On the one hand, the products resulting from the decomposition from the ozone behave as biological activators of the monocytes and T cells, producing a gradual release of cytokines such as interferon (IFN) gamma and beta, tumour necrosis factor (TNF) and various types of interleukins (IL) that enhance the ability of our defensive system for the benefit of types of allergic- autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis. On the other hand, the ozone also has a vaccination effect, since fragments of virus, partially destroyed, can function as stimulus for the production of antibodies. Besides, as ozone leads to greater aggressiveness of white blood cells, it ensures that the virus is attacked quicker and with greater force.
3. GENERAL GERMICIDAL ACTIVITY:
Medical ozone also acts as an anti-infective, with potent fungicidal, bactericidal, and virucidal properties. These properties can not be inactivated by enzymatic systems. They therefore act on whatever type of aggressor.
4. STIMULATION OF ENZYME DEFENSES:
Ozone is capable of enhancing the antioxidant system and correcting the imbalance in the Redox system. Several scientific studies have shown that ozone stimulates the production of three enzymes that make up the body’s main defense before free radicals: superoxide dismutase, catalase and glutathione peroxidise. Oxygen is a matter of life and death, given that the arrival of oxygen to the cells results in the formation of free radicals and the balance between production and elimination of these (Redox system) depends to a large extent on the functioning of antioxidant enzymes. Thus the ozone would clean the cellular debris that accumulates throughout life, and in situations of stress, by neutralisation of the free radicals. According to this concept, preventive ozone therapy would have an anti-ageing effect, given that the concept of ageing is based on the accumulation of intracellular radicals (oxidative stress). These findings may have important practical implications, given that chronic viral infections, cancer, autoimmune deficiencies, and neurodegenerative disorders are accompanied by a pro-oxidant state with a progressive deterioration of the intracellular detoxification.
5. TISSUE REGENERATION:
Ozone has been shown to have a stimulating effect on the reticuloendothelial system, being able to repair and restore the inner wall of the small blood vessels, resulting in a high degree of efficiency in the recovery of ulcers in diabetic patients. It has also been shown to have a beneficial effect on nitric oxide, crucial in maintaining optimal levels of capillary dilation and blood flow.
6. SYNTHESIS AND RELEASE OF AUTACOIDS:
A number of substances such as histamine, serotonin, bradykinin and eicosanoids (prostaglandins, thromboxanes, and leukotrienes) are called autacoids (self-healing). There are no signs of them in cells, instead they are synthesized and released locally, being rapidly metabolised and only detectable for short periods of time. They have a broad spectrum of effects on the body, though they are recognised for their role as chemical mediators of inflammation. Ozone plays an important role as an anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and vasodilator agent, to maintain an appropriate balance between the eicosanoids with beneficial effects and those that are harmful.
7. METABOLIC REGULATOR:
Several studies have shown the regulatory action of ozone on the body’s metabolism system, and therefore, the various biochemical parameters used to quantify it. For example, those with the same pathological values (cholesterol, triglycerides, creatinine, uric acid, glucose etc.) have been normalised at the end of treatment cycles, and those with normal levels have been maintained throughout. There is clinical evidence to validate that ozone therapy as a treatment improves the lives of diabetic patients, to the extent that some insulin-dependent diabetics have been able to decrease the dosage of insulin between 30 to 50%, due to ozone’s ability to enhance cell glycolysis (utilisation of sugar).
This combination of benefits means that there are many therapeutic applications and for various diseases, making it useful in different areas of medicine:
- Dermatology and Angiology: Wounds, burns, chronic torpid ulcers, healing difficulties (diabetic foot) and thrombophlebitis.
- Infectious diseases of viral origin (hepatitis or herpes) or caused by fungi (mycoses).
Ophthalmology: Retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and macular diseases.
- Ophthalmology: Retinitis pigmentosa, glaucoma, and macular diseases.
- Rheumatology, traumatology and rehabilitation: herniated disk, fibromyalgia and arthritis.
- Allergic-autoimmune diseases: Psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, urticaria and pruritis (itching).
- Oncology: Adjuvant radiotherapy.
- Aesthetic Medicine: As a rejuvenating agent for the skin (anti-aging effect) and for the treatment of localised lipodystrophy (cellulitis).
- Gynecology: Vulvovaginitis and fungal or bacterial vagintis.
- Neurology: It helps in the treatments of vascular headaches, cerebral sclerosis and Parkinson’s.
- Gastroenterology: Ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhoids, anal fissures and fistulas.
- Psychiatry: Relief of general state with increased vitality, antidepressant action, improves sleep.
- Odonto-stomatology: Helps in the treatment of periodontal disease, mouth sores, cold sores and peri implantitis.
- Geriatrics: Ozone is considered an important therapeutic tool to enhance the quality of life of elderly patients with pneumonia, bronchial asthma, diabetes or hypercholesterolemia. Likewise, it increases cerebral oxygenation and improves symptoms of memory loss, bad circulation in legs and fatigue.
Methods for applying ozone
Treatments are quick, efficient and economical, consisting of a number of sessions which vary in quantity and duration, depending on the condition being treated. The applications are very safe, as they have virtually no side effects.
The gas mixture of ozone oxygen can be applied in multiple ways:
- Locally through using a glass bell or plastic bag, according to the body part being treated (leg, arm, etc).
- Local injections either subcutaneous or intramuscular.
- Through autohemotransfusion which consists of extracting the blood, mixing it with ozone oxygen, and without removing the needle, re-injecting it back into the bloodstream.
- Via rectal insufflation, that is performed by directly applying the gas through a thin tube, like an enema.
- Through creams and ointments in the form of ozonated oils.
The incidence of adverse affects of ozone therapy is one of the lowest found in medicine, estimated at only about 0.0007% in the form of nausea, headaches and fatigue. In general, it is a very safe therapy (when administered correctly and with the recommended dose), easy to apply, and well received by the majority of patients.