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Hornet Bites

Over the years, I’ve developed a pronounced sensitivity to hornet bites—they don’t cause an anaphylactic reaction, but they almost always lead to cellulitis and a bad blood infection.  I’ve been to the ER with severe cellulitis in past years, and have needed IV antibiotics to stop the infection.  


This summer, as COVID-19 was rampant, I got a bite on my right thigh, and within 36 hours the red streaks of an infection started down my leg.  Our family doctor wanted to put me on antibiotics for a 10-day period to fight the infection.  I told him to hold off for a couple of days, and I did an HBOT dive at 2 atmospheres of pressure for about 70 minutes—that was a Sunday.  An hour after I finished my dive, the red streaks in my leg were very faint, and the heat and redness of the bite was greatly diminished.  I did a second dive the next day (Monday), and by Wednesday I could not see the location of the bite—my leg was completely normal, and I avoided taking any medication at all.


Low Thyroid

I was diagnosed with low thyroid about thirty years ago and have taken prescription medications to keep the symptoms under control for most of my adult life:  both Synthroid, and Armour.  The last prescription was for a compounded twice daily dose of T-3 and T-4, the two components my thyroid gland wasn’t producing in large enough amounts.


After installing an HBOT chamber in our home, I began diving regularly.  Although doubtful at first that HBOT would change or help my thyroid, I stopped taking the evening pill.  I had done that once before and became disoriented and shaky.  This time, there were no symptoms at all.


Since I was scheduled for a complete checkup with blood work in August 2020, I stopped taking both pills.  I felt fine and my bloodwork came back completely normal.  The only thing I had been doing differently was diving in the HBOT chamber once or twice a week.


My doctor was surprised.  He had to admit I had undergone an amazing change.  I have had no further symptoms, and feel that HBOT has healed my thyroid gland. 

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Consistent Pain

In 2016 I suffered from minor injuries that resulted in long-lasting pain and various limitations in movement.  Since I also deal with a neuro-muscular condition, it was difficult to separate the symptoms to determine the best procedure to alleviate the pain.  The most persistent pain remained in my right ankle until I began Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in February, 2021. Many mornings it was difficult to move which seemed fairly normal to me since I am no Spring Chicken! However, this pain remained steady throughout the day and became worse over the last 4 years. After a few HBOT dives this ankle pain has so thoroughly disappeared, that I can hardly remember how it felt only a month before.  

My passion to work with Ralph and Bobbie Crafts to bring HBOT to our community also stems from the loss of my mother due to unhealing diabetic wounds.  I feel strongly that if we had known about HBOT in 2008, she would not have suffered for so many years while trying various treatments with no success.  

A huge benefit to HBOT is that it does not need to hone in on one symptom.  It is supplying extra oxygen to all areas. Although I was mentally focusing on my ankle pain, I continue to dive each week for the added benefit of an obvious improvement in muscle tone and increased energy levels.   


Surprise Benefits!  Neck and Knee Stiffness

Today I took a dive! I had a chance to try HBOT - Hyberbaric Oxygen Therapy. I spent 90 minutes in a pressurized chamber and oxygenated every cell in my body. Relaxing and SUPER fascinating with all kinds of health benefits. For me, I did it out of curiosity.


Have to admit, my heart was racing, fear of the unknown I guess. Barbara was wonderful. Explained it all clearly and put me at ease as she was staying within reach throughout the whole session. The immediate result for me was noticeable. Less tension in problematic parts of neck and knee and increased energy levels. Pay them a visit! Check it out as it’s a really interesting healing modality right in town.  

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Let's All Spread the Word!

In April 2022, I discovered Warrenton Oxygen Wellness, our very own Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy center right here in Warrenton.  Also known as HBOT, I was enthusiastic to learn more about the procedure that fit right in with my holistic approach to health and wellness.  At Warrenton Oxygen Wellness, I am welcomed by the well-trained staff prior to my relaxing session that takes about 90 minutes.  They often comment on my calm demeanor.  The grandmother in me thinks HBOT may possibly contribute to my continued easy-going style! 


In addition to general wellness, I found pain relief for arthritis and a mystery pain in my right arm.  July update:  improved balance and flexibility!  I am always excited to share stories of benefits found from HBOT and encourage anyone reading this to spread the word!  We want everyone to know about this treatment and that it is now available locally! 


Next time you see me, ask me about the gentleman I met in Croatia.  Amazing recovery story after severe head trauma.  Let’s continue to share our stories! 


Elbow Pain

During the summer of 2020 I developed severe pain in my right elbow during a round of golf. I thought it must have been a pulled muscle that would eventually heal on its own, but later began to realize something else had to be wrong.


I developed hand weakness so severe, I was not able to grip much of anything. After two injections and the pain not going away, I started to explore surgery to alleviate the pain and weakness. I was diving with WOW, and we decided to try a multi-level protocol.


That took place on a Thursday and over that weekend I had forgotten about my elbow and had 90% less pain. I have regained almost 100% of my grip strength, and the pain has subsided greatly. I will continue to dive with WOW and reap the benefits I have seen over the last few months.

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Post Covid - Breathing Difficulties

I came into WOW focusing on my breathing difficulties after 3 bouts of Covid.  After one dive in the Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy chamber, I felt incredible relief in my chest and breathing.  Afterwards, the amazing energy was shocking. 


I have been doing electrical work with hard labor affecting my joints for 25 years.  So, just imagine my surprise when the chronic joint pain in my hands and shoulders were totally gone in about 30 minutes into the session! 


I look forward to coming back to focus on some residual knee and lower back pain that has been persistent all my life. 

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Return to Competition After Stroke

I had an AVM rupture (bleeding stroke) in May 2022. In addition to physical, speech and occupational therapy, I added HBOT into my weekly recovery schedule. The pressurized oxygen helped my progress greatly.  In fact, at one point, I was told by the occupational therapist they could no longer help me beyond what the HBOT was doing!


In November 2022, six months after the stroke, I returned to  tournament play on the tennis court. 

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Knee Replacements - Quick Recovery

I am thankful I visited Warrenton Oxygen Wellness before and after my right knee replacement in July 2022.  I had 1 dive the day before my surgery and 3 dives beginning on day 3 after the surgery.  My surgeon and physical therapist have been amazed at my recovery. Particularly the lack of swelling. Ten days after surgery, I was walking very well with a cane.  As the time neared for my 3-week European trip in September, the staff at WOW worked closely with me to help reduce my increased anxiety levels.  My European outings were painless and the stiffness was greatly reduced.  I was relieved to keep up with my husband and enjoy the sights! 

It is now August 2023.  My left knee replacement is scheduled this Friday and my surgeon and I agree the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy are well worth a repeat performance. 

This story just keeps getting better!   Surgery went very well Aug 25 and 12 days later my PA states I am in the TOP 1% for speed of recovery! 

I sing the praises of WOW every chance I get ... to random folks who're limping or wearing a knee brace, to my physicians, friends, relatives and neighbors! 


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Arthritis has affected my hands for over 20 years.  The inflammation around both thumbs was constant, but worsened each time I would grip a hammer or nail gun, fly an airplane, even when tying shoes.

After 5 hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) dives, I started feeling significant pain reduction along with ease of movement in my hands.  As I continue with a building project, I look forward one dive per week to maintain the improvements achieved and to stay ahead of any new stiffness or soreness.  HBOT also benefits my knees and other areas. 


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Post-Covid Nightmare

No words can do justice on this page to explain how grateful I truly am.  However, I will do my best. 

Rewind five months ago to July, 2022.  My life took a turn for the worse after a month of COVID.  My taste, smell, focus, and hearing in my left ear ... gone.  Vertigo to the extent that regardless of if I was sitting, standing, or laying in bed, spun round and round.  Not to mention the vertigo would get worse if I sat in front of a computer or TV.

There were lots of treatments I tried before finding WOW.  Each of them would leave me in the same spot or even feeling worse.  It wasn't until I found your fantastic place in little old Warrenton, VA, that I found hope for my defeated state. 

After one of my treatments in November, 2022, I noticed upon leaving the center and walking outside that I could smell the air!  To my surprise, I sat in my car and I could smell my car.  It was then that I broke down and cried.  Without you amazing people and the oxygen chambers, I would still be dealing with long-covid and everything it brought with it.  In fact, I would never have been able to write this letter due to the ADD/ADHD I was dealing with.  After 13 sessions, pretty much all my symptoms from the long-covid are gone.   Thank you from the bottom of my heart. 


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My 1st time and the experience was nothing short of fantastic!  Ryan and Carlyle explained everything that would happen and it was excellent!  I will continue trying to help my nerve damage caused by neuropathy and see if it works, but I felt better as I was leaving the facility!


Arthritis and Mobility Issues
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I brought my husband into Warrenton Oxygen Wellness (WOW) for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) sessions with hopes of improved cognitive and mobility capabilities.  So many surprises have amazed us after only 10 sessions.


He has not fallen since he started in September, 2022.  The arthritis stiffness in his right shoulder has disappeared.  It is amazing to see how well he is getting in and out of the truck without my assistance.


All these things have come with more confidence in his ability to get up and move.  One of the WOW operators let Ross know that he watched him and liked how he handled himself getting out of the truck. 


Instead of shuffling, he walks to the truck while looking forward to his next session.  Just his asking if he could continue coming for HBOT was a great surprise since normally he does not leave the house!


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After just one HBOT treatment, I noticed I was completely free of the arthritic pain in my feet, hands, and wrists for the next two days. I also felt extremely energized and full of vigor. It was wonderful!


It also seemed to nip the beginning of a sore throat in the bud, stopping it in its tracks. I can really feel the difference when my body is more oxygenated. I will be using HBOT often in the future. The team at WOW was so professional, making me feel very comfortable and relaxed during the process.


Marching with a Pep in my Step
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I stay on top of holistic news and heard about Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) from a subscription to Dr. Al Sears newsletters from the Sears Institute in Florida and then was encouraged by our Chiropractor, Dr. Leonard Poe in Ashburn, who discovered we have the WOW HBOT clinic right here in Warrenton!


Just one week ago, my husband and I came for our first HBOT session.  He had a shuffling gait with most of the difficulty apparent in his right foot.  I noticed a huge difference in mobility when he navigated the long hallway so easily after his first 60 minute “dive”. The staff and I noticed more facial animation and clarity. He said he did not need any more treatments so I asked him to stand. He stood with no assistance, marched around the small front office, then walked easily out into the foyer. When we saw this huge improvement, we sat right back down and made our future appointments! 


Post Spinal Surgery
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I was in severe pain and had to have a double spinal fusion. I had nerve damage in my right leg and foot which compromised my ability to stand, walk or drive. After the surgery, I could barely get out of bed. I had severe pain from my surgical wounds and constant drainage requiring fresh bandages multiple times a day. I was living with fear that I would become addicted to the narcotic pain medication that was prescribed to me by my surgeon. I was also told for the next 3 months I couldn't lift more than 10 pounds with no bending, no lifting, or no twisting. The recovery time could take about  year. As a father it broke my heart, the only thing I wanted to do was hold my children.


One-week post-op I was able to make it into my first HBOT treatment using a walker. At the start of the second week, I was getting around better with the help of a cane. By the end of the second week, I put my walker and cane away and have not needed them since.


My surgical wounds showed significant healing after just 3 treatments only requiring once daily dressing changes as the wounds were now closing. By the end of the month, I was off all of the narcotics for pain control. My surgeon was shocked at my recovery progress. I was told if my nerve damage isn't permanent, it could take a year or more to know if I would heal... 2 months post-op I'd regained full function and mobility in my leg and foot. I regularly pick up my kids now without issue.


HBOT and the wonderful people at WOW have helped me recover faster, healed my nerve damage quicker, given me more energy, and helped me to have hope for myself.


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I have had eczema around my eyes since about 2019.  I was passed from doctor to doctor then specialist to specialist with no answers. I had skin biopsies and steroids that made me sick.  The rash remained on my upper and lower eyelids while I altered my diet and omitted gluten.   It finally went away entirely in 2021 then came back in February 2022. 


The first of July I told a friend about cluster headaches I was having.  I was put in contact with the Warrenton Oxygen Wellness team who got me into a hyperbaric oxygen therapy session immediately after describing.  The dive technician and I noticed a remarkable change in my skin around my eyes immediately after the dive with no sign of my headache.  2 days later, the eczema cleared up! 


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At my first appointment with Warrenton Oxygen Wellness I was greeted by the totally professional, courteous and friendly staff in their immaculate Warrenton clinic.  I have had pain from sciatica for 7 months and the pain went away after the first treatment. 


The pain does come and go a bit, but remains better than before I started my WOW sessions.   I have told many people, doctors, & friends about this miracle, including my orthopedic doctor who wanted to inject a steroid in my hip!  


Increased Circulation in Feet
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While initially seeking Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Warrenton to battle recent fatigue, I also mentioned to the staff that I was having some numbness in my feet.   After a couple weeks, I can see this therapy benefits more than the intended targets. 


I entered the oxygen chamber today with carpal tunnel syndrome pain and came out with no pain in my wrist.  I also noticed feeling has returned to my feet.  The added surprise came when my husband noticed the liver spots on my hands were gone!   


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In 1999, after retirement from NASA, I volunteered with the US Forest Service for a week repairing hiking trails in Southern Virginia. That’s where I got the idea of hiking the Appalachian Trail (AT).  In 2000, I hiked for 6 weeks on my first trek of the AT to Bland, Va.


Then I took a break to play Northern Virginia Senior Softball. I went to see a doctor that summer as my feet felt different, not realizing they were partially numb. In August and over the next 3 years I did weekly trips (15 miles/day) with friends until arriving at the AT halfway, about 1,100 miles, near Boiling Springs, Pa. At that time, my feet had had it, and I decided to call it quits. It seemed my feet became more numb the more I hiked. I asked the doctor what caused it, and he said genetics. 


In 2005, I saw an ad in the Washington Post about treatment for foot neuropathy. The chiropractor had a foot vibrator & infrared heating boot. I tried it for 3 months, it worked, and my feet returned to near normal.


In 2017, my feet went to another level of numbness. It affected my walking, running, & fielding. My father had heavy feet that he had talked about, but not realizing what it meant at the time. I remember him saying he received periodic massages, which he said helped. So, I tried it. I went to a deep tissue massager, and that is where I got help.


In January 2022, I tried soft wave therapy, but that did not work.


In early January 2023, I started HBOT (Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy) at WOW (Warrenton Oxygen Wellness) based upon advice from a friend in Trout Unlimited.


He said to check HBOT online, then decide. I found out that it primarily increases circulation (among other things), and that was good enough for me to try. It so happened that after HBOT treatment #3, I had a massage appt, as they were both in Warrenton. I asked the massage therapist if he could tell if circulation had improved. He said circulation to my legs was about 25% better than in December.


So the next time, about a month later, after HBOT treatment #10, I went again for massage therapy & I asked about circulation improvement.  He said circulation was a total of 35% better than when I started. So then we talked about what was causing my “gait” issue, and he says the culprit is the stress in the heels of my feet. If I rolled a golf ball under my foot for 30 seconds, several times a day, it would help. This is where the stress was accumulating when I was hiking and throughout my senior life. I had found the root cause! My new goal was to reduce the foot stress buildup using a golf ball! Roll the ball on the bottom part of your foot where it hurts, as that is where the stress is! By repeating it, the stress gradually goes away. Now, I continue to get monthly massages, I’m in my last targeted physical therapy from Kaiser, and am in a hyperbaric oxygen maintenance program. My gait is changing, balance is improving, & I feel I’m on the right path for healing. Thank you, Lord!

Ivonne & Ryan

Autism, Sciatica, Fatigue
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I started Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy with my 4-year-old son Ryan who is diagnosed with Autism, based on the recommendation of his developmental pediatrician for special needs children. Because Ryan is so young, I got to take advantage and dive with him.  We initially wanted to do 40 dives and did those within six weeks of us diving once or twice a day every weekday driving from Stafford. 


The first three dives were challenging as Ryan did not want to be in the chamber. The team here at WOW did an incredible job of entertaining him from the outside with toys and finger puppets while I tried to keep him calm from the inside.  By his 4th dive, he happily came in and laid down to watch his favorite show.


A surprising side effect for me was that after about ten treatments, I got discharged from my physical therapy for sciatica pain, which I had been suffering from for a few months as my pain was gone. In addition, my daily midday crash from fatigue also completely disappeared.


After 40 dives, we saw improved eye contact for Ryan, his receptive language has taken off as he listens much better and can follow many more directions, he is much more social and interactive with everyone, and most importantly, his gut is healing which is enormous.  Due to those fantastic results, we decided to do another 40 treatments. 


The team at Warrenton Oxygen Wellness indeed went above and beyond and made us feel welcome and comfortable. During our time, I had a medical problem that prevented me from going in the chamber with Ryan, so two of the fantastic WOWZERS, Fen and Carlyle, did the treatments with him. We feel like we became part of the WOW family and miss coming every day.

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