The use of ozone extends back 150 years where it was used to sterilize surgical equipment and water. Ozone gas has been used as a medical therapy for well over 100 years. The first documented medical use of ozone was in 1892 where it was used to treat tuberculosis. In modern times ozone therapy is used as a medical therapy in Germany, other parts of Europe, South America and North America.
The oxygen we breathe, also known as dioxygen, contains two oxygen molecules (O2) comparatively, ozone contains three oxygen molecules (O3). The additional oxygen molecule in ozone makes it a highly reactive compound that is much more likely to interact with other molecules. Ozone’s ability to give up one of its oxygen’s so that it can become more stable, ie. turn back into dioxygen, is the mechanism by which it provides its potential therapeutic benefits.
Ozone can be administered therapeutically in multiple ways. Two ways that we administer it is via minor or major autohemotherapy and prolozone therapy. Major/ minor autohemotherapy is a procedure in which blood is removed from a patient, mixed with ozone gas, as well as an anti-coagulant, and reinfused into a patient. The volume of blood removed is what determines if it is minor or major. When mixed with blood, ozone reacts with the membranes of the red and white blood cells creating a compound called an ozonide. When reinfused back into a patient this compound acts as a signaling molecule which provides a myriad of biological effects such as reducing inflammation, stimulating the immune system which is discussed below.
Prolozone therapy is a regenerative injection therapy. It is the administration of ozone gas, as well as prolotherapy into a joint. Ozone causes localized inflammation which stimulates a healing cascade which may improve joint pain and promote regeneration of joints. To read more about prolotherapy, click here.
Ozone therapy numerous effects on the body. It acts on multiple pathways causing many beneficial effects:
When administered by a trained health professional ozone is a safe therapy. The most common side effect of ozone therapy is a Herxheimer reaction. There are some contraindications to ozone therapy and a consultation with one of our naturopathic doctors is needed before beginning treatment to assess your case and determine if ozone therapy will be safe and effective for you.