APEX Brain Centers

Alternative Therapies for Brain Health: Hyperbaric Oxygen & Low-Level Laser Therapy Explored

In recent years, there has been a growing interest in alternative therapies for brain health as individuals and professionals seek new approaches to improve cognitive functions and mental well-being. Two therapies have been garnering attention for their potential benefits: hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) and low-level laser therapy (LLLT). These treatments offer non-invasive, evidence-based, drug-free options for those who seek to enhance their brain function or address various neurological disorders.

In our practice at APEX Brain Centers, we focus on providing comprehensive care to address the needs of individuals with brain injuries, cognitive impairment, and learning and behavioral disorders such as OCD, anxiety, ADHD, and addiction. Our approach emphasizes functional neurology, low-level laser therapy, hyperbaric oxygen therapy, and neurofeedback. We also utilize balance and vestibular therapies, eye movement rehabilitation, frequency-based modalities, metabolic and nutritional therapies, and home care programs to support recovery and promote optimum mental health.

Understanding the mechanisms behind these alternative therapies and their applications in diverse neurological conditions is crucial for assessing their potential benefits and potential limitations when used independently of other services. By exploring the evidence related to hyperbaric oxygen therapy and low-level laser therapy, we aim to provide a well-rounded perspective on their role in promoting brain health and improving the lives of those affected by neurological disorders.

Exploring Brain Health

As we age, various factors such as inflammation, disease, stress, sedentary behavior, sleep disorders, brain injury, etc. can impact our cognitive function, memory, attention, and quality of life. At APEX Brain Centers, we understand the significance of addressing these factors to maintain overall brain health and mitigate the risks of developing conditions like cognitive impairment, depression, anxiety, and dementia.

At the core of our approach are some of the most promising complementary therapies for brain health, such as hyperbaric oxygen therapy and low-level laser therapy. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy involves patients inhaling concentrated oxygen within a pressurized chamber, which has shown neuroprotective effects and may enhance cognitive function in various neurological disorders. Similarly, low-level laser therapy employs concentrated light to the brain and body to stimulate the body’s natural healing processes, potentially improving brain function.

Our foundational neurological and metabolic rehabilitative therapies amplify the effectiveness of most other treatments, giving our clients a comprehensive and targeted approach to improving their brain health. We aim to create an environment that fosters optimum brain function and well-being by combining functional neurology and complementary therapies to assist or replace more conventional approaches.

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Understanding Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) is a treatment method that involves inhaling concentrated oxygen in a pressurized vessel. At APEX Brain Centers, we use this therapy to improve brain function, healing, and overall well-being; and, to metabolically support other therapies we provide. This therapy operates in a controlled environment, usually at pressures greater than 1 atmosphere absolute (ATA) – the equivalent of being underwater at varying degrees of depth.

HBOT has proven beneficial for brain health by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. Inhaling oxygen in a pressurized vessel allows oxygen to dissolve into the bloodstream and tissues much faster, increasing oxygen supply to the brain and body tissues. This oxygen supply while under pressure can, in turn, promote the formation of new blood vessels, stem cell release, and a reduction in inflammation, all of which can contribute to enhanced cognitive abilities and neurological condition improvement.

Remember, it is crucial to evaluate each individual’s unique needs and carefully plan a personalized treatment plan when considering alternative therapies for brain health. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before beginning any new treatment, such as HBOT, to ensure it fits your condition and circumstances.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for Brain Health

At APEX Brain Centers, we have found that hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) can be a beneficial alternative therapy for various brain health issues. It has shown promise in improving cognitive function in individuals with conditions like traumatic brain injury, stroke, and post-concussion syndrome.

HBOT often enhances neurocognitive functions, including memory and attention, by promoting angiogenesis and recruiting progenitor cells to the damaged regions of the brain. This process results in repairing injured neural tissue and improves overall brain function. Additionally, some studies have suggested potential benefits of HBOT in alleviating symptoms of depression and anxiety.

It is important to note that the effectiveness of HBOT may vary depending on the individual case, the severity of the condition, and the number of treatment sessions. As each person’s brain health needs are unique, a tailored approach to therapy is essential for achieving the best possible outcome.

Risks and Benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) offers various benefits for brain health. HBOT promotes healing, reduces inflammation, enhances immune response, and supports the formation of new blood vessels; among many other known and emerging health benefits. In our practice at APEX Brain Centers, we have seen the positive impacts of HBOT, particularly when combined with other functional neurology and traditional health care interventions.

While the therapy offers significant advantages, it is also essential to be aware of the potential risks and side effects of HBOT. Some individuals might experience claustrophobia due to the enclosed nature of the therapy. This fear is often quickly overcome when one realizes the potential benefits and when we are able to demonstrate the safety features and accessibility to the providers in our clinic while they are undergoing treatment through 2-way radio communication. Fatigue can also occur after the treatment. In rare cases, individuals may experience lower blood sugar or complications related to increased pressure; however, these effects are typically mild and manageable. In fact, for those with Type II Diabetes, lowered blood sugar is a benefit.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy is a promising alternative therapy for brain health with numerous benefits, but it also comes with certain risks that should be considered. By carefully evaluating the patient’s medical history and condition, we can ensure that the treatment’s benefits outweigh the potential side effects, providing the best possible outcome for improved brain function and quality of life.

Introduction to Low-Level Laser Therapy

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is a non-invasive, medication-free treatment method that has gained popularity for its potential to promote healing in various conditions, including brain-related disorders. LLLT, also known as cold laser therapy, utilizes light at specific wavelengths to stimulate biological processes within cells. This process happens when photons are absorbed by cellular photoreceptors, leading to chemical alterations and triggering potential biochemical benefits to the human body1. Within the context of brain health, low-level laser therapy can play a significant role in promoting healing and energy production within neurons, and reducing inflammation.

As we continue to explore alternative therapies for brain health, we know that low-level laser therapy offers a promising and valuable adjunct to our comprehensive care approach as we, and our patients, have realized its benefits for well over a decade. By leveraging the benefits of LLLT in conjunction with established treatment methods, we remain committed to providing the best possible care for our clients with brain-related disorders.

Low-Level Laser Therapy for Brain Health

At APEX Brain Centers, we widely utilize LLLT as one of our innovative approaches to enhance brain health and cognitive function. LLLT is a non-invasive treatment that uses red, infrared, green, and violet light at low power to promote cellular healing and reduce inflammation in various body areas, including the brain.

We have found that LLLT can play a significant role in addressing brain injury, cognitive impairment, and learning and behavioral disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, and addiction. By targeting specific brain areas, LLLT can improve various aspects of cognitive function, including memory, attention, and overall brain performance.

Our patients with brain injuries often experience inflammation, which can exacerbate symptoms and hinder recovery. LLLT helps to reduce this inflammation by promoting cellular repair and increasing the production of anti-inflammatory molecules 3. Additionally, the therapy stimulates the release of growth factors that can improve neural connectivity and cell regeneration in the brain.

When it comes to managing stress, depression, and anxiety, LLLT has shown promise as well. The therapy can improve blood flow and alter neurometabolic pathways, improving stress regulation and overall emotional well-being 2.

Through a combination of these advanced therapies, we aim to provide the most effective care for our patients suffering from brain injuries and related cognitive impairment issues. We strive to empower individuals to achieve their highest cognitive function and mental wellness levels by continuously learning and applying the latest research and evidence-based methods.

Risks and Benefits of Low-Level Laser Therapy

At APEX Brain Centers, we have observed the healing potential of LLLT in various neurological conditions. This non-invasive, painless treatment uses various wavelengths of light to improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and promote tissue regeneration, resulting in enhanced quality of life for many patients. This section will discuss several risks and benefits associated with LLLT.

One of the main benefits of LLLT lies in its ability to stimulate cellular processes such as ATP production, or basic units of energy that the mitochondria of our cells produce and use. Furthermore, LLLT has shown promise in addressing cognitive impairment and improving brain health1, which are significant concerns for people dealing with brain injuries or neurological disorders.

LLLT is a safer alternative to more invasive procedures or pharmaceutical interventions, as it typically does not cause any significant side effects. 

Patients must consult with a qualified healthcare professional before undergoing any treatment, including LLLT, to ensure that it is appropriate for their specific needs and circumstances. At APEX Brain Centers, we are committed to helping our patients make informed decisions about their care and providing the most effective therapies to support their brain health and overall well-being.


  1. https://apexbraincenters.com/how-it-is-done/hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy/ ↩
  2. https://chopra.com/articles/low-level-laser-therapy-healing-benefits-and-risks ↩
  3. https://journals.lww.com/jbisrir/Fulltext/2021/11000/Effectiveness_of_low_level_laser_therapy_compared.15.aspx ↩

Dr. Michael S. Trayford is a Board Certified Chiropractic Neurologist and Neurofeedback Specialist with over 20 years of experience in the practice of advanced functional neurology. He is one of the most highly sought-after brain rehabilitation specialists because of the life-changing outcomes his patients consistently experience. After over a decade in private practice and working alongside other pioneers in the field, Dr. Trayford developed his multimodal intensive brain training and rehabilitation program built around the science of Neuroplasticity – the ability of the brain to learn and grow dependent upon the stimulation it receives from its environment. He later founded APEX Brain Centers to combine his ground-breaking rehabilitation approach with a unique patient and caretaker-centered care model. Under Dr. Trayford’s leadership, APEX Brain Centers has successfully treated thousands of patients and earned the reputation of a world-renowned brain training and rehabilitation practice. Since its inception, Dr. Trayford has been a leader of the Brain Training revolution treating patients worldwide. In addition, he is a published journal contributor and international lecturer. His experience with various patients of all ages and neurological conditions has given him a unique perspective on brain health and human performance. He is also well-versed in collaborating with other health care professionals, making him an invaluable asset to any care team. Dr. Trayford was awarded the Functional Neurologist of the Year distinction by the International Association of Functional Neurology and Rehabilitation, where he is a proud member and conference lecturer. Currently, he serves on the Advisory Council for the Dementia Society of America and the Board of Directors for the International Society for Neuroregulation and Research. He is also a servant leader who has dedicated his adult life to serving multiple communities through Rotary International and other notable causes. When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Trayford usually reads or researches anything related to the brain, human performance, and leadership. He also loves spending time outdoors with his wife Denise, their two daughters, and dogs in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. https://www.linkedin.com/in/drmichaeltrayford/

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