Ozone Therapy

Ozone (O3) gas is a molecule consisting of three atoms of oxygen. Ozone therapy has been utilized and heavily studied for more than a century. Its effects are proven, consistent, safe and with minimal and preventable side effects. Medical O3 can be used to disinfect and treat disease. Mechanism of actions is by inactivation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa, stimulation of oxygen metabolism, and activation of the immune system.

Its benefits and actions include the following:

(1) Ozone is Anti-Aging (which can be attributed to the following list of actions…)

(2) Ozone Increases Oxygenation of your Cells (it has been proven that cancer and disease grow in poorly oxygenated tissues in your body).

(3) Ozone Modulates your Immune System (for those with a weakened immune system, Ozone will boost the immune system; whereas in cases of Auto-Immune disorders, Ozone has been found to modulate the immune system reducing and minimizing its attack on healthy human cells).

(4) Ozone Increases Energy Production in your Cells

(5) Ozone Increases the Activity of your “Anti-Oxidant Enzyme Systems” (this means ozone will reduce the oxidation levels in your body)

(6) Ozone Reduces the level of acidity of your body

(7) Ozone kills Bacteria, Viruses, Fungi, Yeast on contact

Mechanisms of Action:

Inactivation of bacteria, viruses, fungi, yeast and protozoa: Ozone therapy disrupts the integrity of the bacterial cell envelope through oxidation of the phospholipids and lipoproteins. In fungi, O3 inhibits cell growth at certain stages. With viruses, the O3 damages the viral capsid and upsets the reproductive cycle by disrupting the virus-to-cell contact with peroxidation. The weak enzyme coatings on cells which make them vulnerable to invasion by viruses make them susceptible to oxidation and elimination from the body, which then replaces them with healthy cells.

Stimulation of oxygen metabolism: Ozone therapy causes an increase in the red blood cell glycolysis rate. This leads to the stimulation of 2,3-diphosphoglycerate which leads to an increase in the amount of oxygen released to the tissues. Ozone activates the Krebs cycle by enhancing oxidative carboxylation of pyruvate, stimulating production of ATP. It also causes a significant reduction in NADH and helps to oxidize cytochrome C. There is a stimulation of production of enzymes which act as free radical scavengers and cell-wall protectors: glutathione peroxidase, catalase and superoxide dismutase. Production of prostacyline, a vasodilator, is also induced by O3.

At White Rock Naturopathic, we administer ozone for immune supportive applications by rectal insufflation as opposed to the other commonly used method of major autohemotherapy (via IV administration), as it is a safer, faster, less expensive method. As the name suggests, “rectal insufflation” refers to introducing ozone into the body through the rectum. If you are new to ozone, this sounds like a very strange thing to do. However, oxygen (O2) has been infused rectally during surgery for years, due to the fact that oxygen is easily absorbed through the walls of the colon. The same is true for ozone (O3). Rectal Ozone Insufflation is performed regularly in clinics worldwide, and can also be performed in the home. There are many advantages to using Rectal Ozone Insufflation over all other ozone administration methods:

(1) Ozone experts around the world* believe that Rectal Ozone Insufflation is equally as effective as Major Autohemotherapy, which is the most accepted ‘blood’ method of introducing ozone into the body. (*Renate Viebahn (Germany), Dr. Robert Rowen (USA), Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD (USA), Silvia Menendez (Cuba))

(2) Rectal insufflation is painless and a minimally invasive way to use ozone that is just as effective as the blood methods but requires no needles, no syringes, no discomfort, no heparin (blood thinner which can have side effects), and no blood transfusion (and its inherent safety concerns).

(3) Rectal insufflation requires only 2-4 minutes of your time whereas the Major Autohemotherapy (the blood method) requires up to an hour to complete.

Prolozone therapy is an injection technique similar to prolotherapy that uses ozone. The use of ozone causes the joint to heal much more quickly than in traditional prolotherapy. This is because ozone is a highly reactive molecule and when injected into a joint capsule it is able to stimulate the repair of fibroblastic joint.

From the American Academy of Ozonotherapy website:

Prolozone® is a homeopathic/oxygen-ozone injection technique developed and pioneered by Dr. Frank Shallenberger. It is excellent for all forms of musculo-skeletal and joint pain including chronic neck and back pain, rotator cuff injuries, degenerative and arthritic hips and knees, degenerated discs, and shoulder and elbow pain. Because in many cases Prolozone actually corrects the pathology of the disorder, there is a 75% chance for the chronic pain sufferer to becoming permanently pain free.

Prolozone is a form of non-surgical ligament reconstruction and is a permanent treatment for chronic pain. Prolozone is a connective tissue injection therapy of collagen producing substances and ozone gas which can reconstruct damaged or weakened connective tissue in and around joints. These substances are injected into the damaged connective tissue in and around a joint to rebuild the damaged areas.

By repairing the connective tissue this is all that is needed to permanently reverse chronic pain.

Prolozone Therapy is an injection technique similar to Prolotherapy that uses ozone. The use of ozone causes the joint to heal much more quickly than in traditional Prolotherapy. This is because ozone is a highly reactive molecule and when injected into a joint capsule it is able to stimulate the fibroblastic joint repairing abilities.

Prolozone is derived from the word ozone and the Latin word “proli” which means to regenerate or re-build. It literally means re-building tissues with ozone. It is important to understand what the word Prolozone actually means. “Prolo” is short for proliferation, because the treatment causes the proliferation (growth, formation) of new ligament tissue in areas where it has become weak.

Ligaments are the structural “rubber bands” that hold bones to bones in joints – acting like the body’s shock absorbers. Ligaments can become weak or injured and may not heal back to their original strength or endurance. Ligaments will also not tighten on their own to their original length once injured. This is largely because the blood supply to ligaments is limited, and therefore healing is slow and not always complete. To further complicate this, ligaments also have many nerve endings, and therefore the person will feel pain at the areas where the ligaments are damaged or loose.

We can think of our joints as the hinge on a door. Until the hinge is fixed the door just isn’t going to open or close right and it’s the same exact story with our joints. If we are athletic or if we are just getting older there is some gradual and natural degeneration of the moving parts of the body due to ongoing recurrent mechanical stress, and failure of tissues to repair. This can come from lack of nutrients, lack of circulation, aging and inflammation. When this happens the ligaments, tendons, and cartilage become dehydrated and weaker. This results in laxity and more abnormal mechanical stress and shearing forces on the joint. Abnormal shearing forces and torsion cause more joint dysfunction. This leads to a progressive separation of the ligaments from the superficial covering on the bone called the periosteum. This pulling on the periosteum creates a space, which the body fills in with new bone. These new parts of bone are called osteophytes. They are the premier signs of degenerative arthritis in & around the joint. Osteophytes and joint laxity result in a reduced range of motion, which causes strain on surrounding muscles which then become either over or under worked leading to more dysfunction & pain.

What does the Ozone do?

Ozone stimulates circulation and increases energy production in cells by increasing oxygen utilization. It breaks down into peroxides, which have been shown to stimulate growth factors, so stem cells and blast cells get what they need to reproduce/proliferate. Circulation and cell membrane stability improve, and tissues are able to heal.

Prolozone causes repair and tightening of the lax structures, partially torn connective tissue and ligaments. Prolozone halts the pain/inflammation cycle. This allows for better circulation, increased blood flow carrying nutrition, and hydration of the damaged tissues. This allows for a healing environment within the joint to develop and results in increased range of motion and decreased pain.

Prolozone works by providing energy-producing oxygen to the innermost parts of your joint. This is where ozone, which I call the miracle healer, does its magic. Ozone is a powerful stimulant of cellular growth factors, such as Transforming Growth Factor Beta (TGF-B). This powerful cytokine activates cartilage cells to produce matrix proteins necessary for the body to make the white cartilage substance.

TGF-B improves matrix protein arrangement. It protects the surface of the cartilage. It modulates the activity of enzymes that dissolve other proteins and compounds that are involved with inflammation. That’s a 1-2-3 punch for healing. Injecting ozone in or around the joint stimulates tissue regeneration, a build up of antioxidant enzymes and a reduction in inflammation. Can it actually regenerate your cartilage? Post treatment knee X-rays that show a definite increase in cartilage thickness confirm that it does in fact regenerate cartilage.

Ozone reacts almost instantly with the membranes of the cells it contacts. The oxidation of the membrane jump starts the cells. Immune cells are particularly responsive to ozone. They will produce a cascade of powerful healing chemicals called cytokines. These are the very short proteins immune cells use to talk with each other. Immune cells not only provide protection against infection, they also clean up debris and modulate inflammation.

What is the difference between Prolozone vs Prolotherapy?

Prolozone uses oxygen to promote healing.
Prolotherapy uses inflammation to induce fibroblast hypertrophy and growth (strengthens ligaments.)

Prolozone has very little to no pain and people may be pain free faster. It is less expensive because it works quickly.
Prolotherapy can be painful, and takes longer for healing to be complete.

Prolozone can be effective in regenerating the cartilage in damaged knees and hips in preliminary observations.
Prolotherapy is helpful for ligament/tendon laxity. (Prolozone may help with this as well)

Ozone Therapy works to stimulate regeneration of damaged connective tissues. The fibroblast cells that produce connective tissue to replace injured tendons and ligaments sometimes need to be stimulated to do their job. Micro-Dosing (Ozone Acupuncture) uses a  technique of injecting small doses of ozone subcutaneously (under the skin) in areas of injury or in areas related to injuries, to stimulate connective tissue regeneration.