LeBron James, or “King James” as he is adoringly referred to by his fans, is one of the most accomplished basketball players of all time. Now in his 30s, he is showing no signs of slowing down and his business manager, Maverick Carter, attributes a large part of LeBron’s success to his focus on physical maintenance and recovery.
According to USA TODAY Sports writer Alex Kennedy, Carter said LeBron spends $1.5 million per year on his body. Part of LeBron’s routine involves regular HBOT therapy along with cryotherapy, a special diet, and personal training sessions. LeBron has posted Instagram stories sharing with fans that he enjoys napping during his HBOT sessions which typically last about 90 minutes.
While preparing for the 2012 Olympics in London, Michael Phelps started sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber as part of his recovery routine. Today, Phelps is the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time, surpassing the previous record holder (Soviet artistic gymnast Larisa Latynina) by 10 medals, but back in 2012, he was looking for ways to boost his recovery after training sessions.
In a 2012 interview, Phelps shared that the idea to use a hyperbaric chamber came after spending a lot of time in Colorado Springs, where the altitude had made a positive impact on his ability to bounce back after training sessions. He said that recovery is, “something that is so important to me now being older. I don’t recover as fast as I used to.”
It’s safe to say that his training and recovery routine paid off. Phelps won four gold medals in the London Olympics and 4 years later, at age 31, he picked up another 6 medals (5 gold, 1 silver) at his final Olympic appearance in Rio de Janeiro.
Of all the athletes who use hyperbaric therapy, Joe Namath is one of the most outspoken. Joe Namath, nicknamed “Broadway Joe” was a Quarterback for the NY Jets. Namath’s experience is unique in that he started HBOT to address his symptoms of cognitive decline after multiple concussions. In an interview on The Howard Stern Show, Joe Namath said he “had a minimum of 5” concussions and that he had watched fellow football players slowly lose their memory. This prompted him to find out more about what was going on inside his brain.
Namath worked with doctors where he lives in Florida to get as much information as he could. Namath said, “I took a brain scan. Now, with that SPECT scan, they could see the cells in the left side of my head from the forehead back here (pointing to the back of his head) not getting blood.” SPECT scans produce 3-D images of organs within the body that are used to analyze blood flow, diagnose and monitor certain disorders, and more.
Based on the results of his SPECT scan, Namath made the decision to start hyperbaric oxygen therapy. After 40 sessions, Namath shared that a second SPECT scan showed the “dark cells started to lighten up a bit,” meaning blood flow was returning to those regions of his brain. Namath continued with his HBOT treatment and after 120 total treatment sessions, his SPECT scans were normal. “My brain is healthy!” Namath told Stern.
Namath is so passionate about HBOT and the benefits this therapy offers for athletes suffering from traumatic brain injury that he helped form the Joe Namath Neurological Research Center at Jupiter Medical Center in Florida. He pledged to raise $10 million to expand research into the benefits of hyperbaric oxygen therapy.
Rafael Soriano is another athlete who started using hyperbaric oxygen therapy in his 30s and enjoyed a notably long career in the world of professional sports. As MLB pitcher who played for 5 different MLB teams, Soriano learned to perfect his recovery regimen over his 13-year career, adding HBOT in 2012.
Soriano said of HBOT, “I’ve seen the results because I don’t feel as tired or worn out when I use it… It helps.” In his last few years in the MLB, Soriano’s pre-game routine consisted of an at-home workout followed by a massage and then 90 minutes of HBOT.
Rashad Jennings is another former NFL player to incorporate hyperbaric oxygen therapy into his recovery regimen. During his time playing for the New York Giants, Jennings told the New York Post, “I use it to rejuvenate and energize… even on a cognitive level, it helps out.” Jennings scored 12 touchdowns in his time with the Giants and rushed a total of 2,095 yards.Interested in learning more about hyperbaric oxygen therapy? The clinicians at Aspire Regenerative can suggest a recovery plan utilizing HBOT and other innovative therapies to help you improve physical and cognitive performance. Aspire Regenerative can help set you on the right path to attain your personal health and wellness goals.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) involves breathing pure oxygen in a pressurized environment, typically in a hyperbaric chamber. This therapy has been used for many years to treat a variety of medical conditions, including decompression sickness, carbon monoxide poisoning, and non-healing wounds. In recent years, there has been increasing interest in using hyperbaric oxygen therapy for athletic performance and recovery. Here are some potential benefits of hyperbaric chambers for athletes:
Improved recovery: HBOT may help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the muscles, which can speed up recovery after intense training or competition.
Enhanced endurance: Increased oxygen availability in the body can help improve endurance by allowing athletes to train for longer periods of time before fatigue sets in.
Reduced inflammation: HBOT has been shown to have anti-inflammatory effects, which can help reduce swelling and inflammation in the body. This can be particularly beneficial for athletes who experience joint pain or other types of inflammation from overuse.
Faster healing: HBOT can help speed up the healing process for injuries such as sprains, strains, and fractures by increasing the amount of oxygen delivered to the affected area.
Improved cognitive function: HBOT has been shown to improve cognitive function, including memory and attention span. This can be beneficial for athletes who need to maintain focus and mental clarity during competition.