ABOUT US

(HAV) is a volunteer organization committed to helping Arizona veterans sufferingIMG_1301 TBI and/or PTSD by providing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy for healing.

Founded on March 3, 2014, Healing Arizona Veterans is a non-profit 501C3 corporation dedicated to helping our Arizona veterans to heal from their TBI/PTSD conditions suffered during wartime.

Healing Arizona Veterans (HAV) is a grassroots volunteer organization committed to helping Arizona veterans suffering TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and/or PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to heal by providing Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. A therapy to promote brain healing for these type conditions. The HAV recovery program combines HBOT treatments and nutrient optimization to aid the brain healing process and a comprehensive program offering many adjunctive therapies to help the healing process.

The Medical director for HAV is Dr. Carol Henricks, a noted neurologist and authority on Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. She has a substantial success record of treating veterans with TBI/PTSD. Pictured at right with Charles Spillar, Executive Director HAV.

All HBOT treatments will be provided in her Northstar Hyperbaric chamber.

FACTS:

  • In China, HBOT has been used for nearly 50 years as a “primary or adjuvant therapy” to treat a number of diseases.
  • In Russia, 74 different medical conditions are treated with HBOT.
  • In Israel, HBOT is used for TBI/PTSD as a standard of military care for its defense force.
  • In Japan, HBOT ambulances have been in use since the 1970s.
  • In the UK, HBOT is a common therapy for multiple sclerosis.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy delivers 100% medical grade oxygen under pressure to promote healing combined with other therapeutic modalities to get your best outcome.

This innovative treatment provides the benefit of breathing 100% medical grade oxygen in a carefully controlled and supervised environment. Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy enhances delivery to injuries tissues and activates more than 3,100 genes that promote healing processes.

Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) saturates the body with oxygen, which reduces inflammation and enhances healing. Used correctly, HBOT enhances recovery from Central Nervous System injury including: Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), Post Concussion Syndrome, Stroke, Multiple Sclerosis, Cerebral Palsy, Birth Injury, Autism, Spinal Cord Injury, Near Drowning Injury, Anoxic Brain Injury

HBOT improves neurological and cognitive functions and improves the quality of life in post-stroke and traumatic brain injury patients.

Dr. Carol Henricks is a practicing Neurologist in Tucson, Arizona, specializing in traumatic brain injury (TBI), epilepsy, sleep disorders, and memory disorders. Dr. Hendricks graduated with an MD from Hahnemann University of Medicine Philadelphia, PA June 1, 1991. She did a Neurology residency, 1992 – 1993, and was chief resident of Neurology, July 1994 – June 1995, Hahnemann University Hospital, Philadelphia, PA. Fellowship trained at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI Clinical Neurophysiology; Epilepsy, sleep disorders, July 1995 – June 1997. Fellowship trained at University of Arizona Tucson, AZ Behavioral Neurology and Memory Disorders, July 1997 – 1998.

Veterans of the recent interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as previous wars, have experienced significant concussive blast injuries. The International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation (IHMF) has helped brain-injured veterans and civilians like athletes and police officers achieve clinically significant recovery after completing 40 treatments of hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT).

How does HBOT work?
The patient spends about one hour per session in a hyperbaric chamber, breathing pure oxygen under pressure which saturates the body’s tissues and reaches damaged areas that had lacked blood supply and oxygen. With repeated treatments, the oxygen flow stimulates the body’s healing process and allows more patients to experience rapid recovery of cognitive and neurological functioning without surgery or drugs.

Breathing oxygen under pressure has long been used to treat scuba divers suffering from “bends” (decompression sickness). The FDA has now approved this treatment for a dozen more medical conditions, including carbon monoxide poisoning, air embolism, burns, and crush injury. Many more successful “off-label” treatments are now being documented in the US and abroad and HBOT can be used to treat TBI and concussions with a doctor’s prescription.

HBOT is a rapidly evolving branch of medicine which is now beginning to generate interest due to highly successful outcomes in cases of TBI and concussion. Notably, military veterans and athletes who have experienced serious complications due to heavy reliance on habit-forming pain relievers have turned their lives around after HBOT treatments.

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NFL Legend Joe Namath on Bloomberg discusses his HBOT experience

Brig. Gen. Patt Maney describes his experience with HBOT after unsuccessful conventional treatment

NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Bill Romanowsky explains why he feels HBOT should be standard treatment for concussions

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Sadly, this is several years old but as most veterans know drug treatments for PTSD is still happening at our VA hospitals. ... See MoreSee Less

BENZOS and PTSD?
Read this:
All the way, Boone

ARMY WARNS DOCTORS AGAINST USING CERTAIN DRUGS IN PTSD TREATMENT

The Army Surgeon General's office is backing away from its long-standing endorsement of prescribing troops multiple highly addictive psychotropic drugs for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and early this month warned regional medical commanders against using tranquilizers such as Xanax and Valium to treat PTSD.

An April 10 policy memo that the Army Medical Command released regarding the diagnosis and treatment of PTSD said a class of drugs known as benzodiazepines, which include Xanax and Valium, could intensify rather than reduce combat stress symptoms and lead to addiction.

The memo, signed by Herbert Coley, civilian chief of staff of the Army Medical Command, also cautioned service clinicians against prescribing second-generation antipsychotic drugs, such as Seroquel and Risperidone, to combat PTSD. The drugs originally were developed to treat severe mental conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The memo questioned the efficacy of this drug class in PTSD treatment and cautioned against their use due to potential long-term health effects, which include heart disorders, muscle spasms and weight gain.

Throughout more than a decade of war in Afghanistan and Iraq, the military services have relied heavily on prescription drugs to help troops deal with their mental health problems during and after deployment. In a June 2010 report, the Defense Department's Pharmacoeconomic Center said 213,972, or 20 percent of the 1.1 million active-duty troops surveyed, were taking some form of psychotropic drug -- antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedative hypnotics or other controlled substances.

The Army, in a July 2010 report on suicide prevention, said one-third of all active-duty military suicides involved prescription drugs.

Mental health experts say the military's prescription drug problem is exacerbated by a U.S. Central Command policy that dates to October 2001 and provides deploying troops with up to a 180-day supply of prescription drugs under its Central Nervous System formulary.

That formulary includes Xanax, Valium and three other benzodiazepines to treat anxiety: Ativan, Klonopin and Restoril.

Broken Warriors is an ongoing series on mental health issues in the military.
The Army's new PTSD policy makes it clear that the risk of treating combat stress with benzodiazepines outweighs the rewards: "Benzodiazepine use should be considered relatively contraindicated in combat veterans with PTSD because of the high co-morbidity of combat-related PTSD with alcohol misuse and substance use disorders (up to 50 percent co-morbidity) and potential problems with tolerance and dependence."

After becoming dependent on these drugs, soldiers face enormous problems when they try to discontinue their use, the report said. "Once initiated in combat veterans, benzodiazepines can be very difficult, if not impossible to discontinue, due to significant withdrawal symptoms compounded by underlying PTSD symptoms," the document said.

The Army policy memo highlighting problems with benzodiazepines for PTSD treatment dovetails with a study published in the April issue of Current Psychiatry Online by Jolene Bostwick, clinical assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of Michigan College of Pharmacy.

Bostwick wrote "benzodiazepine administration fails to prevent PTSD and may increase its incidence." She added, "use of benzodiazepines for PTSD is associated with withdrawal symptoms, more severe symptoms after discontinuation and possible disinhibition, and may interfere with patients' efforts to integrate trauma experiences."

Army clinicians who prescribe Risperidone, Seroquel and other second-generation antipsychotic drugs "must clearly document their rationale concluding that the potential benefits outweigh the known risks and that informed consent has been conducted," the policy memo said.

Seroquel has been implicated in the deaths of combat veterans and the Veterans Affairs Department reported in August 2011 that Risperidone was no more effective in PTSD treatment than a placebo. VA spent $717 million on the drug over the past decade. The military has spent $74 million over the past 10 years on Risperidone, a spokeswoman for the Defense Logistics Agency said.

An Army doctor who declined to be identified told Nextgov "these long-overdue policy changes are welcome, but they will further shift the mental health care of soldiers to an already overstressed VA and will result in the separation of many mentally stressed volunteers, who just months earlier had been counseled to steel themselves for a career of perpetual deployment and had been willing to sacrifice the best years of their lives to do so."

This long-serving Army clinician said, "the nation needs to take a long, hard look at what delayed the institution of these policies, and why the priorities of our Army medical leaders have too often favored the manpower needs of the Army rather than the mental health of its soldiers."

Dr. Grace Jackson, a former Navy psychiatrist who resigned her commission in 2002 "because I did not want to be a pill pusher" said the new Army policy shows "they are finally admitting to some problems associated with at least one class of psychiatric medication." But, Jackson said, the Army policy does not address problems with other classes of prescription drugs, including antidepressants and selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac, in the treatment of PTSD. Clinical studies, Jackson said, have shown these drugs to be no better than placebos -- but far more dangerous in the treatment of PTSD.

The Army also has ignored the role antipsychotic drugs play in the "sudden deaths" of troops diagnosed with traumatic brain injury due to undiagnosed endocrine abnormalities Jackson said.

The use of antipsychotic drugs to treat troops with TBI can cause changes in growth and thyroid hormones, which can in turn trigger a variety of cardiac-related events that could result in sudden deaths, Jackson said.

Though the Army has adopted a new policy on the use of benzodiazepines, Jackson said the Defense Department overall is still wedded to a policy of using drugs to treat metal problems even when scientific evidence "demonstrates poor risk-benefit ratios."

The Army policy memo encouraged clinicians to look beyond drugs to treat PTSD and suggested a range of alternative therapies, including yoga, biofeedback, acupuncture and massage.

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This is an altar I created for the Dia de la Muerte exhibition here in Tucson November 2 at Raices Taller 222 gallery. The closing ceremonies took place last night. It was done to present the tragedy of veteran suicides taking place hourly in America while sadly our Congress members sit by doing little to change these numbers. The flag was furnished by a gallery member that lost her fiancé to suicide after Vietnam. ... See MoreSee Less

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7598 N. La Cholla Blvd
Tucson, AZ 85741
Ph. (520) 229-2122

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