There are many opinions in the hyperbaric world as to the value, use and necessity of hard verses soft chambers. The controversy here is really the use of low-pressure verses high-pressure.

Research tells us that moderate to high pressure (above 2 ATM in a hard chamber) is an absolute necessity for treating emergent illness (illness that can kill in days). According to the FDA there are only 14 of these illnesses that are allowed for treatment with high pressure and these health problems are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to any illness that involves inflammatory response.

When we look at the use of 100% oxygen in any chamber this oxygen is the key to resolution of inflammation. Now we can see the use of oxygen and pressure as the primary mix for any treatment involving inflammation. What we need to realize is that oxygen becomes a liquid in the body at one atmosphere. So we can get 100% liquid oxygen into the body starting at pressures of 1.3 ATM (in a soft or hard chamber).

Anything below 1.5 ATM can be utilized in a soft chamber. Anything above 1.7 ATM can be utilized in a hard chamber. As the oxygen is in a liquid form in both the soft and hard chambers. So now the real difference is the pressure. When we increase the pressure from 1.3 to 2.0 or higher, then we increase the force applied to the oxygen, pushing it deeper into the tissues. In emergent situations that extra push is absolutely necessary. But when we treat long term chronic illness this pressure is not necessary and there are some tissues in the body that actually respond poorly to adverse pressure, not allowing the oxygen to enter those very small, injured areas for healing and in some cases causing loss of healing.

What we need to look at in these situations is saturation. We want the body to soak up the oxygen like a sponge, so low pressure treatments are given for longer periods of time at 72, 90, and 120 minutes. Thus, allowing the delicate tissues to absorb enough oxygen for actual inflammatory reduction and healing.

So—Hard and soft chambers are both usable for delivery of oxygen into the body for a variety of conditions. If the chamber is hard or soft and uses 100% oxygen for non-emergent health problems, then the only question that remains is cost.

Soft chambers are lower in cost than hard. The average cost of low pressure is around $100.00 per hour, whereas high pressure starts at $160.00 per hour and goes up from there.

The treatment of delicate tissues like eyes, ears, and kidneys do require lower pressures for a viable response.
As a viable form of alternative medicine, I personally see the use of hyperbarics as vital.

When choosing a medical facility to treat your problem with hyperbarics, then ask two questions, is the oxygen 100% and is my problem emergent?