In the summer of 2023, a University of South Florida professor gained international attention this summer after spending a record 100 days underwater in a fixed habitat. It was part of an experiment to study the effects of pressure on the human body.
Dr. Joseph Dituri began his journey six years prior while working at the Undersea Oxygen Clinic in Florida. The clinic uses Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy to heal chronic injuries or wounds that take more than a month to heal.
“Hyperbaric treatment, hyper means more than, baric means pressure,” Dr. Dituri said, adding “Basically it’s a natural, pathetic remedy that, no kidding, speeds healing. It reduces pain, it fights infection, it increases the amount of collagen that you have in your body.”
There are similar clinics in Tucson, including one operated by Tucson Medical Center, but the process itself is time-consuming.
TMC said a patient will have to do a two-hour session, five days a week, for around eight weeks, and Steve Fishmen, TMC’s hyperbarics safety director, said the treatments may not work if someone stops early.
“After the first time they do this, they see how it is,” Fishmen said. “It’s a very safe therapy. It’s soothing. They’re able to lay down, you know, and get comfortable.”
Fishmen said most insurances will cover the treatment if you meet their qualifications, adding TMC offers a $500 package without insurance.