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Oxygen Therapies

Normal, healthy cells use oxygen to power them through their many tasks. But when oxygen levels get low, cells die or perhaps morph into what we call cancer cells. We all have cancer cells in us. A healthy immune system sweeps them out each day just like we take out the household trash at night. But when the immune system is weak, these cells can gain a foothold and eventually grow into a tumor. They gain that foothold by running on sugar instead of oxygen. Sugar is not as an efficient fuel source as oxygen, so cancer cells can’t do the sophisticated functions of healthy cells; in fact, about they only thing they have energy to do is to reproduce daughter cells. But hey – they get to live so they are happy. Cancer cells take in sugar and excrete lactic acid which creates an acidic environment around them in which they thrive. Then genetic mutations start to happen. Parasites, viruses, and bacteria can take up residence. It’s a downstream spiral we want to reverse.

Filling the body with more oxygen is a time-honored method to fight cancer and its associated maladies. We have several ways to do that:

  • Ultraviolet Irradiation (UVBI) with Ozone
  • Exercise Therapy with Oxygen (EWOT)
  • The Bemer Bed

Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation (UVBI) with Ozone

Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UVBI) is also called UBI, biophotonic therapy, photo-oxidation therapy, or photoluminescence. Treatment with UVBI began to appear in the medical literature in the 1930s. It was extensively used in the 1940’s and 1950’s to treat medical conditions including pneumonia, tuberculosis, and cancer.

When antibiotics came on the scene in the 1950s, UBVI fell out of favor. Writing a prescription for a pill was easier. But, we paid a huge price for that convenience. We have since seen that antibiotics create resistance worldwide and they significantly disrupt the normal intestinal bacteria needed for a healthy immune system.

In naturopathic alternative cancer care, we have a high regard for a healthy gut and a strong immune system. We never turned our back on UVBI. Ultraviolet light (UVA and UVC) is a natural part of sunshine. UV light is a natural disinfectant. We often combine it with ozone to increase oxygen delivery to the cells and purge pathogens.

The procedure is pretty simple. With an IV in place, we withdraw 120 milliliters of blood (about 4 ounces), mix ozone into it, and just before the ozonated blood is funneled back into the patient, it is exposed to ultraviolet light.

When exposed to UV light, bacteria and viruses in your bloodstream absorb 5 times as much photonic energy as your red and white blood cells will absorb. Some infectious agents will be immediately killed. Your immune system is now able to “see” fragments of infectious agents that were killed, and it uses them in turn like an autogenous vaccination (meaning your own body provided the “vaccine” material) to initiate a secondary kill of infectious agents throughout the entire body.

Ozone, meanwhile, triggers the uptake of oxygen into the body’s cells. It does this by stimulating the enzyme diphosphoglycerate (DPG) which enables the release of oxygen from the hemoglobin molecule (part of a red blood cell). When we are running low on DPG, our cells become starved for oxygen.

Ozone is an immune modulator meaning that when the immune system is overactive as in autoimmune diseases, ozone will calm it down. If the immune system is underactive as in cancer, ozone will stimulate it. You could say it “wakes up” the immune system and makes it perform better.

Ozone is a great tool to use with cancer patients because it is also a powerful mitochondrial stimulant. As Drs. Otto Warburg and Thomas Seyfried demonstrated, cancer cells can develop when the mitochondria – the power centers inside each of our cells – are starved for energy and oxygen. Ozone can often correct this problem. Ozone stimulates the enzymes superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione peroxidase which are used in the mitochondria to produce energy.

In April 2016, researchers from Harvard University and Guangxi Medical University published a research review entitled, “Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation: Is It Time to Remember ‘The Cure that Time Forgot’?”[1]

They wrote:

Ultraviolet blood irradiation (UBI) was extensively used in the 1940s and 1950s … However, with the development of antibiotics, the use of UBI declined and it has now been called “the cure that time forgot”…

This review discusses the potential of UBI as an alternative approach to current methods used to treat infections, as an immune-modulating therapy and as a method for normalizing blood parameters. Low and mild doses of UV kill microorganisms by damaging the DNA, while any DNA damage in host cells can be rapidly repaired by DNA repair enzymes…

… only 5–7% of blood volume needs to be treated with UV to produce the optimum benefit.

With the recent emergence of bacteria that are resistant to all known antibiotics, UBI should be more investigated as an alternative approach to infections, and as an immune-modulating therapy.

FAQ with Dr. Dickens:

I hear about ozone being an air pollutant; the news warns us of high ozone days. Is this the same kind of ozone?

In nature, ozone is created in the upper atmosphere when ultraviolet radiation from the sun makes contact with oxygen in the atmosphere. It forms a protective layer that shields us from the more severe forms of the sun’s radiation. That is why many are concerned about the “hole” in the ozone where parts of that protective layer have been destroyed by man-made chemicals.

Ozone at ground level is nature’s attempt to clean up chemical reactions created when pollutants emitted by cars, power plants, industrial boilers, refineries, chemical plants, and other sources react in the presence of sunlight. We can thank Mother Nature for the ozone because is there to destroy (oxidize) toxic chemicals in smog and return the air to a breathable status. Early on it was noted that when smog levels are high, there is also a high level of ozone in the air. When smog levels are low, there is a low level of ozone in the air. But since ozone is so easy to measure, scientists gave up trying to measure smog and instead rely on ozone levels to indicate how much smog is in the air. Because they are measuring ozone levels, the word “ozone” became synonymous with “smog” and people got the idea that ozone is toxic – which it is not when used appropriately.

Ozone is perhaps the most powerful natural oxidant in the world. It destroys bacteria, viruses, parasites, amoeba, mold, fungus, and it also breaks down harmful chemicals and impurities. It is 35 times more powerful than chlorine and yet leaves no harmful chemicals or byproducts behind. Outside of the medical office, ozone is used by hotels to deodorize smelly rooms. Some municipal water systems use it instead of chlorine to purify water and treat industrial wastes. Ozone is used to preserve food and in greenhouses.

Hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific publications demonstrate the effectiveness of ozone in treating many different diseases including cancer, autoimmune disease, inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular disease, endocrine disease, chronic pain and acute or chronic infections. There is even evidence that ozone can help slow the aging process. The best part is that ozone has almost no side effects when used correctly.

Is ozone safe?

Ozone has an unparalleled safety record. The use of pure, medical grade ozone to treat various medical conditions was first developed in Germany in the early 1950’s, particularly by the renowned Josef M. Issels, MD. Ozone has been used to treat cancer, liver disease, autoimmune disease, heart disease, allergies, diabetes, Lyme disease, macular degeneration, viral diseases, rheumatism/arthritis, geriatric conditions, SARS, AIDS, and Ebola virus. Today, medical ozone therapy is common throughout Europe, and its use has gradually been spreading in America. The correct use of medical ozone has almost no side effects.

What exactly is ozone?

Ozone is a gas, the blue colored form of oxygen. It’s what makes the sky blue. It’s the fresh smell in the air after a thunderstorm. It’s that clean smell of the ocean waves. Technically speaking, oxygen is 02 – it has two oxygen molecules, and ozone is 03 – it has three oxygen atoms. Ozone is “electrophilic,” meaning it is unbalanced electrically and it wants to balance itself by finding another unbalanced charge.

All diseased cells, including cancer cells, viruses, harmful bacteria, and other pathogens are also electrically imbalanced. That imbalance makes ozone and diseased cells find each other – it is case of mutual attraction which gives ozone some remarkable medical properties.

Is ozone foreign to the body?

No, the body actually makes some on its own. The white blood cells make it as part of the immune system response.

EWOT – Exercise With Oxygen Therapy

We can thank the brilliant German physicist Manfred von Ardenne (1907-1997) for teaching all of us how to exercise with oxygen therapy (EWOT for short).

The basic tools for EWOT are an oxygen tank and face mask, a large bag to store pure oxygen, and a mode of exercise. You ride a bicycle, or treadmill, or whatever your wheelchair will allow.

As you exercise, you will alternate between flooding your body with 90% oxygen, and starving it with just 10%. (The air in a normal room is about 21% oxygen.) This constant pulsing of rich oxygen followed by weak oxygen opens the venous end of the capillary bed for better oxygenation and therapy penetration.

In medical parlance, Manfred von Ardenne discovered that, physiologically,  oxygen deprivation triggers capillary-venous inflammation as a healing reflex, which continues until switched off by an oxygen flood.

This is why I really like this simple but brilliant therapy. It creates a long-lasting physiological change that will increase blood flow and the opportunity for more oxygen in the body. We are aiming for changes to the venous end of the capillary bed.

Some people use hyperbaric chambers where oxygen is forced into the blood by adjusting the air pressure. There is lots of good science behind that, and it is all fine and good, but compared to EWOT, hyperbaric is a passive system. Yes, hyperbaric will increase the oxygen content in the blood today, but tomorrow’s physiological changes are incremental – much slower than what can be achieved with EWOT. Also, EWOT is much simpler than hyperbaric and sessions take less time. What’s not to like?

It’s All About the Oxygen

Manfred von Ardenne recognized that the body’s ability to produce energy (create cellular ATP) is limited by the transport of oxygen to the tissues. The more oxygen gets in, the more energy we have. He observed that with age, cells tend to be oxygen deficient and therefore energy deficient. He also observed that health is associated with youth and a high level of energy, while disease and old age are associated with what he termed energy deficiency. He developed EWOT to restore the diminished blood microcirculation of the endothelium (cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels) and capillaries (the smallest blood vessels in the body – they convey blood between the arterioles and venules). A capillary that has been narrowed by oxygen deficiency through disease can be re-enlarged by EWOT.

Some of the effects of EWOT[2]:

  • Increase in energy
  • Increase in immune system function
  • Better ability to clear lactic acid, a metabolic end-product created by cancer cells to nurture their environment
  • Improved microcirculation within the endothelium decreases dangerous inflammation,  present in almost all major chronic diseases
  •  Increased circulation, especially to the legs and feet for diabetics
  • Helps to decrease the toxic effects of chemo and radiation


Sessions are 15 to 30 minutes. The most common side effect is some minor drying of the sinuses and throat from the oxygen air which can be remedied by drinking more water and staying well hydrated.

The Bemer Bed

This is a pulsed electromagnetic field (PEMF) therapy device that also increases oxygen uptake by increasing circulation.

At the heart of this Swiss made machine is a patented, complex cascading sine wave pulse-train signal developed by Dr. Wolf A Kafka. The acronym BEMER stands for Bio Electro Magnetic Energy Regulation. It is widely used in European and Asian health facilities.

Like all PEMF devices, BEMER helps to enhance microcirculation by sending an electromagnetic pulse through the body, triggering a pumping motion in the microvessels (vasomotion).

If we open up the vascularity into the cancer, we can get our therapy into the cancer cells more effectively. But if the inside of the tumor has reduced blood flow (is hypoxic), therapy substances will flow around it and not get into it. We want to override that with BEMER.

If a cancer patient is in a constant state of “fight or flight,” many changes in the central nervous system take place. To be in that state for long periods of time is highly draining to the body, and healing cannot take place when you are in such a heightened state of distress. BEMER sessions tend to bring on a state of relaxation.

Treatment sessions are 8-10 minutes long, usually once a day. You lie on the BEMER mat, plug it into a mini-computer, and adjust the programmed amount of time and the frequency of the pulse. There are different frequencies to target different systems in the body.


[1] Wu X, Hu X, Hamblin MR. “Ultraviolet Blood Irradiation: Is It Time to Remember ‘The Cure That Time Forgot’?” J Photochem Photobiol B. 2016 Apr;157:89-96.

[2] von Ardenne, M. Oxygen Multistep Therapy-Physiological and Technical Foundations. 1990