Ozone Therapy and Prolozone Therapy

What is ozone?

Ozone is a molecule that exists as a gas at room temperature.  It consists of three oxygen molecules bound together – usually written as O3 (just as oxygen gas, with two oxygen molecules, is written as O2).  Most of us are familiar with the ozone layer, which exists in our atmosphere and protects against harmful UV rays.  Also, we have all smelled ozone before as it is created in the presence of lightning during a rainstorm.

Why is ozone used therapeutically?

Ozone has three main therapeutic actions: 1. it is the most potent “oxidizer” that has been discovered, 2. it is an incredibly powerful antimicrobial (any bacteria, fungus or virus is killed in its presence), and 3. it heals tissues (through its oxidative capacity)


“Oxidizer”: put simply, ozone brings oxygen into our tissues.  It does so through the formation of ozonides, which enter our cells to bring extra oxygen to our mitochondria.  Mitochondria are the energy factories of the cell – without them life would only exist as single cell organisms.  In order to create energy, mitochondria need oxygen; however if not enough oxygen is present in our tissues they can’t make as much energy as we need to feel optimally healthy.  Low mitochondrial oxygen can occur for a wide variety of reasons, including poor diet, hormone imbalance, heavy metal/toxin exposure, poor circulation, and inactivity (and locally in musculoskeletal injuries).


Antimicrobial: ozone kills any microbe it comes into contact with, which makes it incredibly effective for infected sinuses, joints, abscesses, wounds, osteomyelitis, gangrene, etc.


Tissue healing: studies have shown that painful or damaged areas of the musculoskeletal system have lower oxygen concentrations than the unaffected tissues beside them.  As discussed above, ozone is the best known oxidizer and as such is very effective in raising oxygen levels in affected tissues.  Locally administered ozone reduces and eliminates pain and swelling and stimulates tissue healing to lead to both an acute relief of pain as well as healing of the damaged tissue (i.e. so pain will not return).


What conditions does ozone treat?

Ozone treats conditions associated with low oxygenation, which as mentioned above can be due to poor diet, hormone imbalance, heavy metal/toxin exposure, inactivity, poor circulation, musculoskeletal damage etc.  As such, except in rare cases ozone is not a standalone treatment – the underlying factors that lead to poor oxygenation in the first place must be addressed (using other naturopathic tools) in order to effect a long-standing cure.


Conditions that are the most directly treated with ozone include:

  • Pain (at any site and of any origin)

  • Cardiovascular dysfunction (angina, cardiovascular disease, poor circulation, high blood pressure, stasis dermatitis, intermittent claudication, etc.)

  • Viral infections (hepatits, herpes simplex virus, HIV/AIDS, mono, etc.)

  • Macular degeneration (halts progression and helps regain lost function in 50-75% of patients)

  • Dental infections (including post-root canal)

  • Interstitial cystitis

  • Conditions that are greatly helped with ozone as part of the full treatment protocol:

  • Low energy (general fatigue, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Difficult weight loss

  • Cancer

  • Autoimmune conditions

  • Low thyroid function

  • Premature aging (ozone therapy is a crucial component of an “anti-aging” protocol)

  • COPD

  • Any patient who cannot implement a proper exercise regime (ozone therapy is like “exercise in a bottle”)

How is ozone administered?

Ozone can be administered in several ways:

  •     Intravenously (known as Major Autohemotherapy)

  •     As an injection – subcutaneously (just under skin) or into an affected joint or sinus

  •     Topically – as gas (e.g. Ozone Sauna) or as ozonated olive oil salve

  •     Rectally (has a similar impact as intravenous administration)

What is Prolozone?

Prolozone is a termed coined by Dr. Frank Shallenberger, MD, one of the world’s leading experts in ozone therapy.  It simply refers to the injection of ozone for the treatment of pain, after a pre-treatment with an anti-inflammatory or healing solution (including procaine, dextrose, homeopathics, etc.)


Is ozone toxic or dangerous?

No, when used in a medical setting it is ozone is 100% safe and without side effects.  Ozone does have to be used with caution in some disorders (e.g. thrombocytopenia), and as a general precaution is not used in pregnancy.  If one were to fill a room with ozone it would be toxic in time; however the same would be true of any gas, including oxygen or carbon dioxide.

It must be noted that ozone therapy can be dangerous if it is being generated with an inappropriate ozone generator (must be from a certified manufacturer) or if being used by a physician without proper training.  Which naturally begs the next question…


What type of ozone generator do you use?  Where did you receive your ozone training?

We use the EXT-120 model from Longevity Resources from Sydney, BC, one of the few reputable manufacturers in North America.  Ozone generators must be properly calibrated and built with ozone-resistant internal parts.  Otherwise the dose of ozone won’t be controlled and toxic breakdown products will contaminate the final product.


We first learned how to administer therapeutic ozone from Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt, MD.  We have furthered our knowledge in the field by training with Dr. Shallenberger and corresponding with other physicians who use ozone therapy.  We  are members of the American Association of Ozone Therapy as well.


Is ozone therapy scientifically validated?

Ozone therapy has more research supporting its use than many therapies out there.  A multitude of studies have shown us how ozone therapy works (i.e. through its various oxidative effects) and its effects on human biochemistry (numerous studies done by Italian researcher Bocci).  There have also been several studies showing that ozone is effective versus placebo for treating pain and that it is superior to steroid injections and some surgeries.

Isn’t oxidation a bad thing?  Isn’t that the opposite of what antioxidants do?

Free radical formation and oxidation are frequently confused, which unfortunately has led to some misunderstanding about ozone.  Free radicals in excess are a bad thing and they are essentially the “opposites” of antioxidants.  Oxidation, in contrast, is essential for proper mitochondrial function and thus our health.  In fact, healthy levels of oxidation have been shown to improve antioxidant levels in the body, thus further bolstering health.


Where can I find more information about ozone therapy?

www.antiagingmedicine.com (Dr. Shallenberger’s website)



What is the Ozone Sauna?

The ozone sauna is yet another method by which we can infuse ozone into the body.  During a treatment, the patient sits in a steam chamber that covers the whole body except for the head; the head comes out of an opening at the top of the unit and a towel is wrapped around the neck to keep all of the steam (and ozone) inside the body compartment.  Steam is generated within the chamber (just like a typical steam sauna) and ozone gas is infused into the chamber as well. 


The proposed mechanism of action of the ozone sauna is that the heat from the steam opens the pores in the skin while the ozone mixes with the natural oil on the skin.  The ozonated oil absorbs into the body through the open pores and ultimately finds its way into the bloodstream.  From there, the ozone is able to provide the health benefits as listed above. 


© 2012 by Dr. Bryan Rade ND and Dr. Taryn Deering ND