You are here: news / industry news

Spa & wellness industry news

Hyperbaric medicine specialist Shai Efrati to keynote Global Wellness Summit

27 Jul 2022
The Global Wellness Summit (GWS) has revealed that Shai Efrati, MD, a respected research scientist on hyperbaric oxygen therapy, will keynote at the 2022 conference being held in Tel Aviv from 31 October to 3 November.

Efrati is a professor at the Sackler School of Medicine and the Sagol School of Neuroscience at Tel Aviv University and director of the Sagol Center for Hyperbaric Medicine and Research at Shamir Medical Center (the largest hyperbaric centre in the world, treating over 350 patients a day).

Efrati’s lab has created a unique approach for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) which consists of immersing people in a high-pressure, high-oxygen environment and then carefully regulating oxygen and pressure levels.

This technique, which is called the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox (HHP), is claimed to trick the body into entering a regenerative state which kickstarts a variety of biological changes. These include the proliferation of stem cells, the generation of new blood vessels, and the repair of brain cells and tissue.

Over the last decade, Efrati’s research team has authored clinical studies that show how this specific HBOT therapy impacts many health conditions, including patients who've suffered from strokes, traumatic brain injuries, long Covid and PTSD.

But according to the GWS, it’s his recent research on healthy individuals that has significant implications for the wellness world.

The therapy was recently shown to markedly improve (not just slow the loss of) cognitive function in healthy, older adults by generating new neurons and blood vessels in the brain.

Another recent study revealed that the treatment reversed two major processes associated with ageing and its illnesses: the shortening of telomeres (the protective caps at the ends of every chromosome) and the accumulation of old, malfunctioning cells in the body.

“Our new studies demonstrate something for the first time and it’s the ‘holy grail’ of wellness: We can actually reverse the biology of ageing and take cellular and brain function back in time,” said Efrati.

“Ageing isn’t a bad thing; it’s the functional decline that is. As the wellness world knows well, many more people seek solutions that can make them fully potent and active every single year of their life.

“The future is high-performance ageing, and I’m excited to share my vision of that future–and the rising place of hyperbaric oxygen therapy in the medical-wellness world–with the leaders that will gather at the Summit.”

Caution: This isn’t the usual “hyperbaric oxygen treatment”
Hyperbaric oxygen treatments are spawning at spas and wellness centres and with at-home products. But, as Efrati cautions, it’s not even the same approach: these offerings simply involve putting people in a pod full of minimally pressurised, oxygenated air, when that’s not what makes HBOT effective.

“The game-changing component is the hyperoxic-hypoxic paradox: the precise protocols we’ve optimised for oxygen and pressure levels, fluctuations, and durations that spark the regenerative process in the body,” said Efrati.

“This evidence-based therapy has to be performed in a medical facility by a trained physician. All these oxygen spas and pods can be dangerous: they miss the quality assurance of the air pump being inside, and they pose threats of oxygen toxicity and other health issues. They’re also not effective. The future is clearing up much confusion in the marketplace about what evidence-based hyperbaric oxygen therapy actually entails and achieves.”

Aviv Clinics
Efrati also co-founded AVIV Scientific, a research organisation and network of global medical-wellness clinics focused on innovative applications of hyperbaric medicine using the HHP protocols, that can increase cognitive and physical performance in healthy ageing adults.

Clinics are open in Tel Aviv, central Florida, and most recently in Dubai. Further properties are expected to come to New York and the UK soon. Aviv plans to open 50 properties around the world in the next decade.

Thanks to an exclusive partnership with the Sagol Center at Shamir Medical Center, each patient's data and samples are sent to the centre’s large research lab, where blood, DNA, telomeres, MRI results, etc. are analysed.

“Every year we aim to bring the brightest stars in health and wellness to the stage, and Dr Efrati is exactly the kind of innovator we seek: a dynamic thinker whose work will really shake up our future, whose solutions are grounded in evidence, and who understands that new connections between medicine and wellness lie ahead,” said Susie Ellis, GWS chair and CEO.

“It’s an incredible opportunity for delegates to be immersed in his research on the future of ageing at such an early, pivotal moment. What he’s doing is game-changing.”


More industry news

your weekly careers ezine – sign up here

Enter your email address below to subscribe to our free weekly jobs, news and careers ezine