Who Is Andrew K Fletcher?
For more than 23 years, Andrew, 60 years young, has worked tirelessly, selflessly, and self-funded. He has been helping people around the world regain control of their health by simply advising them to raise their beds at the head end to a five-degree angle.
This is based on his new understanding of the role that gravity plays in driving our circulation.
As a free-thinking child, Andrew would take things apart, needing to understand how it all works. He did the same with the science text books, which he states will never look the same again. He openly admits to being a difficult, stubborn student questioning lessons and tutors, rather than accepting subject content as facts. Andrew left school early to enter a career as a vehicle mechanic, later moving into heavy engineering as a fabricator welder, and obtained many other skills from a wide range of disciplines.
Andrew’s love of the natural world and problem solving was fuelled through absorbing countless Open University Programmes (OUP) about nature, history, science, medicine, art and engineering. As a moralist, philosopher and a humanist Andrew has much to say about poverty and inequality throughout the world.
How Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT) Started
Odd as it may seem, Andrew’s insatiable appetite for problem solving was aroused by a television programme addressing irrigation problems in deserts in 1994. The Operation OASIS (Overseas Arid Soil Irrigation Solution) project found that soil was made too salty by high evaporation, effectively rendering soils unproductive. However, in the backdrop from the camera footage, Andrew noticed that the trees appeared to be unaffected by the same irrigated water.
He asked: What are trees doing with salts and minerals?
To answer this problem Andrew obtained a textbook: McKean, DG. GCSE Biology. Hodder Murray, 1989. McKean was very critical of the explanations of sap flow and lack of supporting evidence for fluid transportation in plants and trees. These unconvincing descriptions prompted Andrew to re-examine the facts and ignore all unsubstantiated assumptions of a one-way flow to the tree’s canopy.
Andrew reasoned that if a tree stood vertically it was using gravity in its long tubular structures. If it was not using gravity it would grow horizontally! It is a fact that 98% of the water entering through the tree’s roots evaporates through the leaves. This process is called transpiration.
Andrew applied his knowledge and experience of siphons and non—pumped hot water systems to build up a hypothesis. The simple flow and return mechanism of a non-pumped hot water system relies upon density changes. Heat from a boiler causes water to rise. The transfer of heat from a tubular coil inside a tank to the hot water supply causes the water inside the coil to cool, making it denser, generating an efficient gravity driven return flow.
Recently, his experiment at Brixham, Devon, where he caused water to flow vertically up 24 meters in a single open ended tube, was verified in Nature Journal, under Scientific Reports, after three doctors tested it to 15 meters to try to determine the height limit of a siphon, which is believed to be 10 metres. Initially, no recognition was given to Andrew. This has since been corrected in a Corrigendum, attached to the original publication.
Sap Circulation Discovery
Andrew then applied the analogy of a simple flow and return system to the tree. The tree is warmed by the sun and transfers heat to the tree’s long continuous tube cell structures. It made sense.
Realising that for sap density changes to take place and initiate circulation, it would require the down flow to be denser than the return flow. McKean confirmed this to be the case in his book but this explanation was not sufficient to explain observed sap flow rates.
Andrew concluded that the leaves producing sugar by converting carbon dioxide in a process called photosynthesis combined with dissolved nutrients and minerals from the soil water, increases sap density in the leaves.
Evaporation from the leaves serves to further increase sap density by the same amount of water loss from transpiration. Transpiration is the process of water movement to the atmosphere, from aerial parts such as leaves, stems and flowers, by evaporation.
Therefore, soil water entering the tree from the roots contains a dissolved, dilute solution of minerals and nutrients, dilutes sap density. Dilute sap flows up the tree transported in the xylem vessels , which are long thin non-living tubes, powered by the loading and concentration of sap with sugars produced by the leaves which flows down in the aptly named phloem vessels to a sink (lower reciprocal).
The sink is always the path of least resistance and can be fruits, where sugars are stored. Or by being taken up in the trees continual cycle of expansion and growth in the trunk and branches, providing the tree with a means to offload sugars and nutrients from the heavier downward flowing sap, ultimately reaching the roots under a positive pressure. (Think of sap flow behaving like a liquid plunger in a syringe, creating a positive pressure in front and a lower pressure behind it)
Having off loaded sugars and nutrients on it's journey down the tree, the sap becomes less dense and is ultimately re-diluted by incoming water from the soil into the roots, pulled into the tree by the lower pressure generated in the xylem which is also under applied tension, caused by the down-flow.
For every action there must be a reaction! A down-flow must cause a return flow! This is how trees and plants circulate sap!
Cohesion is the property of liquid molecules bonding together and reaches out beyond the sap in the roots, connecting with soil water molecules, pulling water into the roots. Therefore, the downward flowing sap inevitably causes the less dense sap to rise because sap molecules are linked together through cohesion . (Think of water in sap behaving as liquid rubber).
Osmosis, root pressure and capillary action are effectively redundant in his theory.
Andrew’s Eureka Moments
Tall trees now made sense! Instead of asking how a one-way flow from roots to leaves operates, which has baffled scientists for hundreds of years, because they asked the wrong question, we now have a robust circulation theory for plants and trees, supported by many experiments with plastic tubes, showing how gravity can raise water to great heights.
The Birth of Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT)
Almost instantly, Andrew, who thinks laterally, made the connection with gravity for our own circulation systems. He hypothesised that there must be an imbalance in the density of our blood and other bodily fluids-due to evaporation from our lungs, upper respiratory tract, sinuses, skin and eyes, all of which excrete water to the atmosphere and therefore must concentrate the fluids from which evaporation originates.
He obtained more medical and science text books to see what was already known and, just as he found a wholly inadequate explanation for sap flow in trees, he found inadequate explanations for the origination of human circulation. Andrew also found that there was little research or understanding into how primary circulation occurs, long before the heart is formed, it beats in a developing embryo. A Pulsate flow is visible in the vessels that develop into the heart. in fact there were contradictions and doubts about all circulations.
Andrew’s Logical Approach Appears to Fit Well with Blood Flow
Andrew’s hypothesis argues that respiration in the lungs must concentrate the blood because of the water lost due to evaporation. So, the blood exiting the lungs is denser than the blood entering the lungs and therefore must contribute to circulation.
Homo-Erectus (When we Stood Vertical)
Being upright now meant so much more to Andrew, because homo sapiens were obviously benefiting a great deal more than anyone had realised. Our vertical posture was indeed a very smart move in our evolutionary path.
By standing on our own two feet, we got ahead of other species due to this boost in our circulation. This argument raises many more interesting questions about how our intelligence surpassed that of primates and many other species. Dean Falk and Professor Michel Cabanac in the radiator theory, http://deanfalk.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/1990-Falk-Brain-evolution-in-Homo-The-radiator-theory.pdf raised interesting observations. Falk studied early human skulls and noted that the holes in the back of the skull, which accommodated blood vessels to and from the brain, had migrated to the top of the skull when we stood upright.
Cabanac discovered that blood flow from the brain reverses against the flow from the heart, when our body temperature is raised through exercise. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02335925?no-access=true
What this tells us is that our circulation changed permanently in the upright posture.
Andrew deduced that blood density from higher evaporation, due to exercise, changed the direction of flow and must have played a significant role in the relocation of these vessels over generations, indicating a remapping of vessels may well have contributed to our thinking patterns.
Andrew’s question was obvious:
If gravity was more important than anyone could have imagined, why are we ignoring it by sleeping horizontally in bed?
The direction of blood flow through the long tubular vessels in our body, which run from head to toe, made Andrew question whether flat bed-rest was efficient in replenishing and maintaining the human body.
Andrew’s questioning of why we all sleep on flat beds, prompted him to ask friends and family to raise the head end of their beds on bricks, blocks or books to a five-degree angle to see what would happen. Within four weeks two volunteers reported back significant improvements in varicose veins.
This again meant that the literature needed serious review, because patients who were being advised to put their feet up higher and now placed their feet lower, were responding to what must be the simplest non-invasive method of study available. A raised bed at the head end position seemed to improve wellbeing.
Andrew’s mother was the first to report being able to move her ankle and wiggle her toes for the first time in over ten years after only four weeks of IBT. Later her sensation in the limb became normal.
Following more compelling reports from patients who trialled IBT, there became an inevitable positive change for people with neurological conditions, which were believed to be irreversible. People with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) were observing substantial improvements.
The argument against Andrew's results were that MS could relapse and remit, despite there being reports from people with primary progressive MS. This argument was thwarted when he extended his theory and research to patients with complete spinal cord injury, who also reported significant improvements in bowel and bladder control, sensation and movement.
Successes prompted Andrew to research cerebrospinal fluid circulation and the onset and lack of progress in many neurological problems, including Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, Spinal Cord Injury, Sciatica, Fibromyalgia, Migraine Headaches, Strokes, Comatose patient care, restless leg syndrome , broken bone growth and many more conditions, all of which appeared to benefit from IBT.
An independent report from the Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC), was conducted by John and Jean Simkins, titled: Raised Bed Survey, also published here. Documented how ten people with MS and two people with spinal cord injury positively progressed using IBT.
Andrew’s battle to alert the medical profession and science communities to his findings, inviting them to challenge his discovery by testing the results, instead of dismissing them out of hand as being anecdotal evidence, has been relentless.
A lesser man would have given up long ago. But Andrew is driven on to help many more people, with or without ‘academic recognition’ to establish the truth.
History of Beds
Andrew’s research into the history of beds and how we used to sleep took him to rediscover how the Pharaohs and their followers slept inclined in Ancient Egypt. Those ancient beds are in museums around the world and no one is asking why our ancestors slept inclined. Andrew also found images of inclined beds in an ancient Constantinople hospital and C sections carried out successfully using an inclined bed, by natives in Africa. Images of babies swaddled in cots and cribs were also found, indicating a long since forgotten wisdom.
Astronauts and Space Travel
Andrew asked what happens to our physiology when we enter orbit in microgravity. He Found a great deal of evidence from various Space Research Studies, which used prolonged flat bed rest and head down bed rest as a model to replicate the rapid ageing, which according to Joan Vernikos, former head of NASA Life Sciences, is 10 times faster than here on Earth.
These prolonged bed rest trials revealed that the same degenerative processes experienced by astronauts were present in healthy young people who were confined to bed and studied for many months. Astronauts experience heart atrophy, fluid shift, bone decalcification, osteoporosis, muscular atrophy, skin thinning, psoriasis and other skin conditions, sight degeneration, immune deficiency, kidney stones, liver stones, bladder stones, urine infections, circulatory disorders, vestibular disorders, chronic inflammation, sleep disorders, accumulation of carbon dioxide, lymphatic disorders and more. On return to Earth, they are unable to walk or even stand upright.
Studies, Work and Documentation
Andrew had documented and shared his results in mainstream media, including the Daily Mail, Woman’s Realm, BBC World Service, Carlton TV News and many more publications.
At the London International Inventions Fair in 1997 his inclined bed invention won a gold award after he demonstrated a circulation model in tubes that showed clearly how circulation in humans and animals benefit from the direction of gravity.
He invited visitors, including many scientists, doctors, inventors and the public to lay on his inclined bed to determine the differences between sleeping flat against sleeping at an incline. Most could determine the differences immediately.
Andrew has documented many of his early fascinating news cuttings, letters (including support and rejections by doctors), and articles from both science journals and charity sites on his website. These are supported with a compelling bank of evidence, including astonishing testimonials and case histories.
Andrew has continuously campaigned to have clinical studies conducted to test Inclined Bed Therapy results to establish IBT in hospitals to improve patient recovery and survival rates. The simple modification to a bed can follow the patient home and continue to aid recovery from surgery and prevent many complications, improving patients’ lives and saving overburdened health services a great deal of resources, time and money.
Diabetes Trial Success.
One such study has been conducted into Diabetes, which showed that IBT lowers blood sugar levels and helps with many other diabetes associated symptoms.
INCLINED BED THERAPY: NEW HOPE FOR DIABETES By Erica Billen Pohnpei Island Central School & Tetaake Yee Ting College of Micronesia-FSM Pohnpei, Micronesia
To put an end to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS)
To put an end to SIDS by encouraging parents to place babies on an inclined mattress of no more than 5 degrees. Andrew met with Dr Chantler, senior medical research advisor to the Foundation for Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, now named the Lullaby Foundation and convinced her that the science was correct. After hearing Andrew, and seeing his experiments at her home in London, he proved he had solved SIDS! And yet to – date, no further research has been forthcoming.
To put an end to Sudden Unexplained Adult Deaths (SADS) Which appears to mirror (SIDS)
Healthy adults are going to bed, never to wake up? It should tell us all something about the dangers of bed rest?
To save patients from losing limbs and in some cases their lives to gangrene, leg ulcers, pressure sores and many other infections, including pneumonia, scarlatina, thrombosis,
To Introduce IBT as normal practice in aiding and speeding up recovery in all hospitals.
To spread the word about IBT in developing countries affected by AIDS and many other debilitating conditions.
“Reward a child for thinking and not just for remembering and regurgitate someone else’s beliefs. Then we will see foundations crumble and brick walls fall!” Andrew K Fletcher
When asked why do you continue? Andrew will always reply: “Because it is the right thing to do!”.
McKean, DG. GCSE Biology. Hodder Murray, 1989
BBC World Service
Carlton TV News
London International Inventions Fair, 1997
‘those text books…showed direction of blood flow ….’ P3
Cite actual studies?
Thwarted argument re R&R MS
Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre MSRC John and Jean Simkins: Raised Bed Survey
Nature Journal: Scientific Reports, Corrigendum
Egypt / Africa ref