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Inclined Bed Therapy

Inclined Bed Therapy (IBT)

Sleeping Inclined To Restore and Support Your Health For Free. Fascinating Science, Discovery, History and Medical Research In Circulation And Posture, by Andrew K Fletcher


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    • IBT's Contribution to Fighting the Pandemic
    • ‘PRONING’ has become a very important part of the management of some of the most severely ill COVID-19 positive patients in hospitals. It is where a patient is turned to lie on their front (prone position) on an anti-trendelenburg (head raised) incline of around 30 degrees. (See ‘ICS Guidance for Prone Positioning of the Conscious COVID Patient 2020’ by the Intensive Care Society.) THE TECHNICAL BIT (as I understand it). The deep infection of the virus into the lungs causes inflammation of the lung tissue (pneumonia). The air sacs (alveoli) at the end of the breathing tubes in the lungs become inflamed and fill with fluid or pus. This is known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS). It causes a drastic reduction in lung function, to the extent that the patient is unable to breathe properly and needs to be given oxygen. If the amount of oxygen transported into the bloodstream is still insufficient to oxygenate the vital organs, it can lead to multiple organ failure and death. WHY IS THERE A NEED FOR PRONING? It has been long known that lying in the traditional supine position (on their back) can be detrimental to the lung function of hospital patients with breathing difficulties. This is because the majority of lung tissue is at the back of the body, so the ability of the lungs to expand on breathing in is impaired when lying supine. In COVID-19 cases, the abnormal build up of fluid pools at the back of the lungs, leading to greater interference with lung function. HOW DOES PRONING WORK? Proning has been used to successfully treat COVID-19 patients when it looked like there was no hope of recovery. (The case of Stacey Fresco in England is an example of this.) Proning reduces the pressure on the lungs and allows them to expand more. The fluid in the lungs can then drain downwards with gravity, allowing greater lung capacity, enabling the patient to breathe in more oxygen. The patient can remain in this position for 12 hours before being returned to the supine position. Alternating supine and prone positioning of the body in this way has been successfully used to maximise the effects of this treatment. WHY ISN'T PRONING MORE COMMON? To start with, it takes up to 6 people, and 30 minutes, to safely turn a COVID-19 patient onto the other side. This procedure takes badly needed frontline carers away from managing the numerous other patients that are suffering in this pandemic. Secondly, there is more pressure on the patient’s heart when in the prone position. It has to work harder, and can lead to a potentially fatal heart attack. ANOTHER POTENTIAL USE OF IBT I’ve found an interesting ongoing trial called ‘Incline Positioning in COVID-19 Patients for Improvement in Oxygen Saturation (UPSAT)’, at Johns Hopkins University, in which 15 degree incline versus horizontal (flat) positionings are compared in the supine position. It is described as: ‘..a pilot study to examine the acute effects of inclined posture on oxyhemoglobin saturation and the feasibility of conducting randomized controlled clinical trial among patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19-associated hypoxia.’
    • In IBT Forum / General discussion
    • Author Ani-Boo
    • 2 weeks 1 day ago



In my first year of medical school we received 8 weeks of training on the heart. The analogy offered by the professor was the heart as a mechanical pump that pushes blood through the body; there were 

chambers, valves, and an electrical system all working together to pump oxygen-filled blood to the body’s tissues. We learned that the heart is the most complex muscle in the body because it has the ability to beat

even when the brain and central nervous system have been completely shut down. I was really intrigued but not given any tools with which to change a sick heart into a healthy heart.

In my second year of medical school, we learned about the drugs that can affect the heart, from medications that slow the heartbeat – called beta-blockers – to medications that reduce the amount of fluid the

heart has to pump – called diuretics. Then there were surgeries that could repair blockages caused by cholesterol and other fatty deposits; the arteries could have a stent inserted, or an artery could be removed

and replaced by a vein in the leg. All of these strong therapies, drugs, and surgeries seemed like amazing options and great ways to fix the problem. But why didn’t they help my Grandpa?

Then came my third year, when I finally got to learn how to help people naturally! I was introduced to supplements like coenzyme Q10 – a super-antioxidant – and a supplement containing natural nitric oxide

inducers, thereby helping to decrease inflammation in the vessels and dilate them to increase blood flow. These were all decent options, I thought, but what was the real reason that my grandfather kept having

heart attacks? I needed to go back to my first year of schooling to better understand the physiology of the heart and the importance of blood flow. That’s when I heard about Andrew Fletcher.





After being inspired by Mr Fletcher, I inclined my own bed about 1 year ago, and attempted to document the changes that I experienced in my body. Like almost every naturopathic doctor I know, I was a little overzealous and inclined my queen-sized bed to 7.5… well, closer to 8 inches. I recommend starting at less than 4 inches and slowly increasing the incline as you see fit, to achieve the 5-degree tilt. My first night was like being on a “slip and slide” in the middle of the summer, except that there wasn’t a smile on my face the next morning. I ended up with some neck pain, as well as a kink in my lower back, which already has disc herniations. Once I lowered the tilt of my bed to the recommended 6 inches, I experienced headaches and increased muscle soreness for 10 days, which then subsided. My benefits afterwards included decreased muscle soreness and pain (including my back), increased alertness on waking, and a notable decrease in awakenings in the middle of the night. I also experienced a consistent need to urinate a large amount in the morning, which suggested that my kidneys were filtering much more during the night. I have also noticed that sleeping on a flat bed is very uncomfortable now; I wake up feeling almost ill after a few days of this. I am never going back to sleeping on a flat mattress.

I might not have been able to change my grandfather’s heart from a sick heart into a healthy heart, but now I know there are natural ways in which we can benefit the heart and take stress off of it so that it can work longer and better. One of those ways is by inclining one’s bed.

by Dr. Cory Ostroot

Dr Cory Osroot

Dr. Cory Ostroot  Quote: " Thanks so much for sharing! Let’s incline so we don’t have a decline in our health!"

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