Dear Andrew, hi everyone,
After a minor car incident four years ago I ended up with a progressive hip arthrosis (because in this trauma the sacroiliac joint, pelvic angle, and consequently hip angle were distorted). My lumbar spine was also affected (two herniated lumbar discs) and in short – the pain in the groin/hip gradually worsened until my other hip also started suffering and the spine condition (as well as cartilage) progressively deteriorated (among other things I developed a severe lumbar lordosis in an enchanted circle of continual pelvic forward tilt due to pain in the hips/groins). Various physiatrist and orthopedic medical specialists were unfortunately of little help, and chiropractors, osteopaths and numerous other alternative/complementary methods did little to ease the pain. In the incident/trauma, some muscles, tendons, ligaments apparently got strained, torn and ended up continually inflamed so I took to taking more and more painkillers – the only way to temporarily ease the pains which would naturally recur shortly afterwards. My walking got seriously impeded, no hip rotation, just plain forward walking with a painful limp and a forward-tilted body – I looked like a lady in her 80’s (I was 44 when the incident happened and at my 6 feet height had been upright and fit as a fiddle). Eventually I decided to give up on painkillers and other medication and ended up taking only cartilage supplements to somewhat ease the inflammation and pain, with walking reduced only to basics.
Determined to try out any method I come across, in January 2017 I learned about IBT and immediately had a carpenter adjust the bed, inclining it by 10 cm (3.93 in.) to begin with. I slept inclined at 10 cm for four weeks and after a first night or two there was significant improvement in my posture - I straightened up, my lower back muscle pain lessened and I could stand relatively straight. Hip joint/groin pains persisted but the relief in my lower back itself was good enough to start with, the overall water retention and swelling subsided, as did my gastritis. Overall I felt much lighter at first, however some ten days into the incline some of my previous symptoms came back, as my body slouched again due to back pain and the severe hip arthroses pain returned. So, a month into 10-cm-IBT, I decided I had outgrown this height and inclined my bed for additional 6 cm (16 cm=6.3 in., at bed length of 200 cm this is slightly above a 4-degree angle) and have been sleeping at this inclination for six weeks now. It also feels natural, and there is now a different kind of tenderness and pain in my body, most probably due to spine and fascia traction and resulting muscle and other tissue elongation from waist down.
However, this angle/incline seems to be an inappropriate for me: namely, the water in my body started accumulating again (swelling in the face, thighs, and elsewhere in the body has returned) although I still drink much water and urinate on a regular basis; Most importantly - and this is primarily what I want to consult you about - about a week into 16 cm (6.3 in.) the skin on my feet, ankles and shins started feeling extremely dry and itchy, with red spots on ankle joints and small sores from compulsive scratching (I stopped scratching but the itchiness remains). Soon afterwards a constant pain/pressure deep within the lower leg veins developed (phlebitis?) and I notice the veins on my legs from thighs downward are much more visible and pronounced, bulging around the ankles and on the feet. Initially I ascribed this whole “vein issue” to some sort of cleansing of the arteries which would eventually be cleared out of the body but this condition still persists and I’ve had the deep-vein pressure/pain for a month now accompanied by slight feeling of inflammation (however with no redness, swelling or other outward signs besides the surface itchy red spots on ankles). It may be rampant circulation in the lower legs causing the pressure (I had been diagnosed with the neuropathy of lower legs) which would eventually normalize but was wondering if you have some thoughts or experience from someone else to share, or advice to ease my mind. I therefore concluded that this specific angle of the incline was not beneficial for me and I’m seeking for the right angle (thank you, Andrew, for sharing the website which quickly calculates angles!). If you think it would be beneficial - I will increase the incline by 1 cm, to reach approx. 17.5cm (6.88 in.), which the online calculator says is a 5-degree angle. By no means do I intend to quit IBT, but am grateful for any advice you may give me.
I must note that I’m a smoker, drink a unit of alcohol a day (a glass of beer or wine with meal) and work in an office sitting all day, walking only short distances due to inflamed hip joints.
If you or anyone has any experience, thoughts or advice re. all this I would appreciate it very much! Also regarding osteoarthritis – I’m hoping for some major improvements there with time so if there’s any good news to share on that front kindly post them.
And last but by no means least - I would like to sincerely thank you Andrew for sharing this revolutionary method with us all, I deeply believe (and feel) this is the way to reach and maintain good overall health. I’ve been passing the information on, advising people to incline their beds and see what happens.
I look forward to sharing my further health improvements with all.
Thanks a lot Andrew -- I look forward to hearing your thoughts and advice. Sandra’s experience gives hope that arthritis can also be kept in check, and I hope to be able to avoid hip replacement surgery in the foreseeable future (and in general).
Two more points:
- I’ve been playing with the question of figuring out the right/most beneficial angle for some time now, and recently had an intuitive idea to use the Golden Mean number (1.618) and calculate the height of the bed/tilt applying it to my own height and the length of the bed.
So, I divided my height (181 cm) by 1.618 and kept dividing the numbers until I got 16.3 cm! It turns out to be exactly the height of my current incline/tilt which, as I wrote to you, seems not to work fully for me (or maybe it does but requires more time). So I tried 200 cm (the length of the inclined mattress) and dividing it by the same principle came to 18.5 cm (next in the division is 11.4 cm). So – maybe I should try this height (it makes a 5.25 degree angle) – and see if my deep vein pressure, skin itchiness, recurring swelling, etc. clear out faster.
Have you or anyone else tried applying the Golden Mean? It’s the nature’s most sacred ratio for harmony, beauty etc. and my intuitive self obviously offered it as a worthy try to experiment with.
- Pillow height: I find that the greater the incline, the smaller pillow provides a more natural feel and comfort. Somehow, providing support for the neck while the head rests leveled with the mattress (like on a “sausage” pillow) seem to work better – especially while sleeping on the sides – than when the pillow additionally raises the head. Is there any general advice re. this, or findings on what different heights of pillows do or not do? (I apologize if there's already some advice elsewhere in the Forum - I haven't seen it).
Again, many thanks in advance, look forward to hearing from you and others,
Could your tendons being stretched by IBT together with increased muscle activity from use and from sleeping inclined, be causing some of your discomfort? As you state, your standing more upright, so this could apply pressure on joints differently to your previous posture, and may take some time for it to ease.
What type of mattress are you using and if you look at the mattress from the side, does it exhibit any signs of dipping in the middle?
The rash / itching in the lower limbs, could be resulting from an overburden of waste moving south, before the kidneys can catch up. If it is a skin surface problem, then try rubbing alovera juice from the plant on the affected skin to see if it clears up. This works well to prevent itching and rapidly heals skin, including severe burns.
The angle may be too much too soon in your case. I would suggest going back to 6-8 cm for a month or so until your comfortable to increase the height further again.
I would also consider altering your posture at work. Sitting for too long is going to cause back pressure in the soft veins but won't affect the arteries much because they can withstand compressive forces, whereas the veins can't. So in effect it will cause the veins to inflate and this in turn will cause fluid to move from the blood into the surrounding tissue. Try adjusting your seat so that your knees are level with your seat, or better still slightly sloping down from your seat. Add a pillow to your car seat to raise you up and avoid the tilted back sitting posture.
Avoid also crossing your legs, again this causes pressure that in turn causes pain.
I saw a very interesting documentary from the Peta Institute in Hungary, where patients with arthritis had been bed ridden for years. X rays were taken of badly degenerated joints and the patients were encouraged / forced to get out of bed and walk. At first they were in agony and the only pain killer believe it or not, was a Co2 fire extinguisher used to chill the painful joints.
Now here is the interesting part. After many months of walking as best they could, their mobility greatly improved. X rays were again taken, and the degenerated joints were looking normal, smooth and rounded instead of looking like they didn't belong in their sockets.
Many thanks indeed for your thoughts and advice, Andrew!
Yes, I think the new and different kind of sore tenderness and pain around my joints and pelvis definitely must be due to stretching /traction /elongation of the vertebrae, tendons, fascia – I'm pretty much at ease with those as I realize they're part of the healing process. The joints (and especially pelvis, tilted forward and askew) are also gradually changing angles and I'm aware it will be a long process (despite my impatience to get well, I am aware that degenerative processes developed over four years and cannot be eased/reversed overnight ). The discomfort is really not so bad – the joint and back pain was much worse and more acute while I slept horizontal - before IBT - as was my overall posture. I'll be happy to report on the gradual progress over time, as nerves regerenate and muscles regain their strength while the joints and surrounding tissue also elongate and regain capacity. (BTW, I exercise and stretch on a regular basis.)
My mattresses (there are two in one bed frame, both inclined) are made of latex (rubber) and come with accompanying flexible foundations reinforced in the middle to prevent dipping. Slight dipping does occur (but less when tilted than horizontal) so I rolled a towel and put it across the width to support the pelvis. Does this make sense? It feels better I think.
Thanks for the sitting posture advice: my knees are slightly sloping downward while sitting but I do tend to tilt back (supposedly to relax my back but thanks for pointing out that it's wrong) and rarely sit upright. I will change that for sure.
What you say about waste moving south too fast and kidneys not being able to catch up makes a lot of sense – from what I learned from IBT testimonials I did think about it but was not sure – and the swelling in my eyes in the morning is probably a sign of that. It will surely take a while to clean out; I'll go down a few centimeters as you suggest so as to ease the burden on the kidneys. I can't go lower than 10 cm though – that's the initial height of tilt I had asked my carpenter to make for the construction elevating the foundations of the mattresses . However, 10 cm did feel comfortable soon and as I wrote before – I felt I had „outgrown“ it pretty soon (obviously it was a bit too soon!). I'm sure the waste will clear out with time, easing the itchiness in ankles. I noticed the pressure within the lower leg veins reduced during a wave of colder weather but it hasn't gone away altogether as yet although it is a bit less intense.
Thank you also for sharing the resources: the Peta institute's practice is apparently new school of thought. More traditional doctors advised me to rest altogether when joints got severely inflamed, while those more modern advised to move normally but not beyond the threshold of pain. With Peta's practice in mind – I'll walk as much as possible (hopefully without the need for CO2 ) and see what happens now that the muscles regain strength.
Anyway. Thanks for all the advice – I'll get back after a while to report on the progress and hopefully share some new insights. The other day I sent a short note about an idea to toy with - using the Golden Mean ratio to calculate tilt height, and with a question about optimal pillow height -- it may have not uploaded though.
I cannot stress enough how much good IBT has done for me already: for the first time in some years I feel deep down that there is a natural way to stop/reverse the degeneration processes and restore good health. Besides feeling overly much more optimistic and relaxed, this psychological burden's gradual lifting feels like there'd been a big black cloud parked indefinitely over my head – and now it's light grey, likely to eventually go away. While tears used to come into my eyes every time I almost fall down when a harsh stab of pain shoots through my hip joint -- now I only laugh it off and say – that's ok, it will get right with time.
This alone is invaluable and thank you for that!
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Your not the first to mention the golden ratio. Though prefer to keep IBT simple, so people can experiment and find their own level of comfort, rather than setting it in stone.
If you can get a better traditional mattress it would be more beneficial. For many years I had the notion that foam was the perfect marriage for IBT. How wrong was I Since we got a new mattress, natural fillings from Vispring it is heavenly.