Research and results in spinal cord injury using posture changes while sleeping and sitting. Known now as Inclined Therapy
Spinal Cord Injury Inclined Bed Therapy I.B.T. Study 7 years 11 months ago #383
People with spinal cord injury are needed to participate in an online Diary Study, in order to determine that altering a sleeping position can have a positive affect on the nervous system.
In order to convince the Medical Profession, that Gravity is of paramount importance to human physiology, we need to repeat an earlier pilot study, which has already shown to be highly productive in reversing a substantial amount of neurological damage in spinal cord injuries.
The object of the study is to alter your sleeping position and posture so that your head is 8 inches higher than your feet. The matress should be level but tilted so that it slopes with your head higher than your feet.
If you have a motorised adjustable bed which does not afford your legs to be lowered, this can be addressed by placing a strong plywood board under your mattress, so that when the head end is raised the whole mattress tilts.
Start at a six inch incline until you are comfortable with the changes, then go for the full 8 inch incline.
I have been researching the effects of gravity on spinal cord injuries since 1994 and have already proved beyond any shadow of a doubt that even complete spinal cord injuries dating back as much as 18 years can be reversed to some degree by simply tilting a bed and altering the posture while seated!
I want to share this important information with people suffering from spinal cord injuries in the hope that some of you may want to help me with my research, by assisting me with this very important study.
The intervention is non-invasive, does not involved drugs, and has already been shown to work! It now needs to be tested on a larger scale.
My discovery is in how gravity drives the cerebrospinal fluid, in a simple flow and return system, inducing some nerve regeneration, and also appears to facilitate effective guidance to regenerating nerves, much the same as how gravity induces and guides direction to seedlings This is achieved by altering posture to make use of gravity and can repair a significant amount of the damage in complete / incomplete spinal cord injuries. However, this does not solely relate to spinal function and a vast amount of other benefits have been reported, namely restored bowel and bladder function, increased metabolism, reductions in infections, visual improvements and in particular addresses the problem of urinary infections by assisting the renal function, muscular atrophy, and osteoporosis have responded well to this intervention. A general decrease in pain has been noted by some people that have already taken part in the pilot study. However, during nerve regeneration / redirection, people have reported a temporary increase in pain. Spasm and general muscle tension is improved significantly also. One of the first things you should notice is an improvement in body temperature. Instead of cold hands and feet, you will find that you have nice warm hands and warm feet.
Goose bumps occur, finger / toe nails and hair grows more profusely. Toe nails, when they are in poor condition, have been reported to shed and a new nail grows which is stronger and smoother than the old nails that have been lost in two cases.
This therapy is also of benefit to many other medical conditions, including multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy and Parkinson's Disease. Much of my initial work was with people suffering from illnesses. Moving on to spinal cord injuries brings a logical conclusion to this theory, and perhaps the most challenging test to the theory, which is why I want to present this therapy to everyone who is not resigned to accepting that there is nothing that can be done to recover from a spinal cord injury.
Two years ago, I tried to introduce this concept to the carecure forum, only to find that a few people became hellbent on destroying my offer of help. The reasons for which they did this are still unknown to myself. After receiving a substantial amount of abusive and personal attacks, I decided to turn my back on the forum, and did so for two years, Mainly because my father was dying of cancer, and became the subject of one persons unprovoked outbursts on this forum. This was the final straw for me at the time!
I have now had a long time to consider the fact that I also behaved extremely selfishly by turning my back on the majority of the people on the carecure forum, and hope they will forgive my somewhat shallow actions, in allowing the abuse from the minority to deter us from completing the study.
What should happen when I tilt my bed?
Instantly, your circulation will increase, your metabolism will also increase, generating additional heat. Heart rate will drop by 10-12 beats per minute, and respiration by 4-5 breaths per minute. You should feel more relaxed and notice that your spine is in gentle traction during the night the following weeks you should begin to feel able to breathe more easily, more relaxed, and have more energy within the first 4 weeks. Urine density, clarity and odour will also change within a few weeks, and body temperature significantly warmer.
How long does it take before I begin to notice significant neurological improvements?
This appears to be related to how long you have had your injury, and how severe your injury is. Obviously, one would expect a relatively new injury to respond far quicker than an injury dating back 10-20 or more years. I simply do not have enough data to predict how long this will take to work in each case and hope you can accept that we need more data in order to establish the limitations of this therapy. It is well documented that horizontal bedrest brings about many serious medical conditions, including neurological damage. Perhaps there might be something wrong with the way that the majority of us sleep? NASA has conducted a huge amount of research into bed rest, in order to induce the medical problems associated with micro-gravity conditions during short term and long term space travel. Some people have noticed improvements within 4 weeks, others in four months.
What about oedema? (fluid retention)
The current interpretation of oedema is that it is caused by fluids moving out of the main circulatory vessels into the surrounding tissue, predominantly in the lower limbs. And that raising the feet and legs provides temporary relief from the swelling that develops.
My interpretation based on the case histories I have, is that renal function is compromised by poor posture, and is effectively improved in the inclined position. This aids the circulatory vessels to remove more toxins and solutes from the blood and surrounding tissue so that it can be excreted in the urine more effectively. This allows the oedema to be pulled back into the circulation from the surrounding tissue and into the urine, which would also explain why the density of urine significantly increases on an inclined bed as opposed to a flat bed.
When My Father was in Hospital, they refused to elevate his bed. This resulted in an immediate increase in his leg oedema, which we had resolved for many years after his bed was initially tilted back in 1995. His severely ulcerated legs, which had troubled him since he was 29 years old, had also healed, but consequently deteriorated rapidly during his stay in hospital. I had a real battle on my hands with the staff of the hospital, and living 200 miles away it was difficult to keep a close watch on what they did and did not do for him. On returning back to see my Father I noticed his legs were so swollen, his bed clothes had to be cut away from him. I could not lift one of his legs it was so huge and badly swollen.
Finally, I lost the plot and began shouting instructions at them and threatening them with legal action. Finally, they accepted my advice to tilt his bed and within a few days all of the swelling had vanished, but alas, the damage to his ulcers had been extensive, and possibly led to his septicemia and ultimately his death.
There have been many more people that have reported oedema improvements by raising the head of the bed instead of raising the legs. However, if you already have a substantial problem with oedema, then you may get an initial shift of fluids down to your legs ankles and feet, before your kidneys can deal with the problem. This should be short term, and can be resolved by alternating the legs from horizontal to tilting them down in order to minimize the initial shift in fluids.
You will also notice that the inclined bed will alter the amount of urine you are producing, particularly if you have a lot of excess fluids to excrete.
What about thrombosis?
Thromboembolisms have been observed to diminish due to the substantial improvements in circulation, even vanishing without a trace over several months, providing further proof that the circulation responds to the correct alignment with gravity.
What about a collapsed vein?
This is a very serious problem, and has been noted by a lady with a spinal cord injury who participated in the pilot study. The veins in her leg had collapsed due to her spending many years in a wheelchair. Her circulation was compromised in her foot due to the decrease in venous pressure caused by tilting the bed. Normally, this does not affect the vein, and indeed the veins are designed to accommodate negative pressure/tension, whereas the arteries are designed to accommodate a positive pressure. On this occasion however, the veins became too constricted due to their poor condition and caused her foot to change colour. This was addressed by placing a cushion under the affected leg, while sleeping inclined and the problem improved.
However, this same altering of internal venous pressure by tilting the bed has been shown to provide amazing relief from varicose veins, whereby the veins are visibly pulled in and this happens in a very short timescale, from 4 weeks of inclined bedrest, my wife's varicose vein went flat. It had been bulging for 16 years, following the birth of our eldest son.
What about Balance?
Balance is greatly improved over the weeks using the inclined bed. Not long ago, I was at a garden centre with my wife, and noticed a very narrow rail used to pull the plant trolley along in the huge greenhouse. I decided to see if I could walk along the entire length of track, which measured around half an inch wide. I was amazed to find that I had full control over my balance and did not fall off the track. Although I got a few strange looks from people shopping there.
How do I participate?
Make a note of how you are prior to taking part, so that you have a benchmark to begin with. Note down the levels of sensitivity, what you can and can't do, giving as much detail as you feel comfortable with sharing with everyone. ( You may already have a comprehensive understanding of your physiological situation) But people using this forum would like to know where you are coming from when you post a diary thread).
Start a thread of your own.
Several people have already began to sleep inclined, and I hope they will publish their diary in the European thread so that others can follow their example. Once you have started your online diary in the European Forum, all you need to do is to add a diary entry as and when you or someone around you notices a change, recording things like unusual pains, changes in spasm, changes in skin tone and muscle tone, finger nails, (half moons may develop or become larger on nails) Be patient as this therapy can take several months before it begins to show significant improvements.
Raise your seat by using an extra cushion in order to lift your seat higher than your knees. Obviously, this may not be possible when outside the home, due to safety issues using a wheelchair. But it has been shown to help to speed things along. Also, using a standing frame where possible.
Take care transferring into and off an inclined bed, as this may require assistance, given the mattress is sloping.
The idea is that your feet do not touch the foot board of the bed. This can cause the spine to compress rather than the traction effect of sleeping inclined. Also, you may develop a pressure sore on your feet if in constant contact with the foot board.
Consult your G.P. prior to taking part. This will at least alert him / her to what you are doing and may also generate some additional interest in our study.
Good luck, and thank you for your interest in my work.
Andrew K Fletcher
Gravity, Learn to live with it, because you can't live without it!
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Last edit: by Andrew.