In December '91, I injured my spine (both lumbar and thoracic regions) in a fall down some steps where a builder had left loose roofing felt, and like a loose stair carpet. Some twelve years later, it was finally realised that my SI joint was locked up into the wrong position. A week ago, and nearly seventeen years later, I was finally diagnosed as having arachnoiditis in the thoracic region.

During this time, I've experienced considerable weight gain, circulatory problems and oedema.

I could tell you a horror story, including tales of doctors and specialists who wrote me off as being a hyperchondriac, having psychosomatic pains, and even those who wanted to refer me to a psychiatrist when I complained of feeling as if I'd insects crawling over my back. I also had some serious side-effects from medications, and came close to taking my own life about fourteen years ago - that, I believe, due to the negatively mind-altering effects of the combination of drugs I was being prescribed. In the end, the senior partner at the surgery even told me to go away and learn to live with it!

Well, I didn't have much option, but I did find one doctor at the practice who was willing to listen and to work with me to try and find a balance in the medications that would work for me, without unwanted side effects, and who wasn't afraid to admit it when he didn't have the answers.

During that time, I was constantly being told to raise my feet to address the oedema. It reduced slightly when my weight was off my feet, but after a day of being on my feet, would be back as bad as ever again. My blood pressure was well elevated and all over the place, but rarely under 145/85.

My doctor was at a loss to know how to help me, but a couple of months ago, and when I stumbled upon and read about Andrew's IBT study, what he said about the solutes and gravity made logical sense to me, and, after consulting my doctor - when I was told that he didn't see any reason why I shouldn't try it, but to expect my oedema to get worse - I raised the head end of my bed 6" and commenced sleeping at that angle.

Within just a couple of days, the oedema in my legs had reduced significantly. Indeed, the measurement around my calves was up to 5cms (about 2.5") less than pre-IBT, and although increasing a little again during the daytimes at first, for the last few weeks there's been no significant difference between measurements taken in the mornings and evenings. In fact, I can now actually see my shin bones, and even feel the odd chip in those from injuries sustained in my teens!

My doctor really is amazed, and also at the significant improvement in my blood pressure, and, of late, I have started to notice a considerable lessening of the incidents and strength of muscle spasms and cramps in my ribcage, that relate to the arachnoiditis.

It's still early days, as I've only been using IBT a couple of months, but during that time I've also been undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, so you can imagine that, finding myself experiencing days without any back pain at all or only a little aching in my lower spine and from osteoarthritis/wear and tear after the 12 years that was affected by having my SI joint out of position, and after so long spent living with chronic and often severe and crippling back pain, I feel as if a miracle has occurred!

For the last few weeks, I've hardly take any anti-inflammatory medication, either. This because I was advised at the cancer hospital to avoid it, if possible due to the effect of the chemo on my blood platelets, and because what I have found works best for me as an anti-inflammatory to keep the arachnoiditis under some form of control on a daily basis is simple, old fashioned aspirin or the salicylic acid based ones.

I can ONLY speak for myself, and based upon my own experience, because I don't have any medical qualifications, only experience of those conditions that I do have. (My background is, however, psychology related.)