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Comfort and safety make "PRONING" more practical.

To help keep your lungs clear, especially in the age of "Covid", USING GRAVITY with DEEP BREATHING, (cycles of normal breathing periods followed by INHALING FULLY and HOLDING full lungs for approximately 5 seconds and then COUGHING AS YOU EXHALE), increases the production of sputum to clear the DEEPER parts of your lungs. These DEEP BREATHING sessions of 15 minutes, or longer, while “proning”, are recommended by Respiratory Therapists and ICU staff during the time of COVID-19, with LONGER AND MORE FREQUENT PERIODS being VERY VALUABLE to help resolve respiratory illness. (Note: "Proning" refers to being "prone" which is the opposite of lying on your back.)

The technique shown in Dr. Rifai's short video is EASY and EFFECTIVE to do on a FIRM couch or bed for short periods of time.


However, to "prone" for longer periods of time, especially to sleep while proning, our bodies need more support. The images on this page show my "proning" setup with a "bolster wedge*" which is often used by massage or physical therapists. The video below by Dr. Rifai explains the value of "proning". This self-proning information may be very useful for ambulatory patients.

I have personally found that "proning", on a regular basis, indeed is AMAZING to expand and clear out my lungs and sinuses!... which can be an issue with illness, allergies, and general aging. With COVID, the technique can be lifesaving.

(CAUTIONS that would require clearance from your personal physician BEFORE performing THIS EXAMPLE OF "PRONING", include ANY contraindication to lying on your stomach, pressure on or twisting of your spine, shoulders, knees, hips or neck, or bending at the waist/hips more than 90 degrees. Also, generally for digestion, I allow at least 1 hour to pass after drinking any large volume, or eating any large amount of food, before "proning".)


Here is how I set up for “proning“…

First, REMEMBER to START A TIMER for at least 15 minutes as you lie down. (The first time you have YOUR set up CORRECT, AND READY to try this, COMMIT to doing A FULL 15 minutes and you WILL become a believer as to how EFFECTIVE it is!)

Be sure you have ACCESSIBLE Kleenex-type TISSUE and a TRASH CAN WHILE "proning", and for some time AFTER you stop "proning", because the mucus that is loosened up from the lower lungs and sinuses will continue to be coughed up.

The bolster wedge cushion with padding shown (or any similar FIRM NARROW BOLSTER/CUSHION about 10-12” wide and placed on edge), makes a quite comfortable support for the lower body, resting at the front of the hip bones (BELOW your stomach, NOT ON your stomach), while resting on your knees, with your thighs perpendicular to the bed and bending at the waist/hips more than 90 degrees. The bolster support should stay AGAINST THE VERTICAL THIGHS, below your belly button and across the apex of the angle created by bending at your waist/hips. This helps you stay ON your knees.

Two rolls, approximately 10” wide, length-wise multi-folded and FIRMLY ROLLED BATH SHEETS (Large Turkish Towels approximately 40"x80") are placed so that one roll supports each shoulder, not the chest. These rolls should be firm, but NOT HARD. (If the towels are old or lack softness, making the rolls hard, your shoulder(s)/upper arm(s) will start to go numb.) Each towel roll may be rolled tighter or unrolled a little to fine-tune firmness, and thus the shoulder support, needed for YOU. (Multiple regular towels can be used, but the towel ROLLS MUST give support to the shoulders. Depending upon your body size, a larger person with a longer neck may even need to fold an additional smaller towel INTO the ROLLED BATH SHEET to support your shoulders.)

The rolls are placed slightly angled, with one slightly farther from the bolster than the other**, with a space between. This reduces pressure on your chest from being prone and makes breathing easier. WHILE "PRONING" THIS WAY, YOU MUST HAVE THE SENSE THAT MOST OF YOUR BODY WEIGHT IS ON YOUR KNEES, HIPS AND SHOULDERS. If you have to hold yourself up with your arms, you will NOT be able to RELAX and your neck will become compromised.

(**The POSITIONING of which TOWEL ROLL is slightly farther from the bolster, and which is closer, is OPTIONAL. Your head may be kept straight or may be slightly turned away (only 5-10 degrees) from the towel roll that is farther from the bolster to make the most of space for coughing.)

Putting your hands at approximately ear-level as you lie down on top of everything, head turned slightly, allows the hand just above that higher rolled BATH SHEET to hold onto the top and back of your head (thumb near the occiput), and allows easy adjustment of that upper roll for comfortable and safe shoulder support to protect your neck.

The other hand, nearer your face, can adjust the towel roll closer to the bolster position, and then slide easily up to support/hold the top of your head. This allows space to breathe, and ensures GOOD NECK SUPPORT BY BOTH HANDS. For me, contact is made with the side of my forehead, one eyebrow, one upper cheek, my nose, both hands, forearms and elbows, COMFORTABLY stabilizing my head and KEEPING MY NECK STRAIGHT, while allowing me to breathe easily. HOWEVER, MY UPPER BODY WEIGHT IS MAINLY ON THE TOWEL ROLLS. If I feel pressure on my eye or nose, I TUCK MY CHIN slightly, straighten my head and drop my shoulders more firmly DOWN onto the towel rolls. If your chest or breasts are feeling too much pressure, the towel rolls need to be angled outward at the bottom, for more space, while still supporting the shoulders closer to your head.

Again, the "proning" position is easier to maintain if your body is relaxed, without having to hold your upper body up. Two key points accomplish this. First, SPREAD YOUR KNEES a little (still keeping your upper legs perpendicular to the bed and against the bolster), just enough to allow your hip weight to be ON the bolster. Secondly, ADJUST THE TOWEL ROLLS to be thick/bulky enough, and positioned, to allow YOUR UPPER BODY WEIGHT TO BE ON YOUR SHOULDERS more than on your hands, forearms, elbows, head/face.


If you sense ANY vascular pulsation or numbness (try a softer towel), READJUST your shoulder(s), STRAIGHTEN YOUR NECK, TUCK YOUR CHIN SLIGHTLY AND REDUCE YOUR HEAD TURN!

If your 4th and 5th fingers, hand and the forearm start to tingle while flexing your elbow tightly, your ulnar nerve (which courses around the elbow joint) is being compressed and you need to curl your 4th and 5th fingers, reduce your elbow flexion, straighten the affected arm and/or increase shoulder support until tingling stops or does not occur.

If a vascular pulsation, numbness or tingling cannot be eliminated, do NOT continue "proning" without your physician's approval!

Once you have established the size necessary for the firmly rolled BATH SHEETS to really SUPPORT YOUR upper body, be sure to unroll and re-roll the two bath sheets at the end of your "proning" session so that they will be ready for the next time. If you don't, the rolls will compress and you will realize when you are comfortably into your next session that they need to be more firm to support you.


It has been suggested that rectangular memory foam remnant pieces, similar to your needed support with the bath sheets, might be used. These are available from places like Joanne's fabric store, and might be useful for YOUR regular "proning". Personally, I prefer towels that are more adjustable and easily washed.

Also, once you master the positioning and breathing routine, lung drainage may be assisted BY ANOTHER PERSON'S very GENTLE, cupped-hand tapping (percussion) upon the area of your upper- to mid-back and lower rib cage. Understanding how this can help clear, especially the lower lungs, can be visualized by considering what was always done to empty an old-fashioned ketchup bottle by GENTLY tapping upon it. (If you are alone, with no one to provide percussion, you may accomplish the same thing by using a Timpani Mallet with a large, squeezed, 1" eyehook inserted into the end. Be sure to predrill the hole for this hook in the wood to prevent splitting. This hard-wood, dowel-like tool can be used to gently tap upon your own back. Put your ring-finger of your dominant hand through the eyehook, and with your hand behind your neck while proning, allow the mallet to lift and drop of its own weight to make VERY GENTLE TAPPING upon various parts of your back while holding your lungs full of air.)

For modesty, and warmth, it is advisable to wear sweatpants/sweatshirt and socks, or similar loose clothing, since you are exposed on top of the bedding. Since you will be COUGHING while "proning" and your face will be pressing into the surface bedding fabric, consider using a SMOOTH, soft material, disposable or easily washable, for sanitation, comfort and to reduce creating an "imprint" into your forehead and upper cheek! ;-) This is especially important if you are sharing the proning setup with another person to prevent transmission of respiratory and/or ocular infections.

The amazing results (usually starting after 5-10 minutes) are so PROFOUND to produce sputum and post nasal flow, that this has actually become a regular 15 minute, or longer, routine to clear my lungs every morning. It is also nice, without a timer, to combine this healthy activity with regular morning prayer time. ;-)


There are many examples of "proning" techniques available on-line. Again, be sure to have viewed the video of Dr. Ahmad Oussama Rifai to help VISUALIZE POSITIONING goals:



Also, PLEASE consider reading:

"The Real Anthony Fauci: Bill Gates, Big Pharma, and the Global War on Democracy and Public Health"

by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.



(For your good health and ours, at the Seidlitz Family WALMAH Day Spa, we carefully select the most pure and natural ingredient products available, striving always NOT to contain Paraben, Polysorbate, Disodium EDTA, or Sodium Laureth/Laurel Ether Sulfates.)