Disclaimer: The method I describe here worked for me, but it
does not mean it works for everyone. Probably the geometry of
kidneys differs from person to person, and an exercise that works for
one person may not work for someone else. If you want to try, be
sure to talk to your physician and confirm you are healthy enough to
stand upside down for prolonged period of time. I won't be
responsible for any kind of damage from practicing the method
described in here. In fact, I feel blood pressure increasing in
my head when I do this exercise. Unless you confirm with your
doctor that you are healthy enough to do so, it may cause permanent
damage to your organs, or may even cause death. Also, if you do
this, do it in an open space. Falling on a debris may lead to an
injury or you may crush something valuable.
I had been grounded for about a week due to kidney stones. In
fact, I had one stone from my right and left kidney each and was taken
to ER three times. The first time was when I was in California
to visit Chino air show. I experienced an excruciating pain in
my right abdomen. But, the doctor could not find a stone
anywhere. The doctor only suspected a kidney stone, but since no
stone was found, the cause of the pain was unknown.
About a year later, I had a similar pain from my left abdomen, and I
passed a pretty big stone. But, my primary care physician said
that the stone was out and it's done. So, I thought it's done.
He didn't send me to a urologist, and he didn't order or recommend any
further tests. But, I started kidney-stone prevention diet then.
I loved spinach, but I've been avoiding since then. I used to
drink black coffee, but now I add milk.
A stone was out, and I started a prevention diet, so I was supposed to
be stone free. But, another pain struck me in my right abdomen
in December of the next year. My guess is it was from the same
stone that hauled me to ER in California. The doctor who saw me
in ER took a CT scan, and confirmed a stone in my right kidney.
Since a stone was confirmed, I was sent to a urologist. (I wish
my previous PCP had done that in the first occasion.) Expert
advice was logically made sense. I added one glass of orange
juice and one piece of cheese per day to my diet.
And, for the first time in my life, I laid on a surgery table. I
had a procedure called ESWL, pronounced like eshwall, in
which a kidney stone is fractured into smaller pieces by applying
ultrasound shockwave. According to the pre-op explanation, I was
supposed to receive a partial anesthesia, so I was sort of looking
forward to seeing how the procedure is done, but it was pretty much a
full-body anesthesia. I fell asleep and woke up when everything
was over. The procedure was successful. My urologist told
that although two tiny pieces remained, the two pieces were
insignificant, and were nothing to be worried about.
I took X-Ray a few weeks ago and met with my urologist last week for
annual check-up. Since I was explained that tiny kidney stones
tend to come out naturally, I was expecting my kidney should be
completely stone-free by this time.
In contrary, the X-ray indicated the two pieces still staying,
although the size didn't change. If the doctor didn't tell me
the exact size, I would have just thought the remaining stones were
still insignificant, but the doctor told that two stones were about
The good news was that the stones were not growing. My diet was
working. But, 4mm doesn't sound tiny enough for me. I
asked AOPA pilot information service, and confirmed that I am not
allowed to fly if I have a kidney stone greater than 2mm. So, I
was automatically grounded.
I made an appointment for my second ESWL for the next week.
The doctor also said that the two stones didn't come out maybe because
the stones were staying in the lower part of my kidney. It was a
very important information to me. Calcium-oxalate stones are
heavier than the water. It sinks. If the stone sinks below
urethra, it has little chance of coming up and passing into urethra.
I started my desperate attempt to pass the remaining stones. I
was standing upside down for 10 minutes per day followed by 100-times
jumps. I didn't have to stretch my arms and keep the head off
the floor. I kept my head, shoulder, and elbow on the floor,
held my back by hand, and stretched my legs straight up just like a
kind of yoga pose. But, I made sure my kidneys were upside down.
American urologists apparently believe that no exercise can shake and
pass a kidney stone. But, since I am able to read Japanese, I
also looked at some Japanese doctors' web sites. Interestingly,
Japanese urologists suggest to jump rope to shake and pass stones.
I don't have a jump rope, but I can just jump. However, if my
stones were in the lower part of the kidney, jumping isn't good enough
from physics point of view.
I need to move my stones up first. To do it, I need to apply
negative G force to my kidney. In jump rope, the body
experiences a greater than 1.0 positive G when the legs kick the
ground. However, in the air, the body is just free-falling, and
is subject to zero G. Therefore, the stones doesn't move upward
It would be fun if I can fly upside down for a few minutes per day.
But, I was grounded, and am not certified for aerobatics anyway.
Instead, I stood upside down. Since the body is subject to
positive 1G when I am upright, I can apply negative 1G to my body by
standing upside down.
Still, the chance of passing the stones looked slim. My
urologist told me that exercise wouldn't help. I was just
desperately hoping this upside-down exercise passes my stones.
To my happy surprise, the first stone came out on the second day.
I was able to retrieve. Its diameter was 2mm. Wasn't it
4mm? Maybe one of the two shadows on the X-ray were of two
stones located close to each other. If so, I might have 3
I kept this exercise and on the third day, I had some pain in my right
abdomen, which was nothing compared to the one I had when I was taken
to ER. I even had a feeling that the stone was coming out later
at night, but the stone didn't come out.
But, on the fifth day morning, I passed the second stone. The
stone fell into the drain too quickly and I could not measure the
size. But, it was larger than the first stone. Two out.
But, I kept the same exercise.
In the afternoon, almost immediately after I did the upside-down
exercise, I felt a sharp pain in my right abdomen. It was much
sharper than the previous pain. It was not incapacitating pain
at all though. The pain lasted about 1.5 hours. Almost
immediately after the pain was gone, I passed the third stone.
The size of the stone was 4mm.
I told my urologist that I passed three stones, then he gave me a
prescription for X-ray. I visited the hospital for pre-operative
exam on Tuesday and took an X-ray at the same time. If the X-ray
indicates that the stones are gone, I don't have to go through my
second ESWL, which would cost about $900, and I can fly again since my
3rd-class medical is still valid.
The next day, one day before my ESWL was scheduled, my urologist
called and told that I am stone free! I was able to save $900
just by standing upside down for 10 minutes per day.
I was able to pass three kidney stones that were staying over 19
months by exercise. I think it is possible to physically shake
and pass kidney stones. I think the combination of jumping and
standing upside down are effective, at least for me. I will
continue this exercise as a part of my daily routine. In case I
get a new kidney stone, all I need to do is pass it before it grows
greater than 2mm.