Tips for Relaxing While Lying Prone

This information will help you get into the prone position (lying on your belly). It also includes tips to help you relax once you’re in that position, including music therapy and guided imagery. 

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Getting into the Prone Position

Follow the steps below to move from a seated position to prone position. Your movements should be slow and smooth.

  1. Sit up in bed with your legs extended and the head of the bed elevated.
  2. Lower the head of the bed so that you’re flat on your back, facing the ceiling.
  3. Gently bend both knees with your feet slightly apart (see Figure 1).
    Figure 1.

    Figure 1. Bend your knees

  4. Allow your knees to gently roll to one side.
  5. Allow your torso (middle of your body) to follow the direction of your knees.
  6. Gently bring your top hand over and place it flat on the bed (see Figure 2).
    Figure 2.

    Figure 2. Place your hand flat on the bed

  7. Slide your bottom arm underneath your head for support, if you can.
  8. Gently straighten your legs back behind you (see Figure 3).
    Figure 3.

    Figure 3. Straighten your legs behind you

  9. Bring your bottom elbow around as your slide onto your belly (see Figure 4).
    Figure 4.

    Figure 4. Slide onto your belly

  10. Find a comfortable space for your arms to rest.

If you need help getting into the prone position, ask a member of your healthcare team. They will be able to help you get comfortable by adding pillows and towels for support.

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Relaxing in the Prone Position

Once you’re in the prone position, you may find it helpful to prop your smartphone or tablet up on the bed so that you can watch videos to help you relax. There are many videos on YouTube; the videos below are some examples selected by the staff of MSK’s Integrative Medicine Service.

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