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Holistic Approach to Long COVID

Last year Medscape, an organization that provides medical information for clinicians and medical scientists, released an article titled:  Long COVID Symptoms Linked to Effects on Vagus Nerve.  The article addressed how several long COVID symptoms could be linked to the effects of the coronavirus on a vital central nerve.”  The article also states that “Individuals with long COVID and vagus nerve problems present with issues relating to their voice, swallowing, dizziness, high heart rate, low blood pressure, and diarrhea.”  The vagus nerve runs from the brain into the body, and connects the heart, lungs, intestines, and several muscles.  It controls the heart rate, speech, gag reflex, sweating, and digestion. The researchers also did a broad evaluation with imaging and functional tests that showed:

  • Thickening of the vagus nerve.

  • “Flattened diaphragmatic curves”, which means the diaphragm was not as mobile during breathing.  This also resulted in some of the patients having lower maximum inspiration pressure, which suggests weakness in the diaphragm.

  • Some patients also reported hiatal hernia, increase in acid reflux, which are also causes of diaphragmic dysfunction.

One of the most powerful techniques called CranioSacral Therapy (CST), which is a gentle, hands-on method of evaluating and enhancing the functioning of a physiological body system called the craniosacral system, has been shown to improve the functioning of the central nervous system, as well as many other systems of the body, such as digestive, musculoskeletal, respiratory, circulatory, and more. CST has also been shown to help with the physical components related to such somatic conditions as Post Traumatic Stress, depression, and anxiety.  The article mentioned above goes on to say “Our findings so far thus point at vagus nerve dysfunction as a central pathophysiological feature of long COVID.” 

Another possible connection with Long COVID appears to be a rise in strokes, blood clots, and heart attacks.  While these are common occurrences, there has been a noted increase in these occurrences since COVID.  Why you might ask?  COVID effects the vascular system such as poor oxygen absorption (which is why people need to be placed on a ventilator), it appears to attack the red blood cells and creates circulatory issues, or low vitality.  Because of this poor circulation in blood, the blood vessels could become clogged causing brain fog, or worse, aneurysm or stroke. 

As we approach Spring time, the body begins to release fat into the circulatory system which can create blood stagnation, or poor circulation, or worse, fatty build up that block and includes the blood vessels.  Blood clots can break off and move to the heart, brain, or other areas of the body.  Add the already “long COVID” occurrences that impact the vascular system, oxygen, and blood cells to the Spring time, and we have a possible recipe for disaster when not addressed.   

Natural remedies that would most likely support healthy circulation in the Spring would be:

  • Red raw beets – decongest the liver;

  • Raw garlic acts as a vasodilator which opens circulation;

  • Avoid wheat as wheat congests the blood;

  • Bitter greens or “Spring Mix” of greens;

  • Fermented vegetables in the Spring help to decongest the blood and live;

  • Lymphatic Drainage (dry brushing, warm oil self-massage, or Manual Lymphatic Drainage Technique)

  • Exercise

  • Yoga with a focus on breath (pranayama);

  • CranioSacral Therapy, and

  • Proper nutrition based on your unique constitutional imbalances

As always, consult your primary care physician before seeking the above remedies.  These remedies maybe beneficial for people suffering with Long COVID symptoms. 

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