If you have Long Covid, it can be tough to find a treatment that works. That’s because the symptoms of this condition vary from person to person, and there is no one-size-fits-all cure for Long Covid. However, if you are willing to try a multi-pronged approach including acupuncture and herbal formulas, you may be able to get relief from your symptoms.
What Is Long Covid?
Long Covid is not well understood by Western medicine. It’s a complex syndrome of symptoms that can include but is not limited to brain fog, dizziness, shortness of breath, weakness, pain, and extreme fatigue. The condition may affect multiple body systems including the central nervous system, organ, endocrine, and immune systems. Viruses want to survive and often employ phlegmy biofilm to hide under, reappearing later to continue to mutate and prolong illness. This feels like a rebound. People feel well for a bit then “relapse” three days to three months later, making it hard to link the two events. Long Covid can be difficult to diagnose due to its complexity and pre-existing health issues complicate diagnosis even further.
Why can’t my doctor help me?
If you have been told that your symptoms are the result of a rebound of Covid, then your doctor may likely not able to help you much, if at all. Some doctors don’t see the collection of odd symptoms as Long Covid, especially if you cannot prove you had Covid or no longer have antibodies.
In addition, many doctors do not understand the long-term effects of Covid and are therefore unable to treat Long Covid effectively. If a doctor does not understand how to treat your condition and/or is unable to differentiate it from other conditions such as arthritis, asthma, IBS, FMS, or other conditions, they will be unlikely to provide effective treatment. In fact, in some cases they may actually make your symptoms worse by prescribing medications that interact badly with Covid or by prescribing unnecessary medications like steroids or antidepressants because they don’t know what else to do.
Additionally, many doctors simply do not have enough time or expertise available for each patient—even if they knew how to treat Long Covid properly! This can lead them down an ineffective path toward symptom management rather than resolving root causes.
The Chinese medicine perspective
Chinese medicine has a fundamentally different perspective on health and wellness than Western medicine, but can be a great partner, covering prevention and treatment of chronic diseases, while Western covers emergency aka battlefield medicine. Chinese medicine doctors view the function of the many organ systems of the body, along with their interaction with the environment, as a whole, wherein each system affects all of the others. This holistic approach helps to explain why acupuncture treatments can work even in patients who have been given up for lost by their Western physicians who have been taught to separate systems and specialize, removing the connection between systems. Pulmonologists don’t compare notes with gastroenterologists even when you have symptoms in the lungs and gut at the same time. Specialization clouds the big picture.
A second important difference between Chinese and Western medicine is that the former has had extensive experience with epidemics and pandemics such as smallpox and cholera, among others. Throughout its history, China has suffered at least a dozen large-scale outbreaks of plague (including bubonic plague) during which tens or hundreds of thousands died every year; by contrast, there were only two major American epidemics: yellow fever in 1793-99 (when Philadelphia lost 20% of its residents) and influenza in 1918–1919 (during which one million Americans died). From the beginning, this variation, SARS-CoV-2, was identified as a Damp Plague which attacks multiple organ systems with phlegm and stickiness that can cause blood to clot. Chinese medicine practitioners are not unfamiliar with these pathogens.
Acupuncture and herbal formulas for Long Covid
Long Covid is a rebound condition that affects many systems of the body and can cause symptoms such as extreme fatigue, lack of appetite, headaches, dizziness, pain in the joints, to name just a few. Acupuncture and herbal formulas can help people with Long Covid to improve their physical condition by addressing the underlying cause, relieving pain, strengthening their immune system, and helping to relieve the anxiety caused by the disease.
There is a long history of herbs that can mitigate and relieve the effect of such disease mechanisms like phlegm and blood flow inhibition, often seen as that “sticky black blood”, characteristic of Covid. The right combination and dose of herbs will be determined by a trained herbalist. The herbs used are chosen to address the specific type of Long Covid presentation, which varies from person to person. There’s no “one size fits all” approach to treatment protocols.
With treatment, you can recover your health
The good news is that even when you feel you have run out of options, you haven’t. Acupuncture and herbal medicine can help treat the many manifestations of Long Covid. You’ll want to work with an experienced practitioner who knows how to customize your treatment specifically for your case. With proper care and patience, you should be able to recover your health and see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Looking at some of the potential causes and treatments for Long Covid, we hope this article has helped you learn more about what it is and how to address it. We also hope that if you have been suffering from this disorder, then this information will help you continue to seek help to relieve your symptoms and get back to living a full life. Please contact us for an appointment or to discuss your individual case.