What is "Long Covid"? And Can Reflexology Help?
As the Coronavirus pandemic continues to unfold, it's becoming clear that recovery is not always straightforward. As many as 20 per cent of people who’ve had Covid-19 symptoms are thought to still be experiencing the after-effects after a month or more.
In the last couple of months I am now starting to see clients who can be described as having “Long Covid”. About half these clients have had confirmed Covid tests. The other half had “presumed” Covid. No two clients are the same and each have various symptoms, but the one symptom they have all had in common is extreme fatigue and lack of energy.
So What is Long Covid?
Most people who had mild symptoms with the virus, such as a high temperature and cough, recover quickly. But for some, the effects of the virus can last for weeks or months. This has been labelled “long Covid”.
There is no one medical definition or list of symptoms shared by all patients.
However, the most common feature is crippling fatigue.
Symptoms include breathlessness, a lingering cough, joint pain, muscle aches, hearing and eyesight problems, headaches, loss of smell and taste and gastric issues.
Mental health problems have been reported including depression, anxiety and not being able to think straight or focus.
It is still unclear how the virus causes long Covid but it has been thought that the virus may have cleared from most of the body but continues to linger in small pockets.
"If there's long-term diarrhoea then you find the virus in the gut, if there's loss of smell it is in the nerves - so that could be what's causing the problem," says Prof Tim Spector, from King's College London.
Can Reflexology Help With Long Covid?
With the main benefits of reflexology being stress reduction, strengthening the immune system, boosting energy levels and improving circulation, I have no doubt that reflexology will help to alleviate symptoms of long Covid. Reflexology has long been known to help people recover from many different viruses and conditions. It works to stimulate the body's natural healing processes, releases built-up tension in your body and helps the body to detoxify so it can be restored to its natural state of calm and equilibrium. Regular treatments can have amazing effects on a person’s general wellbeing, helping to regain strength and immunity. I have treated many clients over the years who were recovering from various illnesses such as chest infections, gastric infections, viruses, flus, and clients who are recovering from cancer and left feeling wiped out by all the treatments. I can say confidently reflexology definitely helped these clients feel stronger, more energised and they all felt that the reflexology treatments helped them to recover from the conditions faster than they would have without. The other benefit is the positive effect reflexology can have on a person’s mental health. Reflexology can help reduce stress levels, improve sleep and make you feel more able to face whatever challenges life throws at you.
The best bit about reflexology is you are treating the whole body in each treatment but you can focus in on one or two areas, for example the chest to help ease a cough or the digestive system to help with any gastric problems so each treatment can be adapted to work on the presenting symptoms.
My clients with Long Covid symptoms are already showing signs of a good recovery - energy levels slowly returning and generally feeling more positive about the future.
Reflexology can breathe life back into your body, making you feel balanced, positive and full of energy. If you think reflexology could help you then I would say definitely give it a try!