COVID-19: Post-Covid Conditions
Post-COVID conditions, also termed long COVID, long-haul COVID, post-acute COVID-19, long-term effects of COVID, or chronic COVID, are being studied by the CDC and experts around the world. Learning more about the short and long-term health effects associated with COVID-19, who gets infected and why, is complex and critical to understanding and treating the disease. Traditional Chinese medicine, including acupuncture and herbal medicine, is a highly effective way to treat many of the symptoms.
After being exposed to the COVID-19 virus, some people still experience lingering post-COVID conditions. These post-COVID conditions range from new, returning, or ongoing health complications that can last up to four or more weeks after the initial virus infection. People who are no longer showing symptoms weeks after getting infected can still have post-COVID conditions. These conditions show as different combinations or types of health problems at different durations.
Asymptomatic and mildly-symptomatic people can exhibit symptoms, like those with severe cases, weeks or months after first being exposed to COVID-19. Commonly reported combination of different symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Tiredness or fatigue
- Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities (also known as post-exertional malaise)
- Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
- Chest or stomach pain
- Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
- Joint or muscle pain
- Pins-and-needles feeling
- Sleep problems
- Dizziness on standing (lightheadedness)
- Mood changes
- Change in smell or taste
- Changes in menstrual period cycles
HOW ACUPUNCTURE CAN HELP REDUCE COVID-19 SYMPTOMS
Studies have shown that COVID-19 causes what’s known as a “cytokine storm” that causes inflammation that can kill tissue and damage organs. A study from Harvard University in 2020 found that acupuncture reduced the impact of cytokine storms in mice. Another study from Oxford University found acupuncture treatment for COVID-19 suppressed the inflammation caused by stress, improved immunity, and regulated nervous system functions. This in turn will reduce the symptoms of brain fog, sleep problems, joint pain, fatigue, headache, irregular heart rate, breathing, and digestive upset. When the body goes into an intensely relaxed state during acupuncture, it signals the brain to reduce inflammatory factors and in turn, pain and inflammation is greatly reduced in the body. When the parasympathetic nervous system is stimulated, acupuncture slows heart rate and breathing, lowers blood pressure and improves digestion.
As noted above, there are a wide array of symptoms that can be addressed. Whether you are feeling fatigued from the vaccine, or are in need of immune boosting after infection, acupuncture and Chinese medicine are excellent ways to strengthen your immune system and rebalance your entire body.
Meet Marin L. Kokin, L.Ac.
Marin — acupuncturist, nutritionist, and owner of the Kokin Healing Center — is beloved by her patients. Read about patients that have found success at the Kokin Healing Center in Calabasas.