Recovering from Covid-19

The covid-19 virus has been around since December 2019. Despite a lot of coordinated research performed worldwide, we are still trying to understand all the details about the virus. The virus affects people differently. I have heard cases of two people exposed to the virus one person becomes covid -19 positive while the other person doesn’t, but months later the second person becomes covid positive and in rare cases, some people seem to be immune to contracting covid-19 despite being exposed.

Around the world, covid-19 is responsible for a massive death toll which has been tragic but that is only part of the problem. The time to fully recover from covid-19 is not fully recognised. Again, we see the variability in which covid-19 affects people. Some people have no symptoms at all, some are affected for a few weeks, while others continue to suffer years after the initial infection has gone. Currently, the are many medical trials being conducted to assist people to recover from covid -19. They are using pharmaceuticals and supplements along with various therapies. So why are you reading about this on an Osteopathic site?

In 1918 the Spanish flu (Type A H1N1 virus) hit America and millions of people died. It was noted by the Census officials that one treatment approach had a striking higher recovery rate than others, OSTEOPATHS. Osteopaths had a 90% recovery rate while the traditional medical approach using chemical-based medicines of the day had 70% recovery[i]. I think the reason Osteopaths fared so well, they looked at optimising the body’s functions and the immune hyper-reactivity. I think some similarities apply to treating covid-19 patients

What you feel: The most common issue I have seen in my patient base is breathing issues, most are OK if they are resting or not doing much but become fatigued when they return to work or quickly become breathless when they exercise. Other issues I have seen in the clinic are headaches, brain fog, and some digestive issues. I know that the remnant symptoms of covid-19 can be varied.

What is happening: I believe that when the body gets covid it goes into survival mode and adapts to different ways of doing things. These ways might not be efficient, but it gets you through the symptoms of the virus. Sometimes, the body stays in this mode and doesn’t return to its normal way of functioning, even after the virus has gone.

How I might treat this: I would work to relax the nervous system, and work on the respiratory system to improve its function. I might use soft tissue techniques to relax the muscles used for breathing, balancing the ribs and strains in the body that impact your breathing. Using cranial Osteopathy to improve the movement of the fluids around the head. If there are digestive problems, I may use visceral osteopathy to help resolve the physical stains on the organs. This would involve putting my hands gently on the abdomen.

[i] Osteopathy and the Flu: 1918 to 2009, Newsletter of the Osteopathy Australia, Osteo Life (Winter 2009) p6-7.