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Long COVID: Here’s How Acupuncture can Help

Long-term COVID, also known as Long COVID or post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), refers to a complex and often debilitating condition that persists for weeks or months after the initial recovery from COVID-19.

It encompasses a wide range of both physical and psychological symptoms and can affect individuals of all ages, regardless of the severity of their initial COVID-19 illness. The exact mechanisms underlying Long COVID, and the treatment options are still being actively researched.

Several contributing factors play a role in the emergence of Long COVID after recovering from a SARS-CoV-2 infection. A significant portion of these factors can be traced back to the persistent inflammatory effects of the Spike Protein, which can endure long after the initial recovery from the illness itself.

COVID-19 imposes substantial stress on the body, further exacerbating the situation. It is known to tighten blood vessels, hindering the oxygenation of tissues and increasing the risk of clot formation, which can lead to subsequent complications.

What Are the Symptoms of Long COVID?

Unfortunately, individuals grappling with Long COVID often find themselves contending with a range of physical and psychological symptoms commonly associated with this condition, with many experiencing multiple symptoms from this list.

Physical Symptoms of Long COVID

  1. Severe Fatigue: Overwhelming tiredness that persists.
  2. Shortness of Breath: Often accompanied by a persistent cough in some cases.
  3. Muscle Pain: Aches and discomfort in muscles.
  4. Earache: Pain or discomfort in the ears.
  5. Frequent Headaches: Recurring episodes of head pain.
  6. Chest Pains or Arrhythmia: Potential damage to the heart.
  7. Loss of Taste and Smell: May be temporary or permanent.
  8. Loss of Appetite: Reduced desire for food.
  9. Nausea: Feeling of sickness.
  10. Diarrhea: Frequent, loose bowel movements.
  11. Abdominal Pain: Discomfort or cramps in the abdomen.
  12. Alopecia (Hair Loss): Thinning or loss of hair.

acupuncture for long covid

Psychological Symptoms of Long COVID

  1. Insomnia: Difficulty falling or staying asleep.
  2. Difficulty Concentrating: Challenges in focusing or thinking clearly.
  3. Depression: Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness.
  4. Apathy: Lack of interest or motivation.

While Long COVID is often more pronounced in individuals who experienced a severe bout of COVID-19, it can also impact those with asymptomatic or mild cases. True to its name, Long COVID can endure for an extended duration, affecting individuals across the spectrum of COVID-19 severity.

What is the Treatment for Long COVID?

Since Long-Covid is a relatively new condition, specific treatments are still being developed. Currently, therapies focus on addressing individual symptoms. For instance, Respiratory Physiotherapy may be recommended for shortness of breath or loss of taste/smell. In cases of asthenia, amino acid and vitamin supplements are often prescribed. If depression is prolonged, antidepressant medication might be advised. Each treatment is tailored to alleviate specific symptoms of Long-Covid.

How Can Acupuncture Help?

Long COVID Fatigue Symptoms

Regular, weekly, or biweekly acupuncture is often recommended as an initial therapy for Long COVID patients.

Given the similarities between Long-Covid symptoms and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and with studies from China and South Korea suggesting acupuncture’s effectiveness in CFS, acupuncture is emerging as a potential treatment for Long-Covid.

This recommendation is supported by several studies conducted in China and South Korea that have investigated the impact of acupuncture on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The largest review on acupuncture for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) analyzed ten systematic reviews and meta-analyses. It concluded that acupuncture is generally safe and effective for treating CFS. You can access the full review at PubMed.

Acupuncture, with its holistic approach, is known to improve overall physical and psychological resistance and energy. It works by regulating the flow of Qi (vital energy) along specific pathways or meridians in the body, addressing imbalances and deficiencies that lead to disease.

This ancient Chinese practice has been shown to effectively treat a wide range of conditions, including neurological, musculoskeletal, digestive, respiratory, and emotional issues like insomnia, depression, and anxiety.

Long COVID Psychological Symptoms

Additionally, a study has demonstrated that acupuncture stimulates the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that plays a key role in mood regulation, thus potentially aiding in the management of anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

By tapping into the body’s energy and applying pressure to specific points, acupuncture facilitates the optimal flow of Qi, enhancing both physical and mental well-being​​​​.

long covid acupuncture

Long COVID Stomach Issues

Acupuncture, as a traditional Chinese medicine technique, has been shown to offer significant benefits for various health conditions, including gastrointestinal diseases and dyspnea. Its clinical effects on gastrointestinal (GI) diseases are notable, with mechanisms including changes in gene expression in the gastric mucosa, regulation of anti-inflammatory substances, and increase in vagal activity.

These mechanisms contribute to therapeutic effects like the inhibition of gastric acid secretion, control of GI motility, and alleviation of symptoms such as gastric hypersensitivity and dysmotility.

Acupuncture’s efficacy for gastroparesis has been proven in clinical trials, demonstrating its versatility in addressing diverse GI diseases through various biological mechanisms​​.

Long COVID Neurological Symptoms

In terms of neurological capabilities, acupuncture plays a significant role in the treatment of neurological diseases. It has been found to inhibit the accumulation of toxic proteins in neurological diseases, modulate energy supply based on glucose metabolism, and depress neuronal apoptosis, exerting a wide range of neuroprotective effects. This suggests that acupuncture may aid in enhancing neurological functions such as memory retention and possibly the regaining of senses like taste and smell​​.

Long COVID Respiratory Symptoms

For dyspnea, particularly in advanced diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and cancer, acupuncture has shown effectiveness. A systematic review of randomized controlled trials involving 597 patients found significant improvement in breathlessness severity and exercise tolerance in patients receiving acupuncture.

This indicates that acupuncture can be a valuable nonpharmacological approach for managing breathlessness in various advanced diseases​​.

These studies collectively highlight the multifaceted benefits of acupuncture in treating a range of conditions, supporting its role as a complementary therapy in modern healthcare.

In Conclusion

Acupuncture has shown promising results in alleviating various Long Covid symptoms, including gastrointestinal issues and respiratory difficulties.

Medelit provides this beneficial treatment with board-certified and expert acupuncturists who offer personalized care directly in the comfort of your home. This home-based approach ensures convenience, reduces the stress of traveling to a clinic, and offers a safe, familiar environment for recovery.

You can now receive top-notch, tailored acupuncture therapy at home, to target your specific Long Covid symptoms and enhance your path to wellness.

Check out Availabilities and Fees at Your address for our Home Acupuncture Service

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