As the pandemic continues, more reports are emerging of a new phenomenon – the so-called ‘long Covid’. From an alternative health perspective this isn’t a new phenomenon at all. It’s another manifestation of something I see many patients with already in my acupuncture clinic: post viral fatigue syndrome.
Following a viral infection of any kind it is not unusual to feel more tired than normal for a few weeks whilst your system recovers. Post viral fatigue syndrome (PVFS) is a collection of life-limiting symptoms that last for months, even years, after an initial viral infection. Common symptoms include:
There’s a large crossover of both symptoms and medical diagnoses between PVFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), and Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), with many healthcare specialists using the names interchangeably.
The answer to this is still a mystery; we don’t know why some people develop PVFS after an infection and others don’t. Many doctors now think an immune system imbalance is a likely cause, and that the immune system doesn’t reset itself properly following a viral infection. Immune messengers called ‘cytokines’ that promote inflammation may over-react, and the lymphatic system (our internal waste management system that clears up cellular wastes) struggles to cope. This leads to chronic low-grade inflammation, cell damage, and lack of energy.
Each patient I see with PVFS has a unique health history, diet, and lifestyle, and the treatments are always tailored to suit the individual.
Research shows that Acupuncture can help manage they symptoms of PVFS by:
It is also important to consider other aspects of health alongside using Acupuncture. Nutrition, gentle movement, stress management techniques, and herbs all play an important part in helping patients recover from PVFS.
Choosing foods and nutrients that support the immune system and help manage inflammation can make a significant difference to PVFS. These include:
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