How can Acupuncture help with Long COVID Symptoms?September 30th, 2021
by Maggie Martin With over 15 years of experience, Maggie promotes Evidence & Lifestyle Based Medicine & puts a great focus on Smart Nutrition, all to promote the importance of harmony between mind, body & spirit. You can find out more about Maggie and book a session with her here.
For some people, coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. As a result, it is called post-COVID-19 syndrome or "long COVID". It doesn't seem to matter how badly you contracted COVID; you may have only had mild symptoms. Yet it's been over 12 weeks and you can't seem to shake it. However, maybe acupuncture holds the secret to your recovery?
Symptoms of long COVID
The NHS lists the symptoms of long COVID as:
extreme tiredness (fatigue)
shortness of breath
chest pain or tightness
problems with memory and concentration ("brain fog")
difficulty sleeping (insomnia)
pins and needles
depression and anxiety
feeling sick, diarrhoea, stomach aches, loss of appetite
a high temperature, cough, headaches, sore throat, changes to sense of smell or taste
These lingering symptoms are so prevalent that they have now been given their own name. Long-COVID syndrome.
In fact, many symptoms of Long-COVID are very similar to symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). CFS is the hallmark symptom of unexplained, persistent, non-relapsing fatigue.
The WHO reports the median time for recovery from COVID-19 infection is up to two weeks for those with mild cases. But up to 6 weeks or more for severe cases. Yet it also appears to be true that of the millions of people so far listed as “recovered” from long COVID, hundreds of thousands of people continue to experience long-term illness. Many doctors are reporting that more than 90% of the patients that come in after COVID-19 infections are experiencing prolonged symptoms.
At The Isbourne, we are fortunate enough to have several therapists who are licensed to practice Acupuncture, such as Maggie Martin. You can find out more about Maggie and book a session with her here.
How can Acupuncture help?
One of the first therapies that often is suggested for sufferers of Long COVID is regular, weekly or biweekly Acupuncture. That is because there have been multiple studies in China and South Korea examining the effects of Acupuncture on Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. The studies show considerable improvement and even resolution of symptoms. These include:
improvement of unremitting and post-exertional fatigue
improvement in poor concentration or memory
healing of a sore throat
healing of swollen or tender lymph glands
reduction in muscle pain
reduction in multi-joint pain
less severe headaches
Because Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and long COVID present themselves in similar ways, we can use the studies from South Korea and China to inform how we treat long COVID. We know that Acupuncture has a long history of being able to help with the above health problems. As such, it can be a very useful tool in the recovery protocol from Long COVID.
How effective is Acupuncture in treating long COVID?
Studies have shown effectiveness rates as high as 93% for bringing symptoms of long COVID under control. But also as high as 43% or complete recovery, in groups receiving Acupuncture twice a week over a month-long period. Interestingly, adding Electro-Acupuncture also appears to strengthen treatments considerably.
Where can I get Acupuncture treatment for my symptoms?
At The Isbourne, we are fortunate enough to have several therapists who are licensed to practice Acupuncture, such as Maggie Martin. With over 15 years of experience, Maggie promotes Evidence & Lifestyle Based Medicine & puts a great focus on Smart Nutrition, all to promote the importance of harmony between mind, body & spirit. You can find out more about Maggie and book a session with her here.