Long Covid Symptoms and Rehabilitation
Long Covid Symptoms are prevalent with millions of the ones who were infected but still experiencing debilitating symptoms months after their infection and share some common complaints such as extreme fatigue, pain, problems concentrating, and insomnia.
Having tough times coping with the new set new normal physical, mental, psychological, and financial conditions, we see there is not enough support from the medical facilities to attend to these newly developed Long Covid symptoms and nor the family members of the ones who have already suffered the deadly infection have any knowledge or education to handle these situations which are now are leading to serious psychological and physiological implications.
WHO (World health organization) defines and has officially accepted it to be a real scenario and have listed some of them as below:
Here is also a media report on the challenges and acceptance in the society: https://www.dw.com/en/long-covid-patients-fight-to-be-believed/a-58839340
Here we present a case study of Gemma a young American woman (Name changed to protect identity) complaining of long covid symptoms such as disturbed sleep, lack of energy, almost no appetite, lacking orientation, abnormal cognitive sensations such as lack of focus, taking more time for simple calculations, foggy brain, and all this after a very severe Covid infection 6 months before she planned to travel, where she was hospitalized with concentrated oxygen and anti-viral support for almost 3 weeks, and subjected to difficulty in breathing, lack of energy and added to it was isolation.
Gemma planned for a Holiday trip just before her new job and opted for a Wellness program offered at The Mangosteen Ayurveda and Wellness Resort as a part of Phuket Sandbox (a no-Quarantine holiday) to revive her energy, have a nice holiday break, and hoping to overcome the LONG COVID SYMPTOMS as the program included daily Yoga indulgence, Vegan meal plan, daily treatments or massages, access to the Himalayan Salt Infrared Sauna, and herbal steam to name a few.
Ayurveda and Wellness programs available at The Mangosteen Ayurveda and Wellness Resort were already proven helpful with all our previous guests who had long-term lifestyle disorders and diseases, but also proved Instrumental in helping Gemma suffering from long covid symptoms and complaints. Her case study also served as an example of how Holistic treatment with help of Yoga, breathing exercises, and Vegan fresh food could help many others with similar problems.
Consultation, Diagnosis & Plan
As part of the health programs, every guest undergoes an orientation and brief consultation with the onsite Ayurveda Doctor and in this case with Gemma our first guest to have come out of COVID infection a detailed discussion was conducted and, it was understood Gemma had problems with indigestion and lack of energy even before the infection and also were the other newly added symptoms.
Hence it was planned to add some additional homemade herbal tea as a daily routine to aid the digestion process and meanwhile to adopt the Wellness program to her needs with daily massages and select specific herbal Detox Body Wraps and herbal steam to help eliminate the excessive fluid retention and the resulted inflammations.
Daily yoga practice for 2 hours with our best Yoga teachers offering different levels and styles of teaching (either intermediate or advanced ), with weekly meditation class to help focus the mind and being mindful, Pranayam breathing exercises aiding in the better breathing which could aid better carriage of Oxygen to the tissues, eating freshly cooked VEGAN Satvik meal helping the digestive to system to work aptly as it was light to digest and wholesome with enough carbs, and fresh vegetables, with added Ayurveda tea for enhancing the appetite.
Within 5 days of the program, Gemma’s first signs were that she had her hunger back! which indicated that the metabolism functioning was getting better, and the nutrition’s channels were getting back to normal. Gemma’s next achievement was the breathing patterns had changed, where she could breathe better with less exhaustion and could manage easily to stair the steps around the resort and adventured to go for long walks on the beach and round the nearby Naiharn lake. The meditation class and its techniques she says helped in better focus and lesser with the brain fog.
On the 10th day of the program, Gemma could sleep sound a complete 8 hours and for a change was without any of the prescribed pills which were suggested when she had complained of insomnia and restlessness after hospitalization.
Gemma was a beginner Yoga practitioner back home and could advance her stretches and poses with better flexibility and strength, with the added breathing exercises during the Yoga sessions she was breathing much better every day also helping emotionally with less fluctuation of her moods.
She also found herself a bit lighter by losing some weight with the help of the Himalayan salt infrared sauna and herbal steam.
Apart from the regular massages that were helping her to relax the muscle tissues and other treatments that were already included in the Wellness program, Gemma added some of the traditional healing Ayurveda treatments that could help in the overall feel-good factor to help her in better concentration. We recommended her the SHIRODHARA treatment, an experience of herbal Ayurveda oil streaming over the forehead to help in healing and balancing the Third Eye CHAKRA.
Below are the qualitative analysis and changes observed by Gemma as compared to day 1 of the program:
Rehabilitation is an important part of any of the healing medical sciences as the treatment protocol has a limit and there must be a process where the patient must be back to their best of normalcy. COVID infections the very new for medical science has left millions of COVID patients still experience debilitating symptoms months after their infection and we did get an opportunity with Gemma to see how it really feels like to be in the middle of the LONG COVID SYMPTOMS and how we could help her tailoring our already existing program with specific extra care, inclusions and help.
Engaging in mindfulness activities and recognizing the signs of stress in the body & mind, and correcting the digestive issues is the first step to gain control for the normalcy in the individual. Dedicated meditation classes help overcome emotional exhaustion and find a way out or consider alternative options for coping with the NEW NORMAL.
We do not see bedridden patients with Long Covid permanent disabilities to be benefitting from these programs, but the ones who have the least co-morbidities and fitness enough to move their body, and looking for a holistic way out, a Wellness program or Ayurveda Panchakarma with all its tailored inclusions would help in seeing the holistic change as our motto is to see better digestion, sleep, flexibility, and strength.
Article by Dr. Subhash A. Shanbhag / Ayurveda Doctor
Mangosteen Ayurveda & Wellness Resort, Phuket