COVID Fatigue & Long Term Recovery

The title of this piece has potential to elicit one of a variety of internal responses based on your own experience/perceptions of what we’ve all gone through this past year. For some, it may be a horrible memory of family tragedy; our deepest condolences to you. For others it may serve as a reminder of symptoms you or a family member are still experiencing post infection. We also recognize that there is still a small population of people who respond with an eye roll because you’re either tired of hearing about COVID &/or are still not convinced that anyone should even be concerned. If you find yourself in the latter category, you may want to save yourself some aggravation and frustration now by looking away.

Our hope, regardless, is that this message finds each of you well, and that you, your family and your friends remain safe and healthy!

With so much mystery and uncertainty surrounding this past year, we’ve tried to stay grounded and non-reactionary through the ups and downs, doing our best to digest the science and sort through the misinformation that ultimately finds its way to the public.

As things have progressed, especially with the availability of vaccinations, the conversations happening within the clinic are shifting; we simply want to share a bit of our insight and perspective regarding those conversations.

SAFETY FIRST! This still remains our stance within the clinic. As mandates get lifted and vaccinations become more available to the public, we are still prioritizing the safety of all patients within the clinic. All protocols are still in place to minimize the potential risk of exposure; we do not expect this to change anytime soon and we will continue to err on the side of caution.

In the recent months, we have seen an influx of patients coming in post-COVID infections in search of recovery, or simply wanting to “feel back to normal.” We have been fielding many questions from our current patients and from the general community with inquiries about if OR how Chinese Medicine can be helpful.

There has also been a lot of curiosity around the use of supplements and herbs, as well as questions about the ‘miraculous’ COVID prevention/cure protocols that are being “discovered,” shared and promoted through various social media platforms (Facebook/Instagram) and the general world wide web.

THIS IS NOT THAT KIND OF ARTICLE. Our intention here is NOT to sell you anything, but rather inform and hopefully encourage you to ask more questions about what you are seeing and being marketed to within your circles and social media feeds.

Even in a something as mysterious as COVID, we stand firmly rooted in a “one size DOES NOT fit all” approach to care. Post-infection recovery and the treatment of residual COVID symptoms are no different!

What We are Seeing in the Clinic

Common symptoms that we are seeing with our post-infection patients include: mild fatigue to severe exhaustion, a lingering cough, chest congestion, joint and muscle aches/pains/stiffness, brain fog, trouble with concentration &/or even just a general sense of not feeling like themselves.

We are seeing patients coming into the clinic with a wide variety of concerns as they attempt to get on the other side of their COVID exposure, some mild and some more severe. Each patient has required a thoughtful and thorough approach, each individual has needed something different to find/feel ‘normal’ again and each person’s recovery period has varied. While some patients bounce back and recover quickly (weeks) and others have taken more time (months), our approach within the office has not changed. Recovery care has included Classical Five Element Acupuncture as well as Chinese Herbal formulas customized for the individual. Every patient needs something different based on their own experience. We start at the beginning with a full health history and complete understanding of the patients unique experience, then we build a care plan.

This leads us into another reason for sharing our insights… as we mentioned we have received a lot of questions surrounding certain ‘miraculous’ prevention/cure protocols, supplements and herbal products. If you are active on social media, you may have seen the waves of various articles that talked about a few single Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs that were being used in other parts of the world as a means to treat and prevent infection. What are our thoughts? Opinions?
Can herbs and supplements be helpful? Are they useful in prevention? Recovery?
These articles are not wrong, however they are also not right!

While we are completely on board with a responsible approach and application of Chinese Herbal remedies we do not support or agree with the idea that a blanket application of one single herb (or supplement). There are no miracle herbs of supplements! Just because these approaches are deemed natural, does not mean they are safe! It is dangerous to assume that any one herb (or supplement) is good for an entire population of people when it comes to prevention, treatment or recovery of any condition BUT especially as it relates to this discussion.
Can herbs (in general) help support the immune system? YES, absolutely!
Are there herbs that can help to rebuild and support energy levels, when battling fatigue and exhaustion? YES!
Are there herbs that can help with a nagging cough and chest congestion? Again, YES!
Should you always consult a LICENSED MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL? YES Absolutely!

As Doctors of Chinese Medicine, with hundreds of hours of clinical training and thousands of hours of study in this very subject as well as conventional Western medicine, we back this statement with confidence.

YES there are powerful remedies available that can be useful for building immunity and providing your body an opportunity to put up its best fight. YES there are powerful remedies that can help those who are post infection and need some support bouncing back. KEY POINTS to takeaway? While these remedies are useful and can be supportive of the process, they can be also be ineffective, even potentially harmful if used irresponsibly/incorrectly. Each case will need different herbs; our training and clinic experience backs this up!

We recognize this was a lot of information and may be a bit of an overshare. If you did make it to the end of the article, our hope is that this answered some of the questions you have or at the very least was informative as to how we are continuing to operate and approach things within the clinic.