If people are recovering so fast,
are we saying that long-COVID is all in the mind?
Long-COVID is a very real, physical condition. It seems to share a lot of the same symptoms as ME/CFS but also has added symptoms of breathlessness and lung damage and additional neurological damage. People with long-COVID seem to have an even more extreme stress response than my other chronically ill clients. By helping them to calm their stress response, we are allowing their bodies to heal naturally.
Long-COVID is a very new condition with much still unknown about its treatment. However, early results are looking very exciting at Empower Therapies. As of October 2023, 27 clients have come to me for long-COVID treatment and ALL of them have experienced great improvements. (Note: 2 did not attend their follow-ups so I do not have data for them at this stage, but will continue to try to get hold of them).
Recovery rates reported by long-COVID clients:
16 – full recovery!
3 – at least 90% improvement
3 – 70-80% improvement
3 – 40% improvement
0 – no improvement
0 – got worse
2 – unknown, though reported improvements at the course
Five of these clients were so bad that they were hospitalised many times, were wheelchair bound and could not think clearly enough to do simple tasks like tie their shoe laces. Another was housebound and required assistance to walk from her bed to the toilet. No matter how serious their illness was all have achieved great results within a month!
Recovery times of the 16 people who are 100% better:
1 – Next Steps Webinar
4 – within the four days of The Switch course
3 – 1 week after The Switch
1 – 2 weeks after The Switch
6 – 1 month after The Switch
1 – 3 months after The Switch
I realise this is a very small sample size without formal research, so no big conclusions can be drawn, but it is looking highly promising as a fast and effective treatment for long-COVID.
WHAT CAUSES long-COVID?
Long-COVID is a very new illness and not much is known about it yet. Why do some people recover so quickly and others remain ill for so long? It seems to me that the people who get bad cases and stay ill are the people who were exceptionally high-achieving beforehand – always busy and running on adrenaline, or who had a major life event happen at the same time that caused a lot of emotional stress, or who tried to jump back into exercise very quickly after their COVID illness, or who were also unhappy in a significant area of their life such as their living situation or their job, or who had a particularly bad case of COVID originally and feared that they might die.
What is common to all these people
is that their experience put their body into a stress response.
It is my belief that this is the true cause of long-COVID.
When people experience a stress response for a significant period of time, it drains all their organs because it is so demanding on the body to be in a constant state of flight or fight. This can reach a tipping point where the body becomes too exhausted to repair itself. My long-COVID clients all had extreme stress responses. They talked so fast they could hardly say their words, they had fast eye movements and vigorous hand gestures and they couldn’t keep their legs still. Helping clients to calm their body out of the stress response allows their body to heal naturally.
HOW CAN EMPOWER THERAPIES HELP?
The Switch will teach you how to switch off the stress response, which will allow your body to start healing naturally. You will also learn how to recognise thinking patterns and behaviour patterns that are contributing to fatigue, plus techniques to change these. You will resolve any deeper emotional issues from the past that might also be contributing to you remaining sick. You will also learn how to make lifestyle changes to promote wellbeing.
If you don’t feel quite ready to jump into a four-day course, you might like to start with our webinar series, which gives an overview of mind-body health, the role of stress and thinking patterns, and some basic techniques to start using on yourself. This webinar is a general approach, rather than being specifically about long-COVID. For some people it’s enough on its own and for others it is their inspiration and lead-in to doing the full Switch programme.
HOW CAN YOU HELP YOURSELF?
1. Preliminary research shows that it is important to get enough rest in the early days of your recovery. When you feel tired, rest. Don’t push yourself to do exercise before you are ready. When you do feel like exercising only do gentle exercise with slow gradual increases. This step is applicable for the first 2-4 months after your COVID illness.
2. Get your hope back about recovery being possible by watching some of the movies on this website. Just knowing that there is an answer to long-COVID can help people to relax and calm their stress response and get a bit of a lift in energy levels.
3. Start actively reducing your stress response by doing things like meditation, breathing exercises and activities that you find particularly relaxing.
4. Watch the Next Steps to Recovery 2-hour webinar for some techniques for calming your body, changing your body language to create health improvements and catching faulty thinking patterns.
5. If you are still feeling unwell after about 4 months you are likely to have slipped into the chronic illness zone rather than the acute zone. This is where it is now a good idea to look into attending the full four-day Switch programme to rewire your brain and body back into wellness.
Em attended The Switch for a huge range of health problems including fatigue, pain, allergies, EoE (Eosinophilic oesophagitis), PCOS (poly-cystic ovarian syndrome), CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) and possible endometriosis. She filmed herself each day of the course and shares…
Clair developed MCS after exposure to paint fumes every day for a month during a school art project. Her symptoms were so severe that she had to quit school and do Northern Health school from home instead. She was often…
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Disclaimer: We are not medically trained and therefore did not diagnose these clients ourselves. We rely on client information about their diagnosis from their health professionals and we recommend clients to return to their doctors after our treatment to confirm that they no longer have their condition and to be advised about safe weaning from their medication. We cannot guarantee results, as every individual is different, however, over 80% of our clients have reported excellent results, and we have followed them up for a year to confirm that they are maintaining their positive changes. Long-COVID is a very new illness so we do not yet have lots of data. However, all our long-COVID clients have recovered so far. Two have now reached the one year mark and are both still fully healthy.