Pilates is a low impact gentler form of movement that can be ideal for long covid patients. This should work in conjunction with looking at diet, hydration, sleep, nutrition, thoughts and breathing. Long covid or long flu has many complexities and does not present black and white. However, we do know that long covid has a foundation on central sensitisation. Central sensitisation is driven by allostatic loads. Any medical person reading this will be well versed on allostatic loads. Allostatic loads not only effects long covid and long flu, but all dis-ease including musculoskeletal pain. Below is an image from research paper; ‘Ghost in the machine’ – by Matt Wallden. Matt clearly shows the surrounding issues which effect the body and the results with this chronic back pain patient. All pain and conditions are always multifactorial also child hood adversity has a big part to play.
Pilates teachers can help by delivering exercise which is supported by the apparatus as well as breathwork and mindfulness. Yoga, tai chi, meditation and chi kung can also be key in the treatment of long covid provided that the diet and lifestyle habits change as shown clearly in the above image.
Scientific reports states that the data suggest that in the majority of cases with severe and fatal COVID-19, patients that had died of this disease, had multiple or preexisting health conditions.1. Therefore, by addressing the allostatic load as the primary causation of covid, we are bound to see the effect. The allostatic load drives the disposition of the body to long covid. The same as viral infections show up as Chronic fatigue and ME.
The top down effect
All human beings will naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure, avoid the predator and seek the prey, avoid the challenge and seek the ease. This is part of human survival. Our emotional states are driven by our environment, including everything we see hear, speak and read. Emotional states such as anxiety, depression and fear will drive long covid to a worse situation, de sensitising the central nervous system and therefore increasing the allostatic load. In other words, keeping us in a state of fight or flight, sympathetic dominant, mouth breathing and teeth grinding to name but a few.
The present UK government drive is 17-19 times per day. Is it a wonder that we are all so frightened to live? 2. Chronic fear will spike the bodies cortisol levels putting us in a more vulnerable state for infection.
Diet and nutrition
One of the biggest problems with all dis-ease is its relation to inflammation in the body. Diet is one of the key drivers for inflammation, leaving many of the population with as insulin resistant. The issue is that sugary foods which include bread, pasta and rice break down into simple sugars in the body and drive inflammation leading to weight gain and many other health conditions such as:
- Fatty liver
- Chronic fatigue
- Chronic pain
- Auto-immune conditions
What does insulin and sugar do to the body?
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the beta cells in your pancreas. Its is a good hormone that has 1000’s of functions in the human body. Two of the functions are:
- Blood sugar management
- Fat management
High carbohydrate meals mean that blood sugar amount will cause the pancreas to secrete insulin at a higher rate in order to pull the blood sugar back to normal. Sugar has a habit of sticking to tissue and organs. Diabetes type 2 for example should be called: “Chronic carbohydrate overdose’.
The problem being that the profit model for governments, corporate food companies and agriculture revolve around the growing and making of these poor-quality disease-causing foods. Poor quality foods are stuffed with grains, sugars and vegetable oils as they make for a stable shelf life. To follow our poor health and dis-ease, pharmaceutical companies come to the rescue as their profit is based on treatment of symptoms and not root cause. The UN World food program has warned that 270,000,000 people face starvation as a result of global lockdowns and restrictions. This makes the response to Covid the single most lethal policy governments have ever adopted.
‘The ghost in the machine’ – Matt Wallden https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29861247/
Matt Wallden – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0WDT9p_rd4
- Elezkurtaj, S., Greuel, S., Ihlow, J. et al. Causes of death and comorbidities in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Sci Rep 11, 4263 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82862-5