Specifically, the World Health Organization has recently explained that some people may experience the effects of Covid-19 long-term, such as respiratory and neurological symptoms, muscle and joint pain, as well as continuous fatigue, dubbing it “Long-Covid.” An article by WebMD elaborates on the definition; “Research shows that about 10% of people between ages 18 to 49 who have COVID-19 get long COVID. The odds go up to 22% for those 70 or older. But it can happen to anyone, whether you’re otherwise healthy or have other health conditions. You can get it even if your earlier COVID-19 symptoms were mild or moderate.”
This brings to mind the techniques that a licensed massage therapist can use to relieve some of these symptoms and help you to feel like yourself again. Fatigue can cause stagnation in the body’s lymphatic system, directly affecting our immune system when not functioning optimally. An experienced massage therapist can work on points in the anterior of the chest between the ribs called intercostal spaces, which will help to mobilize “stuck” lymphatic fluid and alleviate congestion in the lungs. It’s always inspiring as a massage therapist to notice instant relief in a patient when working on pectoral muscles in the upper-most portion of the thorax. These points immediately affect energy, thus changing the mental state of the person being treated with these advanced massage techniques.
Similarly, acupressure points in the stomach meridian, gallbladder and spleen meridians can be very helpful in rebuilding the endocrine system, improving circulation. When the immune system is fighting an illness many of our natural systems slow down; therapeutic deep tissue massage helps to mobilize tissue and blood flow through the body which will help regenerate healthy tissue.
A key factor in our ability to fight an illness is R&R: rest and relaxation. Continuous stress and fatigue on the body weakens the immune system, ultimately prolonging illness and the dreaded fatigue symptoms. Massage therapy utilizing some of the more advanced techniques has clearly been shown to decrease stress levels and relax the body, while techniques like deep tissue help to break up adhesions deep within the muscles. One of the best side effects from this type of deep tissue massage is relaxation and a state of homeostasis.
As we continue to traverse the world during these times when much is still unknown about the long-term effects of COVID-19, it’s important to keep in mind all aspects of necessary upkeep for our bodies, including massage therapy. The benefits of self-care through rehabilitative therapy such as improved circulation, stress relief, and moving lymphatic fluid can often help to relieve symptoms and provide some respite from chronic fatigue related to all types of post-viral fatigue syndromes. At East Bridge Massage, our experienced massage therapists are an essential part of your healthcare team, working together with doctors and families.
Pathak, N. (2021, September 2). What is Long Covid (PASC)? WebMD. Retrieved October 27, 2021, from https://www.webmd.com/lung/what-is-long-covid-pasc#1.