Reset for Long Covid and Other Post Viral Conditions
The most extraordinary health event in human history has left its mark in our society in many forms we still cannot even comprehend. One of them, however, is well known to many of us and at least we know someone who has it: the long covid.
When I started observing the number of different symptoms people were experiencing during and after a covid episode (myself included) it became clear that the virus was attacking the nervous system. Dry cough, random aches and pains, especially in joints, exhaustion, headache, runny nose, anosmia/loss of taste, anxiety, shortness of breath, tinnitus, hypersensitivity and the list goes on. From an ayurvedic point of view we are talking about a vata disorder.
Vata is an energy that has affinity with the nervous system. In its purest health promoting state vata provides vitality and life force, creativity, adaptability and flexibility. In its worst, well, just read above. When vata starts wreaking havoc, it means that the body is going to lose its ability to transmit information in a harmonious flow. In addition, it will also lose the ability to correct the imbalance. The recovery mode, healing or self-regulation seems to be more difficult to reinstate with Covid than with a “normal” microbial infection.
When there is no intelligence to heal, in ayurvedic terms, we are talking about the imbalance of prana. Prana, the life force, carries intelligence around the bodymind along the pathways called nadis, ayurvedic equivalents of meridians.
What is this intelligence? It is the power that makes a seed grow into a tree, or an embryo into a full-grown human. It is the power behind cellular repair and regeneration. It is the energy that you gather when you have had a good rejuvenating rest or a nice walk in the forest.
Prana is behind our ability to recover when health flails. Long Covid, by being a pranic imbalance, is therefore mainly an energetic problem. The strong energetic expression poses some difficulties for the western science to comprehend the nature of Long Covid, the problem it has run into with another modern lifestyle disorder called chronic fatigue or ME and fibromyalgia. ME has exactly the same symptomatology and is, like covid, a post viral condition. The loss of intelligence won’t allow the body to return to health and wellbeing and symptoms of ill health persist. In fact, these conditions are very difficult to heal with medication and can take years to resolve.
The transmission of information on the physical plane is carried out by nerves and hormones. They are the commanders of the functions of our bodymind and they need to collaborate for the best outcomes. Without synchronicity between transmission and circulation the system cannot thrive. It can function but it does it with reduced resources of energy, non-restorative sleep, poor digestive capacity and cognitive functions. Ageing becomes faster when there is no energy to move and exercise, the mind becomes dull and the body weak.
There is no pharmaceutical that can correct a pranic imbalance directly. The reason is, first of all, because pharmaceuticals do not have any prana, life force. They are a laboratory product. They put pressure on the bodymind to act in a specific way, overriding the intelligence of its own. Sometimes this is necessary, sometimes it isn’t. The good news is that Ayurveda and conventional medicine can complement each other. They are not mutually exclusive.
As an alternative to pharmaceuticals, Ayurvedic treatments and remedies, encourage the body to do its own work to regain the state of self-regulation or healing with pranic rejuvenation in mind:
- Diet and lifestyle advice aims to sync the bodymind with the dark/light cycle and the seasonal cycle promoting correctly timed activities
- The massages by relaxing the body provide a place of safety and comfort where self-regulation is a default mode. The massage movement follow nadis, the pranic paths guiding the energy to run smoothly. They also smooth the fibrous tissues, the fascia, where memories are kept in the body resulting in releases of subconscious conditioning and opening of pranic blocks.
- Medicinal and culinary herbs and spices, used as whole, boost the process of healing targeting specific function such as digestion, absorption, elimination, specific organs or organ systems.
- Detox programs employ all the above modalities and are the key to recovery from Long Covid. Retreating to a peaceful stress free environment, such as our Dorset location, is highly recommended as inviting prana in an urban environment can be challenging, especially if work and family duties distract the healing bodymind from its path to wellbeing.
In Long Covid and other chronic lifestyle disorders (e.g. auto-immune conditions) the affected system needs to linger long in a state of safety and comfort, allowing time to help the cells remember how healing and repairing takes place. Long Covid and other post viral conditions are hard to tackle when life has to be run business as usual.
To re-instate the state of self-regulation when prana is running low, one needs to take time off.
Fortunately, there are options for retreating and Jivita Ayurveda offers a heaven in West Dorset, a residential pop-up clinic set up which will run three time during the next 12 months: November, January and March. The clinic will be open for 12 nights during which you have options of retreating for 3, 5, 7 or 12 days. We have set a number of retreat options as listed below however, the content of each program can be modified according to individual needs.
For Long Covid the 12-day panchakarma would be my best recommendation but shorter stays are obviously a good start. In the bosom of the beautiful English countryside harvesting prana becomes a powerful experience of collaboration with nature. I also provide advice and teachings in how to manage diet and lifestyle after the retreat based on the tangible healing experiences during the retreat.
In Ayurveda, health and wellbeing are not only the absence of disease but the presence of strengths. In Long Covid, the bodymind has lost the strength and resilience to fight the disease.
The functional approach that creates a well-functioning bodymind, able to withstand pressures of life is part of the distinctiveness and strength of Ayurveda. Rather than focusing on the virus it places attention on the system, particularly the gut-health, which is in direct relationship with strong immunity.
Our retreat programs offer opportunities to reset gut health and immunity, stabilise an anxious mind, reduce pain and inflammation so that the system returns robust and resilient, able to fight pathogens and other damaging and stressful events in our lives.
Read more on our website and get in touch with me to discuss the best possible option. Long Covid is just one of the health issues ayurveda can help with. All chronic lifestyle issues can be addressed in our retreat clinic. I recommend reading a recent the case study of a client with Parkinsonism that went through the panchakarma process. Click here.