By Dr. Ruth Moore
COVID is the five-letter word that evokes fear, anger, and pain in most civilized societies around the globe. Whether people have had the vaccines and / or boosters, experienced the virus or variants, or even both events - COVID Sars 19 has left its mark. And this mark is unpredictable, inconsistent, and varied in those who are affected.
Some people allege that they have been vaccine injured after taking the initial series, and others who had no reaction with the initial series, report health complications after taking one or more boosters.
From another perspective, many people who have experienced the COVID virus also offer a wide variety of reports that range from not even knowing they had the virus to feeling that they knocked on Death’s door. For the more serious cases, people report that they are enduring long term negative health effects after the virus has run its course in their bodies.
The commonality to all narratives is the development of symptoms and long term, adverse effects post-vaccination or post-infection. According to both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS), these symptoms include:
Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
Change in smell or taste.
Patchy hair loss.
Depression or anxiety.
Chronic joint pain.
These symptoms are collectively identified as “long COVID,” by the media and healthcare providers. With this silent epidemic, many physicians state that people must “wait it out” and see if their natural levels of wellness will return after a few months. But do they really have to wait?
At Downeast Wellness, we take a common sense and holistic approach to complementary and integrative medicines, and we work with many patients who have experienced or are experiencing Long COVID symptoms. Through Dr. Moore’s research, she has identified four separate and effective methods to supporting the wellness battle that patients with Long Covid complications have.
The first is Functional Nutrition. What people eat and how their bodies can digest and properly use the nutrients is integral to the body’s operations. When people take the vaccine or experience COVID, their genetic foundations are changed epigenetically. This means that at the genetic level, the body may develop intolerances or sensitivities to foods that can impact a person’s gut and brain health. Our protocol is to complete a food intolerance test to find out what foods a person might be sensitive to. We will then help create an elimination, reintegration, and moderation series of diets that a person can use to heal their gut and balance their neurochemistry in the proper ways.
The second is working with the Autonomic Nervous System and helping the body and mind redefine perceived threats and dangers, and then helping balance the ANS out through a variety of techniques ranging from Craniosacral therapy to ANS Balancing sessions.
The third is using targeted Clinical Aromatherapy interventions using therapeutic grade essential oils for neuroprotective healing, sensory redefinition and training, and both cellular and systemic biological support using the medicinal benefits of plants rather than synthetic pharmacology.
The fourth is targeted Neuroplasticity exercises. To date, there is very little research in the degradation and loss of neural pathways after COVID exposures. Some people do not experience any symptomology, and yet others experience aphasia, amnesia, and even parasthesia in the body. The present medical approach to treat these symptoms like post-concussive symptoms does not address the health or state of the neural pathways that are injured or shut down. By using neuroplasticity exercises, a patient is retraining the brain through a multisensory approach – and the research in neuroplasticity suggests that early interventions hold the greatest promise of improved functionality in a faster timeline than a timeline without interventions.
At Downeast Wellness, we realize that with the disparity of scientific research regarding the generalized effects of Long COVID, our approaches may not be 100% effective for everyone. We are relatively sure, however, that a majority of patients will derive some benefit in a far shorter period of time than the “wait it out for months” approach that is presently recommended by the CDC and physicians.
For patients with Long COVID symptoms, we are recommending a 6-12 week protocol that will begin with a COVID test, and then develop a health history post exposure or vaccination. All symptoms will be documented and reviewed to determine the best options for complementary therapies.
We will then recommend a food intolerance or sensitivity test and neurotransmitter testing to determine how the body is responding to nutritional and biochemical challenges. At this point, we may recommend general over the counter supplements that can support the wellness pathways that the body will take.
Finally, we will work with Clinical Aromatherapy and other Complementary Medicine therapies to help the body relax and achieve an optimum state for recovery.
If this seems complex and intensive, it is. When the body undergoes a significant health trauma, it often takes many weeks and a multifaceted approach to restore the wellness pathway. Dr. Moore has consulted with Dr. Jurnigan of Biologix, several area providers, many of her colleagues at the College for Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences at Saybrook University, and also noted authors and scientists at the National Institute of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.