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Try acupuncture for Long COVID and Post COVID-19 Fatigue Syndrome

Updated: Feb 17


Fatigue syndromes have been widely observed following post-viral infection and are also being recognised post coronavirus infection. The recent Covid 19 pandemic has resulted in the later effects of the viral infection that can be characterised as a post-viral syndrome. People with post-covid syndrome known as long Covid can experience a long-term state of chronic fatigue and other symptoms including concentration problems, memory problems, headache, shortness of breath, loss of smell, unusual muscle pains, persistent cough, sore throat, fever, chest pain, abdominal pain. Long covid fatigue appears to have a common aetiology to CFS/ME type fatigue, but it co-exists with other symptoms most commonly with shortness of breath and associated anxiety. The persistence of fatigue, at around three months post-infection or longer. Many of these symptoms can be difficult to treat. At present modern medicine does not have much treatment to offer for Long Covid-19.

Recent research has emerged that acupuncture significantly improved various psychological symptoms (depression, anxiety, stress, sleep quality, negative emotions, quality of life) and physical symptoms (fatigue, inflammatory factors, physical activity, chest pain, and respiratory function) in COVID patients. Research has shown that acupuncture exerts an overall regulatory role through multi-target such as multiple nervous system-, immune and inflammation-associated gene functions and signalling pathways are simultaneously involved. Acupuncture can change the levels of dopamine and β-endorphin in the body. These substances are involved acupuncture-induced analgesic effects and lung immunity. Therefore, acupuncture may be a safe and effective method for pain management in COVID-19 patients.

Study also shows that anti-inflammation, immunity activation and nervous system modulation were primary therapeutic pathways of acupuncture against COVID-19. Acupuncture may be effective against long COVID-19-related symptoms. Since the pandemic began increasing numbers of acupuncturists have seen patients that have had post Covid-19 syndromes. Acupuncture has already been proven its effectiveness of treating chronic fatigues and chronic fatigue syndromes. It appears a good candidate to treat chronic fatigue caused by long covid. Experiences are emerging about the uses of acupuncture in long covid patients and its effectiveness about chronic fatigue and other symptoms related to long covid condition.

References

Stephen Birch, Terje Alraek, Sascha Gröbe Integr Med Res. 2021; 10(Suppl): 100780.

Badakhsh M et al Rev Environ Health. 2021 Apr 12;36(3):443–450

Han Z et al Brief Bioinform. 2021;22(5):bbab110.

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