A blog about how hypnotherapy can help overcome Long COVID.
Long Covid is a common experience for many people who had caught the virus during the first wave of COVID 19 pandemic in early 2020, but what is it? Firstly, Long Covid is when you are still suffering from its effects, long after you thought you had recovered from the initial infection. People who have Long Covid are suffering from a brand new form of chronic illness, with symptoms ranging from mental to physical .
As a therapist I am hearing an increasing number of stories linked to Long Covid which are troubling. So in this blog I am sharing some psychological tools that have helped clients in the past suffering with long term chronic illness.
What is long COVID?
Long COVID is when people continue to experience COVID symptoms and do not fully recover for several weeks or months. Other terms used to describe Long COVID include ‘post COVID’, ‘long tail COVID’ and ‘long haul COVID’. It is estimated that over 2 million people in the UK have the condition (Imperial College London). Interestingly it also found that women, people who smoked, overweight or obese were more likely to suffer from the condition. Symptoms are wide and ranging but can include:
- Extreme fatigue
- Muscle weakness
- Painful joints
- Trouble concentrating
- Pins in needles
- Loss of taste
- Shortness of breath
Furthermore these symptoms plus many others last long after the virus has left the body. You can check your symptoms for the long term effects of COVID according to the NHS here
How can hypnosis help with Long COVID?
Overtime, medical research will produce a definite answer to the treatment of Long COVID. But in the meantime, listening to testimonials, there are many similarities to chronic fatigue syndrome and other long term health conditions. However, these conditions are effectively treated and managed with hypnosis. Hypnotherapy helps clients manage long term health conditions and allows people to enjoy their lives once again. Surprisingly, by applying a similar approach to the symptoms of long COVID, suffers can learn to self manage their symptoms and regain control.
Hypnosis as a form of self help
A powerful form of self help is hypnosis that can be used to overcome symptoms of long COVID. Hypnotherapy can be used to make positive changes in your life. As thoughts and feelings play an important role in managing Long COVID, it is important to recognise the effect they have. Long term health conditions produce positive and negative feelings, as people readjust to the health situation. Secondly, hypnosis is a natural form of therapy that helps you to capture these negative feelings and challenge them with a positive statement . If you are a person who suffers from long covid, self hypnosis may be the answer to your problems.
Self hypnosis is a powerful tool, which can change your state of mind. Self hypnosis is dubbed the new mindfulness as it is seen by many as the next step in managing personal wellbeing and change. Finally, it can also manage your physical symptoms and also deal with the psychological effects including anxiety, PTSD, depression and stress when journeying through Long COVID.
Setbacks will occur, and that’s OK as it is all part of the challenge of learning to live with a longer term health condition. Hypnosis re programmes your mind to shift your mindset to focus on the positives and get you back on track to recovery.
Strategies to reduce symptoms of Long COVID
- Breathlessness: try different breathing techniques and positions to help you feel in control of your breathing. Belly breathing First, put one hand on your chest and one on your belly. Take a slow deep breath through your nose and feel your belly rise. Breathe out and feel your belly flatten. Try to keep the hand on your chest as still as possible. Repeat for 10 breaths. This can also help with coughing
- Guilt and shame: having long COVID means your health is unpredictable and this can lead to feelings of guilt and shame. But if you have to cancel a commitment because you don’t feel well enough that is ok. It takes a lot of courage but learning to say no is ok. Just explain that you can’t attend today but put a future date in the diary. Communication to friends and family is key to helping them understand.
- Worn out: often people push through even when their body is telling them to stop. But rest is essential for healing. Save 20% of your energy. Prioritise, pacing and planning are key. Rest is part of the treatment process. Don’t let your battery go flat !
In conclusion, I hope that by reading this you have learned a little about Long COVID and have gained some strategies for managing it more effectively. If you would like to find out more about how to manage your long term health condition, please get in touch and together we can start your healing.