Long-Term COVID & Meditation for Brain Fog Recovery
Updated: Sep 28, 2022
While each and every one of my clients have successfully endured their COVID infections, albeit a number of them did endure significant illness, a few even requiring hospitalization, another, much more significant number did suffer and continue to suffer some level of long-term COVID (an approximate 37 percent of people have symptoms for weeks, months, and years).
Eden offers our members a protocol for individuals who are exposed and who ultimately suffer symptoms, for each stage of those symptoms, which works to support the immune system as I believe the standard "wait until you are blue and head to the hospital" recommendation is grossly negligent. Alas, as I dig into the science and theories on Long-Term COVID, also working through this stage with my clients utilizing protocols for boosting the immune system and identifying underlying viral triggers, I am grateful to see that meditation has been identified as a worthy healing modality as it can help rebuild neuroplasticity.
One of the more common complaints of Long-Term COVID is brain fog, alongside fatigue. There is no question at this point, that what we initially thought of as a respiratory illness turned multi-organ disease, is a profoundly neurological threat. Clients report slow thinking, confusion, difficulty remembering things, and poor concentration.
Rehabilitation through Neuroplasticity
Scientists have looked towards approaches which have helped improve the effects from stroke, traumatic brain injury, and other post-viral disorders. No surprise to me, meditation and mindfulness or mental mapping has demonstrated quite effective. Our neural networks in our brains can change, adapt, and strengthen, much like a muscle in our body that has been trained and exercised.
We call this ability to bounce back after injury or trauma, "neuroplasticity," and having an extensive history of post-traumatic stress myself, I can offer personal testimony to how profound this impact can be on healing. Trauma though can happen from brain tumors or the effects of surgery, radiation, or those who have had West Nile, HIV, or meningitis so a mirage of scenarios can be addressed using these techniques.
One approach would be having a client with memory problems repeat information a certain number of times without errors. This creates a trail in their brain from synapse to synapse. Walking that same trail over and over creates a more worn path, a more familiar path, which rebuilds memory skills that were potentially weakened during the aforementioned infection. Clients with cognitive issues following long-term Lyme disease syndrome have seen improvement using this treatment modality. Members have access to meditation and even utilization of brain mapping guidelines and classes within the member-only access Wellness program.
Interestingly though, with COVID and many similar autoimmune type late-recovering scenarios, the brain has learned that these symptoms are life-threatening, because in fact, they can be, and so because the brain's priority is to protect the body, and once it has learned of this threat and its associated symptoms, that repeated scenario then triggers an immune cascade. Consider for example if you had headache with your COVID infection and then later down the line you have a headache for a very unrelated reason but the body interprets this as another COVID threat and now, prepared with memory and amped up weapons, the immune system goes to war. This is really about your own body kicking your own ass.
Another study is underway in which researchers are having individuals repeatedly carry out their personal best function of impaired use such as remembering household tasks they have previously forgotten, and then do this multiple times over several weeks and ultimately, offer them ways to transfer those skills to real-life use. Not only are they seeing improved clinical improvements, but also structural - actual increase in the brain's gray matter allowing them to improve control of movement, memory, and emotions - as well as improved white matter, which helps communication between gray matter areas.
This is no joke though. Studies have demonstrated that improvement is seen in just 35 hours of therapy and nearly 100 percent improvement in six months. The brain, just as our bicep, is response to use. We have to put demands on the brain to help it heal. Meditation and mindfulness can offer this.