Long distance symptoms mimic fibromyalgia. Here are a few things that can help.
Many people who have endured COVID-19 struggle with persistent symptoms even months after testing negative for active infection. Some of these symptoms are tiredness or exhaustion, difficulty thinking or concentrating, dizziness, headache, and joint or muscle pain. Some COVID-19 survivors also struggle with anxiety and depression, as well as symptoms that worsen after physical or mental exertion.
Research published in The Lancet Psychiatry found that one in three COVID-19 survivors has persistent mental health problems.
The first thing I thought while studying was, “Wow. All of these people have almost identical symptoms to people with fibromyalgia. ”And since the number is up to one in three people, that’s profound and scary considering what so many others and I have been through. I previously suffered from fibromyalgia and am one of the few who have found a way to completely overcome it through holistic strategies. By the way, it was no easy feat, especially when the doctors tried to put a label on me saying I would never be cured and might as well fight for a permanent disability.
Fibromyalgia destroyed my life. It was so debilitating that I couldn’t lift a three-pound pot to boil water. I lost my job, my marriage, and my family home to foreclosure. I ended up filing for bankruptcy and got separated from my kids because I hit rock bottom. Dealing with fibromyalgia – and the painful situations that came with it – caused anxiety and depression, which I also completely defeated.
I learned two important things from dealing with an “incurable” disease and then completely curing it that doctors couldn’t deal with, much like these persistent, almost identical COVID-19 symptoms.
The first is that God doesn’t give you anything that you can’t handle. If there is an obstacle in your way, you can overcome it if you are willing to think outside the box. Realizing this meant that I had to apply a spiritual and belief-based mindset to a physical situation, and this was groundbreaking.
The second is that allopathic medicine is great for some things and terrible for others, especially with chronic conditions that affect the mind, body, and spirit. This should come as no surprise, because dealing with anything that affects the mind, body, and spirit requires strategies that work with the mind, body, and spirit, rather than just your physical body.
By using spiritual principles as a foundation that were practically applied in daily life, I was able to find holistic ways to completely cure fibromyalgia, anxiety and depression. And I’m not surprised I didn’t get COVID-19. In fact, I haven’t been sick in years. Here are some key, holistic ways people can combat these long-distance persistent COVID-19 symptoms, as well as chronic pain conditions like fibromyalgia.
Adopt a daily meditation practice.
Establishing a daily mindfulness and meditation practice was an important key to my recovery. In fact, it was meditation that completely cured me of anxiety and depression long before the rest of my fibromyalgia symptoms were gone.
Meditation helps balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and I believe this is the key to success.
Chronic illnesses can get the sympathetic nervous system – responsible for fight or flight – into full swing and prevent the parasympathetic nervous system – responsible for rest, recovery and healing – from doing its job. Imagine being in fight-or-flight mode all the time, which would mean for your body, mind and spirit. Well, you don’t have to imagine: this is exactly what we see in people with fibromyalgia and persistent long-distance COVID-19 symptoms. You are exhausted and unable to rest and heal.
Meditation can restore the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems so that the body’s own healing mechanisms can intervene and begin healing the body and mind. Once your body is able to repair and regenerate itself, everything else you do will be more effective.
Cultivate daily practices that create a synergy of mind, body, and spirit.
For me, this is a huge part of being body, mind and soul.
Select an activity with effects that makes this connection to produce multiple outcomes. One of my daily routines is a cup of tea. This single action has six beneficial results. First, tea contains theanine, which promotes calmness and stress relief. Second, theanine can improve focus and mental clarity. Thirdly, tea gives an energy boost in the morning and, in combination with increased concentration, makes it easy, productive and clear to start the day. Fourth, tea has antiviral and antimicrobial properties that help boost the immune system and keep the physical body healthy. Fifth, creating a daily routine helps the mind feel stable and happy. Sixth, it is a daily act of self-care, and consistent self-care promotes self-esteem and confidence.
There are many things that work synergistically to promote the wellbeing of the body, mind and spirit. Walking is another easy thing. Art and creative endeavors do too. You might find this synergy in cooking or baking. Find the activities that appeal to you and try them out consistently each day.
Try some adaptogenic herbs.
Whenever the body is in a slump and you need to find a way to rejuvenate yourself, try adding some adaptogenic herbs, also known as rasayana in Ayurveda, to your daily routine.
Adaptogens find your weak point, whatever it is, and work to balance it by increasing vitality. Lack of energy and fatigue are some of the most common complaints people experience after illness or fibromyalgia. Adaptogens can help the body heal itself while improving mood and energy, and even promoting better sleep. Ashwagandha is one of my favorite adaptogens. It helps fight adrenal fatigue and gives you vitality. It also helps you sleep better, which may seem counterintuitive, but since sleep is the place of regeneration, it actually makes perfect sense. Reishi is another great option if you’re looking for something from traditional Chinese medicine.
These three key elements are holistic strategies that can help you regain or maintain health and wellbeing. For me, they were the difference between being weak and in constant pain and being completely healthy. If you take the well-being of body, mind and soul into consideration, you will make it easier for yourself to keep your physical body healthy.
Jaya Jaya Myra is a wellness lifestyle expert and media expert for body-mind wellness, stress management, mindfulness, food for the mood and natural, healthy living. She is a bestselling author, TEDx and motivational speaker, and creator of the WELL method for a purpose-built healthy life. Visit JayaJayaMyra.com
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