Transforming the health of 40-60 years suffering with bad backs, bad necks, diabetes, IBS & middle-aged bodies! 
Coronavirus has been the story of 2020, but as we come to the end of the year we continue to fight the virus and our medics work incredibly to save lives and the public continues to try to do its best to limit the spread of the virus there is a new element to this virus emerging: 
 
Long Covid. 
 
We this we have a contribution to make to this fight. 
The focus of COVID-19 has quite rightly been on maintaining life and helping people recover, on treating the immediate acute infection, the threats to life and the threat to health that is also posed. However, as we're now nine months onto this pandemic in here in the UK, we are now seeing the lingering effects of this virus and perhaps are looking at a more lasting threat to our health and our wellbeing. The syndrome that is being called Long Covid may ultimately turn out to be more of an actual threat than coronavirus itself. 
 
For most people COVID-19 is a brief and mild disease. Of course, we hear about the tragic deaths and we the people being hospitalised and going into intensive care. But for the vast majority of people, it is a brief, mild disease from which they recover relatively quickly and move on with the rest of their life. 
 
However as we sit here in December 2020, there is fast growing evidence of people suffering with the effects of coronavirus many months after they were initially infected. And some who were never even tested for the virus. It was initially assumed that those people who have been seriously ill with COVID-19 would be the most effected, those people that had been into intensive care or put into a coma, but this is very much not the case. And, what is being found now, is that the severity of infection, the severity of symptoms in the acute phase of the illness does not replicate almost in any way, shape or form the lingering impact of coronavirus and Long Covid. 
 
We do need to also now turn our attention to those people who having suffered with coronavirus, however mildly, are suffering long-term, now need to recover and need to achieve full health again. 
 
The symptoms of Long Covid are wide and varied and this is one of the things that is causing the problem. The symptoms for Long Covid range from: 
 
• lasting fatigue, 
• persistent pain, 
• breathlessness, 
• coughs, 
• joint pains, 
• muscle aches, 
• lasting diarrhoea 
• organ damage to heart, lungs, kidney, and the guts. 
 
There are also mental health problems related to depression, anxiety and brain fog. 
 
It's really important to say right from the word go that at the time of writing nobody knows what is going on, nobody knows what is causing Long Covid and nobody knows how to treat it. Of the studies that are being set up, at least 50% of them are being set up to study the impact of Long Covid for over 25 years. 
 
Now, I don't know about you, but personally I have absolutely no desire to suffer with anything for that long, I want it gone. It therefore follows that it is important to look at each and every opportunity we have to make a contribution to treating this syndrome, to understanding what's going on and what may be of use in addressing it. 
 
One of the difficulties I think we are going to have with this is that the vast majority of studies will look at one thing and I've just reeled off about 10 different symptoms there. So, we either need 10 different studies or more likely 20, 30, 40 different studies, but we also need them all talking to each other. And that's the bit where I lose a little bit of faith and I'm not confident how well that will happen. 
 
So, I wanted to take a look at this from a more holistic point of view. There is a similarity between Long Covid and chronic fatigue and it's also important to understand that the main issue with COVID is the inflammation that it causes and the fact that it can adapt to attack every single cell. 
 
As I write this blog we have just this week learnt that the new strain of Covid is adapting to become more transmissible, this is what all viruses do – they adapt. We have known for years that seasonal flu adapts every year and so the treatment for it must also adapt. 
 
COVID for me is a systemic illness, creating systemic inflammation, which in itself can lead to a myriad of different symptoms which may appear unrelated, but in reality are all very much related. 
 
But if Covid is a systemic illness, should we not consider Long Covid a systemic illness and therefore it requires a systemic treatment. 
 
Some critical questions to ask about Long Covid are: is it because people aren't recovering properly or are people only recovering to a certain amount? Are there still remnants of the virus that have not been cleared from the body? 
 
Some of the research at the moment is talking about the fact that we know that if somebody has persistent diarrhoea as part of Long Covid the virus is lingering in the gut. We know that if people have a lingering loss of smell, then COVID is lingering in nerves. And so, the symptoms may well give us an indication of where the virus is lingering, but is sensible to only treat that specific part of the body? If it's creating diarrhoea, do we only need to look at the guts or do we need to look at more things? 
 
I think we need to look at the whole body. 
Long Covid needs a systemic approach. 
 
Simpy addressing one thing may never fully eliminate the virus from our system 
We also know that COVID can cause metabolism issues and blood sugar balance issues. There has been an increase in people being diagnosed as diabetics who have suffered from coronavirus. We also know that there's a very strong potential for permanent changes to organ function. If we look at the impact of the SARS Virus and the MERS Virus, which are both coronaviruses themselves, we know that they created long-term problems in the organs. 
 
We also know that SARS led to changes in how the body processed fats for at least 12 years. 
 
All of these things are quite stark, they're quite worrying, but actually if we can look at them and can take a step back and look at them more globally, then in reality, what it is showing us is that our body, our immune system is fighting but it is not winning the war. It might be winning the battles, we might be surviving, but it's not winning the war, we are not thriving. 
 
I think to look more globally and look at how our body can heal, how our body recovers from all illnesses and injuries and to optimise as many different elements of those processes as we possibly can. The reason Long Covid caught my attention is because over the course of my 15 years using a holistic approach to health, fitness, and rehabilitation we've also had some really interesting spin-offs. Clients have come to us with one injury of health concern – usually back pain, neck pain, diabetes, IBS, or just an overall lack of energy, vitality or youthfulness - but they've simultaneously reported a phenomenal increase in their energy levels or a huge increase in their ability to resist infections. Our clients do not suffer with winter illnesses, they do not suffer with coughs and colds and things like that. It's not that they never have them, but when they have them, they might have them for two, three days and then recover. 
 
And, we've done some work on immunity to disease, with specific clients who have always lost two weeks or two or three bouts of one week from work over winter, through illness, through coughs, colds, flu, things like that. And when we've addressed their health from a holistic point of view they have not had those weeks off work. We have always viewed this as a welcome indirect spinoff, an example of the benefit that a holistic approach to health provides. 
 
The thing that's really got me thinking is a lot of those side effects, a lot of those unintended benefits have similarities to the symptoms of Long Covid. 
 
We have been able to help people control their blood sugars. We have been able to treat people who have had pain for eight, nine, 10, 12, 15 years. We have been able to improve people's energy levels to decrease their fatigue. We've been able to reduce their susceptibility to infections, particularly during the winter. We've cleared up IBS, we've cleared up gut health issues and other bits and pieces like that. And we've also worked for years on improving muscle aches and joint pains. So all of these things are symptoms of Long Covid and they're all things our work has been able to address. 
 
We've even had over the course of the last 15 years, the ability to help one or 2 clients with heart problems. Now that's not been solely our work, I will not claim that was all our work, but we've even got the organ function side of things ticked. And the critical thing is that we've often been able to do that where other treatments have not been successful. Our clients have come to us because they have tried more conventional routes, they have tried more mainstream routes and not been successful either at all, or to the degree that they want. 
 
The final part of the sort of the story, if you like, from my point of view is that we've been able to do all of this with the same core ethos. 
 
The ethos of building health from inside and outside the body, from top to bottom and front to back, using those same principles, the principles of creating balanced, healthy human bodies. We use a 4 Doctors Approach to look at the body as a holistic entity and do the basics right. Allow people to have the nourishment they need, to have the ability to rest, to recover, but also to move and stimulate the body. 
 
It's those principles that are through every single programme that we write, every single programme that we coach people through. And it's those principles that have created the spinoff symptoms that have got me thinking we may well have something to contribute to this Long Covid debate. 2021 is going to be a year where we at JT Ethos focus on Long Covid. We're going to kick that off with a pilot boot camp, which is specifically designed to help people with Long Covid and is specifically designed to give people a six week shot in the arm of the core elements to creating health holistically. 
 
We will help to boost nutrition, help to boost immunity and look to get people moving in a nice, sensible, healthy, energising fashion. We’ll also be reviewing how people go about looking after their bodies. It's a relatively straightforward and condensed programme. It's not necessarily going to be a walk in the park, but I've got a feeling it could be supremely effective. 
 
So, at this point in time, I'm looking for help please, and I'm looking for connections and I'm looking for anybody out there that can help connect me with people who would like to be part of our pilot bootcamp. People who would like to give themselves a six week, shot in the arm if you like, to help kick 2021 off and hopefully make a dent and give us a chance to see whether we can make an impact on the fight against Long Covid. 
 
If you can help me with this please either email me at jimthorp@jtethos.com or register your interest for our bootcamp via this page on our website. 
 
 
Tagged as: Covid-19, Health, Long Covid
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