With the number of people contracting the COVID-19 virus increasing, I’m seeing more clients in clinic following their infection present with fatigue, brain fog and muscular pain. I’m being asked more frequently if Manual Lymph Drainage (MLD) could be helpful in their recovery.
Post-viral Fatigue (PVF) is commonly experienced in the week or two following a viral infection. With COVID-19, we are seeing PVF lasting much longer, coining the term “long COVID”.
Symptoms of PVF include:
- Fatigue and low energy
- Muscle aches and pains
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Brain fog and difficulty concentrating
- Poor sleep
- Generally feeling unwell
The lymphatic system is a network of vessels around your body designed to collect fluid that has leaked from your circulatory system and deliver it back to your heart. It is also a transport system for cellular waste, AND for white blood cells – your infection fighters.
MLD aims to stimulate fluid movement in your lymphatic system which in turn can help shift toxins to your elimination organs (kidneys, liver, lungs & bowels) and support the movement of your infection fighters around your body to boost your immune system.
Following a COVID-19 infection – or any viral infection – an MLD session can help support your recovery, improve your sleep quality and reduce pain.
It has been shown to decrease sympathetic nervous system activation (responsible for your fight/flight response), and increase your parasympathetic nervous system activation (responsible for homeostasis, or balancing your body), so is an excellent tool for managing stress and anxiety following a viral infection.
Other tools to support your recovery include:
- Ensuring you get adequate sleep (7-9hours per/night)
- Increase your water intake (1.5-2L per day is ideal)
- Eat a wide variety of fresh fruit & vegetables (this ensures you get a good mix of nutrients)
- Minimise caffeine, sugar & processed food intake (these are inflammatory and won’t support your recovery)
- Gradually increase your movement practices as your energy returns
- Get back to your regular routine as soon as possible