Fascia and Covid 19 : Some Clinical Observations
As I write this, I can’t help but have hope that the dire effects that the pandemic had on the world are drawing to a close. And soon we will begin to understand the aftermath that Coronavirus has left behind.
The majority of people I treat have reported a significant uptick in the amount of mental/emotional stress over the past two years. It doesn’t matter if you were infected with the virus, affected by the economic stresses it produced, or by the emotional drain of caring for or losing a loved one, that stress is being felt in your body.
Prolonged stress creates over activation of the sympathetic nervous system. This is the fight or flight half of your nervous system. And the fascial web is tied into that half of your brain. Fascia contracts and gets sticky when we are sympathetically stimulated. And the longer that half of our nervous system stays activated, the harder it becomes to break the cycle.
So how does that show up in the physical body? It can show up as tense, tight muscles that never let go. It may show up as pain. It will manifest as disturbed sleep and irregular digestion.
Mentally and emotionally it will manifest as anxiety. Or an inability to focus your attention. Perhaps you have a sense of constantly putting out fires. And a decreased feeling of joy and peace.
Because Covid19 is a virus it creates an inflammatory response in the body. And fascia gets tight and sticky wherever you have
inflammation. Because this virus attacked the lungs, in the clinic I am seeing lots of fascial restrictions in the chest wall and neck.
Fascial tension in this area can lead to postural changes – the forward head/shoulder posture for instance. Because fascially the chest wall is continuous with the fascia of the arms, folks are reporting increased shoulder and elbow pain. But it can also create some of the long Covid symptoms of difficulty taking deep breaths and heart irregularities. You may also notice an increase in acid reflux problems as well. And some people have noticed a buildup of phlegm at the back of their throats.
As with any problems with your health, please use all the tools in your toolbox to diagnose and treat. That means consult your doctor. Consult a mental health practitioner. If you’ve strayed from good self care practices, get back to those. Adding some time on the table to help balance your nervous system and address fascial restrictions can be helpful as well. If you haven’t been in a while, I hope to see you soon. And if you’ve never considered a Myofascial Release/Craniosacral session, now is a great time to give it a try.