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Hacking Your Long Haul/Vax Injured Nervous System
The Best Meds/Supplements, Vagal Maneuvers, Breath Work, Cold & Heat
Long COVID and Vax Injury are both triggered by inflammation from the spike protein.
There are factions on social media that believe that Long COVID is the only issue, or vaccines are the only issue, or both.
Truth be told I have seen 100s of people who only had COVID and developed typical Long COVID symptoms before there ever was a shot.
I’ve also seen 100s who developed very similar symptoms soon after the shot despite never having had COVID (as far as we can tell from antibody testing and their personal history).
And there is another cohort who had COVID and the shot.
What is apparent from these three groups is that they all have very similar pathologies and clinical syndromes and that repeated exposure to the spike protein by either the virus or the shot can either worsen the symptoms (as is usual) or in rare cases improve them (perhaps by stimulating the immune system to fight it off).
The typical symptoms of Long COVID/Vax Injuries include fatigue, brain fog, altered taste and smell, tinnitus, insomnia, anxiety, and depression.
Patients may also complain of breathing difficulties, palpitations, blood pressure variations, weight change (up or down), peripheral neuropathy, POTS, rashes, hair loss, and more.
There are multiple interconnected systems in the body that are affected.
There is limbic system (emotions/smell), endocrine system (hormones) and autonomic nervous system (fight/fight response) dysfunction.
There is vascular inflammation, micro clotting, and monocyte (immune cell) activation.
There is tissue inflammation with elevated interleukins and other inflammatory markers due to spike protein.
There are autoantibodies produced that directly attack organs like the pancreas, thyroid and probably every other tissue that is inflamed (these could be tested by Cyrex labs, though it can get expensive).
Mast cells are activated and histamine levels are increased.
There are many more specific organ dysfunctions and inflammatory pathways that can be mapped out.
Clinical experience suggests that, because all of these are interconnected and interdependent, in a majority of cases patients can find symptom resolution by focusing on just one or a small handful of these different pathways, which feed back into all the others.
Some patients have hit upon a single therapeutic approach that collapses all their pathology and symptoms, e.g. antihistamines, ibuprofen, ivermectin, cryotherapy, stellate ganglion block, etc.
Some of these like ivermectin do target multiple avenues, but others like the stellate ganglion block, which simply shuts down a portion of the autonomic nervous system, are very targeted, but still seem to resolve the many disparate pathologies for 95% of patients.
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) can be thought of as that part of the nervous system that runs the subconscious processes in our body.
Examples include our heart beat, breathing and digestion.
The ANS has two arms: sympathetic and parasympathetic which can be thought of as the gas peddle and brakes.
The sympathetic nervous system, the gas, is what is activated when you are upset or stressed.
It triggers the release of adrenaline which makes you more alert, raises your blood pressure and heart rate, dilates your eyes letting more light in, quickens your breathing, and slows down digestion.
With more chronic activation of the sympathetic nervous system stress hormones like cortisol also get involved.
Long term elevated levels of cortisol can lead to weight gain, thinning of the bones, digestive upset, poor concentration, impaired memory, headaches, heart disease, depression, anxiety, muscle pain, altered taste/smell, and insomnia.
The parasympathetic nervous system, which is represented in our bodies by the vagus nerve, counterbalances all the effects of the sympathetic system.
It is activated by soothing activities and leads to improved digestion, sleep, and rest.
In general modern societies are imbalanced towards more sympathetic nervous system activation.
We value doing things and often end up doing too much which eventually leads to burnout syndromes and contributes to chronic disease.
Long COVID & Vax Injuries both further activate the sympathetic nervous system while suppressing the parasympathetic nervous system.
Thankfully there are a handful of hacks that can help get this under control quickly while more long term therapies are being explored.
The fastest avenue I’ve found for calming down the fight or flight response is the carotid sinus massage, which is one of a number of vagal nerve activating maneuvers.
This maneuver is one of the easiest and most convenient of the vagal maneuvers, but it may carry some risks, especially for elderly patients who can in rare instances pass out while performing it.
There is also a very small risk of stroke in those who have carotid artery plaque buildup - massaging the area can dislodge the plaque.
So before performing this maneuver you must check with your own provider.
The maneuver itself involves massaging a specific point in your neck to stimulate the activity of the vagus nerve via the carotid sinus.
The carotid sinus is a baroreceptor in the carotid artery of the neck.
A baroreceptor senses changes in blood pressure. So when pressure in the carotid artery goes up the receptor activates the parasympathetic system to bring it back down quickly.
We can hack this feedback loop by simply applying pressure to the sinus with a finger.
The response is very quick and the maneuver can be used as needed throughout the day.
I used this simple massage technique during my own fight with Long COVID when I would feel a pounding heart beat every time I lay down in bed at night.
The pounding would always disappear within minutes of doing the carotid sinus massage.
Other vagal maneuvers that can be used, that don’t involve the risk of breaking off a carotid clot, include bearing down hard as if straining to pass a bowel movement, increasing abdominal pressure by laying on the back and raising the feet over the head, and a series of rapid breaths followed by holding a deep breath and plunging your face into a bowl of ice water.
Another avenue for hacking the autonomic nervous system is via the breath.
Our breathing speed and depth are controlled subconsciously via the ANS, but we can also consciously control our breathing and thereby alter the functioning of the ANS directly.
Various traditional breathing techniques like the Wim Hoff method, 4,7,8 breathing, box breathing, alternate nostril breathing, ocean breath, cooling breath and bee breathing can be very rapidly effective at calming and relieving anxiety symptoms.
Some people may experience mild worsening of symptoms with some of the breathing exercises. If that happens there is no need to continue, just move on until you find one that helps or try another technique altogether.
One of the most effective supplements for anxiety and parasympathetic activation is the essential oil lavender taken orally. You can get organic lavender oil capsules online or from a local health food store.
Alternatively you can make your own by placing 1-2 drops inside a capsule - you can buy empty capsules or just repurpose any vitamin capsule you may have on hand and mix the oil with the contents or dump out the contents and replace with the oil.
One of the best prescription medications is propranolol, which has long been used for situational anxiety and has a short duration of action with relatively rapid onset within 30-60 minutes and is not habit forming. It works by toning down the sympathetic nervous system directly.
Gaunfacine is another prescription medication which also decreases sympathetic nervous system tone, but has a higher risk of more concerning side effects so would usually be lower down on my list of meds to try.
Cold therapy is another favorite of mine and worked very well for me. I found the most effective form to be an ice bath, but others methods include cold showers and cryotherapy units that blow cold air on you.
Heat can also be rapidly effective - most conveniently in the form of a hot bath, but also sauna if that is available to you.
Cold therapy can be acutely uncomfortable, but you get used to it after a week or two, and you don’t need much to go a long way: just 11 minutes a week seems to be the sweet spot in studies, whereas with heat therapy you need about 10-20 minutes a day to maximize the benefit.
Of course you can always make good use of a combination of any of the above.
Let me know in the comments what has worked for you to combat the acutely distressing symptoms of Long COVID and/or Vax injury.
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