5 Free Long COVID Therapies People Are Doing Before Taking Medication
In this episode, Dr. Syed Haider, founder of MyGoToDoc.com, shares five things that you can do at home to improve your long COVID symptoms without taking more medication. These methods aim to rebalance your body, get your cells to detox, and set you on the right path toward healing.
Haider treated over 8,000 people with COVID-19, and they all recovered.
In 2021, his focus shifted on patients with long COVID. To date, he has helped over 1,000 long haulers recover from their symptoms.
Part of Haider’s solution to long COVID is the Phoenix Protocol, which comes as an online course. It focuses on taking the patient on a healing journey through changing their lifestyle. This program also runs coaching sessions.
For personalized care, you can get in touch with Haider via his telehealth practice.
Let’s start with exercises. What is the right way to do them when you have long COVID or a vaccine injury?
DR. SYED HAIDER:
Mostly with long COVID and vaccine injuries, you actually want them to avoid, especially the harder exercises, and stick to, if they can tolerate it, zone two exercise. It’s like 50-60 or 60-70 percent of your maximum heart rate.
But the maximum heart rate method of figuring out if you’re in zone two doesn’t work very well for long haulers, because their autonomic nervous system is oftentimes running haywire. And their heart rate is way higher than it used to be at baseline.
So the way to know that you’re in zone two is basically that you’re able to carry on a conversation even though it might be a little bit difficult. You’re able to breathe through your nose, you’re not like huffing and puffing through your mouth. And so if you’re on the phone with somebody, they would be able to tell that you were exercising, but you would be able to carry on the conversation.
And so that’s zone two. And you can actually improve your cardiovascular health dramatically, just with zone two exercise.
So for some people, that just means walking. For some people it means maybe a walk with a weighted pack. Or you walk with some dumbbells or something.
For other people, it might mean hiking. Or it might actually be jogging. But for long haulers, for most people, it’s probably just a walk.
So you don’t want to go beyond zone two, because oftentimes it makes you far worse.
For people who can’t exercise, there’s this incredible hack called the “soleus push-up.” It was just in the news like a couple of months ago. But in theirs it was just studied in one lab, an exercise physiology lab.
And they found that this very, very simple maneuver that you can do while you’re sitting at your desk. And basically you lift your heel off the floor and then let it drop back onto the floor.
So this thing, this muscle, the soleus muscle which is used for that very simple movement has tremendous metabolic benefits for your entire body. It sucks blood sugar out of your blood, like nothing else, like no other exercise you can do.
So it lowers your blood sugar, it lowers your insulin levels, your insulin sensitivity goes up, it lowers your cholesterol levels. So it’s the most effective, kind of like metabolic exercise on the planet. So nothing else comes close. Weightlifting, jogging, nothing can beat the soleus push-up. And the amazing thing about that muscle is it’s one of those muscles, it doesn’t get tired. You can literally do that, quote, unquote, soleus push-up all day long without tiring it out.
So even if you have a desk job, you can just sit there and lift your heels alternating, up, down, up, down, up down all day long and, and have tremendous metabolic benefits.
So for people who can’t exercise, I highly recommend that.
And aside from doing gentle exercises Dr. Haider also recommends Meditation.
DR. SYED HAIDER:
Meditating at least five minutes a day. You can download an app, you can learn any different style of meditation. And then consider learning meditative movement. So for me what I did when I had long COVID, I used Qigong, which is one of the simplest, easiest to learn. It’s kind of similar to Tai Chi, but much easier to learn. Most of the Qigong moves are very easy to learn, you can find them online.
There’s [also] some simple breathing exercises from pranayama yoga. Also 4-7-8 breathing, and the Wim Hof breathing method is very effective.
Next let’s talk about heat.
DR. SYED HAIDER:
Heat, if you can do [it]. Like I would, ideally [do] a sauna, but if you don’t have access to a sauna, you can just do really hot baths for 20-30 minutes every day.
Sometimes they’ll make people worse with long Covid, sometimes it does not. So if you have a histamine intolerance kind of picture of long COVID, you may actually get worse and you may want to avoid that. But it’s worth trying if you have access to the sauna.
If not, you can sit in a hot tub and sweat that way.
But it’s not just the sweating. It’s not just about getting toxins out of your body. It’s about the heat itself. This stress on the body actually triggers what are called heat shock proteins and it helps you go into deeper levels of what’s called autophagy.
So a lot of the lifestyle stuff that we’re aiming for, like the fasting, is about triggering autophagy. So what is autophagy? it’s basically like the garbage truck of your body. It takes out the trash and gets rid of things like the spike protein that’s not supposed to be there. It gets rid of toxins. It gets rid of junk that cells have built up by just their day to day work that they do.
So of course each person responds differently to each method. For Dr. Haider, what worked best to recover from final long COVID symptoms was cold water.
DR. SYED HAIDER:
For me cold was tremendously effective. I had done Qigong, and diet and sun. And I still had some lingering symptoms and they all vanished within like a week of starting a cold plunge. Basically an ice bath once a day.
So I started off, just you know–turn on the cold water and fill out the bathtub. [I] bought a couple of bags of ice, put that in the water. [Make it] as cold as I could get it. I tried that for a few days and then I decided to do a DIY cold plunge myself.
I bought a chest freezer and sealed up the edges, and filled it up with water and started using that. I found it tremendously beneficial. Far more beneficial I think, than cryotherapy, the usual kind of air cryotherapy. You can go to the centers where they do cryotherapy. They blow freezing cold air on you. It’s very uncomfortable, but it’s more of a superficial thing. The cold water transmits heat out of your body far more efficiently than cold air will. So I highly recommend the water itself.
And last but not least, your mindset is very important as well.
DR. SYED HAIDER:
Number one, like I said before [is] mindset. Believing you can get better.
I think a really incredibly powerful exercise is to imagine what you want to happen in the future. And then feel grateful for it. So imagine it in great detail. Imagine yourself back to perfect health and what you would be doing if you were back to perfect health. Like the things that you can’t do anymore, and what you would look like and what you would feel like and you know, the smells and the taste and the sounds. Try to imagine it in as exquisite detail as you can.
And then feel grateful for it. Feel profound, inner, deep gratitude for that thing that you want to happen. You’re visualizing it and you want it to happen. But you feel grateful as though it’s already happened.
This is an incredibly powerful gratitude practice for getting rid of the negative feelings and thoughts that just hold you back and helping you to become motivated, and kind of pull you to that new future self that’s healed.
If you want to get some advice from Dr. Haider and his team about these methods, you can sign up on his website at mygotodoc.com. And you don’t have to pay unless there’s a prescription involved.
Please share this with a friend who might be struggling with long COVID or a vaccine injury.
This is Frontline Health, I’m Dan Skorbach. Stay healthy, America.
This transcript has been edited for brevity and clarity by Anna Varavva.
👉 Watch our Cured Series:
Episode 2: UNVAXXED Patient: How I Was Rescued From Hospital Death
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