Tackle 'Long-Haul' COVID-19 Symptoms With This One Exercise

Many of those infected with the COVID-19 virus were able to make a full recovery, while some never even felt the symptoms at all and only learned of their infection through testing positive, much to their surprise. Others, tragically, lost their lives, with more than 588,000 people in the U.S. dying from COVID, per NBC News. Much as we'd like to, it's not yet time to start planning those "pandemic's over!" parties.

For some COVID patients, however, the effects of the virus linger on and on, something so prevalent that it's earned the name of "long-haul" COVID. According to the CDC, symptoms may include brain fog, fatigue, headaches, joint or muscle pain, and shortness of breath. How do you deal with those symptoms that just can't seem to shake off? Wellness expert and tai chi Master Tommy Kirchhoff, creator of therapeutic, medicinal movement program Healing Exercise, spoke with The List about one exercise that has proven highly effective in helping to relieve all the aches and pains associated with these post-COVID conditions.

Try tai chi to help you manage your symptoms

Tai chi Master and wellness expert Tommy Kirchhoff tells us that tai chi is amazingly effective at relieving certain long-haul COVID conditions. He says back and neck pain and arthritis all respond well to tai chi, citing evidence from randomly-controlled trials (RCTs) that he says is "strong enough to consider Tai Chi as a general analgesic for pain." A 2018 RCT reported in COPD News Today also indicated that tai chi could be more effective than pulmonary rehabilitation in treating patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, something that may translate to its being effective at rehabilitating COVID-damaged lungs as well. 

Tai chi, Kirchoff tells us, can also help combat fatigue, citing a study published in PloS One (via NCBI). He also says that tai chi helps improve concentration, calling it "meditation in motion" and explaining that "the relaxing and continuous movements are so soothing that they have even [been] shown to alleviate depression."

The best part about practicing tai chi, though, is how hassle-free it is to do. As Kirchoff points out, many types of therapy require in-person visits to medical facilities, while "simple and inexpensive tai chi can be practiced ... in the comfort of a living room." Not only cheap and relatively easy, but you can't get more socially distant than that! Plus, if you get lonely, you can even find Zoom tai chi classes so you can safely exercise with fellow learners.