bullet  Coronavirus (Covid-19)
updated Sat 20th March 2021


The Corinavirus pandemic has brought about many changes to people's lives, some of which will last far longer than the particular outbreak that we are dealing with at the moment. It's still very difficult to see what the final progression of this might be, but a few things have become more clear. I have been providing a restricted number of hands-on treatments since the summer of 2020, according to Government guidelines.

Interestingly it has been apparent that I am still able to provide a useful service in one-to-one sessions via Zoom or Skype. This hands-off method of applied body-awareness is based on state-of-the-art research into the evolution of the human nervous system. It is particularly effective in helping central sensitisation and other kinds of chronic pain, anxiety, hyper-arousal and trauma/PTSD, and a surprising number of other (apparently) physical problems. Contact me if any of these might possibly apply.

The Coronavirus lockdown itself (along with other current issues in the world) is causing many people to have mental-emotional difficulties, which may be anything from outbursts of temper and frustration (that also affect their companions), anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and lethargy, confusion, and particularly feelings of overwhelm and grief. I can also provide some support for these issues, and train you how to reduce overwhelm/anxiety and how to process many of the other difficult emotions more easily.

There are also some unanswered questions as to the psychological aspects of returning to "normal", whatever that new normal might be. The Government has set out a timetable, and whilst that helps to some degree, it does not address all the issues with habit and perception of safety (and danger) that will have to be shifted to something more functional in the world. From my experience working with the body, the sensory system and with trauma, I would suggest that it's important to re-engage the world with curiosity about what good things it has to offer - rather than trepidationb about what unseen dangers it might present. Facemasks are part of this... They have become a symbol of social solidarity and care for others (and compliance to social norms). But they are also a symbol of societal fear of infection - leaving a very question of how and over what timeframe we transition back to the way we accepted and perceived normal risk before all of his started, and to a non-mask-wearing future. Everyone will have their own particuar comforts and discomforts around this, which will then have to somehow fit in with societal expectations in general, and of specific friends and family and work colleagues.

An expert's view
Exerpt from an interview (translated from German) with public health expect Martin Sprenger.

pfm: What are the consequences of fear on health? Does it weaken the immune system?

MS: As a medical professional, I say that fear is a very important emotion. It warns us of a dangerous situation and maybe gives us the energy to deal with it. But if the fear persists, we get into what is known as distress, which is unhealthy. If a population is kept in constant fear, such as in a state of war, it is harmful to health. Incidentally, the fear of eviction or unemployment also harms our health. In my opinion, fear has been played with too exaggeratedly, sometimes quite deliberately. And that wasn't good.

pfm: The production of fear is more damaging because it weakens the immune system, the only body that fights the virus. The vaccination is only supposed to inform the immune system about the peculiarities of the virus.

MS: We would not be able to survive without the immune system. It is much more complex than we still understand today. For example, we are only slowly beginning to understand how our immune system interacts with our microbiome. When dealing with infectious diseases, our immune system is not only extremely important, it is the decisive factor.

What I miss in the whole discussion is the recognition of the fact that our organism, the living human system, constantly has to deal with its social, physical and biological environment. And this also consists of bacteria and viruses. Our immune system needs this struggle [in order to remain active and so protect us]. We are born sterile and are colonized with bacteria and viruses. This early engagement is essential for the immune system to function. The importance of our immune system is neglected in the current debate. I would like to hear immunologists more often. They have a lot to say about it.

Blood, oxygen, blood vessels

Coronavirus affects the body in almost exactly the same way as an overdose of ACE Inhibitors (a form of heart medication). One of the main parts of the body affected by Coronavirus is the minor blood vessels. This was first throught to be a rather mysterious reduction in oxygen saturation - with a remarkable similarity to altitude sickness. I am surprised that there has been no mention of research into use of Coca leaf tea (Maté) - the simple herbal cardiovascular regulator used in Latin America to reduce the effects of altitude sickness, or chilli - a herb that assists capillary circulation, or simple tannins (as found in tea) that tend to reduce blood vessel permeability. The brain damage, loss of smell and taste and other major and minor side effects of Coronavirus infection seem to be directly related to damage of minor blood vessels. The simple answer to this (recognising that simple answers are rarely that simple or applicable to everyone) is to

  • ensure that the immune system is as effective as possible,
  • which also involves helping the gut bacteria to be as healthy as possible (see below), and
  • to reduce total viral load.
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Glyphosate blocks a specific enzyme pathway, the shikimic acid pathway. The shikimic acid pathway is necessary for plants and some microorganisms.
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The human microbiome supporting the immune system

Another recent finding is that Coronavirus infections and deaths are strongly correlated to disrupted gut microbiomes. So please go to 38 degrees and sign the petition for ALL councils to ban Glyphosate. Maybe should have been obvious at the start, but it's certainly obvious now. Research is showing VERY clearly that Glyphosate doesn't just disappear, and traces of it continue to disrupt the microbes in human and animal digestive systems and the bacterial balance in soils. It's possibly one of the greatest single causes of gastrointestinal illness (including gluten intolerance) at the moment. The gut microbiome contributes hugely to all aspects of the human immune system that resists invasive infections. Viola Sampson has been carrying out a pilot study into supporting the digestive microbiome as a way to treat "Long Covid", and as the trial progresses it is being reported on her Facebook page and website

Glyphosate is probably responsible for loss of much of the insect population (which has crashed to less than 10% of normal levels in Europe). We rely on bugs - microbial bugs and creepy-crawly bugs - for our health and survival. The whole idea of poisoning the environment to kill off stuff we don't like because it's inconvenient and gets in the way of how we would like to (mis-)behave has to stop. There area lot of factors that link countries particularly impacted by Coronavirus, one of them being historic levels of air pollution (so just decreasing air pollution now doesn't help already immune-compromised lungs), and another being widespread public exposure to pesticides such as Glyphosate.

Social Distancing (physical distancing) and Safety

The term "social distancing" has been quite destructive, because it has led to widespread isolation and mental health problems. A better way to think of it is "physical distancing". Fortunately we are now being allowed to come together in small social "bubbles" so that close contact with a small number of people is possible again. Of course, if you come for treatment, I am not in your close social bubble. However, it would appear that most people have been infected with no symptoms. Therefore, so long as you do not fall into a specific risk group, the virus is for the vast majority of people not dangerous, and does not cause illness, and your best personal defence is maintaining a healthy immune system.

The available data also suggests that any close proximity in a vehicle or (non-sterile) room for more than 10 minutes results in a very high (>80%) likelihood of transmission of any virus, regardless of whether you might be wearing a paper filtering mask or protective gear, or not. Simply, viruses are so small that they go everywhere. However, it is also clear that much of the viral load transmits in small water droplets from the mouth, so a mask does reduce the total viral load transmitted to other people, even if it does not completely stop the spread of virus. Studies of infection transmission in China put mask wearing at the bottom of the list of effective measures, and non-contact/physical distancing at the top of the list. A good overall summary of transmission research is to be found here (Docjon.org).

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