Neurofeedback for COVID Long Haulers

Are you a “COVID Long Hauler”—someone who has had COVID 19 and is still experiencing after-effects long after your doctor or hospital has said you have recovered?

If so, you have probably been combing the internet, trying to understand what is happening with you, and what options there may be to help you return to your pre-COVID self. As you have learned, these lasting symptoms are not well understood at all, but they have been reported commonly enough that it is clear they are real. 

A list of the 50 most frequently-reported symptoms was published July 25 by researchers at the Indiana University School of Medicine.  Interestingly to us, nine of those 50 symptoms are things we see frequently in our neurofeedback practice, and things that tend to respond well to neurofeedback.  Those nine are:

  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating or focusing
  • Headache
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Anxiety
  • Memory problems
  • Sadness
  • Confusion
  • Feeling irritable

We have been interested in these symptoms since we published our study on neurofeedback for “chemobrain”— the cognitive, emotional, sleep and fatigue problems that often emerge or remain after treatment for cancer has ended.  We have noticed a similar cluster of symptoms in people who have had concussions, surgery (probably resulting from anesthesia) multiple sclerosis, or mild cognitive impairment.  Most of the people we see with those concerns improve (21 of 23 participants in our chemobrain study returned to normal; with MS clients, we see improvement in about 50%).

This leads us to be very interested in whether neurofeedback could offer relief to COVID long haulers—for at least some of their symptoms.  So we have decided to focus our research time for the next few months on exploring this question. 

We have just received a grant from the Applied Brain Research Foundation of Ohio that will allow us to offer sessions for a nominal cost of $10/session. If it becomes clear that participants experience some improvement at 10 sessions, but more sessions are clearly needed, we will be open to continuing the process.

We invite you to learn a bit more about what we do and, if you live in or near Cleveland, possibly join with us in this exploration.

Meet our first Long Hauler. Anthony has just completed 20 sessions, with wonderful improvements in cognitive function, and striking reductions in fatigue, anxiety, depression and somatization. Interestingly, when he came to us, he hadn’t been to the gym in months—his fatigue made it impossible. He still reports some fatigue, but now it is after returning to his previous level of demanding workouts. He wrote to us:

When I first met you I really didn’t have much hope that I could feel normal again. I came in pretty much at the end of my patience and tolerance level with my condition.  After eight months of seeing my family doctor, lung doctor, and heart doctor, I wasn’t sure I would ever feel like myself again.  But to my surprise, your [sessions] transformed me.

Although I still have some physical issues to overcome, I am extremely grateful to have my cognition returned to me. I no longer feel as though I’m living life in a fog.

Meet Emma, our second Long Hauler. Emma was an 18-year-old college freshman when she came to us.

Before learning about neurofeedback, I was in the worst mental,
emotional and physical place I have ever been at in my lifetime. No matter what I did, it seemed that living life was increasingly getting harder and harder. It was hard to remember a time before I contracted COVID-19.

When I heard about neurofeedback, I was excited to try something new, but in all honesty I wasn’t expecting my life to change as much as it has.

Each session calmed my mind and nervous system. Every week,
neurofeedback was what I was looked forward to the most.
Now more than a month after my treatment has stopped, I am finding that my life has returned to an enjoyable state, something that I thought would be impossible. I believed it would take years for me to return to a somewhat normal state, but neurofeedback proved that wrong. It was easily one of the best decisions I have made!

To learn more, check out two short videos we’ve made:

On neurofeedback for chemobrain:

On how this form of neurofeedback works:

Ready to get started or want to learn more? Contact us here.