What is post-viral fatigue? How can it be helped?
One of the main symptoms of an acute virus is extreme exhaustion or debilitating fatigue due to the body using a high proportion of its energy and resources to fight off the infection itself. This often leaves people unable to carry out their normal day to day activity and means they are functioning at a lower physical ability than they are used to. Once the infection is no longer active and immunity has been developed against the infection energy levels should ordinarily return to normal and the fatigue disappears. However, at times, this does not happen; leaving people experiencing intense and debilitating fatigue with an inability to return to their normal activity levels.
There are varying degrees of post-viral fatigue. In some cases post-viral fatigue may last a few weeks whilst in others it may last many months or even years. Additional symptoms as a result of the infection may also be long lasting such as muscle aches and pains, weakness, disturbed sleep; with unrefreshing sleep, cognitive dysfunction and general feelings of being unwell. If over a long period of time the fatigue and other symptoms do not diminish or disappear, people are often diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/ Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (CFS / ME).
The exact cause of post viral-fatigue and CFS / ME is currently uncertain but research evidence shows that what is considered to be a perfectly normal immune response to an acute infection has not returned the patient to normal following the infection. Often when people are already experiencing CFS/ME and then they contract an acute infection they relapse leaving them with even more debilitating symptoms and significantly reduced energy levels.
How can it be helped?
Dr Ray Perrin developed The Perrin Technique, a specific form of lymphatic drainage to help alleviate some of the symptoms associated with post-viral fatigue and CFS/ME. The lymphatic system acts as a drainage system, helping to fight off and clear away infection but if it is not working correctly, the fluid and the substances it contains can build up leading to congestion and an exacerbation of post-viral fatigue and CFS/ME symptoms.
This knowledge forms the basis of Dr Ray Perrin’s theory of using the Perrin Technique in CFS/ME. The Perrin Technique treatment is designed to manually stimulate motion of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord to encourage better drainage of the lymphatic system. It involves gentle manipulation of the soft tissues and massaging the head, neck, back and chest areas. This promotes healthier functioning of the sympathetic nervous system and the lymphatic system which together helps to alleviate physical symptoms and stressors. Most patients gradually improve and many return to full health and become totally symptom free. If you are experiencing post-viral fatigue it’s important to begin treatment as soon as possible to help restore the body back to its full functions and ability.
Please get in touch with Rakhee for an informal chat in the first instance if this is something you require help with.