Yogic Breathing and Guided Meditation for Long Covid Symptoms
Long Covid symptoms can last weeks to months after the initial Covid infection or can appear weeks after. It can occur in those with mild disease or asymptomatic patients. Most commonly reported symptoms of Long Covid are:
Tiredness or fatigue
Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as "brain fog")
Loss of smell or taste
Dizziness on standing
Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)
Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
Joint or muscle pain
Depression or anxiety
Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental activities
To this date, nearly 180 million people have been infected with Covid19 and over 3 million have lost their lives worldwide. The increasing prevalence of patients with Long Covid symptoms and the lack of effective solutions to address their condition, creates an urgent need for non-pharmacological interventions that are effective and scalable and can be delivered online to accommodate for the limitations due to the Covid pandemic.
Yogic Breathing and Meditation techniques have been shown to have various health benefits including improving pulmonary function and mental health. Prominent health institutions are recommending breathing exercise to their Covid patients to assist their respiratory recovery9. Meditation and breathing is also shown to help with Covid related stress and anxiety.
This study is a waitlisted randomized controlled trial conducted in 2 phases:
Phase 1: If participants are in the intervention group, they will be asked to learn and practices two Yogic Breathing practices (Simha Kriya and Nadi Shuddhi) and a guided meditation (Isha Kriya) for 3 weeks They will be asked to complete a set of questionnaires at baseline and the end of each week. Participants in the waitlisted control group will be asked to perform their regular daily routine as they wait to be enrolled into the intervention at the end of 3 weeks. The waitlisted control group will also be recruited for semi-structured individual interviews during this time.
Phase 2: The waitlisted control group will begin the intervention at week 3 and continue until week 6. They will be asked to continue completing the questionnaires at the end of each week. The intervention group will be asked to complete a final follow-up questionnaire at the end of week 6. The intervention group will also be recruited for semi-structured individual interviews during this time.
Focus group discussions with both the intervention and control groups are conducted at the end of the study to collect general information about the participant's general experience with the current study and what matters to them as a Long COVID patients.