Pilates & allostatic load for long covid

Pilates & allostatic load for long covid

Pilates is a low impact gentler form of movement that can be ideal for long covid patients. This should work in conjunction with looking at diet, hydration, sleep, nutrition, thoughts and breathing.  Long covid or long flu has many complexities and does not present black and white. However, we do know that long covid has a foundation on central sensitisation. Central sensitisation is driven by allostatic loads. Any medical person reading this will be well versed on allostatic loads. Allostatic loads not only effects long covid and long flu, but all dis-ease including musculoskeletal pain. Below is an image from research paper; ‘Ghost in the machine’ – by Matt Wallden. Matt clearly shows the surrounding issues which effect the body and the results with this chronic back pain patient. All pain and conditions are always multifactorial also child hood adversity has a big part to play.

Pilates teachers can help by delivering exercise which is supported by the apparatus as well as breathwork and mindfulness. Yoga, tai chi, meditation and chi kung can also be key in the treatment of long covid provided that the diet and lifestyle habits change as shown clearly in the above image.

Scientific reports states that the data suggest that in the majority of cases with severe and fatal COVID-19, patients that had died of this disease, had multiple or preexisting health conditions.1. Therefore, by addressing the allostatic load as the primary causation of covid, we are bound to see the effect. The allostatic load drives the disposition of the body to long covid. The same as viral infections show up as Chronic fatigue and ME.

The top down effect

All human beings will naturally avoid pain and seek pleasure, avoid the predator and seek the prey, avoid the challenge and seek the ease. This is part of human survival. Our emotional states are driven by our environment, including everything we see hear, speak and read. Emotional states such as anxiety, depression and fear will drive long covid to a worse situation, de sensitising the central nervous system and therefore increasing the allostatic load. In other words, keeping us in a state of fight or flight, sympathetic dominant, mouth breathing and teeth grinding to name but a few.

The present UK government drive is 17-19 times per day. Is it a wonder that we are all so frightened to live? 2. Chronic fear will spike the bodies cortisol levels putting us in a more vulnerable state for infection.

 Diet and nutrition

One of the biggest problems with all dis-ease is its relation to inflammation in the body.  Diet is one of the key drivers for inflammation, leaving many of the population with as insulin resistant. The issue is that sugary foods which include bread, pasta and rice break down into simple sugars in the body and drive inflammation leading to weight gain and many other health conditions such as:

  • Hypertension
  • Obesity
  • Fatty liver
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Chronic pain
  • Auto-immune conditions

What does insulin and sugar do to the body?

Insulin is a hormone secreted by the beta cells in your pancreas. Its is a good hormone that has 1000’s of functions in the human body. Two of the functions are:

  1. Blood sugar management
  2. Fat management

High carbohydrate meals mean that blood sugar amount will cause the pancreas to secrete insulin at a higher rate in order to pull the blood sugar back to normal. Sugar has a habit of sticking to tissue and organs. Diabetes type 2 for example should be called: “Chronic carbohydrate overdose’.

The problem being that the profit model for governments, corporate food companies and agriculture revolve around the growing and making of these poor-quality disease-causing foods. Poor quality foods are stuffed with grains, sugars and vegetable oils as they make for a stable shelf life. To follow our poor health and dis-ease, pharmaceutical companies come to the rescue as their profit is based on treatment of symptoms and not root cause. The UN World food program has warned that 270,000,000 people face starvation as a result of global lockdowns and restrictions. This makes the response to Covid the single most lethal policy governments have ever adopted.


Gabor Mate

Dr.Bruce Lipton

‘The ghost in the machine’ – Matt Wallden https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29861247/

Matt Wallden – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A0WDT9p_rd4

  1. Elezkurtaj, S., Greuel, S., Ihlow, J. et al. Causes of death and comorbidities in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Sci Rep 11, 4263 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-82862-5


2. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/887467/25-options-for-increasing-adherence-to-social-distancing-measures-22032020.pdf?fbclid=IwAR15_VN1QCYUmJJ9S-3C_0XrUQzelJ2GsT_Q2vXcXgdVOa6K0ZFTMszhAqM

About the Author:

Nisha is a certified level 3 Chek practitioner and holistic lifestyle coach specialising in Pilates and Yoga. Her journey started when a visiting Laban teacher introduced her to Pilates at Dance College in a contemporary class during her first year. Its effects were forgotten but she then re-discovered Pilates through Michael King eleven years later whilst running her dance school. Her background spans over 32 years with formal training in classical ballet, modern dance, tap, national choreography, stage production and theatre. Her formation includes Pilates, Thai bodywork, Yoga, GYROTONIC, GYROKINESIS, Garuda and anatomical studies. Her particular interest is fascia, and the connective lines and movement patterns that allow a full moving structure rather than the isolation of bones and muscles. Her fascination with questioning the traditions of modern medicine and fascination with searching for meaningful answers has taken her in many different directions and has offered her an abundance of opportunities gaining a wealth of knowledge. “I tried many movement modalities and extended my search after experiencing fascia, because of its connection of movement. Quickly, I noticed my own body changing, as well as the bodies of my own clients. In the last 32 years of teaching I’ve developed my own movement and lifestyle philosophy". Throughout her studies Nisha has done numerous dissections with Julian Baker, Mel Cash and Cery Davies and has the opportunity to take lectures and courses from James de Silva, Robert Schleip, Joanne Avison, Tom Myers, Matt Wallden, Leigh Brandon, Emma Lane, Gary Carter, Paul Chek, Dan Hellman, Peter Blackaby plus many more. Nisha's teaching method promotes reflective self-discovery and provides the requirements to integrate a shift in consciousness for attaining individual goals. Nisha teaches in her own studios in St. Helens and Manchester, plus she also has an online following. Throughout her career she has also taught Sting, Sir Ian McKellen, Cirque de Soleil, Will Young and Belinda Carlisle. She has also worked in professional football and both Rugby League and Union for over 20 years. Players she has provided a specific program for were former Manchester Citys Vincent Kompany, Everton's Steven Pinnear and goal keeper Jonas Lossi. She maintains that an attitude of compassion, consistency and joyous humour are excellent components to growth and expanded potential. She welcomes all level of movers from the beginner to the seasoned athlete who have a desire to increase their skill potential, also teachers and students. Her specialties include assisting post rehabilitative back pain individuals, injury prevention for athletes and spine health for everyday people.


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