Still Experiencing Residual Symptoms from COVID?

Jan 25, 2023
misc image
Still Experiencing Residual Symptoms from COVID?

COVID-19 made a lot of changes in our lives today. After a few years and the creation of vaccines to reduce the mortality rate, we can now say we are back to living the life we used to. However, for some, things are still not the same as it was before. 

Have you been infected by COVID-19? Has it been weeks to months since you have tested negative for it but are still experiencing symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, body aches, brain fog, difficulty sleeping, and loss of sense of smell and taste?

If yes, then you might be one of those who has long COVID. Long COVID is a multisystemic condition comprising often of severe symptoms that follow an acute infection from COVID. The symptom/s can linger for weeks to years. Until now, little is known about long COVID, but scientists and doctors are continuing to observe this phenomenon and are looking for ways to treat it.

Loss of smell and taste might not sound such a big deal for some. However, impaired senses for a long time could lead to more concerns such as loss of appetite and poor nutrition. It can also endanger your safety, such as if you have a gas leak but is unable to smell it. For some people, their sense of taste and smell is necessary for their occupation. Some may be experiencing anosmia which is the complete loss of sense of smell while others may have parosmia which is having a distorted sense of smell such as describing the smell of coffee or freshly baked bread as rancid or garbage. For the lost sense of taste, it is called ageusia. Dysgeusia is an altered sense of taste in which food may taste metallic or like parosmia, the food may also taste spoiled or foul.


In TCM, COVID-19 is considered a Wen Yi (瘟疫) or, in rough translation, a plague, an external contagious factor that disrupts the balance of energy within the body. TCM practitioners are also attempting to find the best treatment for patients suffering from long COVID.  Case reports and small-sample size studies have recently proven that acupuncture can be an effective part of the multidisciplinary treatment for patients suffering from long COVID symptoms. Studies related to these with larger sample sizes are still ongoing but the current results looked promising. 


How can acupuncture help?

Stimulate the nervous system

The underlying cause of the loss of sense of smell and taste caused by COVID-19 is still unknown, as there has not been enough research to verify whether the viral infection affected the neurologic, pulmonary, or immunological functioning of someone who has had COVID. Fortunately, all of those can be addressed with acupuncture. 

Acupuncture has been proven to stimulate and inhibit key functions of the nervous system depending on the results you want to achieve. The sense of smell and taste is complexly processed by the brain. A series of acupuncture treatments can be an adjunct in helping your brain perceive taste and smell the same way as you did before when you haven't been infected with COVID. 

Decongest your nasal passages

Inflammation of the nasal passages is a respiratory symptom of COVID. Acupuncture can ease the inflammation and decongest the nasal passages which may be a reason for your reduced sense of smell which also causes a reduction in your sense of taste.

Strengthen immunity

Lastly, the immune system plays the most important part. A weak immune system makes someone susceptible to severe infection or re-infection. To have a better chance at recovery, acupuncture and the whole system of TCM work within the body's natural ability. Acupuncture treatment boosts the production of cells that is in charge of the body's defenses such as white blood cells and T-cells.

How can we help?

At NYC Acupuncture + Wellness, we do not only treat post-COVID patients with acupuncture. The TCM approach also comprises of herbal medication and nutrition/dietary modifications. Regular exercise and a balanced diet comprising of warm dishes with an abundance of vegetables and spices are highly recommended. Depending on your current symptoms as well as your overall condition, treatment plans may vary. 

Book an appointment with us to learn more. With Dr. Ting Wu's expertise in oriental medicine and her experience with patient care, she can create treatment plans tailored to your health goals.



Bhat, A. K., Krishna Kumar, V., & Johnson, J. D. (2022). "An integrative approach with Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Acupuncture in post covid parosmia - A case study". Journal of Ayurveda and integrative medicine, 100560. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaim.2022.100560

Davis, H.E., McCorkell, L., Vogel, J.M. et al. Long COVID: major findings, mechanisms and recommendations. Nat Rev Microbiol (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41579-022-00846-2

Morita, A., Murakami, A., Uchihara, T., Ohashi, N., Ryu, K., Watanabe, Y., Ochi, S., Okudaira, K., Hirasaki, Y., & Namiki, T. (2022). Case Report: Acupuncture is an effective treatment for olfactory dysfunction in the post COVID-19 condition. Frontiers in Neurology13https://doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2022.916944