Covid or post covid syndrome is becoming an increasing concern for many, and especially for those who have previously had a severe post-viral illness such as CFS/ME, post viral fatigue etc.

Dr Phil Parker, a researcher and lecturer at London Met University answers your questions about this illness, how previous illnesses may or may not affect it and the potential solutions available in this video.

I’ve been asked quite a lot recently.

Is the coronavirus more likely to affect me if I’ve had something like chronic fatigue in the past?

Now CFS is something that we deal a lot with, and have done it for the last 20 years with the Lightning Process.
And so there’s a lot of people that we know who have had it and are now well, but they’re asking does this make me more likely to get Covid or to get Long Covid?

And the answer is, in our experience, no. There’s no reason you should be more susceptible, because when you’ve used the tools that you’ve learnt to get their health back then you are indistinguishable from anybody else. You’re able to run as far as they can, do what they can do, so if you’re really shifted this condition then you should be able to compare yourself to the next person and feel you’re as healthy as each other.

And in fact, if you’ve done the Lightning Process, you should also have an understanding of how stress affects the immune system. And this is key to understanding one of the many issues with Covid and Long Covid. The research is clear that people stressing about the virus is probably not going to help because long term stress does suppress your immune system function.

So people who have done the Lightning Process should find their more able to get themselves back to calm amidst the kind of stress about the pandemic.

And becoming calm will start to stimulate good immune function. Because we know from research there’s a huge linkage between what you’re doing with your brain and the function of immune system.


Research into reducing stress and improving your immune function

I mentioned that stress suppresses it. But there’s also some interesting research, from Speer and Delgado, which shows that connecting with really good positive memories buffers the stress response.

So when you when we get stressed, we produce a huge spike in cortisol. If before a stressful event occurs, you’re able to get yourself into a calm or happy space, then instead of this spike you get just a tiny little blip.


So there’s a change in your physiological response. Helen Langer also has done some interesting research on getting people to remember what it’s like to be a teenager by reconnecting with being a teenager. She found it positively affects a number of physiological markers. So we know that if you can reduce your stress so your immune system is not being knackered by that and also enhance the way your physiology is working, this will help. Working in both directions will ensure your body has the best chance of either not getting the coronavirus, because if your immune system is strong, you got a better chance of resisting it, or if you do get it, being able to bat it off more easily and therefore have a much shorter-term illness with less severe consequences and avoid the chance of getting Long Covid.


So does that mean if you do Lightning Process, you’ll never get long covert? No, of course it doesn’t mean that. Everybody has a chance of getting it, but these things are likely to reduce that possibility and reduce the severity of the impact. And that’s a really useful tool to have at your disposal, because as we go through the world, we always come in contact with viruses, bacteria and bugs and germs, and having a way to minimise their effects is useful.

Again, we’re not saying you can completely avoid them. You know the world is the way it is, but having a way to gain influence into the way your immune system works could be really, valuable, so I hope that’s a useful starting point for anybody asking that question; If I’ve had chronic fatigue and I’ve got rid of it then am I at any greater risk or less risk than anyone else?

Using these skills, and I’m talking about the Lightning Process a lot here, is valuable, but it really applies to any skills you have that can impact your immune system in a positive way.

Pasteur- and the germ theory of disease

Pasteur, the father of kind of bacteriology came up with the germ theory of disease. The idea that the germ comes along, and that’s what causes the illness.

And before that, there was a different kind of model that the body humours were causing illness, and he proved that germs were actually responsible for infectious illness.

But apparently, in his final days, he said, ‘I’d like to just slightly change my perspective’.

“The soil is as important as the seed” – so the state of the body, the wellness of the body and the strength of the bacteria or virus – the combination of those two things needs to be considered. So if the body is not functioning well and bacteria or virus is strong, you get more chance of infections and stronger symptoms.

If a virus is weakened and the body is healthy and strong, it can respond more positively to the virus. So the situation s is much more nuanced- we’ve seen this in the coronavirus, where somebody will get it in the house and not everybody gets it or not everybody gets in the same way because there are these other factors. The strength of the actual bacterial/viral agent and the wellness of the body. So anything you can do to reduce your contact with the bug would be useful, and anything you can do to boost your immune system would also help.