Is exercising Spiral stabilization beneficial for your immunity? Is it possible to ease post-covid symptoms? We asked MUDr. Richard Smíšek, the creator of method of Spiral stabilization exercises.
After recovering from covid 19 many people suffer from so-called post-covid syndrome. They usually complain about back pain, fatigue and lack of energy. Does covid affect back pain as well?
Every flu caused by a virus, including covid, affects the function of mitochondria in our body. Mitochondria are a double-membrane-bound organelle in which the energy of oxygen (released in aerobic respiration at the inner mitochondrial membrane) is needed for all reactions in the cell itself. In simple terms when our body experiences tension, the mitochondria are responsible for releasing this tension. Nevertheless. this release requires a lot of energy and if the mitochondria are somehow damaged by a virus, then there is a lack of the energy that is needed for the release. Which means that muscle tension stays and that is what causes the back pain, fatigue and a bad mood. That‘s why we feel stiff after recovering from a flu and it is necessary to release this kind of tension and exercise. It is easier to pump blood into relaxed muscles, let alone the energy, which affects not just how we feel physically, but also mentally.
Is there a chance of experiencing mild symptoms if we exercise regularly?
A person who is physically and mentally fit will for sure get rid of the virus faster. After recovering from a disease it is important to get the energy (‚life force‘) back and the person who has it and works on it every day has a bigger chance of experiencing mild symptoms with any kind of illness or even better, avoiding the illness completely. Stiff muscles and body can be relaxed by stretching and strengthening at the same time – and that’s what happens while exercising the Spiral stabilization. The exercising requires just a little strength (for relaxing and strengthening) and the exercises were invented in such a way that all the muscles in our body are stretched within 10-15 minutes. This complex stretching and relaxing of muscle chains has then positive impact on other activities we do. For sure there may be exceptions to this and even a healthy person can get sick and suffer from lasting symptoms even after the recovery.
One of the disturbing symptoms of covid is feeling breathless that can last for weeks even after the recovery. Is there a way how to solve this?
The most important is to work with your breath. While exercising Spiral stabilization your chest gets to move a lot. That’s because the exercises copy a natural walk, the body follows its natural movement and strain is put on the heart and lungs little by little. For the reason, this method is recommended even for people suffering from lung problems or coronary artery disease. If we learn how to breathe properly, the lungs will get big enough and more oxygen will get there. The heart will also have more space for its movement, it will get more oxygen and it will work better. That is also why we lay great emphasis on the breath while exercising Spiral stabilization because the breath may help us to get easier into some exercising positions and in other positions the breath may help release the tension. It's crucial to breathe properly when exercising Spiral stabilization.
Besides the illness itself, the pandemic has had an impact on our health in general, the main reason is the lack of movement. Is this something you have noticed with your patients?
Yes, during the pandemic it is not just me, but also my other colleagues – physiotherapists, that also noticed more people suffering from scoliosis, mainly children. Scoliosis in the child population is becoming a bigger and bigger problem, we experience more scoliotic curves in children that deteriorate very quickly. This goes hand in hand with cardiovascular problems and obesity. For sure it does not apply only to children, but also to adults and senior citizens. Senior citizens, apart from the lack of movement, also suffer from being away from their families. There is less social contact which doesn’t have a positive impact on their physical health or well-being either.
Do you have any tip how to stay in shape and fit despite the age?
I will give you an example of my colleague who teaches Spiral stabilization in Germany. In Germany medical insurance covers exercising (including Spiral stabilization) and like this every senior citizen has the opportunity to exercise regularly and for free. In her course there were more than 1200 people who exercise regularly for an hour every day and then go for a short walk. And after observing her patients for some time she came to a conclusion that in last two years she hasn’t had a single patient that would end up in a hospital because of covid and she experienced that people who contracted covid in general were very few or they experienced mild symptoms. So the tip is clear – exercising regularly is very important, learn spine stabilization while walking, go for a walk every day and work with your breath.
Is there anything else besides exercising you do in order to stay fit?
At home for example I have been walking barefoot for many years. Even while exercising Spiral stabilization you are barefoot, because it enables better engagement of muscle chains and it is essential for a better coordination as well. Furthermore, on the sole of your feet many acupressure points can be found and those are being naturally stimulated while walking. And like muscle chains – everything is related: so being healthy physically has also an impact on our mental health – and it is essential to stay in a good mood, especially these days.