(Long-term Effects of COVID-19)

Some people who have overcome COVID-19 still have a long way to go to be fully free of all the consequences of the virus.

The most serious long-lasting after-effects of COVID include:

  • Impaired lung function and chest abnormalities, which may even lead to acute pulmonary embolism (blockage of a lung artery).
  • Tiredness, fatigue, dyspnoea (laboured breathing). Some cases can lead to ischaemic strokes.
  • Neurological damage: severe headaches, memory loss, etc.
  • Skin problems: necrosis, hair loss, hives, fungal infections.
  • Thromboembolism (blood clots affecting veins and arteries).
  • Lack of muscle mass.
  • Depression, anxiety and sleep problems.
  • Loss of sense of smell and taste (these are the mildest symptoms).

Patients who have overcome severe pneumonia and were admitted to intensive care units, requiring mechanical ventilation and prolonged stays in bed (in addition to suffering the side effects of the drugs they have been given) now need a comprehensive recovery. This is especially true of patients who have breathing problems or have undergone amputations due to blood clots.

These are the cases with the most complex recovery processes, and the therapist has a lot of work to do.


  • On a respiratory level and with the appropriate exercises, massage can strengthen the respiratory musculature.
  • Massage counteracts muscle weakness and prevents pulmonary complications.
  • It helps to rehabilitate the body, facilitating the recovery of muscle mass and strengthening the muscles.
  • It is essential for regaining autonomous mobility as some patients have to learn to walk again.
  • On an emotional level, massage, together with the aromatherapy used (lavender, lemon, bergamot), helps to calm depression and anxiety and induce sleep, as it stimulates the production of endorphins (the so-called happiness hormones).

This way, each patient can be provided with individual treatment and achieve a much faster recovery, both physically and emotionally.