Why are you involved in Altea's Expert Board?
I would like to be the spokesperson for Chinese medicine on the Altea Expert Board. It is important to show that complementary treatment strategies exist. Acupuncture and medicinal herbs, in particular, have a lot to offer Long COVID patients. I would like to make the public aware of that.
What is your professional relationship to Long COVID?
Chinese medicine offers a complementary approach to conventional medicine – including for the treatment of Long COVID. So, people come to us with very different long-term consequences from the coronavirus: from being unable to work because they can no longer concentrate, for example, or can no longer climb stairs on their own, to other Long COVID symptoms, such as fatigue or slight breathing difficulties. Chinese medicine is not meant to be a substitute for, but rather a complementary approach to other options.
“Chinese medicine can be used as complementary treatment to other methods of treatment.”
What is your experience with Long COVID so far?
More and more people affected by Long COVID are looking to Chinese medicine, among other things, for treatment. I’ve had mixed experiences. In some cases, significant improvements can be noticed quickly, while other patients only respond to Chinese medicine to a very limited extent. This can be challenging.
Overall, however, I do believe it can often help. This does not mean that Long COVID can be eliminated overnight, but rather that we can support people in the process of incorporating Long COVID into their lives and learning how to deal with it. We accompany them “in the management of their symptoms”, so to speak.
Acupuncture and Chinese medicinal therapy, in particular, can help alleviate these symptoms. We have seen that those affected regain more energy and are able to concentrate better. They have less pain, and their digestion improves.
“We support those affected in the management of their symptoms.”
How do you see the future with regard to Long COVID?
There will probably be more and more Long COVID cases in the future. This helps us better understand the disease and refine and adapt our strategy.
I therefore expect that more can be done for patients in the future. In Chinese medicine, for example, the professional debate on the topic of coronavirus and Long COVID is quite extensive. It has been discussed in literature, strategies are being developed and case studies are being presented. This will ensure that treatment methods are improved in the future. Experience is known to be one of the most important aspects of medicine.
What are you enthusiastic about as a private person?
I love everything about the outdoors. During the summer, I am a passionate mountain biker and cyclist, and in the winter, I like to go on skiing trips.
Simon Becker is an acupuncture therapist and Chinese medicine practitioner and is Deputy Head of the Policlinic for Chinese Medicine at the See-Spital in Horgen.