The benefits of reaset osteopathy to treat the symptoms of long COVID

Tom Meyers
6 min readMar 8, 2022

Tom Meyers, Osteopath (M.Sc., D.O. OSD) and the founder of Reaset Body-centred Stress Coaching

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  • Almost one in two people suffer from long COVID three months after their COVID-19 infection.
  • Patients with long COVID have increased central nervous system sensitivity and problems with the autonomic nervous system.
  • The benefits an osteopathic reaset treatment on the symptoms of long COVID.
  • Comments from Long COVID patients after an osteopathic reaset treatment.


Infographic Sciensano

For some people, the coronavirus (COVID-19) can cause symptoms that last weeks or months after the infection has gone. This is sometimes called post-COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID.”

Some scientific insights in long COVID suggest increased sensitivity of the central nervous system wile others suggest it is caused by dysautonomia — a medical condition caused by problems with the autonomic nervous system — may explain the persistent symptoms observed in long COVID-19 patients.

The time it takes to recover from COVID-19 is different for everyone. Many people feel better in a few days or weeks, and most recover completely in 12 weeks.

People who had mild symptoms at first may still have long-term problems. But for some people, the symptoms may last longer. The risk of having long-term symptoms does seem to be related to the health status of the person at the time they receive COVID-19.

People who are at greater risk of long term COVID are:

  • Women
  • People with a lower level of education
  • People with a history of chronic disease
  • People who are overweight or obese
  • People who had at least one symptom of COVID-19 in the acute phase of the infection.

47% of the participants in a Sciensano study with long-term COVID had at least one symptom related to COVID-19 infection three months after the infection.

The symptoms:

  • Fatigue/exhaustion (51%)
  • Headaches (28%)
  • Memory and concentration problems (26%)
  • Muscle pain (24%)
  • Breathing difficulties (23%)
  • Sleep disorders (20%)
  • Depressive disorders (18%)
  • Anxiety (12%)

Compared to people with no symptoms three months after their COVID-19 infection, people with long-term COVID report a lower health-related quality of life score, more moderate and severe breathing difficulties and a higher level of fatigue. In terms of mental health, people with long COVID have significantly more anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. Three months after infection with COVID-19, the proportion of anxiety disorders is 12% in people with long-term COVID and 4% in people with no symptoms of COVID-19. These proportions are 18% and 5%, respectively for depressive disorders.


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Researchers from the VUB and UZ Brussel conducted an online survey of 567 Dutch-speaking patients with long-term disorders after COVID-19 infection to establish a link between the severity of the disorders and increased sensitivity of the nervous system.

Prof. Maarten Moens, a neurosurgeon at UZ Brussel, specialises in chronic pain: “The study shows that symptoms of increased sensitivity of the nervous system (central sensitisation) occur in more than 70% of patients with long-term disorders after contracting COVID-19. Central sensitisation implies that the brain can interpret a signal as pain without there actually being an acute problem or actual damage in the body.

In addition, the body starts to react more and more strongly, which leads to diffuse but serious disorders. And the more severe the disorders, the greater the impact on health-related quality of life and functional limitations.

Other studies link the symptoms of long COVID to the failure or dysregulation of the sympathetic, or parasympathetic components of the autonomic nervous system (dysautonomia).



Osteopathy is a form of manual therapy that improves the functioning of the human body. The aim is to help the organism find a balance in its entirety and thus promote self-healing.

Unlike what many people think, osteopathy can help with more than just musculoskeletal pain. It can also act and be complimentary for a wide range of disorders, a.o. cardiovascular, digestive, organic, neurological and pulmonary problems.


Reaset Body-centred Stress Coaching — in short ‘REASET’ — is a body-mind and educational approach based on osteopathic principles. Its purpose is to stimulate the relaxation response and acts specifically on ailments related to disturbances of the autonomic nervous system including stress, general malaise, mood swings, sleep disturbances, problems with concentration or focus, brain fog forms of anxiety, tension in neck and shoulders…


An osteopathic reaset treatment (ORT) is a holistic healthcare approach that maintains the normal balance between the body’s many systems. While osteopathy acts on the mechanical, fluidic, organic and neuromuscular levels through gentle mobilisations and adjustments, REASET focuses more on the craniosacral and fascia system. It aids in unwinding the body and easing the mind through the direct and indirect influence on the autonomic nervous system. Together, they offer an integral and functional health and wellbeing approach for body and mind to cope with the many biopsychosocial and spiritual challenges in today’s fast-changing world.


As with any classical osteopathic treatment, the goal with patients suffering from long COVID is to bring balance to the bodies structure and function relationship and lift any vascular or neurological obstructions but on top of this the osteopath will pay specific attention to improve ANS functioning and facilitating the relaxation response through:

  • Regulation of nerve function: cranial, spinal nerves and the autonomic nervous system.
  • Regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis.
  • Unwinding of the dural membranes.
  • Unwinding of joint, muscle, myofascial and organ movements.
  • Alignment of the body and increase its mobility.


An osteopathic reaset treatment contributes to immediate and long-term physical and indirectly psychosocial health and wellbeing. After a treatment, patients feel more at ease, have less or no muscular or visceral tension, headaches disappear, breathing is again normalised, posture is improved. Autonomic balance is increased, as can be measured through HRV. After one or two sessions, patients also report less stress and anxiety and better sleeping patterns.

HRV measurement in a male patient of 22 with long COVID


⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ When I met Tom I felt understood for the first time in my struggle with post-Covid effects. Not only was he able, through his structured approach, to give me confidence in the possibility of a quick recovery, but he was also able to alleviate some of the symptoms after two sessions. After the 2nd session, the effects were visible and felt immediately, having improved my overall state of well being.
Valentina U.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I highly recommend Tom! I initially came for one problem and after only 2 sessions I got many problems resolved :) What I like most about Tom is that he doesn’t separate body, mind and spirit, and in today’s medical care it is very rare… Last time I saw him I literally had the feeling my energy was grey or black, and I came out full of colours again! Thank you Tom.
Chafi H.



Tom Meyers

Tom Meyers is an osteopath M.Sc. D.0., Founder the Reaset Approach, Author Futurize Yourself & The Futures Effect