Using a Polyvagal Approach, the COVID Pandemic is Solvable

The solution for COVID-19 may be similar to that of solving chronic pain.

Posted Jun 30, 2020

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Modern medicine has the capacity to halt this pandemic now. COVID-19 is a complex problem affecting the immune, metabolic, endocrine, nervous system, and the inflammatory response. The end result, in the case of severe tissue destruction, is death. To solve the problem, every aspect of it must be systematically and simultaneously addressed.

A group of professionals who have had a lot of success treating chronic pain came together looking to deepen our knowledge of why our approaches were effective. Every chronic disease state has an inflammatory component that causes progressive tissue destruction and creates physical symptoms. It is similar to the COVID problem, only the COVID-19 problems occur much faster. “Plan B” is the result of this workgroup’s efforts and it is continuing to evolve. 

Overview of the approach

  • Optimizes the body’s readiness to fight off the virus. Every variable is considered.
  • Recruits the body’s natural defenses – all of them.
    • With viral infection, the primary defense is the immune system modulated by the autonomic nervous system.
      • The sympathetic nervous system response is critical for the “fight” phase of warding off the virus.
      • The best way to modulate the overactive inflammatory response is by recruiting the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • Reinforces these defenses — respecting the fight, flight, freeze, or faint phase of the autonomic nervous system.
  • Utilizes major interventions when all else has failed.
  •  Aggressive treatments are indicated when the body’s defenses are overwhelmed in the freeze/faint phase. They can also be tailored to support the body’s final attempts to recover.
  • With viral infection, the primary defense is the immune system modulated by the autonomic nervous system.
    • The sympathetic nervous system response is critical for the “fight” phase of warding off the virus.
    • The best way to modulate the overactive inflammatory response is by recruiting the parasympathetic nervous system.
  • The sympathetic nervous system response is critical for the “fight” phase of warding off the virus.
  • The best way to modulate the overactive inflammatory response is by recruiting the parasympathetic nervous system.

We are asking that this protocol be viewed as a foundation for designing clinical trials and seriously challenged. There is much work to be done regarding dosing and timing. When examining the effectiveness of novel therapies, the basics should always be addressed and documented. We are asking that this approach based on basic human physiology be proven wrong or refined and implemented. 

Please email David Hanscom if you wish to look at the protocol. 

We have also presented a Plan A, which presents an approach each individual can take to minimize their risks of dying from COVID.

The Workgroup: Stephen Porges, Ph.D., David R Clawson, MD, David A. Hanscom, MD, Ray Bunnage, C. Sue Carter, Ph.D., Les Aria, Ph.D. Steve Lederman, MD, and James Taylor, MD.