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Long Covid course is ‘exploiting people’, says ex-GB rower

A former Team GB rower claims a treatment she underwent for long Covid leaves participants feeling "blamed" for being ill.

Oonagh Cousins was offered a free place on a course run by the Lightning Process, which teaches people they can rewire their brains to stop or improve long Covid symptoms quickly.

Ms Cousins, who contracted Covid in March 2020, said it "exploits" people.

However, the programme's founder denied it blames patients for their illness, saying that was completely at odds with the concepts of the programme

Ms Cousins had reached a career goal many athletes can only dream of - being selected for the Olympics - when she developed long Covid. By the time the cancelled 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo were rescheduled for 2021, Ms Cousins was too ill to take part.

When she went public with her struggles, she was approached by the Lightning Process. It offered her a free place on a three-day course, which usually costs around £1,000.

"They were trying to suggest that I could think my way out of the symptoms, basically. And I disputed that entirely," the former rower said. "I had a very clearly physical illness. And I felt that they were blaming my negative thought processes for why I was ill." She added: "They tried to point out that I had depression or anxiety. And I said 'I'm not, I'm just very sick'."

Prof Danny Altmann, a leading long Covid researcher, says such behavioural approaches disregard the "mass" of underlying damage in patients that can be measured in tests.

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Source: BBC News, 21 May 2024


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