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Image / Editorial

This breathing technique helped JK Rowling overcome symptoms of Covid-19


by Grace McGettigan
07th Apr 2020
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JK Rowling has been suffering from symptoms of Covid-19 for two weeks, but this breathing technique has helped


Author JK Rowling has said she’s been sick for the past fortnight with symptoms of Covid-19, adding that this expert breathing exercise has helped with her recovery.

“Please watch this doctor from Queens Hospital explain how to relieve respiratory symptoms,” Rowling posted on Twitter, alongside a YouTube video link. “For the last two weeks, I’ve had all symptoms of Covid-19 (though haven’t been tested) and did this on doc husband’s advice. I’m fully recovered and [this] technique helped a lot.

“Thank you for your kind and lovely messages,” she added. “I really am completely recovered and wanted to share a technique that’s recommended by doctors, costs nothing, has no nasty side effects but could help you/your loved ones a lot, as it did me. Stay safe, everyone.”

The breathing technique

In the video, Dr Sarfaraz Munshi describes how the breathing technique could prevent patients of Covid-19 from contracting secondary pneumonia. The technique, which he picked up from the hospital’s director of nursing, Sue Elliott, involves taking five deep breaths, followed by a big cough, before lying down on your front.

“Once you have an active infection, you need to be getting a good amount of air into the base of your lungs,” he explains in the video. “The only way you’re going to achieve that is by having a technique, which Sue has kindly shared with me. I want you guys to start doing this if you have the infection (if you want to do it before you pick up the infection, good idea).

“You will take five deep breaths in,” he says, “and each time you’ll hold your breath for five seconds. On the sixth deep breath, you will take it in and you will do a big cough, covering your mouth.

“You will do this twice, and then you will lay flat on your bed with a pillow in front of you, taking slightly deeper breaths for the next 10 minutes.” Dr Munshi explains the reason for this is the majority of your lung is on your back, not your front. “By lying on your back, you’re closing off more of your smaller airways, and this is not good during a period of infection as it can lead to secondary pneumonia,” he said.

If you have questions relating to your own respiratory health, contact your GP or local healthcare provider.

Photo: JK Rowling via Twitter


Watch: NHS doctor shows how wearing gloves isn’t so safe after all

Read more: How often do you use your blue inhaler? Over-use can lead to asthma exacerbation or death

Read more: ‘All of a sudden I was really struggling’: 1 person in Ireland dies from asthma every 6 days

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