Doctor reveals breathing technique that can help with coronavirus symptoms

(Image credit: Getty)

A hospital doctor has revealed a breathing method that he says can help with the symptoms of the coronavirus.

Dr Sarfaraz Munshi, from Queen’s Hospital in Romford, has revealed that the technique is used on intensive care patients battling the virus that attacks the respiratory system.

Dr Munshi explained that while the method is useful for those fighting the illness in hospital, it could also benefit those self-isolating at home who think they may have the virus.

It may also be beneficial to start following the breathing trick before falling ill with the virus.

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Dr Munshi explained, “While you have an active infection you need to be getting a good amount of air into the bases of your lungs. The only way you are going to do that is by having a technique.”

It involves taking five deep breaths, holding the fifth for five seconds, and then taking a sixth breath, after which you should do a big cough, while covering the mouth.

The health professional has recommended doing the routine twice before lying on your front with a pillow for support and taking deep breaths for ten minutes.

Credit: Getty

Explaining the medical science behind the method, he said, “The majority of your lung is on your back, not on the front. By lying on your back you’re closing off more of the smaller airways, and this is not good during a period of infection.

“[It can] lead to atelectasis. This can then lead to a secondary pneumonia. It’s very important that you guys understand this. ‘The most important thing is laying in bed for prolonged periods, on your back, is going to close off the small airways.

“[It will] increase your risk of secondary pneumonia, that can make your condition deteriorate much further – bearing in mind the patients that are deteriorating are deteriorating because of respiratory problems.”

Caitlin Elliott
Junior News Editor

Caitlin is a Junior News Editor for, covering all things royal, celeb, lifestyle, food, and family. Having set her sights on becoming a magazine journalist when she was a child, Caitlin took on work experience stints at local papers and titles such as Cosmopolitan, Now, Reveal and Take a Break while studying for her Multimedia Journalism degree and has interviews with celebs, reality stars and the Archbishop of Canterbury under her belt (of course, she couldn't resist asking him about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry).