Author J.K. Rowling recently tweeted that she “completely recovered” after experiencing symptoms of COVID-19. While she didn’t actually get tested for coronavirus, she exhibited “all symptoms” and wanted to share a breathing exercise that helped her manage symptoms.
This exercise is by no means a miracle, but isn’t just a celebrity-twitter-thing — nurses and doctors recommend it. It costs nothing to do, and can indeed help you breathe a bit easier if performed regularly.
Here is the technique demonstrated by a doctor at Queens Hospital in London (a written explanation follows):
The exercise involves inhaling for five seconds, holding your breath for five seconds, and then exhaling. Then, on the sixth deep breath, you do a big cough. Repeat this twice, and then lay on your bed, on your front side. Use a pillow as head support and breathe slightly deeper breaths for ten minutes.
It’s a simple exercise, but it will seem very familiar to people suffering from chronic respiratory conditions. Deep breathing exercises can be a useful symptom mitigation tool, and considering that difficulties in breathing are one of the most damaging symptoms of COVID-19, they can be of help here.
It’s important to stress that no breathing technique will ensure that the symptoms don’t get worse, but they can offer some support in dealing with existing symptoms. At the very least, it’s a helpful breathing exercise.