A UK doctor who works at Queen's Hospital has shared a breathing technique for Covid-19 patients — which JK Rowling claims helped her recover.

Along with headaches, fever and tiredness the virus causes difficulty breathing in severe cases as it attacks the lungs.

In a video posted to social media, Urgent Care lead Dr Sarfaraz Munshi explains that his colleague Sue Elliot, a director of nursing, uses a breathing technique to help ICU patients who need help relieving their symptoms.

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"Once you have an active infection you need to be getting a good amount of air into the base of your lungs," the doctor says.

"The only way you're going to achieve that is with having a technique which Sue has kindly shared me.

"I want you guys to start doing this if you have the infection right from the beginning. If you want to do it before you have an infection, good idea."

Here's his simple, three-step technique:

1. Take five deep breaths in, each time holding the breath for five seconds.

2. On the sixth deep breath, take it in and do a big cough (cover your mouth, of course).

3. Do two cycles of the above before laying flat on your front (on a bed, ideally) taking slightly deeper "normal" breaths for the next 10 minutes.

"You've got to understand the majority of your lung is on your back not on your front," he adds.


Covid19.govt.nz: The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website

"So by laying on your back you're closing off more of the smaller airways and this is not good during the period of infection.

"This is not good during a period of infection and can lead to atelectasis. This can then lead to secondary pneumonia that can make your condition deteriorate much further - bearing in mind the patients that are deteriorating because of respiratory problems".

Well-known author Rowling, who wrote the Harry Potter series, praised the technique saying that it helped her recover from the illness.