COVID-19: Dr Sarfaraz Munshi’s breathing exercise, technique

COVID-19 breathing exercise

It will not prevent you from contracting COVID-19. But if the disease puts you in bed for several days, it could reduce your chances of developing complications. It’s a simple breathing exercise that circulates on social networks and which is not without scientific value, according to reports.

This is Dr Sarfaraz Munshi, from Queens Hospital in London, which published the video on YouTube. He offers a simple breathing exercise that could help coronavirus patients breathe well. “If you want to do it before you even get infected, it’s a good idea,” he says. His technique: take a deep breath, hold your breath for five seconds, and then breathe out. Repeat five times. Then take a sixth inspiration, then cough.

Jean-François Lizé, intensivist pulmonologist and head of intensive care at the CHUM, explains that this technique does not come from nowhere. It is based on the exercises that are recommended for patients recovering from an operation.

“You should know that our lungs always produce secretions. It is a natural protective mechanism, he explains. However, when a patient is in bed, the lungs tend to collapse. Secretions then tend to get caught in the bronchi, which can promote the development of bacteria and infections. “

Breathing exercises are aimed at reopening the lungs and removing secretions. As we know that pneumonia and respiratory problems are among the main complications associated with COVID-19, we understand the relevance of such an exercise for people affected.

“This is all theoretical, but yes: if you catch COVID and do that, you are certainly less at risk of complications,” says Dr.  Lizé. He particularly recommends exercise to patients who find themselves in bed or who move much less because of the disease.

However, Dr. Lizé believes that it is not really useful to do these exercises as a preventive measure, for people who are not afflicted with the disease. “I’m going to be honest with you, good health walking does the job and it’s the best thing I can recommend – always within two meters, of course,” he says.

Two warnings for those who exercise. First, coughing is not a trivial act these days since it can greatly contribute to spreading the epidemic. Be careful not to cough in the presence of someone else, do it in your elbow and be careful not to drop any droplets onto surfaces that could contaminate other people.

Next, keep in mind that exercise can cause hyperventilation and cause dizziness – in his video, Dr. Munshi himself claims to be dizzy while doing it. So be sure to do it in a safe environment.


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