In a new instructive video that is being widely appreciated by the netizens amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Sarfaraz Munshi, urgent care lead at Queen's Hospital in London, can be seen demonstrating a new manner of breathing exercise that would help the people struggling with the deadly virus.

"Once you have an active infection", begins the doc, "you need to be getting a good amount of air into the bases of your lung."


Doctor demonstrates technique

The technique Dr Munshi suggests is ideal to be done right since one gets affected by the viral infection. The new way works with five deep breathes in, initially, which should be held in for five seconds at least.

After the sixth and final breath, the patient is required to give out a big cough, provided his mouth and nose be covered.

The doctor prescribes this breathing exercise be done twice, after which the patient can lay flat on a bed with a pillow in front, focusing on taking in slightly deeper breaths for the next 10 minutes. In the illustrative video clip, the physician then shows the practical ways of doing the technique properly.

He completes one cycle of the breathing exercise and ended with a strong cough. Although he agrees the exercise has made him feel dizzy, this must not deter the patients from completing the two cycles.


Lay flat on your front

Dr Munshi reiterates the need for laying flat on your front with a pillow in front. The breathes can be normal then though slightly deeper than normal.

The doctor further explains the need to lay on one's front. The major portion of the human lungs is at the back and hence, lying flat on one's back adds the blocking or closing off of the air passage in and out of the lung cavity. The condition can, therefore, worsen if an infected person lies on his back to take his breaths, which can even lead to secondary pneumonia, he says.

The big cough in the sixth breathe enables the opening up of the lower airways. The doctor throughout the video also requests the patients to prevent themselves from lying on their backs as it can highly increase the chance of secondary pneumonia, deteriorating one's condition much further.

The video ends with the doctor demonstrating the technique for one more time.

lay flat on front
lay flat on front

His simple, three-step technique in short:

  •  Take five deep breaths in, each time holding the breath for five seconds.
  •  On the sixth deep breath, take it in and do a big cough (cover your mouth, of course).
  •  Do two cycles of the above and the lay flat on your front (on a bed, ideally) taking slightly deeper "normal" breaths for the next 10 minutes.

Click on to watch Dr Munshi demonstrating the video