Entertainment Celebrity Coronavirus breathing technique used by Harry Potter author JK Rowling
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Coronavirus breathing technique used by Harry Potter author JK Rowling

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Author JK Rowling says she's been using a breathing technique to help her recover from what may have been the coronavirus. Photo: Getty
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JK Rowling claims she’s recovered from a COVID-19-like illness with the help of a breathing technique.

The Harry Potter author said she’s been experiencing all the symptoms of the coronavirus – but didn’t get officially tested – for the past two weeks.

Rowling said she was following a breathing technique shared by a doctor at the Queen’s Hospital in London, on the advice from her husband, who is also a doctor.

Rowling tweeted she’s now fully recovered from her illness, and that the technique “helped a lot”.

Since Rowling shared her experience, medical experts have urged caution about the general public adopting the measure, saying patients could actually spread the coronavirus if they do have it.

“While special breathing techniques have their place in hospital, under the supervision of a respiratory physiotherapist or respiratory doctor, and for certain medical conditions, using them at home to manage coronavirus symptoms could be dangerous,” Brian Oliver wrote in The Conversation, who is a research leader in respiratory cellular and molecular biology at the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research.

“The technique in the video could help spread the coronavirus to people close by.”

Dr Sarfaraz Munshi says the technique has been implemented in the hospital’s intensive care unit patients, but can be used by anyone the moment they’re diagnosed, or feel symptoms.

Dr Munshi says it’s important to get oxygen deep into the lungs, where the virus is at its most potent, to aid the lungs’ function.

It’s pretty simple: Take five deep breaths, holding each one in for five seconds, and on the sixth, hold it and then do a deep cough (while covering your mouth).

Repeat this twice, then lie on your bed on your stomach for five to 10 minutes, and continue to breathe deeply.

Dr Munshi stressed lying on one’s stomach – because the majority of the lungs are at the back, lying on your back if you have a respiratory infection, does not help at all.

“The most important thing is laying in bed for prolonged periods, on your back, is going to close off the small airways,” he says in the video.

“[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.”