Here are some breathing tips from experts, that might help protect you from Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). You will see a lot of overlap, so these experts are all agreeing!
General use of face masks may not be recommended yet (watching, WHO may change their recommendations) but whether or not you wear a face mask, but we believe that good breathing could help protect you.
Recent reports, such as the majority of a choir catching the virus after a choir practice (even though they avoided contact, kept a social distance and washed hands), suggests that the virus may be spread more easily through air than thought. Breathing through your nose can help, but you can’t avoid breathing out through your mouth when singing or speaking! This suggests that not just coughing and sneezing, but singing, speaking and even mouth breathing may help to spread virus.
I hope these great blogs/articles will help convince you that you can help yourselves with social distancing, hand washing AND GOOD BREATHING!
Here are some of the main recommendations from Patrick McKeown’s presentation. He explains a lot of the background and science behind this in the video. It’s 40 mins long but comprehensive; worth watching it all.
• Breathe through your nose all the time (day and night – 3 options described in the video to help keep your mouth closed at night) whether you are uninfected or INFECTED
• Nose breathing is both to reduce the chance of getting the virus AND reduce the chance of passing it on as more water droplets fly out of your mouth than your nose).
• Only if you breathe in through your nose will nitric oxide (a natural virus killer) in the nose and sinuses be able to work. (Humming releases much more nitric oxide, but you must breathe back in through the nose after humming). If you breathe in through the mouth, virus can go directly into your lungs.
• Breathe less, LSD (light, slow and deep) when you feel breathless or anxious (NB deep does not mean big, it means low down in the lungs, not high in the chest). This is the opposite of what you feel like doing but there is scientific proof for it, it gets you MORE oxygen where it is needed and opens the airways.
• If this is too difficult, try short breath holds where you breathe out normally, then hold for 3-5 seconds, then breathe in through your nose, breathe normally for 10 seconds then after the next normal outbreath, pause for 3-5 seconds again then breathe in through your nose.
• If someone near you is coughing, hold your breath, move away and breathe as lightly as possible.
Thirdly: a scholarly article from Dr Rosalba Courtney
Immune Protective Effects of Nasal Breathing and Nitric Oxide for Coronaviruses – Self care Potential
Fourthly: another breathing educator, Melody Mitchell, writes about how to protect yourself from the anxiety surrounding the Coronavirus
“Right now, anxiety levels are reaching overload as people are worried about COVID-19 and the effects of this illness. Individuals cannot always “plan” during disasters, and people with anxiety disorders often rely on routines and planning to help them cope better.
Advice right now (to everyone!) who needs to feel calmer immediately: Breathe gently, focus on where you are: right now, in this moment, what is happening? what are your surroundings? what can you be grateful for right here, and right now? Work? Friends? Family? A home? Health? Birdsong outside the window? Rain? Sunshine? The smell of coffee? The laughter of children? Or perhaps the Quiet? There’s so much to be thankful for, focus on this.
Listen to your breathing and allow it to calm as you inhale and exhale. Observe. Be. No Self Judgement. You can’t be your best under constant criticism – Be Kind to Yourself, and then be kind to others.
As your breathing starts to become more rhythmic, let it relax even more. Enjoy the sensation of your breath entering your nostrils and exiting your nostrils. The Lower and Lighter, the easier it feels. Allow breathing to be regular, easy and effortless. Give yourself the permission to take these few seconds to restore – and feel how your body is slowly able to release tension. Do this as often as you need to.
Stay Safe, wash your hands, self isolate if you can…and breathe gently. You got this”
If you would like to have a comprehensive breathing assessment, call me on 01663 743055