Clinical Recommendations from doctors now include Deep Breathing, Airway Clearance Techniques (ACT) and Active Cycle of Breathing Techniques (ACBT) in individuals with presumptive COVID-19, confirmed COVID-19 or individuals not yet infected.
See clip here:
Why? What is the Theory?
We do not fully understand the mechanism of how our body clears mucus from our lungs – but it is likely that mechanical forces generated doing some of these techniques helps.
I came across a brilliant analogy in the article written by Button & Button (2013). They compared the mechanical forces produced by ACT/ACBT to turning a ketchup bottle upside down and shaking it. With the ketchup bottle – it converts semisolid ketchup into runny liquid that frees itself from the bottom of the bottle. In the same way it is believed that mucus secretions change in consistency so that they can be cleared from the lungs more easily.
The first step is deep breathing.
If you are unable to achieve a deep breath you won’t be able to access the deepest areas of your lungs for mucus secretion.
Basic Instructions on Taking a Deep Breath:
Button BM, Button B. Structure and function of the mucus clearance system of the lung. Cold Spring Harb Perspect Med. 2013 Aug 1;3(8).