The healing gallery at Silberberg in Bodenmais in the Bavarian Forest has given 
COVID-19 patient Johann Hagngruber (54) a piece of normality again 

Bodenmais. Johann Hagngruber was infected with the coronavirus and fell seriously ill with COVID-19. He had severe breathing problems and could no longer climb stairs. After a stay in hospital, his doctor prescribed several weeks of rehabilitation and sent him to the Silberberg Clinic in Bodenmais in the Bavarian Forest. Thanks to the healing tunnel there, he was able to fight his way back to life. We spoke to the 54-year-old from Patersdorf (Regen district) about this time. 

Mr. Hagngruber, you have been hit by the coronavirus. How did you feel at first? 
Johann Hagngruber: "I contracted the coronavirus at the end of January, with the British mutation. I then fell very seriously ill, had considerable problems with oxygen and could hardly breathe. My joints were also very painful. In the end, I was taken to hospital by ambulance." 

What happened next for you? 
Johann Hagngruber: "After I was reasonably stable again, the senior physician told me to go into rehab. He recommended the Silberberg Clinic in Bodenmais with the Heilstollen am Silberberg." 

What did you expect there? 
Johann Hagngruber: "In addition to examinations and therapy and training sessions, I went to the Heilstollen for two hours six times a week." 

How did the air in the tunnel affect your shortness of breath? 
Johann Hagngruber: "After my third visit to the tunnel, I had to cough regularly and all the mucus came out. The doctor told me that this was very good and that it cleared my bronchial tubes. I noticed right from the start that I could breathe better in the air in the Heilstollen than outside or in my room. When I first came to the gallery, I still had to have the oxygen device with me. That was no longer the case later. I had regular lung function tests at the Silberberg Clinic. Initially, this was miserable. After a few weeks in the tunnel, my oxygen levels were almost back to normal. I was finally able to breathe freely and climb stairs again." 

How did you feel mentally during this time? 
Johann Hagngruber: "I was thinking a lot: What will happen to me? Can I still manage my forest at home? Can I still pursue my profession? But in the Heilstollen, under this large rock vault, I was able to really let go and take a deep breath. The tunnel gave me strength. Today, I would highly recommend the Heilstollen am Silberberg to anyone who has had a severe case of coronavirus or suffers from asthma or other respiratory problems."  

How do you see the future? 
Johann Hagngruber: "It's going to be a long illness, I'm aware of that. But I was lucky that I came to the healing gallery here in Bodenmais after my stay in hospital. The gallery has brought a bit of normality back into my life. I no longer have to be permanently attached to the oxygen machine. And I'm getting better all the time." 

Healing underground: the healing gallery on the Silberberg 

Dr. Manfred Schappler, a doctor from Bodenmais, explains why the climate in the tunnel, which has temperatures of around five degrees Celsius in both summer and winter, is so good for people with respiratory problems: "Openings around the mountain create a current that transports the air naturally through the tunnels and pushes dirt and dust particles outwards onto the walls. As the rock faces in the mountain are always damp, these fine particles stick to them and the air in the tunnel is clean and also free of dust.

Dr. Wald: Fresh forest air helps after corona infection  

Not only the air in the Heilstollen, but also the fresh forest air in the climatic health resort of Bodenmais is good for people, especially in times of corona. "Our forest climate here in the Bavarian Forest is demonstrably healthy. As COVID-19 damages the lungs in particular, the fresh and cool air is good for those affected and helps them heal after a corona infection," explains pulmonologist Dr. Judith Haus.

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