There are so many breathing techniques, but I came across this one as I could understand what Wim Hof was talking about. He was even on This Morning where I practiced a short breathing session, he chose to do which made me feel energized and super relaxed. Thankfully, I had finished a two-hour workout, so it was a great way for me to set up for my day.
I am a true believer that finding something that works for you is important. Now it is your time to find out more. Let me introduce you to The Iceman!
Who Is Wim Hof?
Also, known as The Iceman he was born in April 1959 and born in the Netherlands.
He is a Dutch Extreme Athlete who has set plenty of (Guinness) and other Records for various achievements in the ice and cold such as: –
Swimming Under Ice
Prolonged Full Body Contact in Ice
Barefoot Half Marathon on Ice and Snow
Climbed to an altitude of 7,200 feet on Mount Everest in just shorts and shoes.
Ran a Marathon in the Namib Desert without water.
Half Marathon north of the Arctic Circle in bare feet
He attributes his success to his Wim Hof Method (WHF) and has been the subject of several medical assessments.
He comes from a large family of 9 and has 6 children of his own. He decided to develop his techniques with breathing in low temperatures after the loss of his first wife.
He has had various publications
1998 Climbing in Silence
2000 Reaching The Top Is Overcoming Your Fear
2012 Becoming The Iceman
2015 Koud Kunstje
What Is The Wim Hof Method?
This is a breathing technique to help you to develop the rate and pattern so that you can control your autonomic nervous system to achieve different results. Through practice the aim is to be to get a better awareness of your breathe and learn how to manipulate it to your own advantage.
The WHF Method is said to help improve your productivity, performance and overall, well being. Wim Hof believes that by taking control of our breathing will enable us to lead a happier, stronger, and healthier life.
The idea is that you learn to take control of your body to achieve exceptional goals.
Here are 6 Steps to give you an insight to The Wim Hof Method.
Find a place you will not be disturbed either sitting or lying down.
30 – 40 Power Breaths
Breathe In and Out 30 Times.
Deep breathing at a steady rate in and out through the mouth. As you inhale you should feel your belly rise and as you exhale you should feel your belly fall. You should feel like you are hyperventilating but in control. If you feel a tingling or lightheaded sensation through your body this is quite normal.
Hold Your Breathe
After your 30 – 40 Power Breaths empty your lungs of breath and just hold there for as long as you can without force.
Try to relax and close your eyes and just focus lightly.
Breathe in for 10 Seconds
After holding take a deep breathe in for 10 – 15 seconds before exhaling.
Repeat Steps 1 to 4
Repeat the whole process all over again. If you wanted to see your improvements, then you might find it is good to record your times and track your progression.
Meditate After 4 Rounds Of Breathing
After the power breaths you can go into your usual meditating practice for a minimum of 5 minutes.
Over time, you can practice this meditation for longer.
There is a disclaimer with this method stating not to practice the WHM before or during diving, driving, swimming, or taking a bath. Train without force and always listen to your body. The cold is a strong force and you do not need to experience this exposure to reap the benefits of this breathing practice. If not practiced responsibly you could risk hypothermia or an after drop. Individuals should not practice cold exposure if they are pregnant, on an empty stomach, after alcohol, after meals or during exercise. If you have serious health issues, please consult a doctor.
Wim Hof states that regular practice will increase your health in the following ways.
Boost Immune System
Improve Mental Well-Being
Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms
Wim Hof online courses https://www.wimhofmethod.com/elearning
Preliminary studies of the Wim Hof Method have shown that hyperventilating can temporarily suppress the innate immune response as well as temporarily increase heart rate and adrenaline levels.
The broader medical claims such as treatment of cancer and auto immune disease have not been validated.
There are several studies underway researching the physical effects of the Wim Hof Method.
Participants in a 2014 study performed breathing techniques such as hyperventilating and retaining the breath, meditated, and were immersed in ice-cold water. Results showed that the Sympathetic Nervous System and the immune system can be voluntarily influenced. This could be due to the anti-inflammatory effect produced by this technique.
Scientists believe this could be useful to help in treating inflammatory conditions especially autoimmune diseases. People who learnt the Wim Hof Method had fewer flu like symptoms and increased plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) levels.
Another case study in 2017 found that he can tolerate the extreme cold by creating an artificial stress response in his body. Scientists believe that it is the brain rather than the body that helps to respond well to cold exposure. The study shows that people can learn to control their autonomic nervous system to bring about similar changes.
People have died whilst attempting the Wim Hof Method. Four practitioners have died in drowning accidents in 2016 and 2016 and relatives suspected it was the breathing techniques that were the cause.
I have learnt the power of breathing and the control that we can have over our body and our mind. This creates great health benefits and the Win Hof Method has been likened to that of the Tibetan Tummo and Pranayama Meditation techniques from the breathing perspective.
In the breathing technique itself I can truly see the powers that it can give an individual. However, I am not yet going to plan to immerse myself into cold water for any length of time soon as I really dislike the cold!
Thank you for reading and if you have any further questions then please comment below.