Wim Hof Method: The Iceman extreme dutch athlete Wim Hof has developed a method by which everyone should be able to consciously control the reactions of your bodies.
You often hear that everything that is extreme is not healthy or good. The Wim Hof method seems to be an exception. It is said to help with physical and psychological problems through the three components of breathing, concentration, and cold and to give people back control of their bodies. What is it about the techniques and how do they work?
WIM HOF PUSHES HIS LIMITS
The developer of the method, Wim Hof, has now set 26 world records for enduring extreme cold, heat and other harsh conditions which includes:
He has barefoot completed a marathon at minus 20 degrees Celsius above the Arctic Circle and one in the Namib Desert at about 50 degrees Celsius. All without drinking or eating anything.
He only climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts and shoes.
He was accompanied by scientists in an experiment that was supposed to show that he can consciously control his immune system. To do this, he was injected with an endotoxin that should have caused flu-like symptoms. 240 other subjects received the same pathogen. His body reacted very differently to that of the other test subjects. He managed to stop the course of the disease. The doctors thought it was a coincidence.
In another study (because Wim Hof was not satisfied), 24 people were infected with the same pathogen. 12 of the participants had previously been trained by Wim Hof, the others were not. In fact, only the 12 normal got sick, the others didn’t.
HOW DOES THE WIM HOF METHOD WORK?
Amazing things happened in the body of the study participants trained according to Wim Hof. When they were confronted with the disease germ, it appeared:
- Suppression of the immune response
- Strong release of adrenaline
- An increase in metabolism by up to 300%
The method is based on being able to control the reactions of one’s own organism, says Wim Hof. And that should succeed in the following steps.
STEP #1: BREATHING TECHNIQUE ACCORDING TO WIM HOF
Breathing is a kind of controlled hyperventilation, in which the practitioners mostly perceive a tingling sensation, certain drowsiness, and sluggishness. This is due to the increased supply of oxygen, which is said to have a basic effect on the body. This is how the exercise works:
- Posture: It is best to take a meditative, i.e. comfortable, position immediately after waking up.
- Warm-up: Now inhale deeply until you feel a slight pressure in your chest. Stop for a moment and then push as much air out of the lungs as possible. Repeat 15 times.
- Power: Now the idea of inflating a balloon helps. Suck in and blow out as much air as possible, but do not exhale completely. Quick breaths, but don’t rush. Belly and hips should cooperate; when inhaled, the abdominal wall bulges. Repeat about 30 times. The “scanning” of the body also takes place in this step. Attention goes inside and you try to feel where more energy is needed.
- Hold: Take a deep breath without much effort, exhale completely and hold the moment as long as possible, lower your chin and relax. Ideally, until you have to gasp for air.
- Relaxation: Now breathe in normally and feel how the lungs expand. Then hold the air again for about 15 seconds; many now feel that they can direct the energy with their focus. Blockages are released. After exhaling, the first round is done.
For a start, one or two rounds are enough. Repeat the breathing exercise daily and increase the number of laps after a week. A combination of different yoga poses is possible.
STEP #2: COLD AS THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT
If the breathing exercises have worked, the cold that is so essential for Wim Hof can be used. For the so-called “thermogenesis” relaxation is essential. Always approach the cold calmly.
The options are:
- Cold shower: start at the feet and work slowly up to the head; try to keep breathing, even if you shiver and hyperventilate easily; consider your own limits, if you feel very unwell, put them in the warm towel immediately. With guided exercise, you can slowly increase over weeks.
- Ice bath: You should only venture to the ice bath after attending an appropriate workshop or after consulting a Wim Hof expert.
The cold is said to have a positive effect on metabolism, hormone balance, and the immune system.
Recommended Readings: How Well Prepared The Immune System Is
Note: The method is basically suitable for everyone; If you have a pre-existing condition, you should, in particular, discuss the cold applications with a doctor. A workshop is recommended for more information and the correct execution of the Wim Hof Method.
More guide to Wim Hof Method here