WIM HOF METHOD
THE BREATH + THE CHILL
“WIM HOF Method”
I am standing exposed in my swimmers with only a towel wrapped around me at the edge of an ice bath surrounded by a crowd of strangers.
My heart is pounding, goose bumps upon my skin and the sound hitting my ear is hollow. Anticipation is high, energy is soaring, thoughts are roaring. Resistance is strong and worry is rising.
But still nothing has happened. I am still standing in the same spot. This is all just my imagination and current state of mind…..
Its only now, I slowly stepped into the water. One foot at a time, it is cold – ice cold. I begin to immerse myself deeper, first my legs, then pelvis, my upper body, chest and shoulders – I am submerged. My heart begins to race faster, my breath becomes no longer my own and uncontrollable, I am in state of contention. I close my eyes and begin to pull myself together. After my initial reaction of resistance and a few seconds of shock I begin to relax and stabilise my breath.
Refocusing and internalising my surroundings and what my body is experiencing I almost instantly started to create my very own heat and inner fire. My body had naturally embarked in the process of thermogenesis – the process of heat production in warm-blooded organisms – within me. My body instinctively began to equalise the force of the cold. Meeting my yin, with my yang.
Feeling, Is Truly Believing!
I have encountered some pretty extraordinary people on my travels, but this guy takes the cake! Wim has an aura of wisdom and fortitude, with passion streaming from his being – he is infectious.
The reason Josh and I created H.E.L.P could almost be answered with The WIM HOF Method. With a benevolent and conscientious approach together we envisioned creating a like-minded society to share and connect with fellow humans. We are honest, open and vulnerable with each other and those around us. We now have the courage to talk to strangers and no longer listen to the social narrative of not talking to people; we are connected.
Sadly society has taught people that these relationships shouldn’t exists, along with humanity’s growing estrangement from nature over time we have lost connection with each other. We crave to clear out the bullshit that society has bestowed upon us.
So What Is This Wim Hof Thing?
‘The Wim Hof Method‘ — a breathing technique that allows you to control the autonomic systems of the body.
The autonomic nervous system is a control system that acts largely unconsciously and regulates bodily functions such as the heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, pupillary response, urination, and sexual arousal. This system is the primary mechanism in control of the fight-or-flight response.
So how can we consciously control the immune system to fight off diseases? It is undoubtable that our immune system plays a significant role in almost all devastating diseases plaguing the modern world, and finding a way to improve it can help us discover new avenues for medicine.
The modern man is too comfortable. We never test our limitations, never going hungry, never too hot or too cold – we have become lazy as a species. I am sure we are all aware of the term “use it or lose it” but movement is truly medicine! If we don’t use our muscles we begin to deteriorate and the same goes for your immune system and all the little muscles around your veins. In order to get stronger again we need to train ourselves, preferably every day.
Wim has undying faith that with sufficient training all of us can learn how to tune in and control our own ANS (autonomic nervous system) and begin to live healthier, stronger and longer! So this is not isolated to just him self, we all have the same physical mechanisms and can all tap into the possibility. So how does he do it? Even better, how can you do it?
The WIM HOF Method:
The breathing technique used in the Wim Hof Method is a controlled hyperventilation technique – stimulating the fight or flight response in the brain, in turn tricking the brain into releasing stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol preparing your body for action. It has been scientifically proven that the adrenaline dump is up to 15 times more than someone jumping out of a plane BUT acknowledge that all this is done in a calm frame of mind – that’s what makes this so effective.
This is, of course, is an oxymoron. Hyperventilation is something which happens involuntarily. But just imagine the breathing part, without any of stress triggers that normally cause this way of breathing. Instead rapid breathing that is unhurried, but yet invigorating and sends you high on your very own oxygen consumption – this practice is the complete oxygenation of your blood and cells.
Physically when we hit the ice at freezing temperatures our body naturally begins to shiver, in hope to generate internal heat. If we stay long enough our body may begin to shut down and our blood flows now at its limit and begins to draw away from the fingers, toes and limbs to protect our inner organs.
The Wim Hof Method trains our cardiovascular system to keep the nerves and veins open and with our veins open, we can still distribute the heat effectively to our extremities. This process stimulates the thyroid hormone production, increasing the cellular metabolism by up to 300% and produces brown fat to heat the body naturally. What is Brown Fat? Stored tissue with many blood vessels, involved in the rapid production of heat in hibernating animals and human babies.
So what does this mean physically? You can heat your body from the inside out and burn a shit load of calories in the process.
“The Cold is just a mirror – A mirror for your health & inner power” WIM HOF
Mentally, we don’t enter the ice bath or prepare with cold showers to just “cope” we use it to really understand and gain an insight to who we truly are. We use the cold to find our edge, to find that place that you feel challenged, overwhelmed, out of your comfort zone or maybe the place where you find yourself saying “I can’t do this!” Everybody has their own individual edge, and this is about meeting your edge. Wherever that maybe at that moment – and this could change daily.
As long as you’re being honest with yourself about what you can take, then it doesn’t matter how ‘much’ or ‘little’ that maybe – this is the true essence of self-awareness and self-acceptance. To deliberately ignite the fire in you, and to keep devoting yourself to the practice in order to reap the benefits, you need commitment and focus.
So Why I Do Wim & Yoga? … And I Am Sure Josh Will Agree.
Awareness…I am in the practice of trying to raise my awareness all the time. Knowing where I am at? and asking what I going to do about it? Becoming aware of my breathing and what is going on around me, aware of my behaviour patterns. Understanding what I am doing with my physical being and how it may be affecting me emotionally and behaviourally?
Generally for most of us the struggle is not to do with wether you they are on the wrong training program but instead we aren’t using the right outlets – we tend to use something physical to get to somewhere, maybe it’s the state of where we each desire to be so we can allow ourselves to finally let go.
The problem is (in my opinion and experience) is we aren’t actually dealing with it. Instead we go back to the gym pump ourselves crazy, feel wreaked, so we can meet that moment of release but we are never actually deal with that core issue.
The breathing can get you to this same emotional state without all the physical damage so that when you go back to the physical practice you can focus on quality instead of just getting to that emotional release.
This is yoga – pranayama – becoming aware of the breath, this is a very utopic experience regardless of being a yogi, an athlete or a housewife. And finally now nothing is blocking me from doing the things I know I should be doing, it suddenly becomes clear.
Come along to our next WIM HOF WORKSHOP:
Date: Saturday 29th April at 9am Location: Reborn Fitness Club 67 Cawarra Road Caringbah
Buy your ticket (limited spots): http://humanevolutionlifestyleproject.com/workshops/
Official Wim Hof Webpage: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/
10 week online training: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/elearning/10-week-video-course
Interview with Wim Hof: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7MseR-eDkg&t=146s