Become Superhuman With The Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method, Wim Hof Breathing Technique and Wim Hof Cold Exposure. Does It Have Any Value?
The Wim Hof Method Background
Wim Hof, the creator of The Wim Hof Method often referred to as the Iceman, is a person, who holds 20 world records. Eleven years ago e climbed 6.7 km (22.000 ft) altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes. In the year of 2009, he reached the top of the Mount Kilimanjaro just in his shorts and completed a marathon above the arctic circle in Finland, with temperatures close to – 20 °C (−4 °F).
Two years later he stayed immersed in ice for 1 hour and 52 minutes and ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without drinking a single drop of water. Recently, Wim Hof developed a method, through which anyone will be able to achieve these buried evolutionary “superpowers”. He sees himself as a normal person and claims that anyone can reach the same results, with sufficient training and commitment.
His mission is to spread the knowledge to the World and enable everyone to become “Happy, healthy and strong.”
A short description of the method
Combining techniques of breathing with cold exposure Wim Hof method integrates key elements of most therapeutic techniques – the power of breathing, encouraging activity through exercise and expanding beyond your limits of comfort – through the help of the cold. Cold serving as your “True mirror” is your best training environment. If you can control your internal mechanism in the extreme cold, you can control them anywhere.
He claims that through his breathing technique, exercise and progressive cold training he can dive deep into his autonomic nervous system and older structures of the brain, enabling him to control his immune and endocrine systems.
Now he is working closely with the scientific community around the world to prove that his techniques work. We decided to dive deep into his method, compare it to similar ones and write an honest review of our experience when we integrated it into our lifestyle.
Core elements of the Wim Hof method
1. THE POWER OF BREATHING
Breathing is one of the basic mechanisms that enable us to live. It is the form of interaction with the environment that we are not aware of most of the time. Controlled breathing not only keeps your mind and body functioning at their best performance, it also promotes feelings of relaxation and lowers your blood pressure.
Many experts from different disciplines encourage using the breath as a way of increasing your awareness, mindfulness, and Zen. In scientific terms, controlled breathing techniques can lower the level of your stress hormones and influence your nervous systems through the regulation of oxygen, CO2 and pH levels in your body.
Different techniques of breathing:
- Balanced breathing – inhale and exhale last the same amount of time (example counting down from 10 seconds)
- Abdominal breathing – Taking a deep slow breath through the nose and expanding your abdominal area, exhaling through the mouth like blowing a candle (the goal is to make your inhale and exhale as long as possible)
- Pranayama breathing – Using the breath to affect your constellation of mind-body energy. It is used to learn how to control your energy and calm your body and mind. There are many different techniques of Pranayama breathing, but the most common one is Ujjayi Breath – inhaling through the nose and exhaling with open mouth, just like you would like to bedew a glass with your breath, forming a wave-like sound.
- Power breathing – Inhale deeply and follow with a forceless passive exhalation (do not force to push the air out) – recommended 30-40 deep breaths. When doing this please sit and get comfortable.
The combination that is best for you
As always we encourage you to dive deep into each one of these techniques and explore what is best for you. Try to combine different methods and form your own technique of breathing. Most of the time we combine the Abdominal breathing technique with the concept of Power breathing, incorporating more “mind” and focus into the process of breathing.
Breath is the link between the Mind and the Body.
Wim Hof Breathing Technique
Before you try this at home please make sure you are relaxed and comfortable. Do not try this while driving, underwater and without the approval of your medical caregiver. Practicing this method is completely your own risk.
Wim Hof Breathing Technique consists of 4 basic stages:
- Get comfortable and warm up (Optional – we have added this point based on our own experience)Laying on your bed or sitting down, eyes closed, take 15 deep breaths. Hold for a moment when you exhale.
- Do 30-40 power breathsInhale deeply and follow with a forceless passive exhalation (it is really important not to force the air out) – you may combine this with some other breathing techniques. The main focus of controlled hyperventilation is to lower your levels of CO2 and increase the levels of O2 in the body.
- Exhale and hold – After your last Power breath empty your lungs up to the point when the air pressure inside the lungs and around are the same (do not force the air out too much) and hold until you experience the gasp reflex on the top of your chest. You should not feel any tension when holding your breath.
- Recovery breathInhale to full capacity and hold your breath once more for around 15 seconds. Try to be aware of the feelings in your body and direct your intention towards different areas. Release any tension and completely relax.
How to start with the Wim Hof Breathing Technique?
Start this breathing practice with just one or two circles. When feeling comfortable you can expand to even 6 or more. During the 3rd phase (Exhale and hold) you can incorporate doing push-ups or yoga poses to increase the blood flow in your body and experience even greater effect.
Wim combines this technique of breathing with around 20 minutes of exercise, mostly in the morning, to get the energy rush and wake up.
One of the best videos, explaining Wim-Hof method was made by Aubrey Mckenzie. It is animated and we love it, you can check it here:
This technique includes intentional hyperventilation, that is why you can experience some dizziness, pain, you can feel lightheaded or even see some patterns when your eyes are closed. It is very important to do these techniques gradually and not force anything.
2. WIM HOF COLD EXPOSURE
Why Wim Hof Cold Exposure?
Controlled cold exposure is now scientifically proven to have health benefits. Some of them are improving circulation, strengthening your immune system, growth hormone release stimulation, mood improvement, hair, and skin improvement…
I do not fear death, I fear not to live fully
How to do it right?
After directing attention to different parts of your body, release tension and relax. It is time for you to meet your new warm friend – the cold. Relax as much as you can. Control your breath and embrace the cold. Only then your body will be able to start thermogenesis and turn-on the fire inside.
And don’t worry, it will get easier. Train your muscles in the gym and get stronger. You will adapt to the cold. There are small muscles around your veins that contract when exposed to the cold. According to Wim, the adaptation happens after 3 weeks of training.
If you are new to cold exposure training, start slow. The best for this is
20-DAY COLD SHOWER CHALLENGE
Normally, the autonomic nervous system is independent and regulated by our subconscious mind. It regulates breathing, the functioning of our internal organs, digestion, dilation and contraction of the blood vessels and the heartbeat. According to current medical findings, there is no way to control the autonomic nervous system.
This is why Wim Hof method is extraordinary. In a variety of studies, it was found that certain concentration/meditation techniques can result in independent, autonomic activity.
Latest research findings of the Wim Hof Method
Proof has been provided that Wim Hof is able to influence his autonomic nervous system with the technique. Volunteers were trained just for 10 days by his method. They were also able to influence their immune system. The first scientific study showed that our immune system can be influenced from the inside.
Imagine what these findings mean for the treatment of auto-Immune, heart, vascular and other diseases?
Become Superhuman With The Wim Hof Method – Conclusion
Are we about to discover our internal healing mechanisms?
We always want to try everything for ourselves. It is the only way to find out if something suits your Mind, Body, and Spirit. We suggest you do the same. When testing the Wim Hof method I really recommend you to combine it with a good nutrition plan and optimization of your sleeping pattern.
If you want to learn more about that I kindly invite you to read these articles:
- How The Food You Eat Affects Your Mind?
- The Naked Truth About Superfoods
- Is Sleep Really A Waste Of Our Time?