Curing with the cold | The Wonders of the Wim Hof Method
As winter approaches, immersing yourself in the cold may seem like the last thing that you want to do, however, the cold may be more healing for you than you know. Although low temperature is something that we have gotten so used to complaining about, you may view it differently once you find out the benefits that it can have on your body.
Over generations, our ever-changing planet has slowly disconnected us from our true roots, and our traditional ways of healing have been long forgotten. However, Wim Hof believes that he has rediscovered an idea that can re-connect us to our age-old mechanisms, and re-ignite physiological processes within us that can unlock our full potential.
The Three Pillars of The Wim Hof Method
1 - Cold Therapy
Being the most stand-out part of this method, the cold is known to be powerful with regards to burning fat, boosting the immune system, and even improving sleep.
2 - Breathing
Breath work has become increasingly popular within recent years; this plays an integral role within the Wim Hof Method.
Through gaining control over your breathing, you also gain the power of influencing the regulation of your autonomic nervous system on a molecular level. Wim Hof’s breathing technique has been proven to positively impact the chemical and physiological activities that occur within your body.
3 - Commitment
This pillar is quite different from the other two, as this focuses more on making a mental transformation, exercising your inner strength and resilience! Willpower - a trait that Wim believes can bring success, happiness, and ultimately everything that one desires into their life. Collectively, we have slowly lost our willpower due to our burning desire for instant gratification. However, Wim Hof believes that he can re-instill willpower within others through his method as these practices are able to increase self-awareness, self-control, and ability to focus.
What is the Wim Hof breathing method?
Hof’s healing breathing technique begins by making sure that you are in a comfortable position, whether you are seated or lying down.
This is then followed by taking 30-40 deep and conscious breaths; the process of these deep breaths are described as: “Fully inhale through the belly, then chest and then let go unforced.”
Once the 30-40 deep breaths are taken, you then inhale as deeply as you can after your final exhalation, and once you exhale, you halt your breathing for as long as possible.
Follow this up with the “recovery breath”; this is described as “drawing one big breath to fill your lungs. Feel your belly and chest expanding. When you are at full capacity, hold the breath for around 15 seconds, then let go.”
Hof’s breathing method can be repeated 3-4 cycles at a time.
So, what is the science behind shivering your a** off?
Hofman himself, otherwise known as ‘The Iceman’, has been able to achieve an array of significant results of the cold’s health-enhancing benefits through rigorous scientific studies.
Firstly, The Wayne State University of Michigan had put Hof’s method to the test, and were able to prove that the body being at shockingly low temperatures had resulted in the activation of areas in the brain associated with pain suppression, self-reflection and well-being, in particular the periaqueductal gray area (PAG).
Additionally, Radboud University were able to present that the Wim Hof Method had led to not only a significant increase in the body’s anti-inflammatory mediators, shooting up to a shocking 200%, but also that one is able to take control of their sympathetic nervous system and immune responses.
The cold has also been linked to increasing focus and energy, as well as helping fight against a multitude of diseases.
The bottom line…
As science itself proves, Wim Hof’s method is nothing less than wondrous. His simple yet powerful exercises have been able to help thousands of people around the world; from people that suffer with chronic diseases, to helping with the basic stresses of life that we all deal with!
So suck it up, and take that cold shower!