My brother, Chris (in Holland) alerted me to a fellow called Wim Hof – a crazy Dutchman who meditates semi naked on ice, all in the name of health and wellbeing. Chris thought I would be interested in his work, and I was. Wim offers an online 10 week course which combines cold therapy and breathwork. Of course I signed up, anything in the name of scientific exploration. The first week starts with a 30 second cold shower and 3-4 rounds of Wim’s “hyperventilation style” breath technique.
My first 30 sec cold shower felt hard, real hard. A shock to my comfort zone. My first breath hold was 30 sec and it felt hard, real hard. Five weeks in and I am happy to report I have survived two 10 min cold showers, the second one easier than the first. And my maximum breath hold is 2 mins. I also observe that whilst others are commenting on the “freezing’ conditions at junior footy on a Friday night… I am blissfully unaffected. My fingers and toes still turn white (I suffer from Reynaud’s Phenomenon), yet I do not seem to perceive the cold. Weird, but a pleasant change for a previous self-confessed cold frog.
The end goal is for Chris and I to submerge ourselves in the frozen lake outside his door this Christmas day – we are off to celebrate a white Christmas. Not sure I will manage Wim’s 6 minutes submerged….. However I will be happy with 30 seconds!!! And a stiff rum toddy afterwards.
I enjoy Wim’s approach to health;
“Over time, we, as humans have developed a different attitude towards nature around us and we actually forgot one thing, “inner power.” This is the relationship by our physiological mechanisms to adapt and survive within our natural environment, which is direct and effective. Because we wear clothes and control the temperatures at home and work, we have changed the stimulation on our body, thus the old mechanisms related to survive and function. As these deeper physiological layers are not stimulated anymore we have become alienated from them, thus our bodies have weakened and we are no longer in touch with this inner power. The inner power is a force accumulated by full awakened physiological processes. It also influences the very core of our DNA.”
The power of the “cold” burns fat, boosts your immune system, improves sleep quality, increases hormone levels, reduces inflammation and increase the “feel good” chemicals in the brain called endorphins (natures own mood boosters).
The majority of us breathe shallow throughout the day resulting in ill health and low energy levels. The scientific breathing techniques you will learn in this course will significantly improve your energy levels, detox the body and release toxins, relieve stress and tension, and strengthen your immune system.