Deep Breathing and Cold Showers – A Look At The Iceman “Wim Hof” And How He Has Revolutionized The Concepts Surrounding SuperOxygenation Of The Body
As of late, deep breathing and cold showers (or cold water therapy) have seemed to have gained some level of notoriety in the sphere of bio-hacking and alternative medicine. This shock-based therapy stems from age-old procedure and a method that helps treat individuals with different diseases and improve various systems in the body. In recent years, a man known as Wim Hof has taken these concepts, and with self-experimentation during the last several decades, has developed a series of protocols that have proven to change people’s lives. Hailing from The Netherlands, this bio-hacker extraordinaire has established the capacity to actually regulate his own immune system, balance his hormones and survive frigid temperatures and other dangerous weather conditions by deep meditative breathing and cold exposure therapy. The key is oxygen. Getting your body in a super-oxygenated state requires one to follow a specific breathing regimen that has been shown in a variety of scientific studies to be extremely effective for staving-off many forms of malaise and even helps fight severe illnesses, like cancer or Lyme Disease. “Iceman” Wim Hof is renowned for his seemingly uncanny ability to tolerate extremely cold temperatures for long periods of time by adjusting his breath from average human to superhuman only by regulating and manipulating it. This is mind holds this power… it is about mind over matter!
There is something magical about this concept that marries super-oxygenation and cold temperatures. There really is nothing strange about it, in fact! The science behind the cold shower is reliant on the circulatory system, as a whole, as the network of organs and arteries that control blood, lymph, hormones, oxygen, and carbon dioxide distribution within the body. These parameters are influenced strongly by cold temperatures. High levels of oxygen stemming from Wim Hof’s breathing technique, coupled with cold temperatures, create a synergistic effect that helps super-oxygenate all tissues, organs, muscles, ligaments, digestive fluids, lymph fluids, and even cerebral spinal fluids and nerves can experience notable changes when more oxygen is being circulated through every nook and cranny of your body. This promotes HEALING! Cold temperature exposure, in a therapeutic sense, ensures the fluids flow and deliver the disease-mitigating effects of super-oxygenation! Are we ready to explore? LET’S GO!
Cold Shower Benefits
Since we now have a basic understanding behind the trend of cold shower therapy, it’s time to explore precisely how this might benefit you.
1) Cold Showers Have Been Shown to Relieve Depression
The skin has more cold receptors than warm ones, and a cold shower has been proven to “send an overwhelming amount of electrical impulses to the brain from peripheral nerve endings, which could result in an anti-depressive effect,” according to a 2008 report.
2) Strengthening The Immune Response
Candidates who swam in cold water showed a substantial rise in red blood and white blood cell production, in conjunction to elevated platelets in the blood, as shown in a 2011 research conducted on winter swimmers. This finding is relevant here because the resultant high levels of hematocrit and the fortification of the white blood cell count are indicative of an elevated immunological state and this has been proven though many other studies to be a major aspect of sustaining a healthy, and active immune system.
3) Cold Showers Will Enable You To Be More Active
The shock itself, induced by cold-showers causes intense breathing as cold water strikes the skin. You get a larger, momentary intake of oxygen with each deep breath and this super-oxygenation will most definitely cause you to feel more awake, productive and focused.
4) Encouraging Self-Discipline
In the morning, being prepared to walk into a cold tub or shower creates self-discipline and allows for better concentration. The strength of the mind and body is made by going out of your comfort zone and experiencing the fear of plunging into icy cold water or any other sort of discomfort you may have to confront in your day.
5) Cool Showers Could Battle Acne
For those susceptible to acne breakouts, hot water can dehydrate the skin and induce irritation and sebum formation, which can simply exacerbate acne. On the other side, a few interesting studies strongly indicate that swelling and sebum development can be minimized by cold water therapy.
6) Cold Showers Can Help Minimize Oxidative Stress
Research suggests that exposing the body to cold temperatures will invariably lower uric acid levels in the blood and improve glutathione development. This vital-antioxidant helps minimize oxidative stress, and removes free-radicals, peroxides, lipid peroxides, and heavy metals even when exposed to the cold for a short duration of time.
7) Cold Showers Will Assist With The Loss Of Weight
You may not know it, but you have two types of fat in your body…brown fat and white fat. Brown fat is the “good fat” that tends to aid in regulating the body’s temperature, whereas white fat is the unsightly “bad fat” that mostly accumulates on the legs, thighs, belly, and bottom. A 2013 research illustrates that while the body is subjected to cold, brown fat strongly activated, and as such initiates the burning of fat, in general, to produce heat and plays a significant role in metabolism.
Are There Disadvantages To Having Cold Showers?
It is a damn good idea, before you jump on-board and start the Wim Hof technique, to take some things into consideration. Are cold showers bad for you? Not to be stated explicitly, but cold showers/ice baths are not, by themselves, a cure-all to all ailments. It is about the mindset, the proprioception of your body and learning what it needs and how to deliver more oxygen to the tissues. Cold temperature exposure is the methodology to improve and amplify your circulatory, digestive, and nervous systems ability to get the nutrients to where they need to be. Here are some ideas to toss around in your mind to see if this is in fact right for you.
· Not everyone can handle it – Ask your Healthcare Professional!
Although some findings suggest that cold showers indicate fewer sick days, the immune system may be stressed by the abrupt decrease of temperatures. Check with your doctor. Some immunocompromised people may have to start slow here and gradually build up their tolerance to cold temperatures during a bath or a shower.
· You may find it difficult to sleep when you take cold water in the night
A cold shower’s energizing physical and emotional results are precisely the type of pick-me-up you like before the workday, but really not after midnight. Save the freezing temperatures for the morning and stick to a warm, soothing shower, and you’ll get some rest.
· For people with cardiac problems, it may be dangerous
Do not pursue cold water therapy (aka. cryotherapy) if your doctor determines that you have abnormal blood pressure or have some cardiac issues. Always consult your doctor!
· Cold Showers Aren’t Exactly Relaxing
More so than a hot shower, no matter how pleasant you might feel afterward, dipping your body in an ice-cold shower/bath is not the most relaxing thing you can do for yourself.
What Is The Wim Hof Breathing Technique?
If you are comfortable with cold showers and cold exposure and want to take the next stage of your cold shower therapy, I propose that you pursue the Wim Hof Method! This can be done apart or together, breathing exercises and/or icy water.
Wim Hof has broken various records involving being submerged in icy water for extensive periods of time and varying degrees of extreme cold exposure.
Win Hof asserts that every human being can tap into their minds by using a simple breathing regimen in conjunction with the cold as their trainer, thereby reaching an optimal body and mind conditioning and strength, which are both bolstered by embracing these by using three conceptual pillars:
- Cold therapy
The Wim Hof Method, which has multiple online courses and live seminars in various cities worldwide, has an excellent online presence and an ever-growing network. We find, especially during this lockdown, that we MUST dedicate MORE time to our health. Not only going to the gym, but taking care of your body and how it functions, heals, grows, and protects itself.
If you want to take your cold-water practice to the next level, I implore you to get familiar with Wim Hof. He is a warm, loving individual who has an authentic healer disposition. This can be infectious and watching his videos and taking his courses can be a great way to begin to really take care of yourself. It is never too late. Wim is an experienced and insightful man who really cares. Doing a guided breathing exercise with Wim can really give you tremendous benefit. But the key is commitment.
His classes focus on many aspects of bolstering your immunity and efficiency of oxygen transport to the tissues that have been deprived of oxygen in the past. This deprivation of oxygen leads to many disease processes and the great thing here is that you can do something about it. So look for Wim Hof’s content online, there are some pretty fun YouTube videos too!
What Does The Wim Hof Method Do?
The Wim Hof Method is based on the Buddhist practice of Tummo. This applies to coordinated methods of relaxation, proprioception and meditation that can actively regulate the body’s temperature and state.
You should find out all of the full details on Wim’s official page before trying it out for yourself. It offers more insightful perspectives into the approach, applying the other components of the procedure and other essential resources, techniques, and variants.
Wim Hof Online
Once you have done your preliminary research, you will able to see what the Wim Hof method breathwork is all about. You have to search for Wim Hof on YouTube and there are a multitude of guides for all levels of “expertise”.
You must be ready to adhere to a routine of consistently doing breathing exercises. Daily. Consistency will provide the results. If you feel dizzy, take a break. But the more advanced you go, you will begin to appreciate the dizziness as a sign of super-oxygenation.
All you have to do is to download Wim Hof’s app that has a series directed breathing guides at different levels. It records your progress on a calendar and guides you through the various breathing rounds, and you can press the pause button during any time to extend or decrease the breath-hold. For beginners, you ought to do no more than three breathing rounds, focusing on nothing but your breath and his voice. So much of what is available is online can be done in the comfort of your own home.
Wim Hof has given us a special gift to be able to fix and fine-tune our bodies so that we can master our health. Unfortunately, too many people suffer from various ailments, malaise, disease, syndromes, and conditions. We are given guidance by some of our health practitioners that focus on reducing the symptoms and not on finding and eliminating the causative agent involved in the disease process. By incorporating breathing exercises that aim to super-oxygenate your tissues and manipulating the circulatory system so that it is in the condition to maximize the flow of blood and other fluids, we can be sure that the wastes get out and the oxygen and other nutrients in your diet reach their specific target tissues. The Wim Hof Method encapsulates attaining real health and gives the power back to you. As always, please consult your physician before you undertake such a drastic change in your life. But this change, was the possibility to alter the course of your life for the better. Hold on! Next stop, HEALTHY ME!