Wim Hof Ice

Wim Hof Breathing Exercise

Wim Hof QuoteThere are so many breathing techniques, but I came across this one as I could understand what Wim Hof was talking about.

He was interviewed on This Morning where I practiced a short breathing session, he chose to do which made me feel energized and super relaxed. Thankfully, I had finished a two-hour workout, so it was a great way for me to set up for my day.

I am a true believer that finding something that works for you is important. Now it is your time to find out more about the Wim Hof Breathing Exercise.

Let me introduce you to The Iceman.

Who Is Wim Hof?

Also, known as The Iceman who was born in April 1959 and born in the Netherlands.

He is a Dutch Extreme Athlete who has set plenty of (Guinness) and other Records for various achievements in the ice and cold such as: –

Swimming Under Ice

Prolonged Full Body Contact in Ice

Barefoot Half Marathon on Ice and Snow

Climbed to an altitude of 7,200 feet on Mount Everest in just shorts and shoes.

Ran a Marathon in the Namib Desert without water.

Half Marathon north of the Arctic Circle in bare feet

He attributes his success to his Wim Hof Method (WHF) and has been the subject of several medical assessments.

He comes from a large family of 9 and has 6 children of his own. He decided to develop his techniques with breathing in low temperatures after the loss of his first wife.

He has had various publications

1998 Climbing in Silence

2000 Reaching The Top Is Overcoming Your Fear

Becoming The Ice Man2012 Becoming The Iceman

2015 Koud Kunstje

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wim_Hof

 

What Is The Wim Hof Method?

This is a breathing technique to help you to develop the rate and pattern so that you can control your autonomic nervous system to achieve different results. Through practice the aim is to be to get a better awareness of your breath and learn how to manipulate it to your own advantage.

The WHF Method is said to help improve your productivity, performance and overall, well being. Wim Hof believes that by taking control of our breathing will enable us to lead a happier, stronger, and healthier life.

The idea is that you learn to take control of your body to achieve exceptional goals.

Here are 6 Steps to give you an insight to The Wim Hof Method.

Get Comfortable

Find a place you will not be disturbed either sitting or lying down.

30 – 40 Power BreathsMastering Your Breath

Breathe In and Out 30 Times.

Deep breathing at a steady rate in and out through the mouth. As you inhale you should feel your belly rise and as you exhale you should feel your belly fall. You should feel like you are hyperventilating but in control. If you feel a tingling or lightheaded sensation through your body this is quite normal.

Hold Your Breathe

After your 30 – 40 Power Breaths empty your lungs of breath and just hold there for as long as you can without force.

Try to relax and close your eyes and just focus lightly.

Breathe in for 10 Seconds

After holding take a deep breath in for 10 – 15 seconds before exhaling.

Repeat Steps 1 to 4

Repeat the whole process all over again. If you wanted to see your improvements, then you might find it is good to record your times and track your progression.

Meditate After 4 Rounds Of Breathing

After the power breaths you can go into your usual meditating practice for a minimum of 5 minutes.

Over time, you can practice this meditation for longer.

There is a disclaimer with this method stating not to practice the WHM before or during diving, driving, swimming, or taking a bath. Train without force and always listen to your body. The cold is a strong force and you do not need to experience this exposure to reap the benefits of this breathing practice. If not practiced responsibly you could risk hypothermia or an after drop. Individuals should not practice cold exposure if they are pregnant, on an empty stomach, after alcohol, after meals or during exercise. If you have serious health issues, please consult a doctor.

Try Along With Wim Hof 

Health Benefits

Wim Hof states that regular practice will increase your health in the following ways.

Boost Immune System

Improve Concentration

Improve Mental Well-Being

Increase Willpower

Jumping ManIncrease Energy

Manage Fibromyalgia Symptoms

Relieve Depression

Relieve Stress

Improve Sleep

 

Wim Hof online courses https://www.wimhofmethod.com/elearning

Science And Contraindications

Preliminary studies of the Wim Hof Method have shown that hyperventilating can temporarily suppress the innate immune response as well as temporarily increase heart rate and adrenaline levels.

The broader medical claims such as treatment of cancer and auto immune disease have not been validated.

There are several studies underway researching the physical effects of the Wim Hof Method.

Participants in a 2014 study performed breathing techniques such as hyperventilating and retaining the breath, meditated, and were immersed in ice-cold water. Results showed that the Sympathetic Nervous System and the immune system can be voluntarily influenced. This could be due to the anti-inflammatory effect produced by this technique.

Scientists believe this could be useful to help in treating inflammatory conditions especially autoimmune diseases. People who learn the Wim Hof Method had fewer flu like symptoms and increased plasma epinephrine (adrenaline) levels.

Another case study in 2017 found that he can tolerate the extreme cold by creating an artificial stress response in his body. Scientists believe that it is the brain rather than the body that helps to respond well to cold exposure. The study shows that people can learn to control their autonomic nervous system to bring about similar changes.

Contraindications

People have died whilst attempting the Wim Hof Method.

Four practitioners have died in drowning incidents in 2015 and 2016. Relatives suspected it was the breathing techniques that were the cause.

Conclusion

I have learn the power of breathing and the control that we can have over our body and our mind. This creates great health benefits and the Win Hof Method has been likened to that of the Tibetan Tummo and Pranayama Meditation techniques from the breathing perspective.Wim Hof Quote

In the breathing technique itself I can truly see the powers that it can give an individual. However, I am not yet going to plan to immerse myself into cold water for any length of time soon as I really dislike the cold!

Thank you for reading and if you have any further questions then please comment below.

 

8 comments

  1. Aparna

    hey,

    this website really helped me find good exercises and workout plans. it gave me all the necessary information i needed and i am really happy i came across this website

    the pictures in the site give us a really good understanding of the exercises and makes the site look more attractive. 

    thank you

    Aparna

    1. Imelda Easthorpe

      Thank you Aparna,

      I am so pleased that you have found my website useful. I have now also uploaded a link to my YouTube Channel so that you can do the exercise routines with me.

      Greatly appreciated

      Imelda

  2. Mojisola Kupolati (Debbie)

    Hi Imelda, thank you for introducing us to the “Wim Hof Breathing Exercise”. Though this is new to me, I am quite aware of some breathing techniques that are beneficial to health. The dimension to this technique which includes a cold situation is quite interesting and maybe an adventure to explore. My question, what time of the day is best suitable to practice the exercise?

    1. Imelda Easthorpe

      Hello Debbie, thank you so much for your comments. I think that when it comes to breathing techniques find something that fits in with your day, week so that you can include on a regular basis. For example I like to do my 10 minutes before I start to work so that I clear my mind. I then will also add into my week anything extra if I feel overwhelmed. Finding a routine for you that suits will be hugely beneficial.

      Thank you so much

  3. lesabre

    Hi Imelda,

    Seems like Wim Hof is quite the individual. I know breathing contributes to a great deal in dealing with certain health situations. Controlling the nervous system being one of many. I did try to practice what you have mentioned, I guess you need to train yourself to do this. I do practice meditation and find it a helpful practice. You have stated several health benefits, the one that caught my attention was increasing willpower. I do suffer from panic disorders and the first thing that comes to mind is ways to control your breathing. Mr. Wim Hof has proved his breathing technique when it comes to tolerating the extreme cold through his accomplishments. I find the Bin Hof breathing exercise to be intriguing, and your article very informational.  Thank you for sharing this unique technique to help with several health benefits.

    All the best,

    Michael

    1. Imelda Easthorpe

      Thank you Michael,

      I am really pleased that I have given you insight to Wim Hof who is an amazing character and can show where you can go if you power your mind through your breath. I use his 11 minute breathing techniques video which is easy to follow. Try it for 1 week and do a minimum of 3 days and just see the difference.

      Have a go and let me know.

  4. Nathaniel

    Hello Imelda – This Iceman is really something! A curiosity has risen inside of me. Do you know medically what is the connection between breathing and the autonomic nervous system?  Actually as a teenager, my friends and I would inhale and exhale several times and then hold our breaths and we would get dizzy and sometimes lose consciousness for a few seconds. But that has been the extent of my breathing exercise up to now. But now I’m interested for the health benefits.

    1. Imelda Easthorpe

      Hello Nathaniel,

      Thank you so much for your comments and you will find that if you look into the research studying these breathing techniques becomes more and more intriguing. Alot of the science is said to exist around the initial hyperventilation start to the breathing that enables him to influence the autonomic nervous system and immune response. It basically allows him to control and in a way override his brain.

      The studies continue to grow on the health benefits and really incredible results exist.

      Thank you 

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