Extreme cold and extreme breathing combine to form one of the fastest routes to extreme self-awareness with Wim Hof Method. This method takes full advantage of our brain’s plasticity to retrain us how it feels to have no pain while forcing us to confront the nature of ourselves in a very personal manner. It requires an extreme mindset just to do it.
The Wim Hof Method website states, “Armed with focus and determination you are ready to explore and eventually master your own body and mind.” It’s adherents confirm this form of advanced self-mastery reduces or eliminates the need for many medications while resolving or relieving long-term illnesses.
Wim Hof claims that his Tibetan-based breathing method can help alleviate symptoms of Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, diabetes, chronic pain, clinical depression, anxiety, PTSD, bipolar disorder, cancer, and immune system deficiencies. (1) One success story on the website is from a man who suffered from rheumatism for 12 years was able to halve the number of anti-inflammatory drugs he needed after applying the techniques of the Wim Hof Method.
Other claimed benefits of the complete Wim Hof Method include reduced stress levels, increased energy, heightened focus and determination, better sleep, enhanced creativity, greater cold tolerance, improved sports performance, and faster recovery. (2)
Books on Wim Hof Method
Becoming the Iceman
Paperback – November 22, 2011
by Wim Hof (Author), Justin Rosales (Author)
The Way of the Iceman: How the Wim Hof Method Creates Radiant, Longterm Health
Paperback – February 26, 2017
by Wim Hof (Author), Koen De Jong (Author)
What Doesn’t Kill Us:
How Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude and Environmental Conditioning Will Renew Our Lost Evolutionary Strength
Hardcover – January 3, 2017
by Scott Carney (Author), Wim Hof (Foreword)
The Oxygen Advantage: Simple, Scientifically Proven Breathing Techniques to Help You Become Healthier, Slimmer, Faster, and Fitter
Paperback – November 29, 2016
by Patrick McKeown (Author)
The benefits of Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof Method allows you to rapidly establish a relationship between your body, mind, and self that will help you break addictions and live your life with optimum vigor and vitality. You will become intimately familiar with your inner strength and ability to leverage your conscious will to achieve almost anything, especially self-healing. Your self-awareness will increase dramatically in a relatively short amount of time.
It is that powerful. It’s a system shock that quite literally shakes you awake and puts you back into the command seat of that body and mind of yours, in the fewest number of steps, and without pills or psychotherapy.
“Become strong, happy and healthy,” the Wim Hof way.
The Wim Hof Method can help you become a better version of yourself faster than any other known therapy modalities on the planet (without using plant medicine). It is the most-aggressive method listed in the Ultimate Healing Guide.
Wim Hof – The Iceman
Wim Hof is a Dutch extreme athlete known as “The Iceman” for his ability to withstand extreme cold, which he attributes to his Wim Hof Method breathing techniques based on Tibetan Tummo meditation but without its religious components. (1)
He holds world records for withstanding extreme cold and performing mind-over-body athletic feats such as climbing Mt. Everest wearing only shorts, running a full marathon within the arctic circle wearing just shorts, or running a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water.
Mr. Hof has contributed to substantial scientific evidence that we can voluntarily override our autonomous systems, including our immune system, the integumentary system (which helps to regulate body temperature), and the endocrine system, which helps regulate cellular activity and metabolism.
Unlock your primal powers of health and longevity
The Wim Hof Method includes a particular form of deep breathing, sometimes referred to as “controlled hyperventilation,” combined with extreme cold exposure, plus a mindset of focus and commitment to self which will unlock our inner primal powers of health and longevity.
This method, as developed by Wim Hof, may be the fastest possible route to a dominant connection with your mindbody and real-life implementation of your willpower over pain, fear, and anxiety. The practice usually includes full-body immersion into frigid ice water (think glacial ice water). It tests the limits of your mindbody connection by forcing an immediate and intense concentration of your awareness of self, perhaps as a way to prevent hypothermia from kicking in.
There are tiny muscles which can contract to restrict the flow of blood surrounding our blood vessels in our skin and tissues. This controlled exposure to extreme cold exercises those little muscles around the capillaries within our skin, and strengthens our entire cardiovascular system.
Cold provides amazing short and long-term advantages
Cold therapy, also referred to as cryotherapy, is used by athletes, trainers and healthcare professionals to treat acute injuries and speed recovery. Use of cryotherapy can include ice packs, ice massage, or standing mostly naked in nitrogen-gas cryotherapy tanks at -240 degrees Fahrenheit, and is intended to reduce metabolic rate, inflammation, circulation, muscle spasms, and pain. (3)
Cold and pain cannot coexist within your nervous system. Not if the conditions are cold enough. It is also a proven fact that pain requires your attention for you to notice it.(4) When the cold is extreme, two primary things happen to you. 1) you cannot help but shift your awareness and attention to the cold and away from your pain, and 2) your body has an extreme reaction to extreme cold.
If the weather, water or air you expose yourself to is sufficiently cold, as it usually is with the Wim Hof Method, your body might treat it as an emergency and start procedures that would save your life if done under other circumstances. Since you won’t be staying in the extreme cold long enough for hypothermia to begin, the action of using this modality exercises most if not all of your internal systems. Done correctly, this is incredibly healthy activity could add years to your life.(5)
When you remove your body from extreme cold conditions, especially if you have been laying on snow or submerged in glacial-like ice water, your skin will become flushed red. The color indicates your surface capillaries are opening up to warm your skin, where moments before they were constricted to restrict blood flow to your extremities.
DIY options for home cold therapy
Walk-in freezers and, believe it or not, top-open full-sized meat freezers which double as cold baths are your best DIY options for home cold therapy. If you’re handy, you could use a walk-in cooler controller and turn any room into a refrigerator using a standard window air-conditioner unit.(7)
Thanks to BenGreenfieldFitness.com for this idea. The founder of TheBodyIsMind.com has been practicing Wim Hof Method by fully submerging himself in super-cold water. He put a 20-cubic-foot freezer in the garage and began taking daily cold soaks to reduce pain and inflammation.
Starting from 2 minutes 30 seconds at 57°F, he recently crossed the 7-minute mark in 54°F water. His breathing count has slowed from 37 to 21, a reduction from 14 breaths per minute to an average of 3 breaths per minute during the session. His goal is a daily soak for 10 minutes at 50°F.
The results will be published on our related blog article.
Get Your Wim Hof ON in Colorado
In moderate climates, outdoors Wim Hof Method is only available in the winter months. However, Colorado is home to over 50 mountains 14,000 feet or higher. When the temps are in the 50’s, and 60’s down on the Denver plains, the temperature on Mount Elbert, for instance, varies between 0 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit in mid-April with wind chills below zero (6).
During the summer months, it becomes about impossible to find winter conditions anywhere under normal circumstances. Weather forecasts mid-July range from a low of 48°F to a high of 73°F; a low of 39°F is forecast for Sunday, July 15, 2018.
Since Wim Hof Method is an extreme modality, it’s best suited for folks of an extreme nature who might find themselves up in the mountains on a regular basis anyway. Standing outside in shorts, up in the Rockies, when it’s below 32 degrees outside for 15 or 20 minutes might provide you with the same extreme cold exposure as 3 or 4 minutes in ice water. A commissioned study would help us find out.
Try soaking in a cold tub? Therapeutic cold tubs maintained at 50°F are available to members of the Denver Sports Recovery center near downtown: https://denversportsrecovery.com
Finally, the VITAL Center for MindBody Health employs the only known Wim Hof Certified Instructor in Colorado and they offer a Wim Hof Breathing workshop, so check them out: http://www.vitalbowspring.com/
Learn more about Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof Method 10-Week Video Course
The Iceman Cometh – The Day Onnit Chilled Out with the Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method *Revealed* – How to Consciously Control Your Immune System
Hollyhock Canadian Wim Hof Retreat 2018 with Daniel Cortez
Conquer The Cold and Get Quantum Leaps In Performance: Wim Hof Interview
The influence of concentration/meditation on autonomic nervous system activity and the innate immune response
Wim Hof Wikipedia Entry
Wim Hof Method – Official Website
What Are The Benefits of Hot and Cold Therapy?
Virtual Reality Pain Reduction
12 Proven Benefits of Cold Exposure
Mountain Forecast, Mount Elbert, Colorado, and Longs Peak, Colorado
CoolBot Walk-In Cooler Controller for window air conditioner