“The Wim Hof Method,” by Wim Hof will cool your heals! It is a nuclear Bookish Weapon for sure. If you decide to read the book you need to consider it as an experiment. That means you need to practice the method. Why would you want to actually do what he says to do? It is the only way you will understand what he is talking about.
That’s why I decided to begin taking cold showers and practicing the breathing method. To date I have been taking the showers for a couple months, but the breathing only for two weeks so far.
First, let’s talk about the cold. As you probably know Wim Hof is known as the Ice Man. He climbed Mt Everest and got stuck in the death zone. Of course he wasn’t wearing a shirt. He has climbed Kili multiple times with groups of people also with no shirt. You don’t need to climb a mountain with no shirt. Wim says to start out with 30 seconds of cold after you have the warm water turned on for a bit. I just jump into the cold. There is benefit for alternating between hot and cold so you should consider that too.
No cold plunges for me as I have no resource for those and I have no desire to go hiking with my shirt off. None! However, the cold showers wake you up in the morning and become somewhat addictive.
Now the breathing technique might surprise you because you can get cold doing it. It is because the capillaries under your skin close so your brain thinks you are cold. My teeth chatter. However, it could be my breathing technique is off a bit.
So what do you do? Breath in as you extend your stomach and then exhale. That is one count. You do that thirty or forty times. Then on the last exhale you hold your breath for as long as you can. Then you inhale and hold it for fifteen seconds. Then exhale and do the whole 30 or 40 two more times. How long can you hold our breath? I could hold mine maybe thirty seconds. Now, at the end of the last thirty I can hold it for four minutes. So far I have not passed out.
This is the third pillar in Wim Hof’s method. It is an important one and probably the most difficult to master at least from my perspective. He gives you a basic mindset exercise and discusses how to meditate, but this area is covered far less than the other two. I suspect it is the secret sauce. He says it is what allowed him to set all the records and accomplish what he has so far.
It seems that in all areas of life your mindset is king. It will serve you or bring you down.
Why do anything unless it produces some positive results. That is what I was looking for when I decided to do the breathing. I already knew the benefits of cold showers. For one thing they boost affect your Vagal nerve so increase the parasympathetic side of your autonomic nervous system. But the breathing was unfamiliar to me.
What I discovered is that once I have completed a breathing session I feel very calm and surprisingly am in a very positive emotional state. As I said I have been doing the breathing for only two weeks as of this writing so who knows what might happen as this journey continues. I was hoping for an anti-inflammatory effect which I could measure by whether my arthritis was better or worse. So far the jury is out.