Wim Hof, “The Iceman,” widely known for his ability to withstand low temperatures for an extended period of time, developed the Wim Hof Method®, which is a practice that consists of three pillars: conscious breathing techniques, frequent cold exposure, willpower and meditation.
The Wim Hof Method is said to help build inner power, strengthen the immune and nervous system, detoxify the body, improve sleep quality, lower blood pressure, generate more energy, stimulate the circulatory system, conquer stress and improve mood, create more physical resilience, calm the mind, stimulate creativity, and support overall wellbeing, among other benefits.
Additionally, Wim Hof claims that his method can also give relief of symptoms of asthma, migraine, COPD, fibromyalgia, and arthritis.
The method includes a variety of conscious breathing techniques that are applied through several steps. However, the breathing method is first and foremost based on inhaling deeply and exhaling without any use of force, and in some ways resembles the Tibetan Tummo Breathing meditation practice to create inner body heat.
In any case, the basic version of the breathing exercises consists of three phases: controlled hyperventilation (performed as a cycle of thirty breaths), deep exhalation, and breath retention, which can be repeated several times.
Cold Exposure (a form of Cryotherapy) is another pillar of the Wim Hof Method. The core idea here is that frequent exposure to cold can bring a variety of health benefits. It’s thought that it can reduce inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles, improve sleep quality, balance hormone levels, promote better focus, give higher energy levels, and stimulate an improved immune response. In the Wim Hof Method, exposure to cold is applied through cold showers and ice baths.
The third pillar of the method is actually the foundation of the previous pillars, that is, both Conscious Breathing and Cold Exposure require patience, willpower, and dedication in order to be fully mastered. Exercises and practices — such as meditation — to improve focus, concentration, commitment, and determination are important aspects of the Wim Hof Method.
If you want to know more about practicing the Wim Hof Method, you may want to visit Wim Hof’s website.