Written By Kali Pappas, Nutritionist and Blogger at Holistic Chick
What if I told you that you could cleanse your body using a simple three pillar method known as Wim Hof Method.
And that by combining these three pillars you could achieve total body healing. Improving energy levels, sleeping patterns, stress, immunity, anxiety and even depression.
Wim Hof is a world-renowned Dutch athlete known as the “Ice Man” who developed this unique method. His belief is that you can control your immune system (enhance) via the nervous system through exposure to extreme cold temperatures. Therefore triggering the nervous system to release large amounts of epinephrine that in turn boosts your immune system. Not only that, but this scientific breakthrough is actually backed by both human studies and scientific evidence.
So what are the three pillars of the Wim Hof method?
- Cold Therapy (cold showers)
In order for this method to be effective it must be practiced daily. Many people enjoy starting their day off with this regime to set them up for success.
Learn how the man himself does it, listed below are Wim Hof’s steps to practicing each of the three pillars, so you too can learn how to incorporate this method into your daily routine and achieve total body healing.
Take 30 fast, deep breaths by inhaling through the nose and exhaling out of the mouth. Following your 30 quick breaths, inhale deeply then exhale holding until you need to breathe in. Then inhale as deep as possible again and hold for 10 seconds and repeat this cycle 3-4 times.
Breathing is an unconscious action, and something we don’t particularly think about or focus on, however taking control of your breath may help ease stress, anxiety, and balance and control other systems in the body; this practice is the basis for Wim Hof's success.
Take Cold Showers
I’ll start off by saying this may sound painful, but fortunately it’s something you can actually train and adapt your body to, plus the benefits are well worth it. Most people will take their regular daily shower and incorporate this method accordingly, here are the steps for beginners:
- Week 1: take your regular shower then turn your shower to the coldest setting and stay for 1 minute (minimum), continue for 1 week.
- Week 2: begin your shower with the cold setting for 1 minute (minimum) then switch to your regular shower and end if off with 1 more minute under the cold water.
- Week 3: alternate from cold to hot (one minute at a time) until your shower has finished, making sure you finish your shower under cold water.
- Week 4: keep this same shower schedule, but also include one 10 minute cold shower per week.
This may seem intense, but eventually your body will be able to better adapt to the cold temperature and allow you to handle longer cold showers (which in turn reaps more health benefits).
If the last one or two steps are too extreme for you, a 1 minute (minimum) cold shower before and after your regular shower will suffice for this method.
Commitment will result in better self-control and willpower, Wim Hof believes this can be trained and it is also considered the foundation of the first two pillars. Following these techniques require a great amount of patience and dedication, which can ultimately result in mastering your own mind and body if practiced appropriately.
The proof is in the pudding
According to Discover Magazine, one of the first scientific evaluations of Wim Hof’s method took place in 2014, led by Matthijs Kox, a Dutch researcher who tested the immune systems of people who had followed Hof’s training regimen for 10 days. Kox injected participants with an inflammatory agent while they performed the techniques. Compared to a control group, they experienced lower levels of inflammation, and were less affected by the fever and nausea that usually accompanies the injection.
It appears those who practiced the Wim Hof method saw an improvement in their health and were better able to fight off pathogens and deal with symptoms. However researchers still have no solid explanation as to why these two pillars: breather and cold exposure appear to dampen immune activity, they suggest that the release of adrenaline breathing sparks could play a role. The spike in adrenaline was linked to increased levels of an anti-inflammatory protein, and decreased levels of proteins, called cytokines, responsible for signaling the immune system.
Are you ready to try this method that practically turns you into a superhuman? If you’re sick of suffering from poor sleep, low energy, stress, anxiety, or even depression The Wim Hof Method may be the perfect program for you, best of all it’s completely free!