Wim Hof Method. Regulate your own autonomic nervous system. (No Woo Woo)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Folk, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    Anyone here familiar with Wim Hof Method? For those who aren't, here's a video explaining it:

    Wim Hof is a guy that holds 26 world records. Most of them including ICE and Apneia. Like
    • Climbing Everst with nothing but shorts.
    • Runing a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the arctic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F)
    • Staying immersed in ice for almost 2 hours.
    • Running a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. (no ice in this one ^^)
    All of the above was thought to be his supper power. Like a mutation or something that made this one man do the impossible. He was researched by scientists back and fort and they found the most amazing stuff. Then he said he could teach anyone how to do it. And he did it. There are a lot of videos of his classes climbing mountains in the Ice with nothing but shorts and doing all kind of stuff he does.

    His method consist specially in a crazy specific breathing (but it has some exercise and cold showers associated with it). Acording to him and some scientists, he can control his autonomic nervous system to regulate his blood circulation, body temperature etc etc. And so does everyone he teaches. Now there's Fibromyalgia patients claiming his method cured him, MS patients the same and the list goes. But he tackles mostly on mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.

    I tried today the Breathing method and in the first round (there are 3 rounds) I hold my breath for 2:40 minutes and I just stop hold accidentally, I felt I could go on longer. The second round I couldn't clock it :\ and I didn't do the third round cause as I learned ME patients need to start everything slower than anyone.

    Now 2:40!!! WTF I've never hold it for more than 1 minute and something I was impressed specially at how easy it was. HE said it would be like this and didn't believe but it was exactly like this: I didn't feel panic or urge to breath. I just felt my body was full with oxigen.

    I'm gonna be doing more and I can report to you guys. Meanwhile if you want, share your experiences. And here's a facebook group for ME patients trying his method: https://www.facebook.com/groups/841011709386464/
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  2. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    This does sound related. Have you gotten to the cold showers yet? As you say, probably best to go slow, especially since the method toys so much with the sympathetic nervous system.

    I've been breathing a lot lately too, trying to raise my average heart rate variability. Some studies have shown that the yogis who can meditate naked in the Himalayas (or whatever) are tapping into specific breathing cycles (like one breath per minute) to match heart rate cycles.

    For the most part I've been finding that my exercises designed to raise HRV in the long run actually lower it while practicing -- which matches Wim Hof's description of prodding the fight/flight response -- which, for me, is counter-intuitive (like prodding a sleeping bear). Sometimes, especially when I'm feeling the worst, I really resist deep breaths.

    But thanks, I'm going to (slowly) play around with this! BTW, I liked this write-up of how breathing affects the vagus nerve.
  3. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    This is so cool. When I was a kid I used to stay underwater for 3+ minutes, driving my mom crazy. Can confirm that you can mentally block the panic response for a longer time than many think. For a few summers I had a pool to myself and I got to a point where every day I'd practice that until I broke 4 min. Never made it to 5. I was thinking I couldn't be the only one to think of that or notice it. I look forward to learning more about Wim Hof and hearing how you're doing with it.
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  4. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    I did it before sleep yesterday since I got so relaxed after doing it.
    The Power breaths itself are not the most comfortable thing but not a monster... But the time your holding your breath and afterwards you feel a lot of peace.

    Stayed 3:12 without breathing. Just gotta be aware that it's not a competition.

    I found that while doing the techniche I had a lot of lower back pain but in the last breath retention it started to disapear, than I got up just to turn out the bathroom light and went back for going to sleep and staying a lot of time in this same position without back pain. Just kind of meditating till I sleep.
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  5. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Now that you mention it, I think this may be part of the explanation why I react so poorly to competition. I'm somebody who's a product of a perfectionist family and I care very much about excellence and completing work I'm given properly. However, I'm always shocked by others who wan to make out that I'm somehow competitive about it. As soon as that happens, it's like I've lost my will to care about quality. I've had to work on blocking that out and ignoring the comments of others on it. Kind of like blocking the panic.

    Anyway, when you're training your mind to keep calm in adversity, you can't have people reminding you of how hard it is. That's probably why the superman (and superma'am) types spend so much time alone. Otherwise everyone would be there with a stopwatch and ooh and ahhing them back to reality. This is probably why some systems of Asian thought say that there is such a thing as too much joy. It's a feeling like anything else and can distract you from your focus.

    My western viewpoint is that afterwards, you should go have some joy, lol. Self denial is not always healthy. :)
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  6. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member


    So I checked him out in Wikipedia. I'm fairly sure I've been led in this direction by my instincts for a long time. Back when yoga classes were a weird thing you did, and they were free at most colleges, I took a series of Kundalini yoga classes and I recognize some of the drawings as visualizations I've been taught. When I was around 17, I found a book on modernized Tibetan Buddhist prayers and latched onto the loving kindness meditation, did it for nearly a decade before a personal disaster distracted me from everything. Years later, I found websites claiming "LK meditation is very advanced... oooo woo" and I'm like, um, no guys, it's pretty basic really. . But it was easier when I was young because I didn't have anyone who truly injured me yet for the part that fosters true forgiveness.

    These days I keep hearing about Paleo gurus taking ice baths. I always assumed to be "manly", or for weight loss, but maybe they're following Wim Hof. And years ago, I was reading a book about witchcraft and it advised taking the coldest shower and bath you can. Then or maybe during, I got the same advice from Jethro Kloss in "Back to Eden" (still continuously in print after idk 70 years?). I'm terrible about taking cold baths/showers unless I can stop the process by cycling from hot to cold and back. I might have already described that in a spa, I go from cold pool to sauna, back to cold, back to steam room, back to cold (even cold shower maybe if the pool is heated), back to hot tub, etc. I think that has a different but also positive effect.... you might go with that before going full cold :) - it definitely allowed me to brave colder and colder water.

    The difference between me and people in my family when entering cold water is really obvious. I just jump in, a moment of painful shock and then there is a wonderful warm feeling, maybe takes 30-45 seconds. Nobody believes me and they all tiptoe into the pool like kids with their arms held away from the water. It's pretty amusing. I don't mean that disdainfully, I think it's adorable. I do have to fight the urge to splash though. I'm a little kid still.

    So anyway, I can't thank you enough for telling us about this because maybe the teacher has appeared in my life. I don't mean, I'm going to go become a disciple, but I am going to learn more about him. I'm thrilled he's still alive and I know the name of the Tibetan practice now, Tommo. Kundalini I knew about, but not Tommo. :bookworm: I'm a convert.
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  7. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    @Not dead yet!
    Yeah Wim Hof is by no means a Guru. He certainly looks over excited by the fame and some of his claims are a little to much for now... But he's goofy, and never proclaimed himself as a guru. Even though, some people try to portray him as one. He's a likeble person after all and pretty normal like the rest of us (with kind of a superpower that luckily he can teach).
    They wanna know what he eats, drinks etc etc. He's just a man who is showing the world and science a unknown function of the human body.

    I've read he ate a vegetarian diet, or "a lot of fish", or only pasta, and drinks bear a lot (don't know and don't care which one is true). I wouldn't follow any of these (except for a lot of fish).

    From Wim Hof we gotta take his method and that's all. Nutrition we gotta learn from the other best source etc.
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  8. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Results, first time:

    • About 30 sec for breath holding each time after the breath work.
    • 5 incline pushups, and 4 squats (separate breath holds) - I use the back of the couch since I'm so weak now
    • lukewarm is as far as I got in the shower, whenever it got to where I didn't feel it was chilly, I turned it down more, and when I was ready to get out, I turned it down more, got it about halfway down from where it usually is.
    Kind of a comedown from 4 min, but it's been years since I've done any of this. I remembered why I didn't take cold showers without a warmup after.. my back locked up and I could hardly walk for a while. Could hardly even clean the hard to reach places because I couldn't bend over to reach. I have a torn vertebra at L4/5 and when it locks my back, it's not pretty.

    However after warming up a bit, it unlocked. I certainly feel better than I did this morning. Wouldn't say pain free, just more like I have reserves of energy and a feeling of optimism.

    I could really feel it where I have a scar in my right lung. I've probably been unconsciously breathing shallow to avoid feeling it for a long time.
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  9. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I love it. I know somebody else who tried it and it was helpful. Her ability to do pushups went WAY UP.

    I actually have 45 free passes to his program - I asked them for them and they agreed - I want to do some sort of kind of lax study with it.

    I read this book - [​IMG] http://amzn.to/2EBNyTH. After a rather lengthy first chapter - it was really interesting. Written by a guy who tried his method.

    Thanks for the reminder. :)
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  10. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I resist taking deep breaths as well! Ha...
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  11. Not dead yet!

    Not dead yet! Well-Known Member

    Ouch, next day aches. I had lung issues about 10 years ago and there are scars now in a few places where infarcts once were. One of them was infected too. That one I can feel every breath now, and every breath also has a more general ache in it. Definitely overdid it. I guess I was overexcited. LOL Not giving up though, I think it's just 'healing pains.'

    The results were awesome though, for several hours afterward I felt very good and got a lot done.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2018
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  12. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    Nice I keep parcticing it too. I'm doing 2 rounds instead of three for a while. Did one cold shower and DAMN that was horrible. I don't know if we're supposed to but I heated afterwards to take the regular shower.
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  13. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    Jeez, I seem to be following your path, folk! Fourth day of Omni Tcds, no results yet.

    WMH method was suggested to me so I just read up on it today and will buy the 10 week video study course by him tomorrow Saturday and start. His goal is the opposite of meditation, to increase cortisol and thus decrease the inflammatory response. You never know what works.
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  14. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    I keep on taking cold showers and now its freezing here. Wintertime.
    But i stopped doing the breathing, I need to go back. I didn't do enough to see if it can have results.
    The reason I stopped is because I found very boring, just that :\ the Feeling afterwards was amazing, but I hated the 30x breathings.

    Cold shower really is a painkiller for me... and I feel great afterwards but damn it's so cold here now. The problem really is that it's so cold that the water comes from outside 10x colder.
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  15. Steve

    Steve Active Member

    folk, I'm also finding this to be a terribly difficult program. I decided to do it for a while before paying two hundred bucks, Wim keeps sending me supportive notes after taking the three day free mini course. I do a round of three 60 second breathing. I don't know about boring, it is just hard and unpleasant. I find no pain relief and the showers are hell, I'm using his free chart of increasing 15 seconds each week, am up to 45 seconds, awful, only in mid60 temp too. As an experiment I put my foot into 60 degree water tub for ten seconds, truly hell, foot hurt for hours. we do have fibro to and neuro type leg pain is one of my worst pains. like almost everything else I've tried, I just don't look forward to this. My son hopped into a 60 degree tub for one minute and just kept breathing. if I don't do it for the twenty days on that chart I'll always wonder if I could have gotten rid of fibro like that guy on his video.
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  16. Folk

    Folk Well-Known Member

    Yeah I don't know about the temperature, is it 60 Farenheit? I'm used to celsius haha

    But idk anyway how freezing is the water here... Just REALLY cold... but I do feel good after...
    I also did feel good after hot shower but it's different. Hot shower made me feel better and than after a while i think more sensible to any stimul... the cold shower lasts.

    I anticipated the winter would be horrible, today is the coldest day of the year and I'm about to jump in, good luck for me haha

    The breathing is boring and unlpeasent, even though the feeling afterwards is really good for me. I think i should really do it. I mean it might not work for fibro in the end but it's not like it's some kind of snake oil or he wouldn't break 26 world records.
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  17. Abrin

    Abrin Well-Known Member

    Deep breathing actually causes panic attacks in a sub-set of people. It might not be that you resist it as much as it doesn't work for you. ;)
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  18. Cort

    Cort Founder of Health Rising and Phoenix Rising Staff Member

    I am going to try this in about 2 weeks. I'm in an exercise study at Dr. Klimas. After that I'm going to do it. :)
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  19. Merida

    Merida Well-Known Member

    Well, this is all very interesting. Several years ago I had 2 sessions with a QiGong grandmaster - “ the Jewel of China” , the Healer’s Healer. Here in California. After the first session I asked (through an interpreter) “Why have I been ill for so long?” He answered, “You are a kind and generous person and gave your energy away.” Second session, I asked “What can I do to get well?” He said, “Try to breathe.” Maybe this is what he was talking about?
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  20. Paw

    Paw Well-Known Member

    A tidbit from my Chinese tai chi master (his book) has given me some exciting new approaches. Basically, instead of directing your awareness to the breathing (air and lungs), you focus on the core muscles (abdomen primarily, but also the diaphragm).

    Master Jou says this technique is old-school, somewhat esoteric today. While modern qigong teachings do of course emphasize abdominal breathing, past practitioners allowed the breath to naturally follow the muscular movements, rather than the other way around. It may seem a subtle distinction -- whether to focus on air, or the dantian (core) -- but it can make a big difference.

    There are complexities, but in a nutshell: don't worry about how deeply you breathe or how fully you contract/expand your abdominal muscles. If you just keep returning your attention to smooth, gentle abdominal movement, pretty soon the breath will naturally link itself to that movement.

    I frequently feel too unwell to exercise with any vigor, or to even catch a full breath. Forced deep breathing quickly depletes me. But I find one thing I can always do is focus on small abdominal movements. And once I get going, this usually leads -- unforced -- to more expansive movements and breaths.

    This is also true when practicing "reverse breathing," which is fundamental to qigong. (I.e., expanding the abdomen while exhaling, contracting it while inhaling.) Once you get used to it, it feels like the most natural thing in the world.

    Master Jou says normal deep breathing is a good way to build up your supply of qi, but reverse breathing is the way to direct that qi intentionally, whether for healing or martial purposes. "Qigong" actually means something like harnessing the life force and putting it to work. Normal healthy people frequently use reverse breathing unconsciously for certain tasks like blowing up a balloon or pushing a big heavy object. Lately it's been opening a lot of new doors in my own tai chi practice.

    Whether practicing normal abdominal breathing or reverse breathing, if you keep working the dantian, gently and consciously, you get stagnant qi flowing, mixing nicely with external qi, bathing important organs in a balanced yin/yang energy. And, it seems to me, regularly working those core muscles, even lightly, has to be beneficial to the digestive system. It's a form of exercise that can be done almost any time -- while watching TV, lying in bed, driving, etc. And when you're doing light tasks (say, taking out the garbage), you can play around with applying reverse breathing to specific movements that require concentrated force.

    I can't get too ambitious with my practices (Wim Hof is too much for me) but I never seem to mind "massaging" my core in sync to my breathing. Avoiding any straining, you can progress from simple contracting/expanding to more vigorously pushing your core downward as it expands outward, and then pulling it back and upward -- in a smooth s-shaped pattern. While reverse breathing, make sure the diaphragm releases forward while inhaling, so it allows the lungs room to expand.
    Master Jou says expect full recovery in one to 30 years.

    BTW, for those who suffer headaches, he suggests alternate-nostril breathing: inhale with the nostril on the side of the head that hurts, then exhale through the other. I haven't tried it yet.
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