Wim Hof

Discussion in 'Everything Else' started by wespom9, Oct 26, 2016.

  1. Phil12

    Phil12 Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The ice baths are not bad if you have a book to read (I use my kindle). I think I ended up getting out once or twice early on, but overall I've been steadily increasing the length of them with no issue.
     
  2. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    @kbell12
    What you say is interesting. Reading while you are in cold water allows you to focus on something else and control your breath (sure you breathe slower and deeper when you are reading than when you are not).

    What I do is closing my eyes, inhale with the nose, exhale with the mouth, as slow and deep as I can. Most of the time, I focus on the sound around me (water of the bath, wind, waves, etc...)

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
  3. kiwipete

    kiwipete Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Great thread! I have been experimenting with WHM breathing and cold showers this last 3-4months.

    I find that I intuitively alternate days or weeks between WHM breathing - to me an intense 'hard style' and a 'soft style breathing', so called 'box breathing' which is inhale, retain, exhale, hold - repeat.

    Wim says in many interviews that his breathing techniques reset the nervous system. Perhaps it does, however if I'm fatigued the gentle box breathing works far better for far less, WHM IME can be a little draining on nervous system - but it maybe the way I'm doing it :)

    Daily Cold showers for the last six months have been outstanding not only physically but more importantly mentally - overcoming negative thought patterns and creating a habit of getting uncomfortable things done....YMMV
     
  4. Anna C

    Anna C More than 5000 posts Certified Instructor

    I've been doing cold showers for a little over a week and I'm amazed at how quickly one can adapt to it! Can't speak to the effects yet, but I can say that I went from being uncomfortable with even "cool" temps on the first day, to now, after maybe 10 times, comfortable turning the hot water all the way off and standing in the cold water for a minute or more while breathing deep and relaxed. I actually look forward to it now. Very energizing.
     
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  5. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    It is quite a paradox, I also feel relaxed after a cold water. However, I also feel like a great energy boost shortly after. I am like "calm and boosted".

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
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  6. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    Many weeks after starting this thread I finally committed to making 3-4 rounds of breathing and a cold shower a morning habit. 2 days in so far. Looking forward to continuing
     
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  7. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    the breathing pours my mind out. Serene void.
     
  8. Harald Motz

    Harald Motz Quadruple-Digit Post Count Certified Instructor

    for the last weeks I do breathing exercises consistently in the morning and evening. I like them the most while sitting on my zafu. I am sitting with tensed/relaxed alignment, which helps with the deep inhalation expanding belly and chest and shrinking while exhaling.

    I hold my breath being alignment and heart beating. The hr beating feels voluminous and slows down with time without breath. I do some cycles of breathing and holding and enjoying some time just sitting breathing very subtle without much air volume. I like the mind emptying effects, as it lowers emotional arousal/attachment.
     
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  9. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    I enjoy starting my breathing exercise simply sat on the floor. I also do my first holds sat. Then, when I start to feel more relaxed (I feel it thanks to the scapula tension), with longer holds, I lay down on the floor and keep doing ab breathing. At this time, I can really feel each slow and deep bea. When I start feeling them that clearly, I can totally focus on them and I forget everything around me (sounds, temperature, etc..)

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
  10. Kyrinov

    Kyrinov Triple-Digit Post Count

    We've done this before I think. But I'm interested so here goes. Breathing is a very complex topic. I believe much of the Russian breath stuff was handed down from the Hesychasts. They warned of the importance of having a spiritual director to guide one through this. The link between the autonomic nervous system, the respiratory system and the immune system is I believe one of the still as-yet not fully crossed frontiers in medicine. My intuition from patients, observation and study is that this is the locus of many difficult-to-diagnose illnesses. I will leave it at that as my time was cut short and I don't expect to complete my full thought.
     
  11. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    @Kyrinov by done this before do you mean discussed here on the forum? I would love to have a link to that I can't find anything in the search... but I am inclined to agree with your thoughts on the link between systems. Not sure if by your post you are a med student/grad but would love to hear you flesh out those thoughts.

    I have successfully committed do the breathing with cold shower routine 4-5x a week in the mornings before my coffee/breakfast. I am really enjoying it. Usually, one day a week (usually a day I have brazilian jiu jitsu and therefore don't lift) I do about 20 minutes of contrast "bathing" which consists of count to 100 in the steam room, directly to cold shower count to 30, and repeat 4-5x. I find it aids my recovery and is both relaxing and energizing, much the same feeling I get from the Wim Hof practices.

    As crazy as this may sound, since becoming routine with cold showers, my girlfriend and other members of my family think I have leaned out even more in the middle, and I feel I have lost about half a pant size around the middle. No change in overall BW. I've heard cold showers can help fat loss, and I was skeptical of that, but I literally changed nothing else about my routine. This is one of those unintended benefits, as the real one is as mentioned to help energize myself.
     
  12. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts

    Hello,

    Sure this is due to a combination of good eating habits, proper physical exercise and an extra calorie burn with the cold shower ;). IMO, it means you have a pretty healthy life above all !

    Because you do it in the morning (so after the night fast), the body uses its fat store to maintain its intern temperature.

    Kind regards,

    Pet'
     
  13. Kyrinov

    Kyrinov Triple-Digit Post Count

    Pardon interruption. I live a very "stop-go" life in all domains these days. Keeps me on my toes but precious little time for thoughtful reflection and writing. I am a paramedic, but in a part of the world where we are exceptionally thoroughly trained and largely autonomous clinicians. I am also a geek.

    I can't find a link to the old discussion but @Steve Freides and I often get into this discussion.

    Hof's method is nothing new or unusual. It is merely what I would call a secularized and publicized iteration of something very old. Nothing new under the sun. His capability and dedication are very admirable. I have misgivings about it as a widespread practice though. Some of his claims to fame are to be able to effectively withhold symptomatic response to bacterial infection. I believe he is effectively breathing in such a way as to shut down his immune system. The feats are impressive, but there is no data on the potential consequences for health and well being of his system. Perhaps he reports not getting ill and things like that but I wonder if his body is simply not responding to things.

    I tend to favour a school of thought that says that good health means have a highly and appropriately sensitized immune system - that one should get frequent, small colds, little sniffles that pass in a matter of hours or less. I read his book and I can't quite explain myself (and I find this is the case with most of this stuff since we lack the language for it in our culture and what there was was lost in other cultures,) but I had a sense that something wasn't quite right. Just because something CAN be done doesn't mean it is good for everyone to do. The hyper-oxygenation of the blood is known to be problematic. Oxidative damage is a major mechanism in aging and disease process. That and as already mentioned oxygen delivery to tissues is negatively correlated with increased ventilation. Breathing more will reduce overall metabolic efficiency, thus Buteyko's effectiveness. Even if there is a pause post-hyperventilation, this pause is not one of improving tolerance for acidosis which is characteristic of Buteyko and my own Systema breathing methods but rather simply a reflection of the fact that the blood has been shifted so far into alkalosis that the body's chemoreceptors don't stimulate a need to inhale.

    Meanwhile there is some argument to be made that the body is being conditioned to be intolerant of acidity when there is great evidence that tolerating acidotic states has health benefits. I have no studies to prove anything because this is all very new and difficult to quantify but I would think it a fair proposition that training to tolerate transient respiratory acidosis would yield a survival advantage in extremis. I feel that the philosophy of SF, Buteyko and System breathing methods all seem to derive from a similar philosophy here.

    Wim seems to be doing something different. There is nothing wrong with what he does in principle, there are all sorts of extreme feats that people are capable of doing and choose to do. My concern though, is when his method is being held up as something "healthy" for the maintenance of homeostasis against the onslaught of stress which is daily living. I feel that Hof is a delightful eccentric who deliberately stresses himself for a clear purpose and performance of sorts, I don't believe it is something that the average person should take on as a daily practice. This is just intuition and reasoning on the basis of the principles of basic physiology. I may find myself feeling otherwise some day but for now it just doesn't quite pass my sniff test.

    I would counsel following S&S breathing, Buteyko or Systema. I find that as I am able to breathe less, my capacity and mental clarity improve. That being said, within Systema we DO hyperventilate as a compensatory response to extreme stressors, but only as a means of trying to rapidly compensate and return to a more normal range. I would say the best is to not be too dogmatic and not "buy-in" too much to one philosophy but study and experiment with breathing. A good knowledge of respiratory anatomy and physiology is an enormous help in this regard....there are a lot of counter-intuitive mechanisms at play and the medical community still has much to learn about what appears at first glance a rather simple element in the human organism.
     
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  14. Kyrinov

    Kyrinov Triple-Digit Post Count

    The nature of my work keeps me involved since there is ongoing debate, going back and forth regarding proper ventilation for various patients. We used to "bag the snot" (Bag Valve Mask ventilation) out of those with brain injuries to try to cause cerebral vasoconstriction and reduce intracranial pressure. Then it appeared we were bagging them so much we were cutting off the blood supply to the brain, so we were told to bag judiciously. But recently I had a conversation with a colleague who is an ex-Delta who says he is a big proponent of hyperventilation, claiming that he has seen it turn around critical patients. Since much of what comes to civilian EMS is handed down from the military's experience, I tend to side with him. This is one of those areas that fits squarely within some of the underlying philosophy of this organization - the sometimes acrimonious relationship between scientific research and heuristics. As in all things it is best not to cling to a theoretical dogma but to use it as a primer for careful and thoughtful observation. Ultimately what comes out is not a sound bite or a statement of fact but a kind of tacit skill-knowledge that can't be pinned down but gives greater purchase on one's organism and environment.
     
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  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    @Kyrinov, you have interesting things to say - thank you for sharing them with us.

    As for me, I don't think I'm different than most people in that I trust my gut about what's a good direction to go in. Buteyko breathing's basic premises resonated with me as soon as I first read about them - I tried to practice them on my own, did achieve a small measure of success, and then went on to study and practice seriously and the results were life-changing in ways I've discussed here before, the biggest of which is that I am no longer taking any medication for asthma and allergies after a lifetime of major symptoms of both things. (As I read what I just wrote, it reminds me of what so many people have said about StrongFirst - they read, they tried on their own, they knew it was a good path, but things really took off for them once they took the course or a cert.)

    I do not find myself interested in what Wim Hof has to offer, and I'm just going with my gut. For me, a life well-lived has both soft and hard aspects, yin and yang, if you will. My strength training is focused on the hard aspects, while my Buteyko breathing has done wonders for the other side.

    I will note, for anyone following along, that when I first began to champion Buteyko breathing here on our forum, I was practicing about an hour a day in two sessions, and telling people they would need up to two hours a day for at least a month to make progress before they could scale back their time commitment because that's what my teacher told me and it's what I did, with excellent results. I have since found, both for myself and for my students, that good levels can be maintained with much less time. Indeed, I've seen some of my students go against my specific recommendations and still make progress, perhaps because grasping the underlying premise and putting it into practice in almost any form is a helpful thing. I do a walking practice that takes 15-20 minutes, and I do this most mornings about 30 minutes after waking. (And I get in a little walking, sometimes even a little running, a nice "side" benefit.) My other practices are still in my life, but I do them occasionally only and my overall result is still very good, and I can achieve almost everything I used to at any time.

    Last but not least, the search engine on the forum here works well enough - it can't give you a priority-based result, but if you ask it to search for Buteyko or any other term related to this discussion, you'll get all the hits back, presented in chronological order, so you may have to page through them to find what you're looking for if what you're looking for isn't recent. We do support tagging posts by topic here, but it's an underused feature.

    -S-
     
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  16. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    If this would fit on a t-shirt, I'd wear it.

    -S-
     
  17. wespom9

    wespom9 More than 500 posts Certified Instructor

    Thank you both @Kyrinov and @Steve Freides for those thoughts. I find this world of the nervous/respiratory/immune connection to health very fascinating. I'll have to go back and do a more thorough search to find those past conversations. Now that I've donen ~2 weeks of Wim Hof method, I would love to try those other systems and compare and contrast how it affected me.
     
  18. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    I think this describes me. We have had colds and possibly even flus in our house this winter, and I do notice them but they have a minimal effect on me. I find myself thinking, "Oh, I'm feeling a little like I'm getting whatever it is that my wife had" but it seems to pass quickly and without major symptoms.

    I've also made it a policy of mine, for a long time now, to not avoid sick people. The whole hand sanitizer thing is completely lost on me. I give hugs to friends who tell me, "you should stay away - I have a cold" and feel like I want to be exposed to everything. I'd much rather be exposed to it now than a few decades from now. And I do see a lot of children in my practice teaching practice, handle the instruments they have, etc.

    -S-
     
  19. MattM

    MattM SFG1 Certified Instructor

    Tried my first cold shower at the end of my regular shower today.

    What a terribly awesome feeling. I could barely get my whole body in the stream. Probably lasted about 30 seconds but I still felt very energized afterwards. I'm going to ease into it a little bit each day.
     
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  20. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Senior Instructor

    The contrast shower is, IMHO, a different thing from the breathing. You'll get used to the contrast shower - just turn the water temperature down a little, and gradually over time, a little more. No reason to go "cold turkey" and make yourself miserable any more than there is to start learning to squat by putting 400 lbs. on the bar.

    -S-
     

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