Wim Hof

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

  1. Phil12

    Phil12 Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The issue with oxygen saturation and sleep apnea is essentially that the drops cause damage, very slowly, over time. This is caused by physical restriction of the airway. When you're awake, your oxygen saturation is perfectly healthy (unless you have some other issue); increasing it for some period of time during waking hours wouldn't change the fact that it is dropping at night. CPAP treatment is the most effective way to treat sleep apnea, and your calibration test should confirm that your oxygen saturation is not dropping when you're on it.

    There are actually some studies on ways to increase the strength of the airway through various exercises (people who play reed instruments are much less likely to have sleep apnea, for example) but as far as I am aware none of them have become a recommended treatment, and in any case it would have to be measured with further sleep studies under the supervision of a doctor.
    DrFierce and Antti like this.
  2. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    Steve, thank you for your insight.

    I have snored horribly my whole life, no matter what my weight has been. Some things, like alcohol consumption, make it worse. Some sleeping positions are also likely to affect it, and it would do me good to change the way I sleep, but I struggle with it. It's hard to fall asleep when I'm positioned in a new way and I oftentimes find myself in familiar positions when I wake up. I already prefer a very thin pillow. With the CPAP machine, I snore rarely, and when I do, alcohol is typically involved.

    I'll have to reflect on my tiredness and the quality of sleep that follows it.

    Am I correct in the assumption that you do not use a CPAP machine? Is it that you are not recommended to use one, or that you choose to do without it?

    My condition has improved greatly by the use of the CPAP machine. I only wish that I'd have been diagnosed correctly sooner.
  3. Antti

    Antti More than 2500 posts

    That is very interesting, thank you. Do you have any links to any of the studies or the exercises to increase the strength of the airway?
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    I would love a link to such studies. I'm a musician, and reed instruments are far from monolithic. In particular, double reed instruments are played with small amounts of air and high back pressure compared to single reed instruments. My guess is that it's the double reed players - oboe and bassoon - who might experience some airway-related benefits.

    I think you have your answer already - if alcohol makes your apnea symptoms worse, it sounds like you're experiencing at least something of what I've experienced and am talking about - to me, anyway. Again, a call for your doctor.

    That's correct, I do not and have never used a CPAP machine. I had no awareness of my own snoring or sleep apnea, and didn't exhibit the symptoms of daytime sleepiness or anything else that would suggest I had it. But my wife said I did, and she described exactly what would happen when I'd stop breathing - a bit frightening to hear about for the first time! - so I both experimented with various things here and began seeing doctors and having sleep studies.

    I should add, because it's important to my individual case history here, that I never exhibited any symptoms of sleep apnea until I had my back injury - when I hurt my back, the only position I could sleep in was on my back when, before that, I always slept on my side. It turns out that my sleep apnea is quite positional in nature - as long as I sleep on my side, I have no symptoms.

    So, in my case, the diagnosis was "mild to moderate" sleep apnea, and no mention of positional issues because the study really was just a bunch of numbers - all the times my breathing had problems where all the times I was sleeping on my back. Now I sleep with a thin pillow, try to sleep mostly on my side, and am mindful of the state of my fatigue when I go to sleep at night. All those things together, I do fine without the CPAP. The doctors did recommend the CPAP - I don't think they have any choice about that when the results show some interruptions of breathing. I have never tried it and, so far, so good without it. The back injury's 20th anniversary will be this coming Fall, and I feel like I have a good handle on how sleep apnea fits into my life.

    Antti likes this.
  5. Phil12

    Phil12 Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I'll try to dig some studies up, guys, it's been a while since I was actively reading about this.

    Here's one: Risk of Obstructive Sleep Apnea Lower in Double Reed Wind Musicians

    Here's a much smaller study that focused on teaching individuals to play the didgeridoo: Didgeridoo playing as alternative treatment for obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome: randomised controlled trial | The BMJ

    I really wish someone had pursued this line of thinking with larger and better designed studies, but it hasn't happened, probably because it won't result in billing insurance $x,xxx for a CPAP machine.

    Alcohol can cause respiratory depression, but it's more likely that it is simply reducing the quality and quantity of your sleep.
    Antti likes this.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    Ah, double reed players - I was right! :)

    Phil12 likes this.
  7. mikhael

    mikhael Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    3 minutes under 12 deg C after 3-4 minutes of warm shower. Today introducing myself to breathing technique. Any advises?
  8. Phil12

    Phil12 Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    The hard part is getting in.
  9. Steve W.

    Steve W. Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    Recently the heat and hot water at my house were out for two weeks, and I took daily brain freeze-inducing, full-on cold showers.

    I'm glad that's over ;-).
    Phil12, Michael Scott and TravisS like this.
  10. mikhael

    mikhael Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    For how long I should take cold shower under 1 deg C? Currently I'm able to hold for 4 min without any shivering effect.
    TravisS likes this.
  11. pet'

    pet' More than 5000 posts


    Wim Hof method is supposed to enhance mitochondira production due to the combination of breathing and cold exposure.

    Do you know if there is some kind of comparison between LSD and WHM regarding this topic ? I guess it cannot replace running though.

    Kind regards,

  12. DJR Harris

    DJR Harris Double-Digit Post Count

    G'day everyone! Am doing wim hof breathing atleast once a day( for 20 odd minutes) for last few months and I definitely noticed some changes:
    It does improve air capacity if you'll push yourself to limit(and it's now really helping me to practice Hardstyle breathing as my breathing capacity increased a lot);and one more fascinating thing also happened to me; I was suffering keratosis (if you don't know, search)for last two years and magically it started to heal after a month of practice,and now I'm in lot better shape.

    P.S: I'm doing wim hof in early hours and recently started to do Hardstyle breathing late hours of day.
  13. SFSparky

    SFSparky Double-Digit Post Count

    Not intending to hijack the Wim Hof thread, but as it's somewhat breathing related:

    I have mild/moderate sleep apnea and recently stumbled across an article addressing the use of inspiratory muscle training to treat it:


    Maybe 15 years ago, in another serendipitous stumble, I discovered this:

    Expand a Lung

    I'm not shilling for them, but I have found the device useful for strengthening inspiratory and expiratory muscles. I often use it when I'm driving up to ski, typically at 10,000 feet or better, and despite being a bit long in the tooth, I'm capable of skiing non-stop downhill runs for ~3 hours.

    As @Steve Freides mentions above, position seems to be a key factor in sleep apnea so I sleep on my side. That said, I've found that when I use the expand-a-lung, I tend to sleep better, apnea notwithstanding.

    On a side note, I'm very interested in Pavel's Second Wind program. Any chance that might come out in published format, hardcopy/Kindle?
  14. HUNTER1313

    HUNTER1313 More than 500 posts

    I just read about the expand a long thanks to your post. Looks neat and makes sense (to me at least), but I'll have to wait and hear what the SFG guys and girls who are much more knowledgeable than me have to say.
  15. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    @SFSparky, I was a vocal performance major in college - opera and all that. And I play and teach French Horn. I have had to figure out how to take in a lot of air and control how I use that air. Buteyko + French Horn is my prescription. Between those two, one learns how to relax one’s diaphragm and how to strengthen and control it.

    Marty likes this.
  16. HUNTER1313

    HUNTER1313 More than 500 posts

    Does the straw breathing exercise from the original S&S serve the same purpose?
  17. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Forum Administrator Senior Certified Instructor

    What specific purpose?

  18. Jaap

    Jaap Still New to StrongFirst Forum

    Hi everyone,

    Forgive me for choosing this topic to ask my question, but there has been some discussion related to it already. Also, all the right knowledge about Systema, breathing, cold etc seems to be in the right place.

    Does anyone have a perspective on the "surprise" aspect when cold showering? I read a Systema related article years ago that was about cold water dousing using buckets, preferably barefooted outside. I've experimented with preparing a cold bucket, then taking a hot shower, then finishing with the cold bucket. The article I read stated the shock effect is bigger because the bucket provides more cold water in a short time, helping with mental preparation for unexpected situations. In contrast, some folks here seem to ease into taking cold showers but enjoy longer exposure, in which I can also see some benefits.

    Kind regards,

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