Breathing is arguably the most important function that our bodies have. It’s through breathing that we acquire oxygen, molecules that our cells use as fuel to release energy to sustain the living processes via cellular respiration. Cut off our ability to breathe and cells will begin to asphyxiate and expire almost immediately.
Our respiratory system is the one responsible for the near-involuntary action of breathing. We say “near-involuntary” because as humans, there’s a way for us to alter how we breathe to produce advantageous outcomes. The Wim Hof Method is a unique breathing practice that gives practitioners multiple beneficial results, like positive cannabis effects, that could grant a person with super awesome benefits!
Let’s Take a Look at “The Man Who Breathes” Himself
It’s fair for anyone to say that it’s impossible for breathing to grant superpowers. However, there is a breathing (pun intended) and a living example that makes the superhuman claim true. The example we’re talking about is none other than Wim Hof himself!
Hof, who is now 61 years old, has done amazing stunts like dive beneath the frigid ice of the North Pole, partake in freezing ice baths for 90 minutes, and run marathons shirtless and barefoot above the Arctic Circle. Hof says that he is able to endure and perform all of these activities thanks to a unique type of breathing practice he made called the Wim Hof Method.
What is the Wim Hof Method and What are its Benefits?
The Wim Hof Method is a straightforward, yet powerful breathing practice that has its roots from three pillars: Cold Therapy, Commitment, and Breathing. Together, these three elements make up the secrets behind the uniquely powerful effects of the method. Similar to how medicinal cannabis effects improve one’s health, the Wim Hof Method has various benefits that include:
• promoting better sleep
• reducing stress
• giving more mental clarity and focus
• faster recovery from physical exertion
• enhancing creativity
• increases energy
• increases willpower
• a more healthy and stronger immune system
• heightens determination and focus
Other benefits that are also linked to the Wim Hof Method are lessening of symptoms for diseases like Parkinson’s disease, numerous autoimmune ailments, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and sarcoidosis.
How does the Wim Hof Method Work?
According to Robert Fried, a retired clinical respiratory psychophysiologist from the Biopsychology and Behavioral Neuroscience Program at the City University of New York in 2010, deep breathing methods slow the body’s metabolic state down. He said “The purpose of deep breathing is to induce a ‘hypometabolic state,’ where autonomic and mental arousals are minimal. It is a resting, restorative state, a counter anxiety, counter stress response of the body induced by using the breathing that goes with relaxation to trigger a similar muscle response in the body.” It also helps release adrenaline into our bodies, making an individual feel stronger.
How to Perform the Wim Hof Method
You would never be able to fully appreciate the benefits of the Wim Hof Method without trying it for yourself. Now, you might be thinking that you’d have to be in extremely cold conditions for it. However, anyone can do it at the comfort of their homes by following some guided steps!
Fair warning though: the Wim Hof breathing method can affect motor control, and in rare cases, can cause a person to lose their consciousness. Before we reveal the steps, we highly advise anyone who’s interested in trying to do so while lying or sitting down. Under no circumstance should they do it while they’re in or near bodies of water, or while driving any type of vehicle.
Step 1: Find a Comfortable Position
Get into a meditation posture: be it lying or sitting down, whichever you’re most comfortable with, then make sure that your lungs can expand freely without any sensation of constriction.
Step 2: Take 30 - 40 Deep Breaths
Now, close your eyes and focus on your breath. Be conscious about it and try to fully connect with every air passing into your lungs. Take a deep inhale through the mouth or nose, and exhale freely through the mouth. Fully inhale the air through your belly, then your chest, and then let it go freely. Repeat for 30 - 40 times via short, powerful bursts. Keep in the mind that during this process, it’s normal to experience tingling sensations in your feet and fingers, or a bit of light-headedness. Rest assured, however, that they are all completely harmless side effects.
Step 3: Hold Your Breath
Right after the last exhalation, inhale as deeply as you can for a final time, then release the air freely and stop breathing. Keep holding your breath until you get the urge to breathe again.
Step 4: Recovery BreathOnce you get the urge to breathe again, draw in one big breath in order to fill your lungs. Notice the sensation of your chest and belly expanding. When you feel like your lungs are at full capacity, hold that breath for about 15 seconds, and then release it. There you have it. That concludes the first round and you can repeat this cycle for about 3 - 4 times without stopping.
The Wim Hof Method is certainly a special technique. It’s a method that gives plenty of positive benefits, similar to the cannabis effects of medicinal cannabis products. The Wim Hof Method is truly a unique breathing technique that gives people super awesome benefits!