You may not know anything about the Wim Hof method or if you have, you might be wondering, is wim hof method healthy? Overall, it is a process or method that has a lot of benefits if you’re willing to give it a try.
Breathing is a fundamental component of our existence. However, it’s quite rare that you do it consciously or use breathwork techniques most days or moments. The Wim Hof method relies a lot on your breathing, similar to meditation.
What You’ll Learn
Here you’ll learn more about what the Wim Hof method is, if it’s healthy, the benefits, and how to get started with the breathwork practices and your breathwork session.
What is the Wim Hof method?
There are three main components that make up the Wim Hof method. It combines breathing exercises or breathwork techniques, training your mindset and concentration, and gradual exposure to the cold. You can choose to focus mostly on the breathing techniques, if you aren’t ready for the cold exposure yet.
Mind & Body
A Dutch extreme athlete developed the Wim Hof Method. He earned the nickname “The Iceman” because of his ability to withstand extreme freezing temperatures. The whole purpose of doing it and what he learned from it is that you’re able to cultivate a natural path to an optimal state of both mind and body with this breathwork practice.
Paying Attention to Your Breath
As far as the breathwork practices as part of the Wim Hof method, it’s a chance to train the body to breathe more actively. Paying attention to the breath and deep breathing practices allows you to try to regain control of a variety of physiological processes in your body.
Why it Works
The reason this breathing practice works is that you have controlled breathing or breath control. When you inhale oxygen your breathing can influence the amount of energy that’s released by the cells in your body.
Is Wim Hof Method Healthy?
One reason you may want to give the Wim Hof method a try is that it offers many and a wide variety of benefits. Therefore, it’s quite safe to say that the method is healthy and can improve your mind and body.
Benefits of Wim Hof Method
Below are a few possible outcomes you might experience after giving it a try and doing some deep breaths during your breathwork session:
- Better sleep
- Stress reduction
- More energy
- Boost in your immune system
- Increase in willpower
- Ability to relieve some symptoms of depression
- Better concentration
- Boost in mental wellbeing
- Improved blood flow
- Reduce high blood pressure
There are also studies being conducted as it relates to the method being able to reduce inflammation and pain and help with mental health and reducing stress.
How to Get Started with Deep Breathing
If you’re ready to get started with the Wim Hof method then you may be wondering how to best prepare for it. No matter what you do or how you approach it, you must always listen to your body and not force anything.
A recurring theme throughout the practice is to never force it and to always pay attention to what your body is telling you.
Take it Slow
It’s recommended to perform the breathing techniques on an empty stomach for best results. One idea is to pour your coffee and then do the practice and by the time you’re done your cup of coffee will be cool enough to drink.
Finding Success with Breathing Exercises
Begin by getting as comfortable as you can and focusing on the present moment and the diaphragmatic breathing. You may want to even sit or lie down on a couch or bed so you feel calm.
Breathwork Session Tips
Never do deep abdominal breathing in a place that might put you in danger such as in water, while driving, or in the bath. Start by setting your intention and then get ready to dive right in. If you have a medical condition or health issues, you should consult with your doctor before you begin the practice.
What to Expect
You might also be curious about what to expect while practicing the Wim Hof method and how to apply the relaxation techniques. Although you may feel intimidated or unsure initially, be glad to know the breathing exercises are quite approachable.
It’s best if you can set aside 10 to 15 minutes to give the method your full concentration and attention. Start the breathing exercises once you’re in a comfortable position and ready to go.
Focus all your attention on your deep breath and begin to breathe consciously from your belly. Make sure each subsequent breath is deeper until they fill your lungs. Think of your breathing inhale and exhale as a circular motion as you might if you were meditating.
Relax & Try Your Best
There are apps you can download or videos you can watch first to help ensure you’re doing it right. This way you can better see and understand the technique. You may even want to try alternate nostril breathing.
Concentrate on You
Continue these breathwork techniques and rounds for thirty or forty breaths total. You may do less if you begin to feel lightheaded at all. Hold your breath as long as you can after your final exhale.
It’s Not A Competition
Remind yourself that you should do your best and only go as long as what’s comfortable for you, as it’s not a competition. You may start to notice some improvement over time and the more you do it. Most importantly, listen to what your body is telling you.
Keeping A Positive Attitude During the Breathwork Techniques
It’s essential that when you practice the Wim Hof method that you do so with the right attitude and mindset with the breathing practices. You may find you’re a lot more capable of doing the exercises and gaining the benefits from it than what you initially assumed.
It’s okay to step outside your comfort zone every so often and in fact, you should if you wish to enhance your wellbeing and immediate experience with the world.
New Thoughts & Possibilities
The practice and breathwork techniques are not only healthy for you but necessary if you want to improve both physically and mentally. There are many physical benefits of the Wim Hof method to experience as well as the ability to open up your mind to new thoughts and possibilities.
You should now have the information and tools you need to get started and see where it takes you in your life. You’re likely to experience better mental health, personal growth, and more self-awareness after completing this practice.