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The Wim Hof method: something to think about during the sauna cool down and for better health

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We sauna enthusiasts understand how great it feels to jump into a cold lake or take a cold shower after a good sauna round.  Here is a remarkable man who understands why.

Wim Hof holds twenty world records including a world record for longest ice bath: 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds.  In February 2009 Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days.

Yet his feats pale in comparison to the work he is doing with medical researchers to better understand our ability to use concentration/meditation to affect our autonomic nervous system activity and the innate immune response.  Wim Hof has cracked through the layer of “new age mumbo jumbo” and into real science, for the better of humanity.  Curing depression, disease.  Real shit.  Skeptical?  That’s fine, but you may be interested to hear him interviewed by Tim Ferriss, here.  I pulled a few excerpts:

  • The cold is my teacher
  • It’s hard to get serious work done when you are serious all the time.
  • People confuse being comfortable with being happy.
  • Because we live in such a compressed society, too much stress going on, we don’t have control over our stress.   We get out of our natural state.
  • The heart in any person is success.
  • The ice water is merciless and righteous

wim-hofDo this 10 minute breathing exercise:

  • Take 30-40 breaths. Deeply in and let go.  (You are charging your body with oxygen).
  • Do some push ups without breathing.  (No air in the lungs).
  • Relax as you do this.  You don’t need to breathe.  (your body has plenty of oxygen).
  • Embrace how awesome this feels.

You are training your mind which is positively affecting your body.

The Wim Hof method is something to think about.

Wim Hof

Watch this free 3:48 video, from Wim, outlining the breathing method for the Wim Hof Method by clicking here:

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2 thoughts on “The Wim Hof method: something to think about during the sauna cool down and for better health”

  1. Wim Hof suggests – when almost done showering – to turn the lever all the way to \cold\ and embracing its awesomeness for a bit. It simulates the cold plunge. It closes your skin pores. It stimulates blood flow. It feels awesome.

    I have been doing this for years. I am a huge fan. Those of us sauna enthusiasts who surrender to the cold between sauna rounds will surely identify with and relate to the practices of The Iceman: Wim Hof.

  2. This is certainly worth learning more about. Having hosted saunas with ice plunge for many years, it is largely a mental challenge, but obviously the body can benefit from further training. It is pretty common for us that a new winter sauna guest comes in saying “no way” to the dark hole in the ice, then after the first round dips their foot in, next round to their knees or waist . . . squealing or shouting each time. Often after the fourth round they are down there blowing bubbles underwater and come out with a much hardier yell. It is transforming.

    In Alaska we would fill a horse trough and at 10 to 20 below it would have almost an inch of ice after the first 15 minute sauna round (be sure to empty the water from the trough before it all freezes). Having fallen through ice and into glacial rivers, and known people who didn’t get out, I’ve had some close calls and, okay, phobias as a result. Hypothermia from 40 or 50 degree rain also kills a lot of people when you are way out there. What I tell guests is, you always have three minutes, even if you weren’t steaming hot when you went in. It is a strange phenomenon that we actually feel warmer in the cold air when we come out. Also, now, when there is the once-dreaded freezing rain, we lie on cold ground or deck, in bliss. It is the best cool down.

    Example of other fun benefits: When I go to the local Polar Plunge in early February, I enjoy at least the first three minutes (people say I look perfectly calm). One year my plunge “get up” was a robe and three bathing suits worn underneath (on top of each other). I waded out into ice cakes, took the outer bathing suit off with my back to the crowd, yelled for everyone to cover their kids’ eyes, turned around and took off my robe. Ya, they didn’t laugh either (and at this point you can scan the crowd to see if there are any off-duty police who were about to step in). So next I threw the robe way up on shore, went out in deep water, and took off my next bathing suit and waved it around my head. Still, nobody laughed. (One fellow Kiwanis club member said he was thinking he should bring my membership status up with the board.) Then my co-conspirator friend ran out, grabbed that suit I was waving, and ran back up on shore. Now people laughed a little. I yelled for my friend or the organizers to bring me my robe, or my suit. Quick! My predicament definitely had people’s attention – most were smiling but none of the heartless bastards came to help. I was probably in the water for five minutes before I was finally really shivering. Stood up and walked out, surprise, in my third suit. Fun things that winter sauna people do.

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