Secret To The Wim Hof Method Preventing Sickness and Illnesses
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Wim Hof Method
The Wim Hof Method is the single greatest, most natural way to saturate your body with available oxygen as well as simultaneously make yourself a disease-fighting and performance machine while increasing the pH of your body to an alkaline state.Powerful bench press is to be admired. A fast marathon time is impressive. But a strong immune system is essential. Why? Because all gym-based training goals, from losing fat to building muscle, become instantly more achievable when you’re working with a healthy, fully functioning immune system.
Wim Hof’s superhuman ability to control his immune system and fight disease is despite findings from the National Academy of Science that “both the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system were regarded as systems that cannot be voluntarily influenced.” During the flu season you’re at the mercy of the germs floating around. Yes, diet, rest and a good multivitamin might help. But ultimately you just have to hope your immune system is healthy enough to fight should a virus strike.
The Wim Hof method: Breathing
When Wim was younger he did a lot of soul searching. He says, “I travelled the world studying everything from Karate and Kung Fu to Yoga and Buddhism. But nothing quite fulfilled me”. So with an understanding of Tummo meditation (a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice) and Pranayama yogic breathing he created his own, more powerful, technique.
Perhaps the best way to describe this for anyone who’s never seen it is a controlled form of hyperventilation. This sounds completely contradictory since hyperventilation happens involuntarily and is far from controlled. But imagine the sheer oxygenation blood and cells without the panic or stress. Wim says, “You become charged. Carbon dioxide goes out. Oxygen comes in. The body becomes oxygenated. PH levels goes up. At a certain point you’re so fully charged, you change the chemistry in your body.”
Scientists from Radboud University Medical Centre call this change in chemistry “intermittent respiratory alkalosis” and state, “these results could have important implications for the treatment of diseases.” So how do you do this?
The Wim Hof method: Cold therapy
Deep-breathing exercises for a clear mind
The second part of the Wim Hof method is also the most publicized.
It’s the reason Wim is known around the globe as, “The Iceman” and it involves subjecting your body to bouts of cold temperatures as a way of stimulating our immune system and cardio respiratory system. Like Mother Nature intended, but time forgot. Wim says, “The cold is your warm friend. Today our bodies are no longer stimulated by the cold. When we’re cold we turn on the heating or put clothes on. Our capillaries and veins no longer have to work like they’re meant to.”
Also, it seems modern science whole-heartedly agrees too. Research published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology wanted to test if our immune systems could be improved by a, “non-infectious stimulus.” The “stimulus” used in the study was plunging people into cold water (14 C) for six minutes.
What they found was the cold signaled to the body to go into “fight or flight” mode which in turn triggered an immune response. After six weeks of cold plunges three times a week they recorded a “small, but significant, increase in the proportions of lymphocytes.” Lymphocytes are the body’s cells that fight infection, so having more of these guys when you’re feeling a little under the weather is a welcome physiological adaption of Jack Frost and the cold.
But Wim warns don’t feel you have to jump headfirst into an ice-cold bath. 30 seconds with the shower tap turned slightly more towards the cold is a great way to start. Then as you build your tolerance one minute becomes possible. Then five. All until that ice-cold bath actually becomes manageable.
The Wim Hof Method: Other benefits (fat loss)
Wim is now 56. He holds 20 world records, runs marathons, swims ice cold lakes and even once hung from a hot air balloon with this middle fingers. He’s in awesome shape, but what’s also interesting is the man loves his pasta and says, “I eat whatever I want.” How? Again the answer lies in the cold.
According to The New England Journal of Medicine the cold weather can also improve your body’s ability to absorb carbohydrates and sugars. While modern science is still trying to figure out exactly how, it’s believed that this is all related to our lesser-known brown fat cells. Known as “good fat” our brown face cells are very different to our bad “white fat” that we try to lose on the treadmill each evening.
Instead, our brown fat is responsible for generating heat to increase our body’s temperature. When activated it is believed to improve our ability to process sugar-rich foods and since Wim’s brown fat cells have been shown to be 5 times more active than a healthy male half is age, it probably explains why he can attack bowls of pasta without the fat repercussions.