The new crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has forced millions, or even billions of people to stay home without work, social contact, and with little options to exercise. The latter, specifically, is causing many to worry about their immune system, concerned that only a healthy eating habit won’t be enough to keep the same levels of normal life.
What if everything you needed to boost your immune system was readily available at home? In fact, in your own mind and body? That is what Wim Hof, the less known Dutch Iceman, claims. Hof says that anyone is able to boost their immune system by simply following his method.
The method consists of three main factors: Hof’s breathing technique, gradual exposition to extreme cold, and commitment. The point of it all is rescuing essential devices of our body that are dormant because of the comfort of nowaday’s life. We are never really exposed to the cold, our body rarely feels threatened by anything. Consciously breathing and experiencing low temperatures is a way of reconnecting to your body.
As any other gurus that make this kind of claims, the Wim Hof Method caused suspicion. In 2011, Scott Carney, a freelance journalist and award-winner writer went to Poland, where Wim gives his classes, in order to expose him as a charlatan. However, the exact opposite happened as Carney started to achieve the features claimed by Wim while following his method, such as climbing the Sněžka mountain wearing nothing but shorts. By the end, after reaching results he never thought were possible, Carney was wholly convinced that following Wim’s techniques had unlocked some effects in his body and immune system. The result was his New York Times’ bestseller book What Doesn’t Kill Us.
It is not only subjective experiences that support Hof’s method, but there’s also science. Different researches developed analysing Wim and other groups trained by him found that “after running several tests they couldn’t but admit that Wim and others are able to voluntarily influence the Autonomic Nervous System. Something which up until then was thought impossible.”
To follow the method at home is simple, you just need to start being adept of the idea of taking cold showers, maintaining your focus through simple exercises, and perhaps the most important, performing the breathing technique which consists of hyperventilating your body through sharp deep breaths and then holding your breath for as long as you can, like in this video:
You will feel an effect right away, so don’t worry if you feel lightheaded or a tingly sensation through your body, it’s all good! Become aware of your body and let it do what it can, as Wim says. Just make sure to perform this exercise in a safe environment while sitting or laying down, and never do it underwater.
To share and check what other people are experiencing while doing the WHM, you can always search for the #wimhofmethod on Twitter, where people relate their own perceptions and give advice to enhance this life-changing experience even more!