Why Ice Water Immersion And Your Breath Is The Key To Health And Happiness

Frequent exposure to cold is linked to a number of different health benefits. Scientists have found evidence that exposure to cold speeds up metabolism, and reduces inflammation, swelling, and sore muscles. Many athletes use ice baths and other types of exposure to cold as a means to speed up recovery after physical exercise. Cold body therapy is also linked to improved quality of sleep, more focus, and even to an improved immune response.

On this episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I was happy to sit down and talk with Wim Hof about the benefits of cold therapy and what happens to our body when we’re exposed to extreme cold conditions. Wim shares how we can change our biochemistry through our breathing, and the boundless capacities of the human spirit when we test our physical limits. Wim Hof, also known as “The Iceman,” holds multiple world records for his feats of endurance and exposure to cold, include climbing Mount Everest in nothing but a pair of shorts, running across the Namibian desert at 104°F without drinking any water, and sitting in an ice bath for 1 hour and 52 minutes. He has proven in eight university research studies that he can consciously influence his autonomic nervous system, measurably reduce inflammation, regulate his internal PH levels and body temperature, and activate his immune system to resist the effects of poisonous endotoxins.

These studies also show that Wim is able to teach others to achieve similar accomplishments in as little as four days through the Wim Hof Method. Developed and refined over the course of nearly forty years, the Wim Hof Method is based on three simple pillars: cold exposure, conscious breathing, and the power of the mind. When we take control of our minds and bodies through Wim’s techniques, he says, “we awaken to our inner source of power and fulfillment.”

Throughout our conversation Wim shares stories about devoted practitioners of the method who have been able to reverse diabetes, alleviate the debilitating effects of Parkinson’s disease, lose weight, and achieve remarkable athletic feats. We discuss the best way to ease into cold therapy and incorporate breathwork into our daily routine. We also dive into mindset and meditation techniques that can help us tap into our innate inner power. “The secret to a lifetime of health and happiness is within your grasp,” says Wim. You can safely practice the Wim Hof Method by yourself, at your own pace, and within the comfort of your own home—all you need is a desire to unlock your body’s hidden potential.

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