Through Kundalini practice, Pranayama, etc. I was introduced to Wim Hof and his method of breathing and cold exposure. I’d consider myself a “cautiously critical fan.” There’s certainly value in the practice, but at the same time, it’s valuable to not put too much emphasis on any one teacher or method.
Wim Hof was born in 1959 in the Netherlands. He’s notable as a Dutch Athlete and has broken multiple records for farthest swim under ice, fastest half-marathon in ice and snow barefoot, and his own record for longest full body contact with ice many times over. These feats are impressive, but the studies on his abilities to use his training to improve his immune system is where things begin to get more than casually interesting.
In one study, a suppressed stress hormone response was noted. Another showed a visible control over autoimmune response, and another showed that there is notable suppression of inflammation due to the training.
Considering my previous writings on pneuma, it should come as no surprise that I’m fascinated by these studies. At least I’m interested enough to have been doing the method now on and off for a few years. While it’s yet to show up in my own studies, I do normally feel less depressed when doing it regularly. There may be a psychosomatic element involved, but mental illness is a very different situation than many other diseases. If someone told you the cure for stage 3 cancer was square dancing, and you go square dancing and feel better, you still likely have stage 3 cancer. If the same was said about depression, and you do so and feel better, then it works.
For what is essentially a disease of feelings, feelings hold far more sway than elsewhere. That’s certainly not to downplay the validity or seriousness of mental issues. When your mind is working against your better judgement, you make decisions that can very well lead to many other issues. The most severe situation would be suicidal thoughts, where the psyche is in a position to suggest that death is an acceptable solution. Very few other diseases will cause the patient to simply not try to get better.
So, the takeaway that I have is that perhaps not all of Wim’s claims about the miracles that his method provide are as simple as he makes them sound. I do not doubt that he believes it, and there’s some weight to that alone. What is worth noting is that it does seem to be based in some level of facts, and that it can help those who find themselves in need of something extra in their lives.
….and if it doesn’t work, you’re less likely to be bothered by a broken hot water heater. wimhofmethod.com
Exercise: Yoga, Wim Hof Method, Hangboard work. Diet: Christmas leftovers, turkey wraps FTW!