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#72: Wim Hof Method with Cold Showers

4 min read

In the post Breathe I mentioned that I started doing the WIM HOF “Iceman” Method to see if I don’t get sick again. It’s now 30 days since I started.

A combination of breathing techniques and a cold shower exposure.

The process is explained in detail in the video below starting at 15:53.

How to NEVER Get Sick Again - The WIM HOF “Iceman” Method

Here are the steps written down (taken from the video):

#1 Get comfortable

  • Sit in meditation posture, whatever is most comfortable for you.
  • Expand your lungs freely without feeling any construction.
  • Do this practice right after waking up since your stomach is still empty or before a meal.

#2 30 Power breaths

  • Imagine you’re blowing up a balloon.
  • Inhale through nose or mouth and exhale in short but powerful bursts
  • Close your eyes and do this around 30 times
  • You’ll release dopamine, serotonin and adrenaline

#3 The Hold, Retention after Exhalation

  • After the 30 rapid successions of breath cycles, draw the breath in once more and fill the lungs to maximum capacity without any force
  • Let the air out and hold as long as you can without force
  • Hold the breath until you experience the gasp reflex
  • You can do push ups as long as you hold the breath (you can probably do more than usual)

#4 Recovery Breath

  • After step #3 inhale another breath to full capacity
  • Feel your chest expanding
  • When you are at full capacity, hold the breath for around 10 seconds and this will be round one
  • You can repeat the exercise 3 Rounds after each other
  • After completing the exercise take your time to enjoy the feeling afterward
  • When you start doing this exercises Wim recommends to take your time recovering from the breathing exercise
  • After doing the breathing exercise and you feel good, you can start with taking the cold shower

#5 Cold Shower

  • Gradually build up exposing yourself to the cold
  • Always train without force and listen to your body carefully
  • If it’s not practiced responsible, there is a risk of hypothermia
  • Relax as much as you can, really be with the colds, only then can your body process the signals and start thermogenesis
  • If you are new to cold exposure, just end your warm shower with 15-30 seconds with cold water only.
  • Begin with your feet and then follow with your legs, your stomach, shoulders, neck, and back
  • An initial shock, shivering and hyperventilation is normal
  • Try to remain calm and breathe easily
  • Close your eyes and really try to embrace the cold
  • Don’t pour the cold water over the head if you are not known with cold exposure
  • If you feel any strong physical uncomfortableness, like heavy shivering, numbness or pain, get your body warm again as soon as possible
  • Cold exposure works like weight lifting, you get stronger over time
  • There are little muscles around your veins that contract when they get into contact with the cold
  • After some time (only 1-2 weeks according to wim) these become stronger, making your veins healthier and reducing the force to pump blood around your body.

Some notes about my experiences with the method

  • I realized while writing this post that I didn’t do any repetitions of step #1 - #4. So I will start doing this the next time
  • While doing the breathing exercises I felt the symptoms of light-headness and tingling sensation in the body
  • After doing the breathing exercises I felt like an extra armour shield build up around my chest
  • Started the first 10 days with a warm shower and ended the warm shower with the cold water only
  • After 10 days I took cold showers directly from the start to the beginning at least 2 minutes
  • It’s still every day a challenge to do the cold showers
  • I didn’t get ill so far since I started the method (will keep an eye on that for a future post)
  • Dealing with cold becomes easier comparing outside weather to the harshness of cold showers. I realized it’s not that cold
  • Coffee is nothing compared to this in my opinion. The process is a boost every morning
  • It feels like overcoming a big challenge before the day has even started. It gives a motivation push for the rest of the day

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