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- Title: The Wim Hof Method
- Sub-title: Activate Your Full Human Potential
- Author: Wim Hof
- About the author: Wim Hof (nicknamed “The Iceman”) is an athlete and holder of numerous world records. He rose in popularity because of his impressive physical and mental feats of withstanding extreme cold and other harsh environments. He achieves this through his signature method involving breathwork, cold exposure, and meditation. Wim believes in the method so strongly that he shares it with individuals around the world, who have also realized astounding results.
- Pages: 232
- Published: 2020
- Link to book
Overall, *The Wim Hof Method* is a book that aims to help you unlock your physical and spiritual potential. It will show you how to tap into your dormant physiology to return your body and mind to their natural state. This is done by utilizing Wim’s signature method that involves:
- Conscious breathing
- Cold exposure
- The power of the mind
Wim walks through his background and how he discovered his methods. The results are hard to believe, but Wim shares the science and testimonials to support everything he says. He has performed in front of crowds and has been studied by scientists at universities. He was even injected with e-coli to show that he can consciously control his immune response to it.
The author believes that we should all experience happiness, strength, and health. One way of helping individuals achieve this is shining light on human consciousness, potential, and “the truth of nature.”
Topics in the book include:
- Wim’s life story
- Why cold showers are good for you
- Why and how you can embrace breathing techniques
- Benefits to health, well-being, sleep, mood, and performance
- The power of the mind and how what we believe determines what we can and can’t do
- Additional senses beyond the 5 senses
- Spirituality of it all and realizing full potential
HOW TO DO THE WIM HOF METHOD
You’ll first want to find a safe environment where it won’t be dangerous if you potentially faint. Sitting or laying down on a couch or the ground will suffice. Doing this in this shower or while driving is a big NO. It’s normal to feel lightheaded and tingly as you progress through the rounds.
1. Breath fully in and fully out for 30-40 breaths. Fill up your belly, your chest, and head with air.
2. At the end of the last breath, hold your breath until you feel the urge to breathe. After oxygenating the body, this is typically around 2 minutes for me.
Simply hold until you have the urge to breathe. No need to force yourself to keep holding. This is called the retention phase.
3. Breath in deeply once and hold that breath for 15 seconds. This is called the recovery breath.
4. Breath out and repeat steps 1-3 for 3 to 4 rounds.
If you are looking to feel better, fortify your body, and practice meditation and mindfulness, The Wim Hof Method book is for you. Breathwork hasn’t received the attention it deserves, but Wim Hof has helped bridge that gap. For those looking for any way to get better, adding the Wim Hof Method to your daily routine can help give you that edge.
It’s a relatively short book that can be read in a few days. You can start reaping the benefits even faster than that. Once you understand how to practice the Wim Hof Method, you can try it yourself and feel the jolt of wakefulness and energy immediately. After reading this book, I have added the practice to my morning routine and can’t imagine a morning without it now.
For more info, check out the Official Wim Hof website.
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TOP 20 TAKEAWAYS
- In no particular order
1. A stressful exposure can have harmful effects at high doses, but at low doses, it can actually create changes in our bodies that make us healthier and stronger. This is called “hormetic stress.” Acute short-term stress can lead to powerful positive changes in our cells.
2. We have lost our innate ability not only to survive but to thrive in extreme environments. In the absence of environmental stress, the things we have built to make our lives easier have actually made us weaker.
3. The Wim Hof Method is based on three simple, natural pillars: cold exposure, conscious breathing, and the power of the mind.
4. The breathing protocol, which is composed of three to four rounds, takes about twenty minutes to complete. The best time to do these breathing exercises is before breakfast. For cold exposure, some benefits begin at 60° Fahrenheit.
5. People who have embraced the method have been able to reverse diabetes; relieve the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis; and address a host of other autoimmune illnesses, from lupus to Lyme disease.
6. A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away. When you take a cold shower, all of those little muscles in your vascular system are activated and exercised. Within ten days of taking these showers, you will notice that your heart rate has decreased significantly, which translates to a lot less stress. Here is a link that talks about some of the benefits of cold showers.
7. Breathing exercises can activate brown fat tissue (or brown adipose tissue — BAT), which is capable of energy combustion, and your intercostal muscles. This can help your body produce heat by burning fat.
8. Wim found answers in nature. This is an innate power we all possess. It’s been conditioned out of us and reinforced by an education system that isn’t focused on happiness, strength, health, or a deeper control of ourselves.
9. By employing these simple breathing techniques, we are able to suppress the inflammatory markers in the blood. We are able to tap into the autonomic nervous system and suppress inflammation. We can regulate our mood, emotions, body temperature, and more.
10. Location is important. Always do these breathing exercises in a safe environment, never in an environment in which it might be dangerous to faint, like in water or driving a car.
11. Through the breath, we become alkaline and oxygenated and become more able to regulate our nervous system. Through the cold, we are able to activate the blood flow and get it within our willful control.
12. Do the method for 20 to 25 minutes and you can cure a hangover.
13. Mind – You could also call this pillar the power of the mind. It includes the idea of will and the power to imagine, to meditate, to visualize — the power to send your attention to any part of your body, to observe any bodily process.
14. With the flow of blood delivering oxygen and nutrients into the deepest parts of your brain, you feel stillness, you feel pure energy, you feel the true power of your mind. That’s the way we should feel every day, and we can — not only be happy, strong, and healthy, but imbued with purpose and a sense of adventure. Your soul comes alive.
15. It is amazing what purpose and conviction can do. Get your heart in it, into anything you do, and if you can’t, then you seriously have to tune in and cleanse yourself to get back on track.
16. You don’t need to be a yogi for twenty years to get into those deep altered states of both your mind and your body.
17. Do NOT do the WHM Basic Breathing Exercise while standing in the shower.
18. One of the greatest benefits of practicing the method is the incredible effect it has on one’s athletic performance. Present within the cells of all forms of life is a chemical called adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides the energy to drive many biological processes, including, in humans, muscle contraction. Aerobic dissimilation creates about thirty times more ATP molecules than are created when there is no oxygen. Just breathe and feel the difference.
19. We only go through this life once, and we might as well enjoy ourselves while we do. Those who would deprive themselves of simple pleasures like an occasional beer may benefit from it in terms of their short-term performance, but they aren’t nourishing the soul.
20. To be in control of that emotion called life, in the purest way, you must experience it through the lens of love. Love will open you up to the power of your mind. Let go of your ego and instead reflect that which connects us, which is love. Let go of your thoughts and your stress and open up to your heart.
WHAT I LIKED
Crazy claims and results are backed up by compelling evidence
The claims and results Wim shares will seem unbelievably. But everything shared is backed up by concrete or compelling evidence. Wim has “performed” live in front of crowds and scientists monitoring him inside and out. Here’s an example of a study. He has been filmed extensively and the results are undeniable.
He frequently baffles the scientific community yet a lot of skepticism remains. The support for everything shared in the book makes reading it that much more interesting and exciting.
Variety of breath exercises for different purposes
The standard Wim Hof breathing practice was shared in the “How to” paragraph earlier in the post. The author shares more variations of the breathing to help with different purposes. You’ll find breathing techniques for:
- Athletic performance
- Generating warmth
- Health – Preventative care, pain regulation, healing
- Mood regulation
- Stress control
With the book you’ll have a toolkit of breathing techniques to use in your everyday life.
Many benefits felt immediately, with additional benefits after consistent practice
The best part about this breathwork is how immediate you start to feel the benefits. When you practice the standard Wim Hof Method, you’ll feel it throughout your body within several minutes. Personally, I feel awake and energized after a few rounds. It takes away all my morning grogginess.
If any grogginess remains, a cold shower will without a doubt wipe that away.
Others in the book have similar experiences and you can too. In addition to the immediate benefits, there are additional benefits if you practice consistently. Your health, performance, mood, and overall well-being can improve.
Author is positive and motivating
Wim’s story, and his writing style, are positive and motivating. To him, this is much more than a simple breathing, cold exposure, and meditation method. It is a way to unlock your potential and access a different level of consciousness. You can feel the passion behind his words and that makes everything in the book more convincing.
BENEFITS TO YOUR LIFE AND CAREER
Start off every day feeling great
Add 15 to 20 minutes of breathwork to your morning routine and you will start the day off feeling amazing. A great start to the day will lead to a great rest of the day. Add cold exposure and meditation to it and you’ll leave your home feeling like a million bucks.
This, compounded day after day, can lead to substantial positive changes to your life and career. It’s the little things that are done every day that add up.
Preventative care for your body
The best way to stay healthy is to prevent problems from arising in the first place. Wim shares experiments and results that back up claims that breathwork, cold exposure, and meditation can be effective in preventing illnesses and ailments. It isn’t a substitute for traditional care and medicine, but it can help. So why wouldn’t you do it?
Meditation and mindfulness
If you are looking to start or add more meditation and mindfulness into your life, the Wim Hof Method can help you with that. The breathwork and cold exposure both have the effect of raising awareness and stillness. In the book, Wim also guides you on practices for meditation and mindset.
Build willpower and self-discipline
Breathing sounds simple enough, but once you start practicing the method yourself, you’ll see how difficult it can be. And as for jumping in cold water? That’s no walk in the park either.
If you can practice breathwork, cold exposure, and meditation every day, you are going to build willpower and self-discipline. You are learning to do something that is unpleasant and that skill can take you far in other areas of your life and career.
If you can say yes to freezing water each day, it may help you say yes to an all-nighter in the office to get a project done.
6 ACTIONS YOU SHOULD TAKE
1. Start every morning with 3-4 rounds of the Wim Hof breathing method.
2. Always practice the breathing method in a safe and stable environment. Never practice while standing or driving a car.
3. Begin exposing yourself to the cold more often. Use cold showers, jump in a body of water, and go outside in the cold for a little without a jacket.
4. If you have a bad hangover, do 3-4 rounds of the Wim Hof Method and this can supposedly cure a hangover. Breathing alkalizes the blood, which eliminates the acidity caused by alcohol.
5. Imagine, meditate, and visualize yourself healing and improving the areas of your body as you practice the method and/or cold exposure. Wim says mindset can powerfully influence your physiology.
6. Before you begin an endurance exercise like running or cycling, do 3-4 rounds of a modified power breathing exercise. 1) Breath in and out 60 times. 2) Hold breath for at least 15 seconds or as long as it’s comfortable. 3) Start a new round and increase the speed and intensity of your breathing 4) Wait a few minutes until you ground yourself and then begin the endurance exercise.
The Wim Hof Method can be found on Amazon at this link here if you are interested in reading.