Do you ever feel drowsy, foggy-headed, or out of sorts? With all of its stressors and responsibilities, modern life may sometimes leave us feeling alienated. We have the impression that we aren’t truly inhabiting our bodies or in touch with our thoughts. While we enjoy relative comfort and convenience, there is still something missing. That’s because, as wonderful as contemporary society is, it has overlooked something crucial: a deeper connection with ourselves.
In these chapters, you’ll learn about “The Iceman’s” approach, which was developed by Wim Hof, a Guinness World Record holder in various endurance feats and a self-actualization expert. By accepting the bitter cold, controlling your breathing, and focusing your thoughts, you’ll learn how to reconnect with yourself. You’ll also notice that if you have a chronic sickness or condition, You’ll discover innovative approaches to treating your ailments.
You’ll learn all you need to know in these chapters
- Why should we welcome the cold?
- how deep breathing aided the ascent of Mount Kilimanjaro by some critically sick patients; and
- How having the appropriate mentality may assist you in overcoming practically any challenge.
Chapter 1 – Wim Hof’s early love of nature, as well as dramatic encounters with the cold, influenced him.
Wim Hof’s life was a struggle from the start. Andre, his identical twin, was delivered first, and the physicians almost missed Hof because they mistook his presence for the contractions of his mother. As a result, he was born in a freezing hospital corridor, gasping for air.
He realized as an adult that this early fight had left a profound, unconscious mark on him, compelling him to embrace it.
Hof had a happy childhood in the woods after a tough start in life. This, he feels, was also formative.
Hof used to play in the woods around his hometown in Sittard, Netherlands, as a boy. He pretended to be Tarzan with his twin brother and pals, hanging from trees on old bicycle tires. Rather than studying or attending church, he chose to spend his days building treehouses and excavating underground. He’d even cook in the woods, roasting potatoes over an open fire and sprinkling them with salt.
This early connection with nature was really important to him. It stimulated and expanded his senses, as well as provided him with a firm grasp on his place in the world.
Hof and his pals would even construct little igloos on the snow. Hof lingered inside the igloo one day after all of his buddies had gone home, experiencing a wonderful glow from the icy ice. Much later, his parents discovered him, quietly resting… but in the early stages of hypothermia! Thankfully, they’d discovered him in time to save his life. This, however, would not be his final contact with the cold.
Hof went to Amsterdam at the age of 17 to live in a squat. There, he was free to think and compose music without regard for society’s standards and customs.
Hof had a peculiar impulse to swim nude in the frigid water one chilly Sunday in Amsterdam’s Beatrixpark. The cold didn’t bother him, just like it didn’t bother him when he was a kid in his comfortable igloo. Its force, he recalls, was liberating to him.
More than that, he felt free because of his own strength. What else could he accomplish if he could tolerate this cold, he reasoned? He began to feel latent reservoirs in the human mind, inspired by the cold – he might be far more than he’d ever dreamed.
Chapter 2 – We’ve forgotten who we really are.
Hof was able to connect with a deeper aspect of himself as a result of his childhood and early adult experiences. He thought he had awoken elements of the psyche that were latent in many of us by exploring the outdoors and then enjoying the cold.
We’ve forgotten how to connect with our innermost side as we’ve become more civilized, he says. We have lost the ability to understand our emotions, despite the fact that we have constructed a civilization with every imaginable comfort and ease.
Anxiety and depression are on the rise. We have lost the ability to control our emotions. Antidepressants and stress-relieving medications are used instead.
There is a story that aptly describes the current situation. A group of wise men had assembled to debate the fate of the human soul. “What are we going to do about the soul now that mankind has messed it up so badly?” they wondered.
They proposed placing it at the summit of the tallest peak at first. People, on the other hand, crawled up the mountain, discovered the soul, and turned it into a trophy. As a result, they proposed burying it at the bottom of the ocean. Unfortunately, the individuals dove to the ocean’s depths and preserved it in a museum. The wise sages, therefore, proposed that the soul be placed beyond the furthest planet. People, on the other hand, constructed spaceships, discovered them, brought them back, and then went to war over them.
Finally, one enlightened man proposed that the soul be implanted in the people themselves. Here it was, at long last, the correct solution. Why? Because no one ever looks in that direction.
As a result, we’ve arrived at this point. A world where many of us have lost sight of what really counts. It’s the same thing whether you name it the soul or the deepest portion of your intellect.
Our minds did not evolve over millions of years to render us useless in the face of our current situation. We have the potential to be and have already been, so much more. Before they were conditioned and softened by contemporary civilization, our forefathers intuitively recognized this.
Hof came to comprehend this as a young man when he experimented with the cold and regulated breathing in the squatters’ abode. He began to devise a strategy for reuniting himself with his true self. The approaches he created will be examined in detail in the following chapters.
Chapter 3 – Wim Hof recommends that people be exposed to cold on a frequent basis.
Wim Hof’s approach starts with accepting the cold. The cold has always been a part of his life, from the moment he was born in the frigid hallway through his near-death experience in the igloo to his wintry swims in Beatrixpark.
He recognized how healthful frequent exposure to the cold might be the more he explored and investigated the human response to it.
So, what good does it do us to be cold?
First, Hof lays forth his perspective on the issue. The network of veins and capillaries in our vascular system transports deoxygenated blood back to our hearts. According to Hof’s approach, cold does not activate the smooth muscle and valves in this system.
We’ve caused these muscles to become under-stimulated by wearing garments and heating our environs. This indicates that they aren’t in top shape, and that they are flaccid and “de-tuned.” As a result, the heart has to work harder to sustain blood flow, putting it under additional pressure. So it’s no surprise to Hof that cardiovascular disorders are the leading cause of death in Western cultures.
So, what are your options? It’s a no-brainer for Hof. Our vascular system has to be stimulated, and all of these little muscles need to be toned. And there’s a really easy method to accomplish it: take a cold shower every day. In reality, all you have to do is take a regular, warm shower and then turn the water off. Start with 30 seconds under cold water for the first week, then progressively increase the time until you can manage two minutes.
It may come as a surprise at first, and you’ll probably gasp at the unexpected coolness. However, you will adjust with time and your body will begin to awaken. After ten days, you’ll notice a physiological shift: your vascular system will tighten, your heartbeat will decrease, and your body will feel less stressed. You could even like the invigorating chill after a time.
Your intellect will get sharper as well as your physique. You’ll reawaken a portion of your awareness that hasn’t experienced cold in a long time. You’ll discover that you have a lot more reserves than you thought. What else would you be able to do if you can keep the cold at bay like this?
Chapter 4 – The Wim Hof Method relies heavily on breathing.
Hof battled for air throughout his delivery in the freezing hospital corridor. His body only came to life once his small lungs were filled with breath. He would learn to realize the potency of this most fundamental of functions later in life. Breathing is a cornerstone of the Wim Hof Method, just as it is with the cold.
Why do we need to breathe?
According to Hof, it all boils down to how we live now. He claims that all of our everyday stressful activities leave a biological trace that induces inflammation. Inflammation promotes dysregulation of the immunological, endocrine, and hormonal systems, which is what causes many of the most common diseases and ailments, such as Crohn’s disease.
He claims that by breathing deeply and slowly, we may “clear” this residue from our lymphatic system, lowering inflammation and, as a result, our risks of falling unwell.
A sensation of profound rejuvenation and connectedness is another result of deep breathing described in the technique. According to Hof, it changes the body’s biochemistry from acid to alkaline, transforming the body’s composition from acid to alkaline. We notice that we suddenly have more energy and are considerably more attentive.
So, how do we breathe properly so that we can reap these benefits?
To begin, choose a relaxing area to sit or lie down, such as a sofa, bed, or even the floor. After that, close your eyes and clear your mind of all ideas. Take a deep breath, filling your chest, belly, and all the way up to your head when your mind is quiet and concentrated. Then exhale slowly and naturally — there’s no need to push it. A rep for a total of 40 breaths, pausing at the end of the last exhale. Breathe in just when you feel the urge to. Take a deep breath and hold it for 15 to 20 seconds when you need to breathe in again. Then repeat the process three or four times more.
Reduced inflammation, less stress, and more endurance are all advantages of this breathing method. On that last criteria, endurance, some of the accomplishments of people who have trained in this manner speak for themselves.
Hof led a party of 26 persons over Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania in January 2014. Some of these individuals were suffering from terrible ailments including arthritis, cancer, and multiple sclerosis. The average climber takes five days to reach the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. This crew got there in just 44 hours by doing their breathing exercises all the way up!
Chapter 5 – Having the appropriate perspective is crucial to realizing your full potential.
Willpower is required to go into that cold shower or to maintain the discipline to breathe in a regulated manner. And you’ll need to utilize your imagination to imagine yourself completing a physical feat of endurance.
Harnessing the power of the mind is the Wim Hof method’s third pillar. It’s impossible to truly accept the approach without it.
Now, how can you properly focus your mind?
To begin, calm is essential. For a time, forget about work, put your phone aside, and log off of social media. In fact, you’ll need to cleanse your mind of all ideas.
Then you’ll need a comfy seat — the exact posture isn’t important; just make sure you’re comfortable. Then begin to breathe deeply on the inhale and slowly on the exhale. Concentrate solely on tracking the breath in and out as you breathe.
You may begin to synchronize your mind and body as the serenity settles over you. To do so, start envisioning exactly what you want to accomplish. Maybe it’s a little longer in the freezing cold shower, a personal best in a marathon, or achieving a particularly difficult yoga position.
Pay special attention to how your body feels as you envision. You’ll be able to discover any discrepancies between your purpose and how your body feels if you do this. You’ll know you’re ready when both your body and mind feel in sync.
Hof has accomplished incredible things by employing this way to connect body and mind. In January 2008, in New York, he made one of his most notable public successes. He was asked to stand outside the Rubin Museum of Art, surrounded by ice. His approach was demonstrated as part of a Himalayan art and culture event. Hof’s temperature dropped by ten degrees in front of many television news crews, to a deadly level for an ordinary human.
Hof then boosted his core temperature by 6 degrees only by willpower. The gathering media crews and medics were taken aback by his apparent defiance of nature. Hof, on the other hand, has always maintained that he is not exceptional. We all have these powers at our disposal.
Chapter 6 – The Wim Hof Method can help athletes improve their endurance and performance.
The Wim Hof Method, as we’ve seen, may be utilized to prepare our bodies for both physical and mental activity. When it comes to athletic exploits, the approach is ideal for bringing out the best in us. Our will is strengthened by the cold, our bodies are oxygenated by deep breathing, and our thinking allows us to exceed our limits. The Wim Hof Method helps us to go further and longer than previously by increasing our endurance levels.
Some well-known athletes have had remarkable success with the strategy. Alistair Overeem, a Dutch mixed martial artist, is one of many who uses it to improve his fighting condition. He first entered the ring professionally in 1999 and is now 40 years old, when the majority of warriors stop fighting. He, on the other hand, shows no signs of slowing down.
In 2015, Overeem challenged Junior dos Santos, the current UFC Heavyweight Champion, and the highest-ranked heavyweight at the time. Santos was a fearsome fighter who was notorious for knocking out his opponents.
Overeem was the underdog going into the contest. Rather than allowing his nerves to get the best of him, he used the breathing techniques he’d learned from Hof earlier in the year. He kept his composure and beat Santos in the second round via technical knockout.
Athletes like Alistair Overeem benefit from the Wim Hof Method because it enables them to recover faster, decrease inflammation, and sleep better.
You can show this with a simple exercise.
Get down and perform some push-ups first. Then relax and go through one round of the breathing exercise we just went over. Then, at the end of that round, try executing the push-ups while holding your breath on the exhale. You may be amazed to learn that you can now do twice or three times as many push-ups as you previously could!
Henk van den Bergh, a Dutch blacksmith, is the most spectacular example of someone performing the push-up exercise. He was encouraged to attend one of Hof’s special classes because he had rheumatoid arthritis. Henk stated he didn’t think he could do a single push-up at dinner the first night. Hof promised him that he would call him the next day. And the next day, after performing his breathing routine, Henk, a guy with crippling rheumatoid arthritis, got down and did 40 push-ups as if they were nothing!
Chapter 7 – Changing our biochemistry purposefully may aid in the discharge of previous traumas contained in our DNA.
Rather of being preserved, DNA gets altered by each life it encounters. Our DNA contains the history of our forefathers and mothers. Within us is the memories of old lives. Isn’t it incredible?
Some of what’s stored, such as our ancestors’ trials and tribulations, can even be used against us. In reality, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America in 2018, the offspring of former American Civil War-era prisoners were several times more likely to die young than the sons of soldiers who had escaped incarceration. According to Hof, the suffering of those captives may have shown itself in their children’s DNA.
So, for better or worse, DNA may be altered within a lifetime. Given this, Hof thinks that there are certain things we can do to affect these developments.
Though it may seem far-fetched, Hof believes that if we can modify our bodies’ metabolic make-up, we may be able to change our genetic expression. If this is shown to be true, we may be able to discharge trauma passed down from our forefathers and mothers. Despite the fact that science has yet to validate this talent, the Wim Hof Method aims to make it easier for us.
When we take a deep breath and look inside ourselves, we frequently find long-buried feelings. When people follow the method’s regulated breathing, they often find themselves sobbing or laughing in strange ways. Others get glimpses of faces they’ve never seen before but that feels strangely familiar. It’s possible that these sights are genetic manifestations with sophisticated encryption. Or, to put it another way, the memory of our forefathers and mothers.
When participants in Hof’s classes have experienced this, they frequently describe feeling better, as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders. It’s as if the memory of a long-ago traumatic event has been freed.
We may be able to intentionally alter our genetic history as well as free ourselves from these experiences. That is, we may be able to influence what is passed on to future generations. We may be able to alter the expression of detrimental genes by changing the biochemical makeup of our bodies, as Hof’s breathing approach does.
Though more study is needed, it’s exciting to think that by acting now, we might be able to prevent future diseases like arthritis and immunological problems in our grandchildren.
Chapter 8 – The Wim Hof Method has been shown to help people with chronic pain and sickness.
While it’s lovely to think that we may influence our DNA for future generations, the Wim Hof Method focuses on improving our health now. According to anecdotal evidence, it can be utilized to assist treat major diseases and ailments.
Take, for example, Richard Ayling. He was quite sad in 2006, and he had begun to disregard his health and diet. He was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a terrible inflammatory illness that causes digestive discomfort and bleeding, and he was left with little energy. He was severely limited in what he could eat and how much activity he could get.
Richard, on the other hand, was able to rejoin using Hof’s approach. He experienced deep healing and rebirth in a short amount of time. He has now healed totally from ulcerative colitis, almost miraculously. He can eat and drink anything he wants again, and he can exercise without feeling fatigued.
Anuschka Franken is another case in point. She was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2011, only a few months after giving birth to her fourth child. Her hand and arm became paralyzed as a result of this disease, and she was no longer able to function as a professional musician. Hof was suggested by her mother, so she went to a workshop. She could feel sensations in her hand and arm even during the initial breathing exercise, indicating that they weren’t paralyzed. Her hand and arm recovered nearly fully after a short period of Wim Hof Method practice. She is now a full-time violinist with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra.
While these and many more stories provide just anecdotal evidence, it appears that humans may be able to consciously ameliorate even terrible illnesses.
People are utilizing the Wim Hof Method to enhance their health and combat major illnesses and conditions all over the world, from Barcelona to Sydney, Warsaw to Los Angeles. Others just use it to become their best selves, to feel more alive and connected.
The Wim Hof Method isn’t a substitute for professional medical advice, but it might be a viable alternative to pharmaceutical treatments, particularly ones with negative side effects.
The Wim Hof Method: Own Your Mind, Master Your Biology, and Activate Your Full Human Potential by Wim Hof Book Review
You may connect profoundly with yourself, enhance your physical and mental health, train for athletic achievements and physical endurance, or treat sickness by following the Wim Hof Method’s three pillars: embracing cold, regulated breathing, and a concentrated attitude. You may improve your vascular health by waking yourself through cold. You can oxygenate your body and reduce inflammation by controlling your breathing. You may also prepare yourself for any achievement you can conceive by concentrating deeply.
Boost your resistance to cold.
Fill a bucket halfway with ice and halfway with water. Pay attention to your hands or feet. Put your hands or feet in the water and hold them there for two minutes. Remove them while maintaining mental attention on them, then shake them to promote blood flow. This will both warm you and prepare you for the cold.