Wim Hof is a wonder. He has a wonderful program of healing and regeneration that can heal you, make you stronger, and change who you are as a person. The “Wim Hof Method” is a $200.00 USD series of 10 weekly video instructions that will lead you into a better well-being. Wim concentrates on breathing to cleanse the toxins from your body, cold water therapy (using regular showers and ice baths) to shock your system back into responding to your environment, and some yoga positions that will help challenge, and focus, your daily breath.
I just finished the 10 week program and it takes exactly that long — because access to the weekly videos is time-based and there’s no skipping ahead — even if you feel restless and ready to move forward. The great thing about studying with Wim online is that once you pay, you’ve paid for life. You may always go back into the site to find something new and fun to study.
I won’t step you through the work done each week, but Wim’s teaching videos are warm and informative. Wim is precise in teaching the basics of the breathing technique and the subsequent holding of the breath to enliven the autoimmune response.
The most beautiful part of Wim’s work is when he tells you stories — and here’s my favorite myth, borrowed from the Week 3 video session, and used in this review with permission — and I call it “Wim Hof and the Theme of the Three Wizards” and herein encapsulates his entire want and purpose of your journey:
Wim’s cold water therapy is also an incredible discovery. You start with cold showers and then work your way up to ice baths. Forcing your body to obey, calmly, changes in temperature are imagination-staking. You quickly learn to manage your want to shiver, and you are then able to enjoy the freezing water cascading over your body.
Wim carefully steps you into the cold exposure, but I found I did better when I just put my whole body under the cold water from the shower. Getting my head wet was important to quickly getting used to the cold. If you put cold water on the rest of your body, but don’t include you head, your body tends to want to shiver more. Don’t do a total cold water immersion and get your head wet because that can be dangerous and you might pass out. With your entire body in the same sort of temperature boat — in the shower! — you are more calmly able to recover against the cold and “stand” it better as you go along each day.
Wim also throws in some Yoga poses for good measure. He doesn’t always fully explain the why and the how of it — so don’t worry too much about being able to perform the more challenging poses. Just do your best, modify the poses if you like or — do as some of the students in his videos do — just sit out a round and watch Wim do all the work!
Some students report bright lights and flashing images when they do the deep breathing. That didn’t happen to me, probably because I’m already doing diaphragmatic breathing and I’m used to oxygenation.
During the Wim breath-holding sequence — my world record was 3 minutes and 3 seconds during week one! — I always want to yawn, and maybe that indicated I wasn’t mindfully staying in the moment enough to cautiously build my breath-holding over time, and that I was giving in too far when it came to trying to remain in a relaxed state as my blood oxygen levels were changing!
What I wasn’t used to was the deep breathing then paired with cold water training — what a magnificent difference in a life! Another trick to taking on the cold water in your shower and bath is to sing and shout and scream and roar like a dragon when you first enter the water! Those vocalizations will help you deal with the shock of the cold if the Wim breathing isn’t quite enough to get you under that cold flow in first few seconds.
In the teaching videos, Wim warns you — and the private Wim Hof Facebook group conditions you as well — that in weeks 3-5 you may not feel well and might very well get sick. That’s part of the process of resetting your immune system. You must fight on against the sick feeling and push through to the other side.
Last December, I had Shingles, and in week 3 I was having a return to the jaw pain that marked the beginning of that viral nightmare. I kept an eye on myself, and my health, and the cold showers were really a great revelation for me.
I didn’t feel good again until week 5 and then something magical happened. My “Shingles Sensations” faded and I noticed two, undeniable, changes in my health — and I’m a pretty healthy Vegan who practices Ashtanga Yoga and Tai Chi and Qigong — first, a crusty bit of skin on my left ear, that my dermatologist feel is nothing, stopped flaking away every other day, and second, a white coating on my tongue, that my dentist feels is normal, disappeared!
That sort of direct, verifiable, non-relational, observation of changes in your body is pretty dramatic evidence that the Wim Hof Method is modifying something inside your body for the better. Somehow, during that week 3-5 reset — that made me feel all “Shingly” again, something else was going on deeper, and wiser, within me that I did not comprehend — and that was evidence enough for me that Wim knows what he’s doing when it comes to leading you into a healthier lifestyle.
Wim isn’t concerned with your record-breaking breath retention, or your ability to stay in freezing water for longer than a few minutes — Wim is concerned with your soul and with reconnecting you to your inner light and igniting your golden, pineal, sun.
All of Wim’s teaching videos are Closed Captioned! Janna was delighted to be able to join me in studying with Wim — and she now craves two cold showers a day with several breathing sessions in between!
If there’s one small niggle I have with the program, it is the short shrift that “brown fat” was given in Week 9. The whole program, I thought, was leading up to brown fat activation, but instead of deep practice and explanation, Wim just sort of scoots us off the topic by telling us to force our breath into our shoulders and neck.
Brown fat activation is important because it replaces white fat. Adults have white fat. Babies are born covered in brown fat. Brown fact creates heat and protects the body — and babies especially need that protection because they are pretty much going around naked all day and night and that brown fat protects them from getting too cold.
White fat is adult fat and it is a terrible fat to have in your body. Wim’s method is supposed to lead you into white fat replacement with brown — but I have no idea how, if, or when, that might happen.
Week 10 is a brief reconstruction of what came before as Wim sets you on your way into new discoveries of your own.
Overall, the Wim Hof Method is dynamic and important. Many of this methods have been scientifically proven effective and that is an added bonus to for already knowing that Wim can heal you if you only listen and follow.