So, this was a piece featured in the Daily Mail yesterday.
I met Wim, AKA The Iceman, a few years ago, as a Yoga Therapist I am always eager to learn more about what we can do and I love to meet inspirational people who do inspirational things. When my brother, who lives with an auto-immune condition told me about Wim I looked him up.
I straight away enrolled in an on-line course to learn the Wim Hof Method, the method consists of three components; breathing exercises, cold therapy and meditation. I also started the breathing method with some of my clients with auto immune disease. Within a few weeks of starting the program I started to see and feel the benefits, not just I, but also my brother and clients started to feel better. So, I wanted to learn more and decided to go on a week training with the Iceman in Poland, this was life changing for me, I endured physical and mental challenges in 5 degrees weather, including long soaks in freezing waters, a 5 hour climb in cold temperatures wearing only shorts and bikini, through all this and practising Wim’s method I was thriving, gained so much on all fronts and I decided that I want and need to integrate these teachings into my own work and share with more people, so that is what I did. I wrote my own Vitality Program including breathing techniques, mindfulness, TRE (Tension and trauma release exercises) and Yoga Nidra or yogic sleep, a meditation technique that helps to bring the body in a state of homeostasis where it can start to heal itself.
While in Poland, Wim Hof asked me to spread the word and tell people about his techniques in London. I decided to write my own program, including some of Wim Hof’s breathing techniques as I felt that Wim’s teachings really complement the rest of the work I do. Also, in my training as a Yoga Therapist with The Minded Institute I really understand what Wim’s breathing does and how it affects the brain, and I feel guidance is important. I also include other breathing techniques to calm the nervous system, so my program is a combination of practices that I learned and I believe, and have seen, to work in really reducing stress levels and enhancing well-being, through re-balancing the nervous system and in turn influencing the immune system in a positive way.
So why does the program work?
With the breathing techniques, you breathe in deeply and you exhale slowly in a relaxed way, not exhaling all the air out of the lungs but you keep a little air in the lungs. After 30 breaths you stop after the exhale, you keep the breath out and you wait till you feel the urge to breathe in again. You can do the exercise until you feel tingling sensations and a little lightheaded. By breathing like this you expel a lot of C02, C02 lowers and your blood vessels are constricting. While pausing after the exhale, your body keeps holding C02 and your body starts to compensate. More oxygen is being released in the mitochondria. Mitochondria are the energy suppliers to a cell. With this technique more energy is being released and a lot of toxins expelled. Because of the retention after the exhale the parasympathetic nervous system is being activated, in other words, you relax. Aerobic respiration takes place, in aerobic respiration, oxygen is produced, which allows the muscles to work. Without oxygen it would have been impossible. Along with that, a lot of energy is produced by aerobic respiration, which keeps us going. Glucose + Oxygen = Carbon Dioxide + Water + Energy
Aerobic respiration takes place in almost all living things. It is easy to get rid of the Carbon Dioxide and excess water; this is excretion (the removal of the toxic waste products of metabolism), and maximum energy is released from the glucose.
Also, the breathing exercises increase your pH-levels in the blood significantly. The higher the pH reading, the more alkaline and oxygen rich the fluid is. Healing of chronic illness only takes place when and if the blood is restored to a normal, slightly alkaline pH.
These breathing techniques should not be practiced when pregnant or high blood pressure. I also practice different breathing techniques to calm the nervous system more as I feel that’s important too.
After these breathing techniques some people experience changes and an increasing in their awareness, this increase in awareness most likely takes place as the mitochondria in the brain cells are being activated in the pituitary gland and the pineal gland. Because of this activity the pineal gland starts to secrete melatonin, a derivative of serotonin, which generally contributes to feelings of well-being and happiness and important for good sleep.
So to sum it up, because of the breathing techniques more oxygen comes to the pineal gland, in turn more melatonin is being released. This also explains why the techniques would work against jetlag, sleep problems and depression.
Cold exposure for your veins is similar to working out for your muscles. The cold temperature helps strengthen your veins by contracting little muscles that surround them. Making these veins stronger and healthier helps improve your blood circulation and reduces the force your heart has to work to pump blood to the rest of your body.
Because of the cold training healthy brown fat increases and the unhealthy, white fat decreases. The brown fat being full with mitochondria which makes a stronger immune system.
After my trip to Poland I felt so strong and focussed that I decided I needed to keep up this practice and this is now my regular practice. I very rarely experience my joint pains now and if I do I know how to re-balance and what to do to take care of it.
Also, in my classes with clients in London, and over Skype I have taught this combination program in the meantime to numerous individuals, those with auto-immune conditions or those that are looking to relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Many clients have been reporting a reduction in pain, inflammation and reduced stress levels. I am extremely grateful to be able to share these teachings with others.
I teach my 8 Week Vitality Program in London in South Kensington at the beautiful Evolve Wellness Centre and in Notting Hill at the Tabernacle on a regular basis. The next course starts 9th of September, last spaces, for a £25 discount use Voucher Code POSITIVE. Lastly a weekly drop-in class on Sunday night’s in Notting Hill and I organise special Retreats where I combine my program with walking and relaxation.
For more information you can visit my website www.positivespirit.co.uk
Or you can contact me on 07968 119651/ [email protected]