Heal your own Body like real life Jedi Wim Hof
Wim Hof is not only known for stepping out of the wrong end of a George Lucas Name Generator (only Bib Fortuna got it worse) but for his 20 Guinness World Records for endurance of extreme temperatures. Somewhere, David Blaine sheds a lone tear. Hof earned himself the nickname “The Iceman” because he does things like lay in bath tubs filled with ice for over an hour and climb the icy peaks of Kilimanjaro wearing only a pair of shorts. But unlike your friend who would attempt the same to win five bucks and his pride, Hof does it for his health. He’s even developed a system called The Wim Hof Method; a breathing technique that he claims can be used to adequately combat multiple sclerosis, AIDS, and even cancer.
Naturally your skeptical about taking health tips from someone called the Iceman, but using breathing techniques to combat illness is nothing new. Practices like sitali breath and aspects of kundalini yoga use similar methods for improved health, Tony Robbins has often cited breathing exercises as a way to build energy, and Wayne Dyer and Deepak Chopra believe that treating disease is actually an issue of mind over matter. If that’s still not enough to sway you, Radboud University in the Netherlands concluded that Hof had successfully taught 12 volunteers to use his technique to control their immune systems. The 9 basic steps of The Wim Hof Method are relatively easy to do from the comforts of your own home, though I use the word “comforts” lightly.
STEPS To Healing Yourself Like a Jedi
1.) Relax yourself into a meditative position that leaves your lungs free to expand and contract as much as possible. Even eating beforehand can cause issues with lung expansion so you may want to hold off on the Lucky Charms until after the exercise.
2.) Really suck the air in until you can feel it in your solar plexus (or sternum area), hold your breath for a few seconds, then exhale, trying to rid your lungs of the breath as much as possible. Again, you’ll want to hold for a few seconds before you inhale again. This step should be repeated 15 times.
3.) Inhale and exhale in short, powerful breaths with the inhalation coming through the nose and the exhalation going out the mouth. When you inhale, your stomach should be pushed out by the volume of oxygen and when you exhale, your stomach should be deflated (this looks as attractive as it sounds). You’ll want to repeat this step at a driven, measured pace 30 times. Since this step may cause light-headedness due to the violent exchange of oxygen, the count of 30 repeats is more of a suggestion than a set-in-stone rule.
4.) If you’ve ever performed reiki, you’re familiar with intuitively scanning your body for imbalances. You can do this by chakra or you can do do a general scan where you mentally inspect your body and allow mental impressions to alert you to an imbalance. Sometimes you’ll receive sensations like heat or possibly certain colors or patterns that can be used to indicate an imbalance of energy. Mentally send love and light to these areas. Sometimes rubbing your hands together quickly and then holding them slightly off the skin will allow you to sense energy easier.
5.) Without using as much intensity as before, suck the air back in and then exhale as much as possible, really drawing out the breath. Pulling your chin inward can help to block an involuntary inhalation. You’ll need to hold your breath at this point until your body forces you to gasp for breath.
6.) When you find yourself gasping for breath, suck in as much oxygen as possible, mentally considering your solar plexus so as not to build any pressure in the area of your sternum. Once your lungs are once again at full capacity, hold your breath and pull your chin inward so it is touching your chest, holding for 15 seconds. Again, you’ll want to use this opportunity for an intuitive scan of your body.
7.) Initially, steps 1-6 should be conducted once or twice daily. With time, you’ll want to work your way up to 6 repetitions of steps 1-6 daily. You’ll also want to use approximately 5 minutes to recuperate from the exercises following the breathing exercise.
8.) Follow exercises with a cold shower, shocking your body with the chilly temperature. Continue cold showers for a few weeks before graduating to ice baths. Fill half your bath tub with water and the rest with enough ice to reach the desired cold temperature (somewhere around 50 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit) when you’re ready to try this step. Try to remain calm and aim for a goal of 10 minutes of exposure, increasing your endurance with practice.
9.) Following an ice bath, you may want to get your circulation moving with a stroll or enjoy a cup of tea.
Of course, you know your body better than anyone so if you feel like you’re harming yourself you should stop. As with yoga, there is some course-correction to be expected as you find better ways to relax or get more adept at intuitive scanning. When in doubt, the Iceman himself offers an online course that can get into specifics that can help you with any challenges (besides the maddening cold) you may face in the exercises. In addition, normal daily exercise can strengthen the body lending to an easier process. You too can live like the Iceman lives!