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SymphonicDan

Wim Hof Method - Breathing Science

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Thanks mostly to this forum I discovered the Wim Hof Method just over a year ago :) and ended up trying out the breathing technique at an (unrelated) event.

 

Essentially, in this technique you hyperventilate then hold your breath for ages, and somehow this confers some vague health benefits on you.

 

It was pretty cool to be able to hold my breath for more than 2 minutes, but as I was reading about some of the health claims, some stuff just didn't make sense. Even Wim Hof's explanations had some huge errors, which was confusing...

 

Anyway, I like Science :D So I set out to determine what actually happens in the body while you perform the breathing exercise (which DOES work) and finally this month I have a full coherent explanation!

 

So if you're interested: Biology of the Wim Hof Method Breathing

 

If you haven't already heard of it, I do recommend trying it - many people (including me and others on this forum) have seen noticeable improvements to their fitness and stress levels since starting this :)

 

Out of interest, who here is currently practising Wim Hof's breathing technique?

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I read your article, it is pretty cool!
What are the sources though? I would like to know more...
I had never heard of this technique before

Sent from my FIG-LX1 using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, Diadhuit said:

I read your article, it is pretty cool!
What are the sources though? I would like to know more...
I had never heard of this technique before

 

Thanks Diadhult :) Unfortunately during the year that I was compiling this I didn't keep a track of where I learned all the information, but realized it would have been useful while I was writing this!

 

Most of it is straightforward Biology that anyone who has studied the relevant Biology or medicine would confirm. I do have a few other links that aren't in the article:

  • To read about hypoxia and its effect on stem cells (still we're not sure how strong this effect is) you can read here.
  • To read about the effect of deep breathing on the parasympathetic nervous system, you can read here.
  • The Scientific paper describing how Wim Hof taught people to resist E. Coli endotoxin with the breathing method, read here.
  • For a written description of the exercises (and a few "advanced" ones) you can read this Google Doc.

Anything else was through discussing with some experts in the Wim Hof Method Facebook Group. In fact I showed the most knowledgeable person on there this article before publishing for his feedback.

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On 12/29/2018 at 4:13 PM, SymphonicDan said:

Out of interest, who here is currently practising Wim Hof's breathing technique?

 

I stumbled on to Wim about the same time that I started up with the rebellion (~2 years ago). While I've fallen out of regular practice, I really appreciate you digging more into the science (and some of the claims) of the methodology. 

 

 

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On 12/30/2018 at 12:13 AM, SymphonicDan said:

Out of interest, who here is currently practising Wim Hof's breathing technique?

Ha, well. Me. Always me.

 

Didn't know you were back to the forums! How is it going?

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2 hours ago, Jakkals said:

Do you think it is worth spending all that money on doing the course? 

 

Actually I never did either course - partly because I realized that much of the information provided by Wim Hof himself is incorrect, and I wouldn't be able to trust the accuracy of the advanced parts of the course.

 

Having said that, I'm sure that there is a lot of value and new ideas that you can explore from the information in the paid courses. If you want his specific advice on ice baths for the hands and feet, or variants of the breathing exercises with different effects, then you can find that in the courses. Furthermore if you commit to doing the course then you'll have more motivation to actually complete the course.

 

Remember that there are often discount sales for 35% off or 50% off. It's likely that there will be one in April around his birthday, but no guarantee that these will happen in the future!

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Interesting!

I recently stumbled twice about some russian stuff with forced and reduced breathing, that claims these health benefits too.

Guess now I know where to start. But this is not priority #1 right now.

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4 hours ago, Sunmage said:

I recently stumbled twice about some russian stuff with forced and reduced breathing, that claims these health benefits too.

 

Buteyko? And there's also Oxygen Advantage - they have the same principle behind them actually. Many people consider them to be opposites to the WHM but they complement each other well:

  • Buteyko & OA: breathe less to increase your CO2 so your body uses its O2 better
  • WHM: do an intense session which possibly results in you breathing less the rest of the time. Plus lots of other benefits.

 

 

4 hours ago, Sunmage said:

Guess now I know where to start. But this is not priority #1 right now.

 

Fair - and in my experience, this had less effect on my health than dietary changes or fitness. However it's super simple to experiment with. Next time you have 15 minutes spare and a safe place to lie undisturbed, do a couple of rounds of the breathing technique, and take it from there.

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