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Try the Wim Hof Method for a cool shortcut to good health

11 Mar 2024 Wim hof method By HUBERT VAZ

Erin Coyle tries out the Wim Hof Method for good health – which includes dunking oneself in ice cold water – and comes out refreshed, stress-free, and focused. Here, she shares her recent experience at Jumeirah Muscat Bay

‘Set a goal, take some breaths, and step into the cold bath,’ encourages my instructor, Thomas Kleefeld.

While easing into a rectangular-shaped chest freezer box, I am trying not to shiver but simultaneously trying to relax, breathe, and focus on one thing – to forget about the freezing cold water as I have managed to sit with my shoulders just above the water.

I’ve reached two minutes, so I said, “Can I get out now, please?”

“As you like,” replied Kleefeld.

Sure, my body was freezing and numb, but I felt lighter and energised after warming up. I never would have thought I would be able to tolerate an ice bath, and for those who are curious, there is now a way to experience it in Oman with a licensed instructor.

Wim Hof breathing instructor Thomas Kleefeld’s training involves several specialties, such as breathwork, mindfulness coaching, yoga, and specialised scuba diving instruction. After a back injury left him unable to walk, he utilised the Wim Hof breathing techniques, and within one month, he was walking, two months running, and three months back surfing, Kleefeld disclosed, adding that it was then that he decided he would become an instructor to help others, too.

Wim Hof Method -Instructor kleefeld

I met Kleefeld at an event where attendees could experience a short ten-minute breathing session with Kleefeld. While it was brief, something about his technique removed my stress. After discussing his techniques and different sessions, I decided to sign up for one of the classes.

Kleefeld first explained the importance of breathing and how it can help us balance ourselves and overcome stress, fear, etc. He told me that ‘breathing can improve the respiratory and circulatory systems.’

Following the Wim Hof breathing session, I felt lighter and more energised. A short mindset exercise allowed me to practice balancing myself on one foot and incorporating breathwork while focusing on the exercise. Kleefeld said, “Breathing can help one relax, while mindset can help with feeling and connection.”

The big challenge for me was the ice bath. I was unsure if I was ready to sit in icy water, but this was a first for me, so I wanted to experience it. Kleefeld explained, “Cold baths can help our circulation and joints, remove muscle aches, and reduce inflammation.”

Kleefeld guides one through the task, helping one feel at ease while focusing and breathing. With his guidance, it is easy to relax.

After the session, my body felt rejuvenated. I could focus more on the tasks I needed to complete, and I now understand why this method is beneficial.

Kleefeld aims to empower people to understand how they can influence or change their emotions with their breath. This breathing technique is something anyone can integrate into their lifestyle.

Kleefeld offers workshops, which include breathing, mindset, and the ice bath. He also holds breathing-only sessions, and private classes are also an option. His techniques can help one reduce fear, anxiety, stress, pain management, and so much more.

Who’s Wim Hof?

Wim Hof, also known as ‘The Iceman’, is a Dutch motivational speaker and extreme athlete noted for his ability to withstand low temperatures. He previously held a Guinness World Record for swimming under ice and prolonged full-body contact with ice, and holds a record for a barefoot half marathon on ice and snow. His methodology for good health is known as the Wim Hof Method (WHM)

Wim Hof Method - the founder

Key benefits of WHM

  • Increased energy
  • Better sleep
  • Reduced stress levels
  • Heightened focus & determination
  • Increased willpower
  • Stronger immune system

Three pillars of WHM

Breathing – The first pillar of the Wim Hof Method is breathing. Heightened oxygen levels hold a treasure trove of benefits, and the specialised breathing technique of the Wim Hof Method unearths them all – more energy, reduced stress levels, and an augmented immune response that swiftly deals with pathogens.

Cold therapy – Proper exposure to the cold starts a cascade of health benefits, including the buildup of brown adipose tissue and resultant fat loss, reduced inflammation that facilitates a fortified immune system, balanced hormone levels, improved sleep quality, and the production of endorphins – the feel-good chemicals in the brain that elevate your mood.

Commitment – The third pillar of the Wim Hof Method is the foundation of the other two – both cold exposure and conscious breathing require patience and dedication in order to be fully mastered. Armed with focus and determination you are ready to explore and eventually master your own body and mind.

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