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Find out how cold water and deep breathing keep you healthy.
About a year ago my husband stubbled across a weird and wonderful man, Wim Hof. Together we watched several documentaries. He blew us away. This ordinary, yet extraordinary, Dutchman was doing incredible things for his body and his mind. Also, we discovered why he is also known as the Iceman (watch Becoming Superhuman with Ice man – Wim Hof documentary here).
My own experience
I have experienced that the ocean makes me feel alive. The ocean refreshes and rejuvenates. And now, we had some scientific evidence as to why. So my husband and I took dips in the ocean and began our deep breathing exercises. What a change we saw! My back ache from the pregnancy and natural birth was gone. I slept better than I had in years and I felt happy and joyful (something I felt as a kid). I wanted to know more…
For years Wim Hof has tried to show why he is able to do what he does, and why it is so beneficial to the body. Scientist eventually got involved and did some tests. Wow! This man was able to manipulate his immune response by using his breath.
And not just that, he was able to fight endotoxins injected into his body, again by using deep breathing. Essentially Wim Hof explains that using deep breathing (originating the body), cold water therapy and the right frame of mind we may heal our bodies. Basically with the right tools (breathing, cold water and mindset) we achieve healthier bodies and minds.
This man’s method right up my alley. I have always believed that our bodies are designed to heal themselves. That with the right diet, environment, breathing and mind focus/meditation we are able to keep our bodies working optimally. When we put loads of man made chemicals and toxins into our bodies we mess with it’s natural state.
Stress breaks down our natural defence system, the immune system. When the immune system is compromised, inflammation can occur. Chronic inflammation has been linked to certain diseases such as heart disease or stroke, and may also lead to autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.
“So with chronic inflammation, your body is on high alert all the time. This prolonged state of emergency can cause lasting damage to your heart, brain and other organs. For example, when inflammatory cells hang around too long in blood vessels, they promote the buildup of dangerous plaque. But in truth, uncontrolled inflammation plays a role in almost every major disease, including cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and even depression.” – for more information click this link
So what is inflammation and why is it important?
Most importantly, inflammation is a natural response of our body to fight infection, disease and injury. However, when our cells are in distress, they release chemicals to alert the immune system. So consequently our immune system goes on high alert. But if this process happens continuously and chronically, the immune system is compromised. Things go wrong.
Too many immune cells in the blood causes havoc with our body systems and cells. For example, when inflammatory cells circulate in the body for too long, they promote the buildup of dangerous plaque. When plaque builds up in arteries, there are high risks. In other words by reducing oxygen in the body and plaque blocking blood flow, there is an increase in the risks of heart attack and strokes. Anyone heard of Atherosclerosis? Atherosclerosis is an inflammatory disease. Click link to read the research.
Toxin overload, little exercise (i.e. oxygenation of the body and flushing toxins via the lymphatic system) and stress may cause chronic immune responses.
So what are you really saying?
I am saying that due to toxins (from our poor quality food and environment), lack of exercise (oxygen and lymphatic flushing) and STRESS, we are putting unwanted strain onto the immune system causing our diseases. Ok, that is my opinion. Under no circumstances and I pretending I am a doctor or medically trained, it is just common sense to me from the research I have done.
Ok, now what can I do about this?
So research have found that oxygenating the body (deep breathing and exercise), eating healthy (non-toxic) food and mental focus (meditation or hypnosis), reduces inflammation.
So let’s get back to Wim Hof. Here is a guy who has found a way for his body to fight the overactive immune response by deep breathing, cold water therapy and meditation. How I understand his method is like this: Oxygen through deep breathing and exercise reduces cortisol and adrenaline (our fight or flight/immune response). Deep breathing = oxygen. Oxygen lowers cortisol. Reduced cortisol = reduced inflammation.
Wim Hof says that: “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 naturally elevate your mood.”
Likewise cold–water immersion has been scientifically proven to help counteract inflammation. For example: you overexerted your muscles by training too hard. Tiny tears appear in the muscles causing inflammation. Cold water lowers the damaged tissue’s temperature and constricts the blood vessels. This helps reduce the swelling and inflammation and even numbs the nerve endings to bring immediate relief to any pain. Read the scientific study on cold water therapy on muscle soreness here – click link.
But I thought you just said we need to lower our cortisol. But doesn’t cold water therapy trigger cortisol?
Cortisol in small dosages and short spurts is an anti-inflammatory. So cold water therapy shocks the body into releasing a burst of cortisol which acts as an anti-inflammatory. But over time chronic cortisol flooding your body will are causing inflammation. Stress causes chronic cortisol in the body.
- Eat a healthy, toxin free diet
- Oxygenate the body through deep breathing, exercercise and hypnosis
- Cold water therapy – take a cold shower or ocean dip as often as you can!!!! To give a burst of anti-inflammatory.
- Relax and destress through meditation or hypnotherapy
So what has this got to do with hypnosis?
Hypnosis is deep breathing. Deep breathing lowers cortisol and adrenaline. Deep breathing oxygenates the body and reduces inflammatory response. So deep breathing can help the body to detoxify and reduce inflammation.
Contact me here to start your journey.