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Wim Hof - Feel the Cold and do it Anyway

2

Comments

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Wim Hof has never claimed to have dicovered or originated anything. But he is the first person to have brought such practices to the public eye in such an expansive way, and made it mainstream. Via Youtube and other means of publicising his feats, the whole world is now aware of breathing, the cold and the Mindset, working in combination. The thing is, it works. Quite HOW it works, is still unclear though. As the expert in the article I posted above, points out, it's easier to raise funds into research on drowning. We are constantly advised to protect AGAINST the cold, rather than to embrace it.
    Haven't flt this well in years.

    BunksShoshin1lobsterJeroen
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Awesome @federica ! <3

    federica
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Wow! That’s amazing @federica

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The house was in need of a total and complete general overhaul, but we never got round to doing it while I lived there... Eventually, my H and I separated, and the house was sold. Then it got sold again, to a British guy, with 2 daughters, who also divorced his wife, but bought the house and gave it a complete and amazing face-lift. (The 2 daughters and my 2 girsls used to meet up and play together...)
    My eldest daughter visited it while staying there with her sister, who lives in France permanently... and she says the house is transformed, majestically. I'd like to visit it too, one day. I am so thrilled it went to "The right people".

    Sorry. Bit O/T.
    The river was non-negotiable in the winter. It rose to virtually the level of the garden wall to the left, and became dangerously fast... so swimming in the winter was out of the question. But in the summer, everyone enjoyed the waters, by fishing, canoeing or swimming...

    BunksJeroenlobsterShoshin1
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I had a great cold shower this afternoon! Loved it, short but super refreshing.

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Had a week away helping my daughter in her move, so all Wim Hof activity was suspended. But I fell back into the habit quite easily this morning, and enjoyed the first cold shower in a week.
    'Enjoyed', being the operative word.

    lobsterBunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Will be interested to see how you go in winter @federica - the thought of having a cold shower here at the moment is fairly jarring haha

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    My first cold shower lasted a full "Jeezusfekkingkerristthat'scold!" ten seconds. Now I have to make myself turn the shower off at 5 minutes.

    Had an open water cold swim today, 1km round a lake... It took me an hour. I'm a slow but steady swimmer... The water was 19 degrees. By the time I had done the full round, I couldn't feel my fingertips, but it was exhilarating.

    (There were many swimmers there, and the lake is closely supervised by attendants, who have speed-scooters to ride the waves, in case anyone needs a helping hand...)

    I am actually curious to see just how much I can take when the water reaches its winter-chilly temperature.
    Yes, indeed @Bunks. It will be interesting.

    Bunks
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited August 2021

    Just was in the cold shower, briefly, I just like the feel of my cold body. Going to do a little WH breathing.

    I have to say, I did a little Vipassana before the Wim Hof breathing, and I thought the combination did me a lot of good.

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Kerome said:
    Just was in the cold shower, briefly, I just like the feel of my cold body. Going to do a little WH breathing.

    I have to say, I did a little Vipassana before the Wim Hof breathing, and I thought the combination did me a lot of good.

    Yes, interestingly, I also do different "styles" of breathing throughout the day. It's quite extraordinary how a short period of focus on something as simple as breathing out, and breathing in, can calm the mind, and release the tension. I think everyone should breathe, actually.

    JeroenlobsterBunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    In answer to your question (which may be rhetorical), and speaking purely from my own PoV, the latter.

    The people who feature in the first video shown in the thread belong to a Group, the slogan of which is "Seek Discomfort".
    They are apparently renowned for doing things many of us would shy away from, avoid and retreat from... anything from bungee jumping from a helicopter to actually going to trouble-spots in Afghanistan... They quite literally Face their Fears.
    The theory being that if you can face being in a location where bullets fly, bombs explode, or the ground is too far away to contemplate, then you can put up with a traffic jam, a crowded train or the office pest whom everyone tries to avoid at the water dispenser...
    Thomas (the tall blond, slim and apparently Geeky brains behind the Movement) also tried 1000 days of meditation, which made a huge difference to him.

    Bunks
  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    Gil Fronsdale recently gave a talk and meditation where he talked some about the dharmic mental benefits of cold showers. He didn't mention Wim though.

    Bunks
  • It has been 10 days since I started the cold shower - polar bear experiment. It feels good, however, I feel I'm cheating (I live pretty much in Africa right now..).

    BunksShoshin1
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @コチシカ said:
    It has been 10 days since I started the cold shower - polar bear experiment. It feels good, however, I feel I'm cheating (I live pretty much in Africa right now..).

    My water has gone down in temperature by about 4 to 5 degrees C, to around 15 degrees C. And it's not even that much of a cold autumn, either... but you can certainly feel the difference!
    I spent10 minutes in the shower today and had to MAKE myself turn it off. I love it that much.

    For those who may be curious as to why an ambient temperature feels warmer than water of the SAME temperature:

    "Why does 15c-degree weather feel warm to us, but if we get in the ocean or pool and it's also 15c degrees, we feel freezing?"

    If the air and the water are the same temperature, what accounts for the difference that we perceive? It's a matter of heat transfer, the transition of thermal energy from a hotter object to a cooler object.

    As long as the temperature of your body is higher than the temperature of the surrounding medium (air or water, for example), your body will give off heat. As soon as the surrounding temperature becomes higher than that of your body, though, you'll start to absorb heat.

    The amount of heat that moves between your body and the surrounding medium and the speed at which it moves, both of which are important to the sensation or warmth or cold that we feel, depends on how good a conductor the medium is. The reason the water feels colder than air is because water is the better conductor of the two. When you hop into that 15C-degree pool, heat escapes your body much more easily than it would if you were standing beside the pool in 15C-degree air. Because the water takes more heat from your body, and quicker, it feels colder.

    lobster
  • OK polar bear it. But don't go into hypothermia.
    frederica, you had about the best house on the block (for a kid). <3=)

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    I found out the other day that cold showers are good for brown fat activation. Apparently we have about 300-500 grams of brown fat distributed around the torso.

    Kotishka
  • I say we begin the Taking Refuge (Cold version) challenge:

    1. Water must be cold during the entire ceremony.

    2. Refuge vow plus precepts, including the sixth precept, I will avoid warm showers that cause my mind to crave for them.

    3. Record it. Set a GoFundMe page.

    4. Donate all the money to any charity.

    I'm I joking? Yes, don't worry! Or not? Anyways, I recall some Japanese monks meditating while under a waterfall.!

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @コチシカ said:
    I say we begin the Taking Refuge (Cold version) challenge:

    1. Water must be cold during the entire ceremony.

    2. Refuge vow plus precepts, including the sixth precept, I will avoid warm showers that cause my mind to crave for them.

    3. Record it. Set a GoFundMe page.

    4. Donate all the money to any charity.

    I'm I joking? Yes, don't worry! Or not? Anyways, I recall some Japanese monks meditating while under a waterfall.!

    I recite my 4 favourite poems, timed to almost exactly 5 minutes, give or take...I guess Incorporating Taking refuge, and the first 5 Precepts would be a good idea.

    Did 10 minutes,this morning; 5 under the shower, and 5 in the filling bath. They feel quite different, and the bath takes more concentration, due to total immersion. In a shower, water coverage is constant, but momentary (if that makes any sense!), but still cold.
    In a bath, there's no respite. Good training for winter swimming.
    Am going to an open lake this wednesday, and the water temperature there is currently 12 degrees C... my bath was 15 degrees, and was the coldest so far....

    Kotishka
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    This morning, I took it up a notch:
    Shower: 5 minutes.
    Bath (total immersion): 15 minutes.

    By the time I got out, I had a little difficulty moving my fingers, although they didn't actually feel cold at all... No shivering or teeth chattering, the breathing exercises worked at keeping the body calm and relaxed, no tension, and very comfortable.
    Could happily have stayed in longer, actually...

    Bunks
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    ...So today, I did.
    25 minutes and 5 seconds, to be exact.

    That was 20 minutes ago, and I STILL can't feel my fingers... XD

    KotishkaBunks
  • Be careful, that is not a good sign!

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2021

    No, I know, but gradual increase of time, over a steady period, makes one more and more resistant. Considering this was nearly a half hour, and it used to happen to me within 10 minutes when I first took to cold water, it's progress.

    AndI have a written document issued by the swim club as a written guide, as well as an obligatory half hour lesson from a qualified coach, on how to approach cold-water swimming, and stay safe.

    So rest assured; your concerns are MY concerns, and I am proceding with the utmost caution.
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment. :)

    BunksKotishka
  • marcitkomarcitko Veteran
    edited October 2021

    @David said:
    I've attempted the cold shower 6 times and I still can't stay more than a second or two when I hit pure cold.

    Hey @David. I've been doing the cold showers for several years now and loving them. I turned off the boiler in the bathroom since I'm not using it :)

    I find that the body (or body part) relaxes after 5-15 seconds, after which you can go indefinitely. I still go body-part by body-part. So, I would suggest showering, say, your feet first until they relax, then your calves until they relax etc, up to showering the whole body in the end. This way it's quite easy.

    BunkslobsterDavid
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2021

    The above advice is sound and a very good idea.

    The other thing I found helped, was to turn the water to cold, gradually. At first, it took me a while (I'm talking a minute, to a minute-and-a-half), but now, I'm accustomed to the cold, I kinda go from tepid, to cool, to cold, in about 10 to 15 seconds...

    I let the bath fill as I shower, and once the shower is done, I lie in the bath.
    Today it was a 5-minute shower, and a 20-minute cold bath.

    ETA: The cold water was at 11 degrees C. That's around 52F.

    SO looking forward to our lake swim tomorrow afternoon!

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    You guys are very inspiring! I'm working up to it :)

  • I STILL can't feel my fingers

    No fingers
    no toes
    Nose knows
    "NO EYE, EAR, NOSE, TONGUE, BODY OR MIND; NO FORM,
    SOUND, SMELL, TASTE, TOUCH OR MIND OBJECT; NO REALM OF THE EYE, UNTIL WE COME TO NO REALM OF CONSCIOUSNESS."
    … from the Heart Sutra
    http://www.buddhanet.net/e-learning/heartv08.htm

    No Hoff …

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Funnily enough, @Lobster, lying in my cold bath this morning (a full half hour) I used the time as a meditative exercise to detatch from any feelings of discomfort, resistance or imbalance. Instead, I channelled feelings of comfort, serenity and ease to all limbs...
    My hands felt less cold when I got out.

    Lake swim this afternoon...

    lobster
  • Instead, I channelled feelings of comfort, serenity and ease to all limbs...

    Good plan. Glad it is invigorating/empowering. Good luck with the swim, hope it goes swimmingly. Hope that is the tight term.

    federica
  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran

    The whole research into the Wim Hof Method and immune system response is fascinating too, perhaps you will get some benefit @federica

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2021

    Had an amazing swim.
    The moon rose, a full, yellow Harvest moon; the sky was powder blue, flecked with pink clouds... the water was cold, the coldest I have ever been in. It was bliss....

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @Jeroen said:
    The whole research into the Wim Hof Method and immune system response is fascinating too, perhaps you will get some benefit @federica

    That's for sure. I feel fitter and healthier now than I did 10 years ago...

  • marcitkomarcitko Veteran
    edited October 2021

    Keep posting @federica Think @Bunks is not the only one being inspired by your adventures :)

  • Ren_in_blackRen_in_black Georgia Explorer

    @person said:
    I have a cousin who is into this. I haven't done it myself but I really appreciate the general philosophy behind it, its right in line with my main Buddhist approach. Its like do you try to avoid or protect yourself from all unpleasantness or do you prepare and train yourself to be able to handle unpleasantness when it arises?

    Just now catching up with this thread. That quote is brilliant, @person

    It sounds vaguely familiar, so if I read before, I forgot it. Will not forget it this time.

    I have often struggled with the futility of working hard to change yourself when the world will not change. This puts the whole endeavor in a new perspective.

    lobsterKotishka
  • This morning it was cold and dark but there was a full moon. Decided to wear t-shirt and light mac. Soon my fingers felt chilled. So I explored the sensation. Does this count as a chill air shower? I think gloves next time …

    I don't hyperventilate but do occasionally breath out fully and take steps without a breath. I never experiment with breathing to the point of light headedness.

    Why do these things?
    Relaxed breathing is healthy. Discomfort forces us into awareness.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2021

    @lobster said: I don't hyperventilate but do occasionally breath out fully and take steps without a breath. I never experiment with breathing to the point of light headedness.

    Ditto. I find the cold ambience actually affects my breathing. I find myself breathing deeply but slowly in the shower. Once supine in the bath, it becomes natural to do as you do, @lobster; I find I breathe out, and remain comfortable until the natural instinct to breathe back in, arises. It all feels perfectly natural.

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
    edited October 2021

    Getting cooler...We were at 13 degrees this morning.

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I go to bed at night, looking forward to my morning shower. Sometimes, I get the urge to have another cold shower during the day... I might just do that tomorrow, hell, why not..?

  • Stay out of the fridge @federica
    … sometimes we can have too much of a bad good thing …

    marcitkofederica
  • Paradoxically, I find that a cold shower just before bed helps me fall asleep faster. Looking forward to winter and the cold(er) showers.

    lobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @marcitko said:
    Paradoxically, I find that a cold shower just before bed helps me fall asleep faster. Looking forward to winter and the cold(er) showers.

    Yes, it is odd, for some it has the opposite effect. I have not tried an evening shower, prone as I am to bouts of insomnia, I hesitate to invite problems!

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    The weather has been exceptionally mild in the UK so far; my brother, who has moved to the USA, sent me a Marco Polo video yesterday of a snowfall in Michigan... with the comment "Winter is coming." (Now where have I heard that before??) Our cold water is still at around 13 degrees C...

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Chill-factor "Brrrr!" this morning. The water is at 11 degrees... it definitely feels colder! Weather in UK, 'undesirable'... high winds and lashing rain. And I am all set to take mother shopping... curious that I wrap up warm to go out, but am perfectly happy to subject myself to a distinctly chilly shower!

  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Well, we had a hard frost last night - Minus 3 degrees C. My car was iced up outside AND inside (oh the winter joys of owning a convertible, and yes, I did "waterproof" the soft-top!) and the frost was thick on my garden... the towels on the line were like cardboard!

    The water from the tap came out at 10 degrees. The coldest it's ever been. I doubt it will get colder than this, the pipes being at a regulation-depth underground - but you never know, with British weather! Still, a very bracing start to the day - I cleaned the bathroom down, very energetically!

    Jeroen
  • Traditionally frozen cardboard towels or rather sheets soaked in icy water were wrapped around tummo-rins, which they had to dry to show mastery. No clothes dryers in the Himalayan caves …

    Now Tummo is all the craze … apparently …
    https://www.stylecraze.com/articles/simple-steps-to-practice-tummo-meditation/

    Yesterday went for a walk, the mud was frozen, which was good as I choose to wear sandals with socks. I am quite keen on wearing sandals in winter (theoretically). Walking keeps the blood flowing, feet warm. Noticed most people wearing beanies. I find hair is just as good. Practically no wind, which would change the chill factor/experience …

    Climate change? Are we ready?

  • JeroenJeroen Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter Netherlands Veteran
    edited November 2021

    It will be the riviera by the North Sea, when climate change really gets going. Plus of course a whole lot of inconvenient messy weather and refugees from other parts of the world.

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the liminal space Veteran

    I was listening to a podcast today where the guest was an aging researcher. He talked about an idea he uses that the human body is evolved for some level of stress. In the past we were regularly hot or cold or hungry. But today we can maintain a consistent temperature and are rarely hungry.

    It was only touched on briefly but the idea is sort of in line with anti-fragility. Making ourselves too comfortable doesn't protect us, it makes us more vulnerable.

    lobsterFleaMarket
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @person said:
    I was listening to a podcast today where the guest was an aging researcher. He talked about an idea he uses that the human body is evolved for some level of stress. In the past we were regularly hot or cold or hungry. But today we can maintain a consistent temperature and are rarely hungry.

    It was only touched on briefly but the idea is sort of in line with anti-fragility. Making ourselves too comfortable doesn't protect us, it makes us more vulnerable.

    Absolutely; human beings are trifling with Evolution by playing it too safe.
    We have created 'ambient living conditions' that have not only messed with our climactic resistance, but we have gone overboard with Hygiene and cleanliness; which in some ways, may well be a very good thing. But in others, have messed with our immune system.

    "A woman visited her paediatric doctor, and asked

    "When can I stop sterilising my boy's bottles?"
    "Is he crawling?"
    "Yes..."
    "Does he pick up everything he finds, and put it in his mouth?"
    "Oh, yes...!"
    "Do you wash your floors on a daily basis, and use disinfectant on everything?"
    "God, no...!"
    "Is he allowed to play in the garden?"
    "Oh, sure!"
    "Do you have a pet?"
    "Yeah, a dog... he loves him!"
    "And he plays with the dog, pats it, crawls up to it?"
    "Well, yes, of course..."
    "You can stop sterilising his bottles..."

    marcitkoWalkerJeroenlobster
  • federicafederica Seeker of the clear blue sky... Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Just thought I'd mention my cold water has found a steady 8.5 degrees C to settle at. And I can now just get straight into a cold shower without a "set it to lukewarm first" moment.

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