Wim Hof’s Breath-Hold & Mental Training Techniques
From one of Lewis Howes’ recent Youtube videos comes-this-new-to-me concept: that hyperventilation might actually be good for you…?
Although (*disclaimer*) hyperventilation should, of course, never ever be used during the breathe-up of freediving or dynamic freediving, it very well may (and already does for quite a few individuals) come in handy for static apnea as well as to shift the body into an alkaline state before (way before) a depth or dynamic performance.
“Feeling is Understanding” says Wim Hof, better known as ‘The Iceman’, after guiding lifestyle entrepreneur, Lewis Howes, through several rounds of his ‘basic breathing exercise’ – aka hyperventilation followed by empty-lung breath-holding.
After seeing this video of Wim’s ‘basic breathing exercise’, I’m curious to see what his ‘advanced breathing exercise’ is!
Wim claims that by doing this ‘basic breathing exercise’ (which, if I may add, is quite similar to the breathing techniques that many advanced static apneists use) that you are able to “de-acidify the body – by oxygenating all the cells in the body turning them all alkaline, and within just 15 minutes.”
And because of this, you can store air in the body for up to 3-4+ minutes without air in the lungs.
Reason why is because by doing this type of ‘controlled breathing’ (hyperventilating and empty lung breath-holds): “We are shown that the storage capacity for oxygen, and the way we are able to influence the brain, is bigger than we ever use… Also the chemistry of the body is actually better than [it was] before [the breathing exercise]. There is no need for breathing because it all is based on acidity breathing”
Wim says that if you measure the PH of your body using a PH strip before and after this breathing exercise, there will be a drastically different result. The before strip color will be yellow and the after will be blue.
This is because during the exercise, you’ve changed your body chemistry and the body has become alkaline.
Wim recommends doing this breathing exercise before a performance, such as a competition, a game a race, a match, anything, that way you can A) not only bring the right chemistry to all the cells in your body but B) you will also re-program the cells with your mind.
By doing so you bring the body to a very alkaline state which is the right chemistry, all the way until the tissues, which is the deepest of the physiology.
The exercise should be done without moving, and completely motionless to create 300% more metabolic cell activity. By not moving makes sure that the mind is doing the programming (plus as you can imagine this would be dangerous to do this standing up, walking etc, because you could easily faint and fall down).
He also recommends people with a lot of stress do this breathing exercises so that they can “fly“.
After completing three rounds of this breathing exercise, Lewis Howes is blown away by the experience. He speaks of “heightened senses” (during and after), had a distorted perception of time while holding his breath as well as hallucinations of a tree turning into an eye and then a phoenix fly.
The hallucination is said to be because after hyperventilating, while you are holding your breath on empty lungs, you tap into the dream state and rapid eye movement. By going into this state, you release anything that blocking the mind.
At the university where Wim studies the effects of this breathing exercise, “people show to have control within 15 minutes over the immune system – related to the atomic nervous system.” It also increases the energy movement inside of the cell so that the mitochondrial in the cell is performing more optimally.
You can teach yourself to master your mind and control the cells of your body by doing his breathing exercises regularly and especially before a big performance (but obviously not immediately before depth or dynamic freediving, please allow at least 1-2 hours before!).
It will allow you to regain all connection in your body, up to cellular level and then your mind is able to program cells.
Find-out more about the science behind the Wim Hof’s method by downloading Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof Method Explained: 2016wimhofmethod-revealed.pdf
Warning important message, read carefully: Always do the breathing exercise in a safe environment (e.g. sitting on a couch/floor) and unforced. Never practice it before or during diving, driving, swimming, taking a bath or any other environment/place where it might be dangerous to faint. The breathing exercise has a profound effect and should be practiced in the way it is explained.