February 12, 2023

Article at Michael on Authory

Wim Hof Breathing

The way you breathe has an impact on the physiology and chemistry of your body. Forceful breathing, followed by breath holding, alters body chemistry, causing temporary alkalosis and activating the innate stress response, forcing positive adaptations.

Wim Hof is the modern pioneer of a breathing technique that lets you control your immune system. By "tricking" our body, we can cause the release of powerful anti-inflammatory factors that result in healing properties for both the body and the mind. The science behind the method has been proven in clinical studies. Here are two resources that explain how it works - an article in Ultrahuman and a great video.

How to do it:

**NOTE** - this takes practice. Like any important life skill, you need consistency and staying power. If you do one physical workout or one day of dieting, you will have no results. But when applied to your life as part of a routine, it will be life changing. Do it every day in the morning or night - just do it. After time you will see it as a very important part of your day. For me, I have seen reduced joint pains and it has given me the ability to clear my mind when I am feeling stressed out.


Get comfortable. Sit or lie down somewhere quiet, where you feel able to relax. (It is important you don’t practice near water, unless you have someone with you who is not doing the breathing method.)


Take 30 to 40 deep breaths. Hof suggests breathing forcefully into the belly and exhaling naturally and easily. During these breath cycles, focus on deep breathing. It doesn’t matter if you breathe through your mouth or your nose.


On your final exhalation, start your timer and hold your breath as long as you comfortably can, with no air in your lungs. You may go 30 seconds on the first round and increase to 60, 90+ seconds on subsequent rounds. To the uninitiated, a 1-minute breath hold may seem impossible, but by holding the breath after hyperventilation, you will dampen your body’s innate drive to breathe. Hof’s exercise for beginners starts with a 30 second breath hold. As you progress, you can gradually increase the breath hold time.


After the having the urge to breath, take a deep recovery breath in, and hold on the inhalation for 15 seconds. Then repeat the process 3 or more times.

This YouTube video goes through it with you. The downside of the video is it has "pre-timed" breath holds of 30, 60, 90 seconds. You may go much longer or shorter so you will have to pause accordingly. Alternatively, you can use the Wim Hof app in the app store. Once you learn the breathing pattern, you can use any stopwatch timer - the iPhone timer has a great "lap" feature to keep each round.