Wim Hof. The Iceman.
Known for the Wim Hof Method, he’s the guy you can typically see in a Youtube video sitting in a cold mountain stream or a snowbank wearing next to nothing with steam rising off of him. What is mostly unknown about Wim Hof is that his system is not a cold immersion system, although that is what made him famous, but is, in fact, a breathing system. His idea is that by super-oxygenating the blood, systematically, over and over again, you can try to gain control of seemingly automated body functions. If you can control breathing, which is one of the most automatic functions of the body, maybe you can start to take care of some of the other autonomic functions through your system.
The book which really brought this to my attention as well as playing with the cold water immersion was not actually authored by Wim himself, but by journalist/author Scott Carney in a book called ” What Doesn’t Kill Us”. It’s one of my favorite jacket covers of all-time and I bought it the first time I saw it. It was my second introduction to Wim Hof, and I really wasn’t sure what to expect. But by the start of chapter 2, I was diving into my 51 degree swimming pool and spent the next two weeks playing with his cold water immersion and especially his breathing system with rather amazing results.
Wim continues to get famous throughout the medical world with his “feats of cold”, although that’s not really what the system is. When I hear somebody interview him, and they start talking about “How do I get better at dealing with cold?” I can tell they’ve never read his book or any of his system.
I would really recommend getting the book, “What Doesn’t Kill Us” because it is an interesting read. Scott Carney the author actually went over to try to disprove Wim and kind of create him as more of a circus freak that had ability. What he found, to his astonishment, was that these systems are recreatable.
It’s really fun to play with, and you’ll see this in the health and “body hacking” industries from time to time. If you’re interested, definitely feel free to check out his book and some of the things that made him famous.
And don’t forget to breathe.