A lot of us might feel a bit hopeless right now. With every passing day, the social distancing, the decreased employment, and the constant anxiety level becomes the “new normal.” We’re facing a global health crisis, after all.
It’s important to recognize the suffering. It’s not healthy or helpful to deny the effects COVID-19 has had on our world. At the same time, it’s important to look for the good and not despair. For us that are healthy, there is something that we all share in common: We have breath in our lungs, and we can use that breath to our advantage.
We really don’t think much about breathing, except when we’re short on air. But breathing is something we are always doing to survive. Turns out, breathing provides more than just oxygen. When following the right method and technique, breathing exercises can give you control over your body — even your immune system.
I know it might sound a bit far-fetched at first. How can something as simple as breathing help you not catch a cold? How can it fight bacteria? How can it help defend you from a pandemic?
Today, I’ve got Wim Hof on The School of Greatness to tell us how.
Wim Hof was born in the Netherlands, where winter is a way of life. As a kid, he felt a sudden urge to jump into a freezing-cold river. So, he did. And while most of us would immediately regret that decision and vow to never do it again … Wim went the other way and made it his profession.
In the coming years, Wim made subjecting himself to extreme feats of cold endurance his personal claim to fame. He set a world record time (two hours, 16 minutes) for a barefoot half-marathon in freezing conditions. Another for spending nearly two hours in full-body contact with a solid slab of ice. He also climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in shorts — you know, it’s causal.
Yet another world record almost didn’t make it into the books when Wim literally froze one of his corneas during a practice run for an under-ice distance swim, but after a good night’s rest, his eye healed up enough that he successfully set the record the next day.
It’s straight-up superhero stuff. They call him the “Iceman” for a reason.
And somewhere along the way, Wim figured out that as he achieved these superhuman feats of endurance, he was doing something a little different. The Wim Hof Breathing Method helped him bolster his system both prior to and during these incredible physical challenges.
His special breathing method can not only help you master the elements but also take control over your own immune system. Wim Hof participated in a research study where he was injected with an endotoxin, one that was supposed to make you sick within minutes, but using his own breathing method and technique, he was not affected. That’s right — Wim Hof gained control over his autonomous nervous system.
I’ve had Wim on The School of Greatness a few times now, and each time it’s so interesting to hear his perspective and see the results of his methods. Check out Episode 398, Episode 799, and our recent roundtable interview, Episode 910, to hear more!
Join me on Episode 941 to learn how we can strengthen our immune systems and defend ourselves against anything — even the coronavirus — with the incredible Wim Hof!