"Meditation can heal you"... "Have you tried only eating meat?"... "You should eat gluten free"... These are just a few of the messages I receive on a daily basis. As someone who lives with a chronic autoimmune disease and vocalizes my journey via social media, I've read my fair share of healing suggestions and remedies from strangers. Although, I appreciate every outreach, I take each one with a grain of salt. I had my first flare in 2006 and it took about eight years to finally be diagnosed with Behcet's disease. What is it? Behcet's is a rare disorder causing inflammation in blood vessels. We can experience everything from ulcers (eyes, genitalia, skin, internal organs), night sweats, joint pain, numbing, as well as neurological issues which often mask as MS (multiple sclerosis).
While I am open to Eastern Medicine practices, prescribed medication has been the most effective for me thus far. So, when I heard about the Wim Hof Method, I assumed it fell under the spiritual healing umbrella. As someone once said, "assess before you assume." With that in mind, I decided to spend Rare Disease Day (February 29) with official Wim Hof instructor, Michael Christoforo for his Wim Hof Method: Breathing Technique, Cold Exposure & Commitment Workshop.
What is the Wim Hof Method? Well, it's certainly not just a bunch of "wu wu." On the surface, it might seem new-agey, but there is absolute science behind the practice.
To start, Wim Hof is a man. The Iceman, to be exact. With 21 Guinness World Records under his belt, he has extensive training in controlling his breath, heart rate and blood circulation, which allows him to withstand extreme temperatures.
The practice itself is the ability to train your body to adapt to extreme temperature and survive within our natural environment. This particular breathing method paired with regular ice baths can bring remedy factors for inflammation, stress and beyond.
Throughout the four hour workshop, Michael told us incredible stories about his time with Wim Hof... most of which took place at the top of a summit in below freezing temps.
Think of it as tapping into "your inner power." Mind over matter and deep breaths can take you a long way. Take it from someone who swims underneath ice for 66 meters and runs half marathons above the Arctic Circle in swim shorts.
Wim Hof and Michael Christoforo
Michael's workshop is equal parts entertaining science/anatomy class and breathing lessons. As you lie on your mat, Michael guides you with his voice as he teaches you how you can utilize oxygen and cold exposure to optimize body & mind.
It's an intimate setting with a max allowance of 25 people. By the end of the workshop, you feel a closer bond to each and every person.
From a couple who seeks stress relief as they plan for their wedding, to a former professional dancer living with Lyme Disease and a pro Crossfit athlete... we all found common ground in learning the Wim Hof method for our greater well-being.
Whether you are looking to improve mental or physical performance, relieve symptoms related to an illness, or are just curious to find out what the Wim Hof Method is all about— a WHM workshop offers something for everyone.
In a world where we yearn for immediate results, the Wim Hof Method should become a part of your routine in order to see its benefits. So, I will have to report back as I continue to incorporate the Wim Hof Method into my everyday life.
As the "wu wu" folk say... Namaste!
To learn more about Wim Hof Method visit: https://www.wimhofmethod.com
For more info about Michael or to sign up for a workshop visit: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/instructors/michaelchristoforo
32 degree ice bath as Michael guides us through for 90 seconds