Sunday, May 8, 2016

Wim Hof Method : One month post 10 week program

I already posted a 10 week summary so will only share things I noticed post one month. Focus a bit more on the negative as I know some folks like to hear this side as opposed to the positives.

The negative:
1. I did have some chest pains after having gone in the water 8+ days and running in sub 20 degree weather.  It was a bit concerned but just went with it and pulled back on too much in one day.  The amazing thing is that I did not get these chest pains before, during or after being in the water.  I friend that is doing a lot of cold water immersion (and has not done the Wim Hof program) was experiencing the same thing.  The interesting thing is the heart aching subsided (still comes and goes) after below 20 degree air and below 39 degree water baseball game (we were doing a video for my friends business).
2. I felt light headed and the noise of the cold shower went in an out a few times during longer 10 minute + cold showers with multiple 1 minute + breath holds. It was a calming sensation but a bit concerned if I actually passed out.  
3. Good but ... it hurts. Sometimes when getting in hot tub, especially when very cold in water and going over 8 minutes, the pain of hands and feet is unbearable. A couple of times I had to 

The positive:
1. My son Slade told me on a weekend that we went skiing that it was the best we ever got along and I did not lose my patience.  He said there was not a time were I was relaxed with him on vacation....ever.  Nice to hear but sad for the times I did lose my patience. 
2. I go to bed at night smiling.  Feeling a sense of happiness, contentment, and accomplishment.
3. More energy but more calm. I call it a patient, urgency.  

New revelations:
I finally felt the warm body sensations in the shower when doing the breath holds!  I noticed this only happens when shower water temp is 55 or above.  Water temp before March was 50 or below in New Hampshire.  

Here are some of days videos and pictures:
March 1 : March 2 
March 2
March 3
March 4. Post swim: March 4 
March 5 Post swim: March 5 March 5
March 11
March 13
March 17 March 17 March 17 March 17
March 18
March 19 March 16
March 21
March 24
March 26 March 26
March 29
March 29
March 31

Cold immersion is a journey and not a destination, so let's just breath and jump in.

NH Seacoast Cloud Immersion Facebook Page

Week of May 1st

Spent a good amount of time in the NH seacoast water ways this week.  Solid week of breathing. Going to have to try the recommendations of one Wim Hoffers on the Wim Hof Facebook page regarding 10 breathing/hold cycles. Most I have done is 4.  

Sunday did 15 minutes in what felt like 43 degree water although NH Seacoast web site listed at 46 degrees.  Pictures of swim here:
May 1 at 6:11pm
May 1 at 6:19pm
May 1 at 6:11pm
Did breath holds before going in water of 1.20, 1.40, 1.50 and 2 minutes.

Monday did an 8 minute shower with breath holds of 40 sec, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min in shower. Shower temp at 48 degrees.

Tuesday did 8 minutes in ocean harbor at 46 degree water temp.  Did breathing before hand with breath holds of 1.20, 1.40, 1.50 and 1.50.

Wednesday - 20 minutes in Hampton Harbor @ 46 degrees.

Thursday - 30 min mediation - 1.35, 1.45, 1.55, 2.05 holds ( no forcing).  Did a 6 mile run follow by hot tub. After hot tub, blood pressure was 117 over 78.  Did a 10 min cold shower with breath holds of 40, 45, 1 and 1 minutes.  Shower temp was 55. After shower, blood pressure was 140 over 91.This does raise blood pressure. Talk about doctor visit where blood pressure 150 over 95 and heart rate 90. also, felt warmth in shower like others. only happens when 55 or above. 55 almost too warm.

Friday - 20 minutes with real life swimming in hampton harbor.  46 degree water. My 13 year old son actually swam across the 1/4 mile channel. The rest of us did a considerable amount of swimming.  I could really notice the swimming lowering my body temp. and putting a bit of stress on heart/body.

Saturday - 17 minutes in Hampton Harbor in late afternoon.  46 degree water.   My 13 year old son did 18 minutes!

Air temp between 42 and 50 most days.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Week of April 24th

Was on vacation with week with my boys in Seattle so not much time for cold immersion.  I did about 5 fifteen minute cold showers but the water temp was between 58 and 60 degrees so not cold at all.  I did four breath holds in shower which were typically 40 seconds, 1 min, 1 min, and 1 min.  I did do a couple 2 minute stays in 39 degree river at Mt Rainer. Pictures here:
April 30 at 1:38pm

I also did a quick (a couple of minutes) in Puget Sound one day.

Wim Hof Method : Program Summary

The program was great; live changing in so many ways. It requires an extreme determination and commitment that many people would find uncomfortable. As Wim indicates, putting yourself beyond your normal comfortable zone brings much reward - health, happiness, and strength.   I have stopped drinking, run marathons, competed in bicycle races, tried vegan for 100 + days, and done a number of 21+ day clean eating programs.  However, this program requires a special level of commitment in order to get into 43 degree 10 minute showers, or 39 degree ocean water or ice baths.  Especially when it is 24 degrees outside and snowing.  The relaxed mind and body required to do the breathing exercises was another special challenge.

There were many noticeable changes in the mental, spiritual, physical, and physiology.  This blog post contains my summary of the Wim Hof method based upon my readings and listening to podcasts, and watching Wim Hof videos:
Here is quick summary of beyond fear by Wim Hof as I interpret it:

My focus at work is allowing me to get more done in a shorter period of time. I feel a calm sense of urgency.  I am able to prioritize the plethora of ideas in my mind and get them done quickly without worrying about what needs to be done next.

I can see how the Wim Hof method can be used to treat addiction.   In a way, you replace one addiction for another.  I have an addictive personality and the 'edge', adrenaline rush, and intensity you get from the cold water can be similar to the rush of drinking or extreme sports.

I have been meditating for 20+ years but my chakras' have never opened to this extent.  My root and crown charkas have never been this open.  My son told me I had never been so relaxed on a weekend ski trip we took during a one week vacation with my boys.  Getting into cold water definitely causes the monkey mind to calm...there is no other choice.

I received many comments from people that my eyes were vibrant, skin clear and tight, and I generally looked much younger. I also noticed gray hair had all but gone away and my hair color became lighter.  I did not lose weight but looked to have much less body fat and my pants were a size looser on me.  I also got a tan!  This was a distinct tan. I was told it was because of getting red when going in the very cold water for a long time.

My appetite was much more surpassed and did not have as many urges to eat.  However, daily bowel movement almost doubled.  I could tell that my body chemistry was changed significantly. I sensed an extreme change in my mood, energy, and attitude based upon changes in my body's physiology.

Lessons Learned
I could have never completed this program without a hot tub. The first few times in 10 minute showers and ocean swims required long (30+) sessions in the hot tub. Even after taking more then 20 ten minute+ showers my back is still way more sensitive to the cold water then my front or sides. I also find that when run and do breathing holding after my runs it is much more difficult to do the breath holds.  I can walk into 39 degree water without hesitation and don't feel the cold water.  This is much different then not wanting to go into 60 degree water during the summer months before I completed the program.  I also found it amazing how it is possible to run with just shorts and running shoes in sub 20 degree weather.

NH Seacoast Cloud Immersion Facebook Page