Strengthen your Immunity
by Rick Martin.
Your immune system can help fight against infections not just for the current situation but for any that may come in the future. I’m going to show you a breathing technique that I have practiced for months and found to be beneficial.
I first spotted a Dutch man Wim Hof on a Ted talk. Known as the “Ice Man” Wim is famous for his world records relating to cold exposure, from swimming under frozen lakes to climbing mount Kilimanjaro wearing only his shorts. He has set out to demonstrate our lost ability to influence the autonomic nervous system and states that anyone can learn to do this.
Most interesting and very relevant was the Radboud University Medical Center experiment where he was injected with endotoxin which normally results in flu like symptoms. By using his breathing technique along with some trained volunteers they were able to fight off this infection.
If you give this a try, you will hopefully notice a massive increase in your energy level throughout the day. There is also a natural High that comes along with the experience, which helps you wake up and puts you in a good mood.
I recommend you follow along with the beginners’ guided session with Wim.
To start I turn off the air con and open the window. It’s also very important and probably safest to do this either lying down or seated and please get a doctor’s advice if you have any medical conditions. Some people could potentially pass out, so go cautiously, and never do this when in water or driving!
Ok first off getting the breathing pattern down. The first thing to get used to is breathing into your diaphragm. If you’re doing it right your stomach will rise up and not your chest. I like to use an open mouth and not breath in through the nose to get as much air in as possible.
When Wim says “letting go”, that’s what you do, you don’t let all the air out you just let it go, the idea is a circular pattern. After about 15 or 20 of these you take your final in and then it’s what he calls breathe hold time.
I think this is a little confusing because when you usually hold your breath you hold the air in, here you are empty. This is where it gets interesting as you won’t need to breath in for some time, most people will easily go without breathing for a minute. But remember this the goal isn’t to build up how long you can do this. If at any point you feel the need – then breathe in.
By doing this exercise your body will become flooded with Oxygen. When I first did this I strongly felt it coursing through my body, and now I can hold for over two minutes.
Try this for a week and see how you feel. I hope this helps improve your health but remember these articles are only supplementary. I urge you to look at the video as well.
Now there have been a lot of claims about what this practice does for you. Videos on Youtube proclaiming you’ll never get sick again. I remember my disappointment when I did after some months eventually get sick. But maybe my level of cold exposure has been far less than ideal and nowhere near Wim’s. In fact I spent years here without ever feeling the cold and finding ways of getting cold can be challenging.
What I did implement was taking a cold shower every morning. The idea alone may make you shudder and I was the same as you when I started. But after some time unbelievably I have actually got to like them and now find them invigorating, energizing and a great way to start the day. And don’t worry too much. The showers here in Thailand don’t really get very cold and if they start out that way they soon warm up, especially at this time of year.
This practice is a great way to strengthen your willpower by consistently getting in there. I’ve often felt like I was wrapped in cotton wool and this is a great way to snap out of that. See it more as a rush even though you might still treat yourself to a hot one once a week.
Here are some of the reported benefits; glowing hair and skin, a way to reduce muscle soreness, help with weight loss, improve circulation, increased alertness, reduce stress through hardening your nervous system, quicker cooling, improved mood and help against depression, and what we are most after now increasing the amount of White blood cells in your body and other factors that stimulate the immune response.
Again if you have any underlying health problems get checked out by your doctor first, especially if you have a heart condition this is probably best left alone.
I personally like to go straight into a cold shower but some people start out hot and slowly reduce the temperature. I also like to finish off by getting under the air con while I am still wet with it set to its lowest temperature setting for five minutes.
Close your eyes and imagine that you are standing on a snowy mountain top. I love the way this feels.
For those of you who have a bath tub, after some weeks of this practice you might consider taking an ice bath. Fill your bath with cold water and buy a couple of packs of Ice cubes from seven eleven. But make sure you read up on this first, there are plenty of youtube videos out there. Unfortunately I can’t advise on this as I don’t have a bath at the moment.
Anyhow you don’t have to do all these things and maybe just the breathing is all you are comfortable with. But whatever you can consistently stick with I wish you a stronger immunity against infections.