Wim Hof Method – Day 22

While I am falling behind on the writing, I am keeping up. This is yesterday’s practice. More work is good, sleeping well is important, and finding time for practice and writing will always be a priority.

I continued the practice yesterday despite some pain in my throat. I attributed the pain from having practiced some wicked collar chokes and escapes at jiu jitsu. This type of drilling can often leave the throat slightly damaged. The thing about going for submissions in jiu jitsu is that the person getting submitted will almost always resist. If you take someone’s arm and extend it away from their body, they know you are trying to attack it, and will recoil. You might have to fight to keep that arm and even more to extend it to a point where they submit. But the throat is not the same. Whether you are squeezing the windpipe or the carotid artery, there is no resisting a choke. Your choices are to tap, or to nap.

Even though I always choose tap, light training still causes some damage. This damage can manifest into a ‘sore throat’ or for someone with my medical history, strep throat. There are a number of reasons why I’ve had strep throat so many times in my life. The most recent cause could be jiu jitsu. When the tissue is damaged in the throat, I believe, the body has to use energy to repair it. This energy expenditure might be too much for the body to handle if an infection is also brewing. This is what I’ve come to learn. If you damage your throat, that you are more likely to have an infection spread. I liken this to a damaged apple. An apple will rot after a few days. It will absolutely rot sooner in an area where the skin is damaged.

With all that said, the breathing has become even more difficult to focus on due to the added distraction of esophageal discomfort. But I felt that I started to gain the rhythm yesterday, and have not yet started to practice today. I am confident that, with practice, I will hold for over 2 minutes consistently in the coming weeks. The breathing is certainly not easy, which makes it an appealing challenge.


Times : 1:30, 1:45, 1:55, 2:05

Physical: I felt relaxed seated today. I was able to improve with each by noticing the feeling of being “charged”. Much better than the previous practice.

Mental: While I was in a bit of a rush, I was able to dedicate myself to the practice. I could have been more focused.

Notes: As work, sleep, and extracurricular schedules start to mold, focus will improve.


2 thoughts on “Wim Hof Method – Day 22

  1. I caught a nasty cold virus last Friday. It started with a little scratch in my throat. By Monday it had knocked me on my ass and I had to put my practice on hiatus for the sake of recovery. Winter it’s a monster. I’m doing this practice to find things to love about the cold, while improving my resilience. Feeling good enough to get back to it today, though. I’ve got some old blog entries to read. I’m behind.

  2. I noticed this morning that I can hold my breath, on the inhale, if I completely relax my body while I’m holding. It causes a pressure to build up in the head which is kind of unpleasant, but I increased my holding time from 1:20-1:30 to 2:15! I used to keep a slightly negative pressure in my lungs during inhale retention so as not to leak any air out, but I tried relaxing my chest and stomach which increased the pressure on the lungs and head but instead allowed me to hold my breath for over 2 minutes for the first time ever.

    I also tried to push myself way further, I fought the panic for as long as possible and when I began breathing again I automatically drew big and deep breaths which I kept up for the second round of breathing and holding. It gave me strong tingling, and pre-cramp sensations on my lower lip and on two parallel muscles that connect the neck to the skull. I managed to hold my breath for about 2 minutes during each exhale retention and inhale retention after that.

    I’m not following the Wim Hof method, I’m winging it and have been improving my holding time, push ups during breath retention (from 23 to 37 repetitions in 3 weeks!) and sensitivity to cold. As a side note, if you take walks regularly, to the grocery store or whatever, try taking a deep inhale during 2 steps and an equal exhale during 2 steps. Do this in a relatively high pace for 10-20 minutes and see if it energizes you. It gives me massive amounts of energy!

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