Breathing: The Forgotten Art

The human body can live for weeks without food, days without water but only minutes without oxygen.

And, while we spend a great deal of time and attention on what we eat and drink, we pay almost no attention to how we breathe.

I recently attended a course devoted to the art of breathing, led by a man known as Wim Hof. If you haven’t heard of him, you’re not alone, but he is quickly becoming a household name.

Wim has developed a breathing method termed the “Wim Hof technique” and it’s being taught all over the world and it’s having some profound health benefits.

During the course, Professor Marc Cohen from RMIT University discussed the science behind Hof’s breathing techniques. Professor Cohen and a team of PhD students are currently researching the Wim Hoff methodand its effect on the autonomic nervous system.

He explained, “Science is unable to currently fully explain what Wim is able to achieve using his technique. It will take science 30 years to catch up to what Wim is currently doing.”

The Wim Hof Method and its effect on the immune system

One of Hof’s claims is that he’s able to use his breathing technique to consciously ramp up or suppress his immune system as he likes.

It’s a claim that was deemed ‘impossible’ by our current medical knowledge, because it’s always been assumed that the immune system was under control of the autonomic nervous system. Just like it’s stated, the autonomic nervous system is an ‘automatic’ function – and one we have no conscious control over.

So to confirm Hof’s claim, he underwent a number of tests. One of which saw him being injected with a strain of eColi. After being infected by eColi, any normal person body’s will quickly develop an aggressive – which is our way of killing off the bacteria.

However, even after being injected, Hof showed almost no symptoms to the eColi. This astounded scientists who labelled him a ‘genetic abnormality’, as this was their only explanation.

To prove that his ability to be largely unaffected by the eColi was a result of his breathing technique and not down to a ‘genetic abnormality’, Hof offered to train a group of 18 volunteers and repeat the test on all of them.

After practicing his method for just 10 days, each of the volunteers were infected with E Coli – and to the surprise of the researchers, all had the same results.

Imagine the effects this discovery could have on life – it could all but alleviate our need for antibiotics, help those suffering from autoimmune disease and make the common cold a thing of the past.

Hof is literally rewriting our current understanding of human physiology.

Wim boasts many World Records. One of his incredible feats is summiting Mt Kilimanjaro in less than 48 hours. This, in itself was deemed a deadly mission with experts warning he’d be putting his life at risk as a result of the fierce elements. Not only did Wim conquer the mountain, but he trained up a group of people suffering from conditions like rheumatism, asthma and crones disease aged between 29 and 65 years and without any real mountaineering experience to do it with him. The group climbed all 5,895m dressed in only shorts and shoes without succumbing to hypothermia or altitude sickness -an achievement considered impossible by experts.

Want to find out more? Stayed tuned.

Blacksmiths Chiropractic is teaming up with H.E.L.P (Human Evolution Lifestyle Project) to bring the Wim Hof experience to you.