Giorgio Bruins and Séverine Daniel have brought the Wim Hof method to Luxembourg. Dr. Mithu Storoni tells us how it works and why exercising our autonomous nervous system is good for us.
How many of you extol the values of a cold shower, or even a swim in the sea / lake? Cold showering and swimming is all the rage these days and Wim Hof has something to do with it.
Wim Hof, a.k.a. 'Iceman_Hof', had to deal with a sudden tragedy in his young adulthood when his wife committed suicide, leaving him with their four young children. Part of his recovery to cope was working with cold water.
Now the story of Wim Hof has developed much further, and the science behind why his methods of breathing and cold water exposure have a positive effect on us is being properly explored by scientists and the medical profession.
Giorgio Bruins and his wife Séverine Daniel went through their own dip in life, as we all do from time to time. Perhaps chronic stress, to which no medicine can truly cure it.
After a birthday present 'Wim Hof' experience in Ireland, Giorgio felt something shift in his body and within weeks felt his energy return. Séverine also noticed a huge change in her heart rate, as her resting rate fell by 10 beats per minute.
They went on to completely change their working lives and create B-You here in Luxembourg, giving a variety of sessions to help build mental resilience, physical resilience and increased immunity.
I was given the opportunity to try out their course last weekend and since then I am doing my best to turn my showers to cold (with a deep exhale) at the end!
*** IT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT TO NOTE THAT NO ONE SHOULD JUMP INTO A COLD LAKE OR SEA WITHOUT KNOWING HOW TO REGULATE YOUR BREATHING OR WITHOUT SUPERVISION UNTIL YOU UNDERSTAND YOUR OWN BODY ***
Dr. Mithu Storoni is a Cambridge neuroscientist and eye surgeon who now spends her time researching huge amounts of scientific papers across a plethora of fields to build links between the research. It's so hard for even a physician to be across all medicine with the wealth of information out there that we need people like Mithu to help us navigate the mind in our information-laden, digital world.
Her first book, Stress Proof (published by Penguin Random House, 2017), explored the spectrum of chronic stress from a multidimensional perspective.
Mithu explains how we have developed our environment to be so regulated - generally warm rooms or cars, minimal movement throughout the day, that our autonomous nervous system doesn't have enough exercise to be in its best working condition. There is on-going research into how heat exposure (such as bikram yoga or saunas) and cold exposure can re-equilibrate a nervous system that is not quite balanced. This has links to auto-immune disease and general well-being.
Mithu tells us how Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale and Alfred, Lord Tennyson were all exponents of cold water showers for their health and recovery. Medicine, in recent years, has become reductionist. We need to be in our environment more to stimulate all of our senses. We also talk about the 'Blue Zones', brought to fame by Dan Buettner, where people live long lives for a variety of reasons. Some include the community element, the general need to move throughout the day, and good natural food.
Dr. Storoni is currently working on her new book, Hyperefficient, to be published next year.
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