Science of Whm
Wim hof: A Look Deeper
Part 1: Hyperventilation:
During the first part of the breathwork we take deep inhales, using mouth and nose, into the stomach, using only the diaphragm muscles, and let the air fill up to your chest then imagine it going to your head and let the breath/tension go. You are breathing in oxygen, taking up all the space in your lungs and releasing all the CO2. This will blow off CO2 in your body. CO2 is necessary for oxygen transfer into your muscles, cells and tissues, without it, your body goes into a sympathetic state, blood vessels begin to constrict. Oxygen levels are at normal high levels of 98-100%. Your CO2 level and the transfer of that oxygen has drastically decreased bringing your blood into a more alkaline state. A more alkaline state makes it harder for viruses and bacteria to survive.
Part 2: The Nervous System
Wim Hof Method breathing includes a number of benefits which optimize not only the physical, but the mental, spiritual and emotional as well. The most powerful and beneficial of them all is the work being done within the nervous system. As we hyper ventilate we send ourselves into a deep sympathetic state (fight or flight) equivalent to person bungy jumping for the first time. Followed by a deep parasympathetic state (rest and digest) when we do the breath retention after the exhale. What we gain, through traveling back forth the extremes of our nervous system, is heightened control of where our brain is operating at any given time. The fact is, every function and movement that happens in our body is dictated by the central nervous system. Acquiring the ability to be in charge of where your nervous system is, allows us to optimize where and when we use/waste our energy; mentally and physically. Each time you breath consciously, you build a deeper capability to control your nervous system in real life situations. This includes improving coping abilities associated with pain and high stress situations through an improved vagal tone. .
Part 3: Chemical Balance
The chemical balance and cell expression in the body change and optimize during the breathing. During the first part of the breathwork, you are breathing in oxygen, taking up all the space in your lungs and releasing all the CO2. This will blow off CO2 in your body. CO2 is necessary for oxygen transfer into your muscles, cells and tissues, without it, your body goes into a sympathetic state, blood vessels begin to constrict. Your CO2 level and the transfer of that oxygen has drastically decreased bringing your blood into a more alkaline state. A more alkaline state makes it harder for viruses and bacteria to survive. Furthermore, in the sympathetic state, you will be charged up, having created an excess of needed energy in body. On the other side, during the retention and in the parasympathetic state, we bring our body to place of healing and deep connection within your ourselves. CO2 and nitric oxide begin to slowly build in the blood, nasal cavity, and entire body. Increasing the transfer of oxygen throughout your body on a level we typically won’t experience. In addition, the CO2 build up dilatates your blood vessels, allowing new, fresh blood, to flow freely throughout your body, providing healing nutrients. The continued replenishment of fresh blood to the muscles, tissues and cells decreases the lactic acid build up and allows the muscles to heal efficiently. More specifically, the breathing or intermittent hypoxia, increases blood PH, reducing inflammation and flushing lactic acid. This process as a whole optimizes our immune system, circulation, metabolism, and VO2 max (the body’s ability to work more efficiently with reduced O2) while reducing inflammation in the brain and body.