Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training | The Health Sessions

Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training

Ronald Aartsen is a practitioner of Japanese acupuncture and other acupuncture styles with classic roots in Rotterdam & Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He also gives workshops teaching Breathing and Cold Exposure after finishing an instructors year in 2014 with Wim Hof, better known as The Ice Man.

 

1. What is Breathing & Cold Exposure training, based on the Wim Hof Method?

It’s a method that consists of 3 components: breathing techniques, cold exposure and mindset/focus.

 

2. Why would anyone voluntarily take an ice bath? What are the benefits of cold exposure?

Excellent question. If you would have told me before 2014 that I (being a big fan of tropical sun and climates) would be sitting in an ice bath, take outdoor swims in the winter or be hiking through snowy landscapes in shorts, I probably would have thought you lost your mind.

But as an acupuncturist and a meditation & qigong enthusiast I am very interested in our self healing abilities and our inner power. So I read about Wim Hof and the research that was going on and decided to step out of my comfort zone and registered for a workshop.

I loved the effect of the breathing techniques and the power I felt in and after the ice bath! Me as an Indo chilling in a tub filled with ice cubes. And I loved the simplicity of it all. You don’t have to train for years and years to be able to do this.

Let me be clear, the components are not new. The East has a long tradition of similar disciplines and people know the benefits for their health. Same goes for Russia and Northern Europe for example. Wim Hof just made it available to larger group and involved science to research the combination of these techniques.

After the one day workshop I immediately registered for the instructors year including a week of training in Poland and walking up a ski slope in shorts to name one element.

I will just name a few results here without getting into the scientific details. Research has shown that cold exposure can lead to a better functioning immune system (and how to voluntarily control it), increase in metabolism and an increase in brown fat. Combined with the breathing and focus techniques it can help to reduce pain, lead to better cirulation and boost your cardiovasclular system and energy. You can find a great overview on the research here.

The Cool Challenge was a project to measure the effects of cold showering. The report can be found here.

Read more >Taking An Ice Bath: What You Can Learn From Breathing & Cold Exposure Training



3 Ways to Stay Awake Without Caffeine | The Health Sessions

3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)

This is a guest post by Sarah Cummings from The Sleep Advisor.

The mid-week slump. We’ve all been there. Some of us even experience the midday slump, every single day. Really, it’s exhausting. And when we find ourselves drained of energy, sugar is often the first thing we turn to for a boost. That, or caffeine. And caffeine, while it may appear to be your secret weapon sometimes, is not your friend.

So here are a few ways to stay awake during the day…without the caffeine buzz.

Read more >3 Ways to Stay Awake During the Day (Without Caffeine)



Summer Reading Guide: Hacking Your Health And Happiness with 19 Surprising Strategies | The Health Sessions

Summer Reading Guide: Hacking Your Health and Happiness with 19 Surprising Strategies

It’s hard to believe we’re halfway through 2017 already. I’ve launched a book, gave birth to a beautiful baby boy and celebrated many milestone moments for my family. Time for well-deserved break to relax and recharge for the second half of the year!

If you’re also looking to make the most of your summer holidays, check out these 19 surprising strategies from around the web to hack your health and happiness. 

 

Read more >Summer Reading Guide: Hacking Your Health and Happiness with 19 Surprising Strategies



Two Birds, One Stone: 4 Healthy Habits with Multiple Benefits | The Health Sessions

Two Birds, One Stone: 4 Healthy Habits with Multiple Benefits

Healthy living can feel like a lot of work, especially when you start your wellness journey with full enthusiasm, trying to add every advice to your health repertoire: moving your body regularly, upgrading your food pattern, quitting bad habits like smoking or drinking, adopting natural wellness rituals and a daily meditation practice.

How do you find the time and energy to fit that all into your already busy schedule?

Well, partly it’s a matter of setting priorities of course. We’re all guilty of mindlessly browsing the net, binge-watching series and being busy for busy’s sake. If that’s the case, you could try things like the Power Hour Method to get a healthy head start on your day. But if you lack the necessary ‘spoons’ to do so – or you have little ones running around who make a dedicated morning routine impossible – you can also add multifunctional healthy habits to your day.

A multifunctional habit is a helpful behaviour that serves more than one purpose. In other words, you get multiple health benefits from performing one single routine. 

For example, by doing your groceries on foot, you combine a necessary chore with a brisk walk, fresh air and hopefully some sunshine. Plus, you can’t thoughtlessly throw ‘great discount offers’ of not-so-healthy food items in your shopping cart, because you’ll have to be able to carry everything home eventually.

So which multifunctional habits could help you lead a healthier lifestyle in an effortless way? 

Read more >Two Birds, One Stone: 4 Healthy Habits with Multiple Benefits



How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You're Chronically Ill | The Health Sessions

How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You’re Chronically Ill

December, the month of celebrations. From the Dutch Sinterklaas, Hanukkah, Christmas and New Years Eve , it’s the time for culturally-rooted festivities all around the globe.

But it’s little different celebrating when you’re chronically ill.

Pain, fatigue and other horrible symptoms can definitely mess up your plans and traditions. Depending on your personal health situation, enjoying things like shopping for presents, cooking an elaborate Christmas dinner, attending parties or even staying up on New Year’s Eve may not be an option – or one you pay a high price for with days or weeks of recovery time.

The trembling legs, relentless nausea or breathlessness won’t go away for a day just because today is a holiday and you want to celebrate. You still feel as good, bad or awful as you do every day, and it’s hard to keep smiling, enjoy the feast at the table and focus on sparkling conversations around jou when you experience throbbing pain or ’embarrassing’ stomach troubles at the same time.

So how can you make the most of the holiday season even when you’re chronically ill?

Read more >How to Enjoy the Holiday Season When You’re Chronically Ill