Queen of wellness, Miranda Kerr, has long been a guiding light for better ways to support mental and physical health. In a conversation with Kourtney Kardashian for British Vogue, the former Victoria’s Secret model revealed she regularly harnesses the Wim Hoff Method as a means to ease anxiety and internal stresses.
“I’ve recently been doing the Wim Hoff breathing technique,” Kerr tells Kardashian. “You do a series of breaths and they guide you through it… It just floods your body with oxygen and it helps supposedly with mental health, physical health and energy and stamina and endurance.”
At closer inspection it is apparent that Gwyneth Paltrow is a believer in the breathing technique with strong endorsement via wellness giant, Goop. While it is known mindfulness practices such as meditation has positive effects on our mental wellbeing, curious, I looked into the breathing practice further.
Who Is Wim Hoff?
Wim Hoff (also known as ‘Iceman’) is a Dutch extreme athlete who has set numerous Guiness World Records for swimming and running through ice cold water and snow. The now 62-year-old has written several books and backed by studies, has developed the aforementioned breathing technique.
Is The Wim Hoof Method supported By Scientific Evidence?
According to the Wim Hoff website, the method was developed off the back of two studies conducted by Radboud University in 2014 and Wayne State University in 2018.
Radboud University concluded, “The results showed how the techniques of the Wim Hof Method seemed to evoke a controlled stress response. This response is characterised by sympathetic nervous system activation, which seems to attenuate the innate immune system. Here, Wim Hof proved he was able to influence his autonomic nervous system.”
As previously mentioned by Kerr, the benefits of such results include increased energy, better sleep, stress management, heightened focus, and a stronger immune system.
Studies remain ongoing.
What does the technique involve?
The standard method can be read in full, here. In essence it involves getting comfortable and following a series of breath work which includes inhaling deeply through the nose or mouth, and exhaling unforced through the mouth. This is repeated 30 to 40 times before a series of “recovery” breath work is done.
WHAT HAPPENS TO THE BODY DURING THE WIM HOF BREATHING?
During the breathing method, the body experiences short term hypoxia according to the website. Described as a “positive stressor” it signals the body to react and strengthen and to better deal with stress in the long term. For example increasing red blood cells, increasing lung capacity, improved circulation and improved metabolic efficiency over the long term.
As always, check wth your doctor first. Mindfulness however is always encouraged.