2 Years ago, while doing my research on Yoga I came across the term “The Cold Therapy”. Wim Hoff was the flag-bearer and the biggest promoter for this concept. He holds many records for enduring extreme cold and maintain body temperature and survive the conditions which once considered impossible. He was so determined to prove that his “Cold Therapy” works that he asked medical scientists to do experiment not only on him but also on his students which were practising this only for a few weeks. At the end of the experiment, they were showing better immunity than the rest of the test subjects.
Most of us know agree that yoga can improve our immunity and well being but this was not the surprising part, how quickly you can see the results that what made me more curious.
So I thought I will give it a go.
What is Cold Therapy
In simple words, it is as simple as exposing your body to extreme cold saturations. You can try a cold shower on a cold day. You can try an ice bath on a hot day (put a couple of bags of ice in the bathtub and sit in for a few minutes).
Cold Therapy is commonly used to sports where athletes use the cold shower or cold bath to recover quickly and reduce muscle inflammation. Wim Hoff also suggests a couple of breathing techniques which need to be done as well to get better results.
Mind over body
The theory purposed by Wim is, if you can control your mind then your body will follow. According to him, our bodies are capable of doing extreme things but first, we need to unlock this power by controlling our mind. Meditation and Yoga are helping us do that for years, this is just another method.
According to him, when we put our body in a stressful situation then our body goes in a survival mode. In the survival mode, our mind and body work together to survive this situation. Our mind is so focused on surviving that it only focuses on the situation and nothing else, so all our worries and problems go away for that brief time. In theory, it seems workable, as I remember whenever I am in a stressful situation I forget everything else and just want to get out of it and I put most of my energy in that.
Touch of reality
It was a cold day and the idea of having a cold shower was chilling me to my bones. I am someone who always enjoys my long hot showers. I don’t even remember when I turn the shower knob to full cold last time even in summer days. I am getting more and more uncomfortable with the idea, while sitting in my blanket sipping my hot tea I was thing why put myself under so much stress while I can follow my normal routine. But then I realize, this was the whole idea to put your body under a very uncomfortable situation so that your brain and body can work together and help you survive.
After wasting some more time to find an excuse that why I shouldn’t do it, I finally convinced myself to give it a go.
While standing in the bathroom, I realized Wim was correct. The solo focus of mine was to endure the cold and get out of the shower alive. My mind was so focused on the task that I was not thinking anything else, no thought of personal problems, no word peace and no COVID. The only thought I had was my life matters and I have to get out of this bathroom alive.
With full determination, I have turned on the shower to full cold, the first drops of cold water hit me like fireballs, yes! I couldn’t figure out that the water was too cold or too hot. I was dancing in the shower like a headless chicken trying to survive the cold. The next part of the task was to control my breathing, and I was not in control at all, I just wanted to get out. But after few minutes of the chicken dance, I tried to take control, all I have to do now is to breathe normally as I was breathing heavily or sometimes not breathing at all. After a few minutes, I started breathing normally, I won't say 100% normal but in a controlled manner. Let me tell you once my breath was under my control the water was not feeling that cold. I am getting more and more comfortable with the cold shower but for the first day that was enough. These few minutes seemed like an eternity but I am glad I did this.
Once I was out of the shower, I was so happy, yes! I have survived, that was the only thing I was thinking. Only then I realized that maybe for a few minutes my mind was 100% focused on one task and for me this was meditation.
Focusing your mind on one thing is the meditation and this can be achieved many different ways, this is one of them.
So tell me are you scared of Cold…or maybe not.