Ice Baths - Next Level
The Wim Hof Method, which also incorporates cold water exposure into its teachings and pratice has been gaining a lot of popularity recently. I had the opportunity to attend a Wim Hof introduction course, given by Sebastien Zappa, Ph.D., hosted at Opex Gym in Montreal. I had a front row seat, like I try to score at any event or presentation that I'm really keen on making the most of.
Then came the spiciest part - the ice bath. The goal was to stay in there for a minimum of 90 seconds, and a maximum of 120 seconds (or 2 minutes, in other words.) My broken collarbone wound is still tender, so I left one swimsuit strap off.
This approach is the same one to use getting into difficult and scary situations in life, or even workouts that promise a bit of suffering. Jump in and go, without pondering what the future holds.
The second trick is to right away, get control of breathing. Take in big deep breaths, and expel just as much air as you take in. Short, puffy, panicked pants are counterproductive. This is partly where the Wim Hof breathing exercises come in handy. I learned earlier in the day a breathing techinque that involves pretty much all of my torso and yields a high volume of breath intake, plus a good thing for my mind to focus on.
The third trick, that I wasn't told, but adopted from my sauna experiences, is to control my mind. I essentially reminded myself, in my mind, that I was actually safe and okay despite what my instincts were screaming at me.
So when I can find an uncomforatble situation to get comfortable in, without actually causing any harm... I try it.