There is much to learn about stressing your body. However, there are many advantages to making your body and mind tackle something new. Here is a brief overview of using a Relax Infrared Sauna, Wim Hof breathing, and a cold shower or bath.
"Why would you subject yourself to these protocols?"
Combining these three will push your body to the next level to increase health benefits, protect you from disease, and help to increase nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a molecule that is essential to health. These molecules signal the blood vessels to relax and be able to expand, improving circulation. So think about your blood circulation and how it will help you to fight heart disease, Alzheimer's, erectile dysfunction, etc.
One of the most popular breathing protocols is the Wim Hof method. Are there different protocols? There sure are; anxiety, endurance, pain, mood, anxiety, stress control, interoception (the internal signals from your body), hangover, and adjusting to a high altitude, like a trip to Machu Picchu.
Protocol Suggestions and Cautions
Sauna, Breathing, Shower
Breathing, Sauna, Breathing, Shower
We do not recommend breathing exercises in the shower.
You can do breathing exercises in the sauna.
A good time to do breathing exercises is after your sauna. It will give your body time to cool down before your shower.
Listen to your body, and it will tell you when to perform breathing exercises.
If you have Arthritis, this may not be for you.
Always check with your MD, ND, and health professionals when adding or changing something new.
Relax Far Infrared Sauna
A Relax Sauna uses FAR Infrared heat to penetrate the body deeply. One of the best ways to improve blood flow, boost your immune system, and reduce anxiety.
Starting with 5 minutes, you gradually increase your treatment time from 15 minutes to up to 30 minutes 3-4 times per week.
Rehydrate and towel off
Cool down for 5-15 minutes. It is better to leave enough time to cool down before a shower straight after the sauna.
Basic Wim Hof Breathing Exercise
Where is your mind when you want to begin your breathing exercise? Listen to your mind and body to learn the signals. These signals will help you personalize your breathing each time you perform the exercise. Then, adjust as you need to.
Step 1 - Ready
Sit or lay down. Whichever is most comfortable. It should be a quiet and safe environment. No, the cat should not be lying on your chest, and the dog should not be licking your cheek. Make sure you can expand your lungs freely.
Step 2 – Responsive
Close your eyes and try to clear your mind; more challenging than you think, especially for those with a "squirrel brain." But, you will get better as your mind gets accustomed to the breathing exercise and time for you.
Pay attention to your breathing and try to connect with each breath.
Take 30 – 40 deep breaths. Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth, slightly pursing your mouth. For some, inhaling through your nose is difficult. However, it is OK to inhale through your mouth.
Fill up your lungs, your belly, and up to your head.
Now, exhale through your mouth. Do not force the exhale. Just relax and let the air out.
Step 3 – Retention
At the end of the last breath from Step 2, draw your breath in once more and fill your lungs to maximum capacity.
Do not use force.
Hold the air in until you feel the urge to breathe again. If you are too distracted, try to focus on a steady count from 1 to 5 during inhaling and exhaling.
Then relax and let the air out.
Step 4 – Recovery
When you feel the urge to breathe again, take one deep breath in and hold it for 10-15 seconds
Step 5 – Rounds
Let your breath go and start a new round. Then, fully let go and repeat the cycle 3-4 times.
Cold Shower or Bath – Is it good for you?
One of the body's main detoxification processes is sweating. So you want to wash away all that stuff you sweated out so your skin doesn't re-absorb it. Now, you can use your shower for additional health treatment.
Turn the hot water off and the end of your shower.
How will this help?
It improves blood flow, which can help your body fight disease and improve your health.
It can help with depression and anxiety
Increase your mental and physical energy because it elevates adrenaline and the release of endorphins.
Rejuvenates, just because of the increased blood flow
And for the intense individual, suppose your goal is to improve the body's stress response. Shocking the system by going from hot to cold dilates your blood vessels. You will cool down quickly when you take an ice-cold shower or bath immediately after a sauna
Acknowledgements and References
The Wim Hof Method, Wim Hof
The Healing Power of Saunas,
Dr. Lawrence Wilson
The Heat Shock Proteins, Peter W. Hochachka and George N Somero
Journal of Cardiac Failure
We will dig deeper in our upcoming series.