Despite being over 10, 000km away from Poland, we are very privileged to have our own Wim Hof-accredited instructor right here in Singapore. For those who are unfamiliar, Wim Hof is most famous for its ice bath. The purpose is to help practitioners to reconnect to ourselves, to others, and to nature.
Who is Wim Hof?
Wim Hof, also known as The Iceman, is a Dutch athlete most known for his ability to withstand cold temperature. In 2010, he set the world record for longest time in direct, full-body contact with ice at one hour, 44 minutes. While his record has since been broken, Wim Hof is still regarded as the expert in cold therapy.
The Wim Hof method comes with three pillars: Ice therapy, breathing, and commitment.
The Wim Hof approach is not really just about ice bath. It According to Wim Hof, the three pillars can lead to:
- Stress reduction
- Higher tolerance towards cold
- Faster recovery
- Increased creativity
- Stronger immune system
- Higher energy levels
- Improved sleep
- Better focus and determination
- Increased sports performance
- Increased will power
Wim Hof in Singapore
We were super fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Chun, who is the only certified WHM instructor in Singapore. He runs classes out of a space in Bishan, and also conducts workshops at Core Collective, Soma Haus, Trapeze, and Palm Ave Float Club.
Needless to say, Wim Hof is getting popular in Singapore!
Besides the typical ice bath, Chun actually offers other programmes under the Wim Hof programme! There is contrast therapy where you will get to learn more about breathing techniques, and also experience ice bath and infrared sauna. For those who are not yet ready to jump into a ice-filled freezer, Breathework basics will allow you to learn about breathing techniques without cold therapy.
Does Wim Hof work for chronic pain?
The truth is we don’t really know. As compared to other interventions, Wim Hof is considered fairly new. Furthermore, most of Wim Hof research looks into stress reduction rather than pain relief itself.
It is not surprising that Wim Hof could help with stress reduction. Many of the narratives used in Wim Hof closely mirrors mindfulness training. While they are nowhere close to being identical (e.g., no ice bath in mindfulness practice), the focus of being aware and being present are comparable.
A recently published study investigated the effects of an eight week programme on Antarctic expeditioners and found that Wim Hof training helps reduce depressive symptoms. However, cortisol levels between groups are comparable. This means while participants do experience an improvement in mental health, this change is not coming from a neuroendocrine change.
It should be noted that the prominent mindfulness programmes at also eight weeks in duration (e.g., mindfulness-based stress reduction, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy). Mindfulness as an intervention is also considered second-line treatment or adjunctive.
With this mind (no pun intended), it’s possible that Wim Hof training can help with your pain experience but should be used in conjunction with other first-line treatments such as exercise.
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Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.
Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.