In iced water with a smile.
Why I wanted to immerse myself in frozen water.
A friend who realized this “trip” last year made me wanting to test.
Not really loving the absolute truths of “everything is white or everything is black” and having a predominance of thought about the cold that looks like “it’s bad for the human body”, I wanted to try the experience.
I also wanted to know the opinion of the trainer about the cold applied on the sprains or the cold in the food and the drinks. I will come back to it later.
As I often say, “we only live once at a time”. It seems to me essential to try the experiments that are available to us, when we have the opportunity to do so.
I thank my wife who gives me a lot of freedom about my internships, training and various experiences.
The “Wim Hof method” which has been the subject of several scientific experiments also seems to be a method that increases the capacity of the human body (and its spirit) and therefore has a certain influence on the health of the person who practices it. My job is helping people finding the optimum balance of their being. This method piqued my curiosity. If I could bring back to my office some little tecnics to help people get better, it would be great!
How it happened.
Without going into a detailed enumeration of all the activities carried out, which would take a while, here is how it happened.
On the first day, in the evening, during a post-dinner walk in the woods, Jerome, the trainer, asked us to remove our jacket, our sweaters and t-shirts and he guided us in our breathing.
When you see your breath making clouds in the cold air, it’s a very nice contrast. This is how we continued our walk in the woods, in the cold without feeling the unpleasant effects or shaking.
A nice first step.
The next day, we were up at the dojo at 7am where we started with yoga and breathing methods.
Then he told us “go get your swimsuits and towels and we find ourselves near the small pond below the cottage”
THE moment had arrived.
Stay in the cold air, it’s okay. But then comes the first step in the water. Then sit in it and finally lie down with just the head sticking out.
During the first few seconds, my breath was jerky and went in all directions. Jerome, with his warm, slow voice, asked me to inhale and then stop breathing. After a few seconds, he asked me to exhale and then repeat this cycle. After 3 cycles of controlled breathing, it became natural and a strange feeling of well being and satisfaction overwhelmed me. During my immersion, my hands were badly cold. Then, after what my friends called fifty seconds, I came out.
I must admit that after the shock of the entry into the water, the fear of the beginning that faded gradually began to gently come at the end of immersion, but different and less intense.
Outside the icy water it was “good” outside. I do not have to hurry to wipe and get dressed. It was “relax”.
The few minutes that followed were full of serenity, self-satisfaction, connection with nature and with the friends who had just passed through this experience. A feeling that I’m not ready to forget.
It was only 10 minutes after getting dressed that my body had a few minutes of tremors. Normal process of regulation.
After a good breakfast, straight for the mountain where we could have a good big hike, shirtless, in a “nice” blizzard.
The face of the people or school groups we came across, well wrapped up in their layers of clothes, were pretty funny!
Afternoon swimming pool and sauna.
The next day, in bulk: 20km in the snow, 1200m of elevation gain, baths in the ice water of 2 lakes of Vosges.
The only downside was that these two lakes had layers of ice and then water and ice, which made the digging holes and total immersion impossible.
At the end of 20km, to join the cars, we had fun down a ski slope on our buttocks. A good band of old teenagers a little mad-crazy. Huge memories!
This descent seems innocuous but it is at this moment that one realizes that the joy, the freedom of spirit, the enthusiasm, the humor and the good mood are all components which guarantee a good health. Sometimes the biggest lessons can be found in the most “small” events.
The last day, after yoga and breathing exercises, we dipped one last time in the pond of the chalet.
The immersion was much easier and my fingers were already more comfortable with the cold than two days ago. I stayed in the water, according to my partner, for 3 minutes 15. At the end, I felt really good and I started to turn in the water with pleasure.
Throughout the course, we made “hugs” in the morning, in the evening, after the “tests”, or when one felt the envy.
My first “hugs”, I had to admit, were “simple” and I could have done without. Thru the experience, they were more and more filled with love. No individual love but a love shared with my friends. Sincerity at the raw state.
I can really thank my friends for their sincerity and their true love.
The internship ended in beauty.
What I found in this internship
A re-connection with myself, in a deep way.
Sharing with exceptional people. Thanks to them !
A desire to take a little better care of myself.
A “relativity”, a distance with the stresses or difficulties that can be encountered in everyday life.
A love of life still grown, as short or long as life can be!
“Ice is for dead people”
Many of my patients that I bothered with the phrase “the ice is for the dead” challenged me about this experience.
“Hey, Christophe, you tell us that the ice is for the dead and you dive in. Are you kidding?”
There are 2 situations where I explain that the cold is harmful:
1. On injuries or structural problems related to wear or injury.
When there is a sprain, for example, the blood vessels must provide elements of repairs and evacuate elements resulting from the repair work, the waste.
If ice is applied, the blood vessels contract and therefore both the repair items and the waste can no longer circulate easily to and from the wound. It then follows a deposit of waste in the injury that will confer later, a chronic character and a higher sensitivity with a risk of recurrence more increased.
2. In the diet.
The digestive sphere, to function well, needs heat. Before or during meals, filling it with liquids or cold foods only breaks the “digestive fire” and slows down the proper processing of food. Some people may testify that when they swallow icy drinks, they go to the toilet and immediately evacuate unformed stools. The work of transformation and assimilation of food can not be done.
Avoid cold drinks and, on the contrary, prefer hot drinks some time after the meal, allows the digestive system to find a better efficiency.
So, good or bad?
In fact, if we give a little cold to the body (outside, not food), it will automatically want to fight and bring warm for this purpose. This is also the reason why we become red after being exposed to cold. The body opens the vessels to re-generate hot in cool places.
If you really want to put heat on a sprain, then 2-3 minutes are largely enough to cause a reaction.
In Chinese medicine, it is preferable to make massages, to apply complex plants or to bleed.
As for food, I would banish cold in all cases in people who have digestive problems.
I am very happy to have discussed it with Jérome, our trainer, who shares this vision of things.
I can only recommend this internship.
A (re-) discovery of oneself.
Thank you so much, Carolien, Béatrice, Clara, Kristine, Terry, Mélissandre, Jérome, Hervé, Maurits, Raymond, Martin, Marco, Filip, Granit, Ohad