This was the question I was asking myself one day. My life had taken some unexpected twists and I found myself caught between two worlds: that of the warrior and that of the healer. In one hand, I held a bunch of herbs, while the other was clenched ready to fight.
Watch the video to find out. What else will you learn?
Nearly everyone is sniffling and coughing. But, we can boost our immunity and stay healthy during this cold part of the year by using our breath, herbs and cold showers.
I love the change in seasons: the mornings get cooler and the leaves are changing colour. But, with that comes a change in us too: snotty noses, chest infections and colds.
When I was younger, I inevitably got a cold at this time of year. It was a pattern I found hard to break. But, now things are different thanks to our greatest ally - nature.
We are part of nature and when we start to learn from her, everything changes for the better.
A couple of weeks ago, I could feel the early signs of a cold: I was a bit tired, a little achy and not myself.
Breath and sage
I used two things to ignite my immune system, increase my energy and fight off any infection before it could take hold:
A local eccentric once told my mother that when he felt a cold coming on, he would walk up Howth Head and let the freezing sea wind blow it out of him. I used to think he was mad. It turns out he is right. Gradual exposure to the cold ignites our immune system and helps us fight off sickness. Wim Hof Method has proven that.
Learn more about Wim Hof Method.
Cold and breathing
I really didn’t feel like getting into a cold shower. But, by doing that, and the Wim Hof Method breathing exercises, I felt stronger and more energised. But, that wasn’t all I did.
After the showers, I warmed up with some magnificent sage and honey tea. I have written about its power before. Read more. The video explains how to make it.
Within a couple of days I was 100% again. The cold never really took hold. It was a great feeling to know that I could do something about it. The old pattern was broken and I could get back to enjoying the changing seasons.
If you feel tired, sick, stressed or depressed, there is a simple and effective way to change that. It is a natural combination of breathing, focus and gradual exposure to the cold. It has turned the medical world's view of what we’re capable of upside down. For the first time in Ireland, you can now learn the Wim Hof Method.
It was a strange sight. The sea was grey, nearly black, except for the white tops of the choppy waves. But, there in the middle of it was the figure of a woman, swimming using only one arm. She bobbed up and down on her side, but still managed to crawl through the water.
I kept a close eye on her as I walked down to the shore. Eventually she emerged from the cold water, clutching the handrail with one hand as she got out.
Cold and free
She was old and glamorous with gold dangling earrings and full make-up (waterproof I presume!). On land, it was clear that she had suffered a stroke in the past and could only use one arm. But, in the cold Irish Sea she was free.
Gradual exposure to the cold is hugely beneficial to us. It boosts our immune system, reduces stress, increases cardiovascular strength and connects us deeply with our emotions and nature. We feel exhilarated and electrified (in a good way) afterwards.
Bursting with energy
When we combine it with profound, deep breathing the benefits are nearly limitless. It has been scientifically proven that the combination of breathing, cold and focus can increase our immune system, decrease inflammation, balance our hormones, bring about a stable, calm state of mind and make us feel happy. It is natural, simple and effective.
I’ve felt it. I went from being tired all the time (that’s what four young children will do to you) to bursting with energy.
The person spearheading this revolution in health and happiness is Wim Hof. His simple and effective method combines breathing, cold and focus. It is proving again and again that we are capable of becoming healthy, happy and strong one breath at a time.
Deep down we already know this, but we’ve forgotten along the way. Well, not all of us. When I finished my swim, I ended up sitting beside the glamorous old lady as we dried off. She turned to me and said:
Life is always better when you’ve been in the cold sea.
Learn more about the Wim Hof Method by watching the video below.
I work with people to bring greater health, happiness and meaning into their lives. I write about the things I learn along the way. My name is Níall Ó Murchú.
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