This Ice Bath Facilitator Got Injected a Endotoxin with Wim Hof
Meet Reem now helping people face their controlling minds.
Reem, my dear friend. Can you give me a little presentation of yourself, a little bit of background?
About five, six years ago, I was working a job, I didn’t really like it. One day I was looking around the place of the business and I saw people very busy, one guy walking with a laptop on his left hand, the phone between his head and shoulder, and he was having a conversation with a colleague.
I was like, wow, is this my future? In that moment I felt and I knew I was at the wrong place. It took me a while to really get it done and leave my job, but I did. After quitting I started adventuring. I did a lot of countries, started in Thailand, Asia. I did many things: nature parks, diving, volcanoes, all these kind of things, living life.
I escaped the matrix so to speak. Now, close to six years later, I’m still doing good. I don’t have too much stress or worries, I cannot complain.
Backpacking to escape the 9 to 5, and then you found your way as a solopreneur.
Yeah, I created a website along the way, with some work with resumes and cover letters. Right now there’s one person doing the work.
For the rest, I’m really dwelling in the topic. I ask myself what I want to do to earn money, and it has to be something I really like, I don’t want to have any kind of pressure when it comes to making money. I don’t want any stress involved. I just want to be in a space and let it come, create like an invitation like, hey, I have this ice bath, or I have that, and people can come, people can speak about it. And I think it’s a bit like a law of attraction kind of thing. If you are there, and you show that you don’t really need it, and it must be true, you cannot pretend these things, then it works.
Without the scarcity. Alright, so we’re here to talk about Wim Hof breathing and cold exposure. So, how did you first encounter this?
The first encounter was when I was just… I think I was studying, or I had just finished studying. I went back to have dinner with a friend. She lived in the place where I stayed for a long time as a student. And I saw the flyer advertising the endotoxin research where they wanted to inject people with a part of bacteria.
I was like, wow, can we really influence our immune system, with Wim Hof’s breathing techniques, in such a way that we can deal with this bacteria? Because if you’re untrained, you have symptoms like fever and flu and being hot, being cold, shivering, shaking, feeling sick, even puking. But he claimed that we could easily overcome that with the breathing techniques and the cold exposure, that it won’t affect us at all.
So, I was like, wow, I have a chance to experience that with Wim Hof as a guide, sounds like this is for me. A full yes right away, without any doubt. So, I signed up and got a health check, some instructions and sometime later we were in Poland walking a mountain at minus 17 degrees, it was freezing.
He is doing it like a retreat, bringing foreigners from around the world for seven days. It looks like an amazing experience. So, since you’ve been practicing this, what can you say are the long-term benefits you’ve noticed in your day-to-day life?
I built myself an ice chest, it’s a chest freezer sealed off with silicone kit, and it has a temperature clock and other things. I use it every morning.
What I noticed is that it trains two things: it has biological effects and mental effects. When I wake up in the morning, I don’t really feel like going in there. That’s already a practice, it’s going to be cold for a while, which I won’t like, there is resistance, tension, but I do it anyway, even though I don’t really feel like doing it. So, that’s already the conditioning for the whole day. It’s like training the masculine, like penetrating the world and going through things and obstacles and having a goal even though you’ll face resistance and obstacles, so that’s already the practice in the morning.
For me, that’s the biggest benefit I get. And besides that mental aspect, you have, of course, biological effects with a stronger immune system, better sleep, less stress, and being emotionally equanimous.
So I have all these kind of effects, and it’s a great way to start a day. It’s like you already did some work in the morning, right away, even though it’s for a few minutes. And then you have it, and you have it done. Whatever happens that day, you have a good day, because you started the day with a feeling of achievement.
So, it’s amazing, especially the ice bath. I do the breathing before, and then the whole combination with a few partial push-ups now and then. I want to add in affirmations and vision work over time. Having a good routine at the start of the day is incredible.
Amazing. Can you get me through what a session of Wim Hof breathing and ice bath exposure looks like? And do you have a story of one of your participants that you can share with us. Like a case study, someone that was able to overcome.
I created a post on Facebook, got some messages and finally a girl showed up. She had lots of fears; she had fears of being cold, fear for the ice, fear for the heat of fire, and some other fears as well. When she cooks with fire, she is scared and worried that she might burn herself.
I was surprised. Like do people have fears like this? And I worked with her. We did the breathing and also did seven minutes in the ice. What she learned was that all these fears came from her ego, it’s a voice in our head that tells stories, and we listen to it. She discovered that the voice was silenced when she was in the ice.
She was in the ice and the fear was gone. That was a great experience, the separation of the ego and the mind. That experience changed the meaning and significance of the voice for her. She now sees it in a different way. It’s revealed, now she has a new perspective about it. She now has a new relationship with that voice. The voice lost its power after that experience.
Did you follow up with her, like, a few days after, or something like that?
Yes, she was doing great. She was in for a long time, so a part of her hand felt a bit numb. And this could happen if you’re new to the ice bath. But she was doing good. She said she had a great experience, I even documented it in a short video.
We’re going to share this. Can you get me through what a group session looks like?
Yeah, it starts first of all with the entry time. Let’s say it’s two o’clock, people drop in a bit later. There’s space for people to arrive, get to know each other, talk a bit, maybe ask or answer a question here and there, just a bit of landing. Then there is a fixed time when we really start.
This is important because people arriving late will disturb the others, as it is an inward process, so it’s important to start with one group. It’s a one for all all for one kind of experience.
We start with some talking about how I discovered it, the benefits, the things that might come, the fear, how it has its voice and tries to interrupt and create resistance, all these kind of things. People also get to know more about me.
After that is meditation, to really connect with the body, shift the attention from the mind, for a few minutes. Once we have done that, we actually explain the breath work, I’ll show some things, how to do it, how not to do it, so people can correct themselves in already large ways.
Then we practice breathing together as a group. I walk around and give some corrections here and there. After that we’ll group people, three or four per group, in ice tanks. Then we’ll do the challenge, and I really must say that I had a success rate that was almost 100%. That’s not to brag or anything, I say this because many times people think like, oh, I cannot do it, and they believe that. But that part that tells them they can’t will be silent.
After the ice bath we have a bit of a gathering, people walk around enjoying food and drinks and asking questions. People can connect even more because they have a shared experience.
That’s so true. Human connection is a beautiful experience. So, why do we do Wim Hof before the ice bath?
We do the Wim Hof before the ice bath to load the body with oxygen. That’s important. And also during the retention time there is a shift to the parasympathetic.
The sympathetic mode is the mode we use outside the cave, for hunting, looking for targets, fending off attacks, running, etc. It involves a lot of adrenaline. The parasympathetic is the one in the cave, where we are in a rest state, digesting food, relaxing. And with his breathing exercises, we connect with the parasympathetic. Rapidly entering the very cold ice is a shock for the body, and the body needs to deal with it, so it switches to that state. That’s why we do the breathing work to prepare the body for the encounter.
Okay, amazing. So, to finish, do you want to share anything about this practice, any life advice? Anything you would like to close with?
What I would say is just for almost everyone, as a general advice. Go try it, play with it. Give yourself like a challenge, maybe like seven days of breath work in the morning. There are lots of videos about it on YouTube.
Don’t be too strict or too hard on yourself, just relax and explore. It’s an exploration. And after that, take cold showers. Put the shower on cold, as cold as possible, go in right away, and then figure out how to deal with it. Don’t go one leg, then another leg, go in right away.
Breath work might not be for you, maybe you’re more like a yoga person, but give it a chance. These things only work if it connects with you. There are other breathing methods you might like, there are actually tons of breathing methods, there is shamanistic breathing, some emotional release breathing methods, holotropic breathing, yogic breathing, there are many breathing methods.
Maybe breathing isn’t at all your thing, but just give it a chance. There are so many benefits you can gain from breath work.
Yeah, and the warning also, it wakes you up like crazy.
It wakes you up, you’re right away activated. Yeah, I compare it to how the muscles can get activated after a massage, you know, before they are a bit sleepy, maybe a bit painful. But if you have a good strong massage, you get activated and you’re energized, and with the ice bath, though it’s a physical experience, I experience it mostly in the mind as well. Your mind becomes open, you become more present, more masculine, more clear.
Naturally, when you go in the ice bath, or in the cold shower, you breathe with your mouth. But would you suggest controlling this mouth breathing and breathe through the nose instead? Or it doesn’t matter.
Well, there’s a bit of controlling, and on the other side you have to listen to your body. And if you are untrained, completely untrained, you jump in an ice bath, you have no idea about breath work, you have no idea how cold it is, your breathing goes something like this, oh no, it’s cold, oh no I have to go out, there is absolutely no control.
But what I teach them is like, be quiet, get quiet, and listen to how the body wants to breathe. There’s a bit of an adjustment period, but generally your breathing gets longer and stretched out, the inhale and exhale. It’s a surrendering process to really find what the body wants to do and open a space for that.
That’s amazing. Thank you for your time.
Learn more about Reem here: https://www.instagram.com/reem_ice/ (@reem_ice)