The Wim Hof Method

Updated: Jan 12

Take control of your mental and physical wellbeing to help with recovery

What Is the wim hof metHod?

The Wim Hof Method is a scientifically proven method that teaches you how to consciously influence your own body to better your mindset and can help you achieve things you never thought possible.

It makes a great accompaniment to alcohol counselling or your drug addiction treatment and is built on 3 pillars:

  1. Breathing - breathing is the core part of our autonomic nervous system and is the easiest to control and navigate. Wim has developed a breathing technique to increase oxygen levels in your system through deep and rhythmical breathing that boosts the amount of energy released into our body cells. This detoxes your body, reduces stress levels, rebalances the nervous system and strengthens your immune system. It is a great tool to help with alcohol detox and to assist your recovery.

  2. Exposure to Cold - subjecting the body to extreme cold on a regular basis releases endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) and has wide spread benefits that can help with drug and alcohol addiction. Cold showers and ice baths speed up metabolism, burn fat and helps the body recover.

  3. Commitment - Wim believes that having self-control is important if you are to lead a successful and happy life as it leads to better decision-making. Wim's breathing and cold exposure techniques train the mind in self-control and mental resilience.

“If you can learn to use your mind, anything is possible.”

- Wim Hof

how does it aid addiction recovery?

The Wim Hof Method has numerous mental and physical benefits that are scientifically proven.

Below are some of the key benefits to people in recovery for drink and drug problems and other addiction issues.

Mental benefits:

  • Improved mental health Addiction is often a byproduct of an underlying mental health problem such as depression, anxiety or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or is frequently the cause of such conditions. For example, Alcohol and anxiety issues are closely linked as alcohol changes levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. The Wim Hof Method helps to calm and focus the mind. Practising it releases endorphins that reduces stress and boosts your mood.

  • Stress control Stopping drinking, taking drugs or gambling can be stressful. The mix of breathing exercises, meditation and exposure to cold help you regulate your stress levels.

  • Burnout recovery and prevention The pressures of work and family life leads many to drink and drug addiction and can result in burnout. These techniques can help you get a handle on your daily struggles and help reset your nervous system. They can provide the energy boost you need to recover from burnout.

  • Increased self-control Many alcohol and drug problems, as well as other addictions such as gambling disorder, involve deep-rooted routines and behaviour patterns that over time become destructive. The Wim Hof Method requires patience and dedication and teaches self control. Wim explains that through meditation and conscious breathing you can observe your thoughts, emotions and impulses, without identifying or acting on them. Getting into an ice bath is like walking into a pub when you have just stopped drinking. Your mind is working against you but with some practice it is possible to control it to achieve your desired outcome. Over time your form new habits and create a new normal.

  • Increased happiness Alcohol problems, drug dependence or gambling addiction can cause unhappiness and depression. When we are happy we are more driven to make positive changes and be less self-destructive. Wim's controlled breathing techniques can create a feeling of calm and allow you to positively influence your emotions and happiness. Cold therapy is also proven to influence the development of positive emotions and combat depression.

Physical benefits:

  • Better sleep Sleep problems are common amongst those suffering from alcoholism, drug addiction and gambling problems ad can have a negative impact on our mental health and emotions. Getting regular, quality sleep that is synchronised with your body's sleep-wake cycle is key in achieving physical and mental wellbeing. Many people who practice the Wim Hof Method report improved sleep quality and feeling more energised which can help with recovery.

  • Positive stress When we are suffering with addiction we are often physically weak, feel negative about ourselves and lose our confidence. The Wim Hof Method put positive stress or "eustress"on the body which when done in a controlled manner is a positive thing as it provides feelings of motivation, inspiration and increased confidence. It also builds optimism, independence and builds strength in the body.

  • Heightened focus & determination Making a positive change in your life such as breaking addiction requires focus and commitment. The Wim Hof Method shocks the body in to the present moment and helps clears the mind leaving you in a good mental state to face and tackle your problems.

  • Reduced blood pressure Drinking too much Alcohol or Caffeine or taking drugs like Coke or MDMA can raise blood pressure to unhealthy levels and is one of the major causes of death worldwide. The Wim Hof Method of breathing and exposure to cold is proven to lower blood pressure, reduce your heart rate and strengthen your immune system.

  • Improved metabolism If you have an alcohol problem your body will need to process large quantities of alcohol. The Wim Hof method is proven to improve your metabolism which can help in your body clear your system from alcohol following binge drinking or alcohol dependency.

Who Is Wim Hof?

Wim Hof is an "extreme athlete"from Holland. He is famous for his self-taught abilities to withstand extreme conditions and complete astonishing physical challenges such as sitting in a bath of ice for nearly two hours and climbing 22,000 feet up Everest in a pair of shorts which has earned him his proud title of "The Iceman".

Wim decided to give up alcohol in his twenties as he realised it was probably going to kill him and following the death of his wife in 1997, discovered the benefits of extreme cold on healing and wellbeing. He subsequently developed his proven method and has become a recognised global leader on health with a huge international following. His techniques are now used by elite athletes and US Navy Seals to better operate under stress.

We are built to be happy, strong and healthy. I fear not to live. We have everything to live up to our dreams. You have everything to achieve that, and in a very short period of time you can get all the tools to manifest who you want to be.

- Wim Hof

where can i find out more?

You can learn more about the Wim Hof Method at

Please note: Everybody’s body is different and as such will respond differently to different types of treatment and intervention. If you have a serious or specific medical issue Wim highly recommends speaking with a healthcare professional before practising his method.

Looking for help with addiction?

If you need help with a drug addiction, alcohol problem or gambling issue then our specialist addiction counselling service can help. We are in recovery ourselves so understand what you are going through. Book a consultation and start your journey to recovery today!

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