One of my readers recently asked me if I ever just made something up. Whether I’d written something that wasn’t true – even outright lied. As you can imagine, I was shocked. l was deeply offended that anyone would feel the need to ask this. Of course, I lie! I lie in my columns all the time!
Except, I am NOT lying about this story.
This story is true. COMPLETELY TRUE! Go ahead and Google it if you don’t believe me. There is simply no need to lie when a man named Wim Hof is teaching a special method of breathing called (hold on to your hat) the Wim Hof Method Breathing (WHM, for short). That’s Wim in the picture above. I stole it from his YouTube video.
Not to oversimplify it, but Wim Hof thinks it’s healthy to deprive yourself of oxygen. According to Wim, calmly confronting a stressful experience, like the feeling of oxygen deprivation, helps us decrease the harmful effects of stress. Among other things, when we panic, our body releases harmful cortisol. His breathing exercise helps us control our sense of panic.
I was immediately attracted to this exercise for two reasons:
1. I already knew how to breathe. (Not to brag, but I’m an exceptionally good breather. I’ve been complemented on my breathing.)
2. It was free. (I am, after all, from Alsea.)
Wim provides instructions on his website, along with this ominous warning –
“Note that WHM breathing can affect motor control and, in rare cases, lead to loss of consciousness. Always sit or lie down before practicing the techniques. Never practice while piloting a vehicle, or in or near bodies of water.”
Note that his warning does not say “driving a car,” it says, “piloting a vehicle.” This is probably to make sure no one thinks that, while it might be dangerous to do this driving a car, it’s perfectly permissible while flying a plane.
I must confess that I did violate the warning about doing this near a body of water. Call me a dare devil, but I’ve pushed the envelope. I’ve practiced this several times mere inches from my morning coffee.
WHM involves breathing in and out quickly thirty times, then EXHALING and holding what little is left of your breath for a minute, then sucking in air and holding your breath for 15 seconds. You repeat this two more times, except you hold your empty lungs for 90 seconds on the second two rounds.
It’s quite a rush. I’m not a recreational drug user, but I’ve got to admit that each time I’ve done it, I’ve felt like a stone-cold crack cocaine addict. It’s a wild ride.
They say drug dealers groom new customers using a technique called, “The first one’s free.” Well, good news. When it comes to WHM, so is the second one.
I only have one question –
Does “piloting a vehicle” include operating an excavator?
Please do me a favor – Comment and share!
Also, before you leave –
Check out these great books:
The Lawyer’s Song: Navigating the legal wilderness
Seven Rules for the College Playground
Seven Secrets You Need to Know to Hire the Right Lawyer