Matt's rare skin condition deteriorated when he followed his prescription. At his wits end, he remembered hearing a bearded Dutchman talk about tapping into the immune system without pills. Read his story below, and hear him tell it in his own words.
The first time I saw Wim Hof was back in 2015, on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast. He then popped up again about a month later, on Karl Pilkington’s ‘The Moaning Of Life’, and I remember thinking “Wow, this guy really gets around”. I was really impressed with his abilities, but at the same time was adamant that I would never do that myself.
Fast forward to 2017; my dad was recovering from a heart attack and pneumonia while also living with COPD. He was in and out of hospital and extremely ill. My mum was doing her best to care for him, but made herself ill in the process, and found herself in hospital as well. If that wasn’t enough, my girlfriend was also very ill, and I was trying to look after all three of them while working two jobs. It’s easy to say that I shouldn’t have lived with so much stress for so long, but I really didn’t have much choice.
I found myself fatigued and in very poor health. I went to see a dermatologist about redness and inflammation that had developed all over my scalp, and was diagnosed with folliculitis. I was then passed over to a doctor for further tests. My blood test results showed an elevation in my white blood cell count to around 15000. Normal levels are between 4500 and 11000. This lead to a diagnosis of an autoimmune disease. I was prescribed Hydroxychloroquine, and told that treatment could take between two and three years.
The Hydroxychloroquine was very strong and made my health deteriorate even further. I was pale, sick, losing hair, coughing up blood, and out of breath all the time. Even walking upstairs was difficult. I was told it would take time to adapt, but after a month of going through this I decided enough was enough, and I would battle this disease by other means. My work was suffering greatly; as a songwriter who is expected to provide top quality vocals for tracks, breathing is essential, and I was just unable to. I was losing clients, and my ambitions of turning it into a full-time career were fading. Certainly two to three years would be too long to wait to be healthy again.
For some reason, at this point my brain decided to present me with the memory of Wim Hof talking to Joe Rogan about the immune system, and how his method could tap into it directly. I had nothing to lose, and started with the breathing techniques straight away. The cold showers were miserable but I forced myself to go through it every day. I was too sick initially to do anything else, but my health was improving all the time. Eventually I started on the 10-Week Video Course, and there was really no turning back from that point on. Not only had I gotten used to the cold showers, I now looked forward to them, and even found ways to make it colder. This led to regular ice baths, and I noticed that the inflammation on my scalp was slowly disappearing. In early July, I went for another blood test to see how I was progressing. The white blood cell count had gone down to 8000 and was now at a normal level, the folliculitis was gone, and I was told by a shocked doctor that I was all clear of the autoimmune disease.
In retrospect, I’m glad I got sick. When I first said this to my girlfriend she said “Oh yeah, I suppose every cloud has a silver lining”. But it’s more than that, much more. I am incredibly grateful for my sickness, as it led me to discover the Wim Hof Method, and it has truly changed my life.
I am eternally grateful to Wim for all he has done for me. I have a vibrancy and energy that seems to be rubbing off on those around me. They all seem in much better health than they have in a very long time, and I have the energy to be there for them to lend support whenever they need it. My career is back on track, and I’ve noticed that my thought patterns are more positive as well. As a long-time sufferer of anxiety and depression, I have found that these feelings no longer have such control over me, and I’m able to approach life with a fresh perspective.
I cannot recommend the Wim Hof Method highly enough. The stresses that many of us face in day to day life are unnatural, yet unfortunately unavoidable. The stress response is something that is supposed to occur for short periods of time, when our lives are in danger. Prolonged stress isn’t something that we are really built to deal with. This method helps you strengthen yourself mentally and physically to the point where you can overcome that stress. I am living proof.
Matt is a songwriter. Check out his video testimonial here.