WHM Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

General
Breathing
Cold Therapy
Mindset
Physical Exercises
Video Courses
Expeditions
Payments
WHM App
Technical Issues
Ask Wim
I feel worse after a couple of weeks. What's going on?

Click on the video below. Wim will give you his answer to this question

I am not feeling well. Can I continue the exercises?

Click on the video below to hear Wim give you his answer to this question. In addition, we suggest you limit your practice to the breathing exercises when feeling ill, and skip the cold therapy parts, as these tend to compound the existing stress on the body. Get well soon!

Is this method for everybody?

The Wim Hof Method can be practiced by every healthy individual. If you are dealing with a serious medical condition, we advise to counsel a healthcare professional before attempting any of the WHM techniques.

We advise against practicing the WHM if you are dealing with any of the following:

•    Epilepsy
•    High blood pressure (in case of prescription medication)
•    Coronary heart disease (e.g. Angina Pectoris; Stable Angina)
•    A history of serious health issues like heart failure or stroke

If you suffer from migraines, we urge you to be cautious about taking ice baths.

What will the WHM do for me?

The effects of the WHM techniques differ from person to person. Everybody’s experience is slightly different, and is partially determined by your goals and expectations. A professional tennis player for example, will likely seek improved athletic performance, whereas someone suffering from rheumatoid arthritis will sooner see benefit from lower inflammatory markers.

Reported general benefits of the Method include: increased energy, improved sleep, reduced stress and anxiety, heightened focus, accelerated recovery, and a general improvement in quality of life.

The potential benefits are numerous and diverse. Ultimately, the only way to find out what the Method does for you is to try it for yourself!

Does the WHM help with X health condition?

Although the Wim Hof Method has been known to bring symptoms into complete remission in some cases , WHM practice should be seen as a tool to help manage your health, rather than a cure. Since the Wim Hof Method moderates the immune response, it is most effective with conditions that follow from an underlying disturbance to the immune system. However, positive results are seen with a wide variety of conditions, and in addition the WHM affords many other benefits.

There has been considerable scientific research into the Wim Hof Method, and the results are very promising. However, there are hundreds of thousands of conditions and diseases. For the majority of ailments, we do not have the requisite knowledge to be able to speak with authority on the potential of the WHM as an effective treatment. Note also that results vary greatly from person to person, as there are numerous interpersonal physiological differences. Ultimately, the best —and really the only— way to find out what the Wim Hof Method does for you personally is to give it a try. You can also find testimonials from WHM practitioners for various health conditions here.

If you are dealing with a specific health condition, you may want to do a custom search on the WHM Facebook group to see what you can take away from personal stories that have been shared by other members. If nothing comes up, feel free to share experiences or ask questions of your own. This community is very welcoming, and eager to help and offer meaningful insights, and your contributions may in turn help others down the road.

Some conditions may be negatively impacted by WHM practice. If you have any deviations to physiological processes that are directly modulated by WHM practice —notably involving oxygen influx, blood pressure and/or (cardio)vascular complications— we strongly advise that you consult a medical professional. Out of precaution, we also advise against WHM practice if you are pregnant.

Is the WHM suitable for children?

The breathing techniques can cause lightheadedness and even loss of consciousness. Children often have not matured to the point where they can adequately assess these risks. Moreover, their brains are also physically still developing.

Thus, we advise that children under the age of 16 are supervised by a parent or legal guardian. Please be careful with regard to cold exposure, and build this up gradually.

What is the best time of the day to start the exercises?

Start your day right and do them in the morning. Jump-starting your body right from the get-go will help you spend the day both energized and relaxed. For best results, do the exercises on an empty stomach. Click on the video below to hear Wim give you his answer to this question.

I’m pregnant— is it safe for me to practice the WHM?

If you are pregnant, we advise against practicing the Method. We do not know if the increased adrenaline levels associated with the WHM techniques adversely affect the health of the baby. This is of course a tremendously delicate matter, and we want to be as careful as possible.

When the baby is born, you are safe to resume practicing the Method.

How much time do I need to invest to see results from this method?

The average daily investment is 20 minutes to start your day. During the day focus on deeper more conscious breathing. Once you have unlocked how to do the Wim Hof Method, you can access it indefinitely, and move through the stages at your own pace. The Wim Hof Method does not finish after our courses. The method should be implemented in your life daily to reap the full benefits. 

How can I become a WHM Instructor?

In order to become a certified WHM Instructor you must successfully complete the Wim Hof Academy. All the application requirements and course details can be found on our Academy page.

The WHM has been shown to suppress the immune system. Isn’t this bad?

It's important here to differentiate between the two types of immune responses in humans.

The innate immune response is a kind of all-purpose, break-glass-in-case-of-emergency response. The proteins that are released use brute force to deal with the foreign threat. They attack almost anything in their path, to the point that they sometimes mistake healthy cells for sick ones. When they attack your healthy cells you become inflamed. Wim Hof Method practice suppresses this response.

Then there's the adaptive immune response. This is your body recognizing the invading pathogen, and creating antibodies to deal with that specific threat. This response is upregulated by WHM practice.

How can I reach Wim directly?

Although Wim would like nothing more than to personally engage with each and every one of you, he has become so popular as to make this unfeasible. The good folk at support@wimhofmethod.com can answer just about every question you may have, and will relay your message to Wim when merited.

If you want to send a physical letter or package, you can send it to the Hoffice at Willem de Zwijgerlaan 350, 1055 RD Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

My question is not listed here. Help!

If your question isn't listed in any of the FAQ categories, head over to our WHM Community for help from other members and WHM Instructors.

My ears are ringing— is this normal?

This effect is known as ‘tinnitus’, and it has a wide range of causes and manifestations.

For some people, practicing the WHM either induces or exacerbates the ringing, while for others it changes the pitch. Conversely, those dealing with chronic tinnitus often find relief from its concomitant anxiety in the calming effect of the breathing techniques.

The connection between tinnitus and the Wim Hof Method has various possible causes. Medical research shows a direct link between pulsatile tinnitus and anaemia, which the WHM may ameliorate through the elevated oxygen intake. The breathing exercises also increase neural activity in the auditory brainstem, where the brain processes sounds, possibly causing auditory nerve cells to become over-excited.

The scientific community continues to grapple with the particulars of tinnitus, but has established that the phenomenon itself is harmless. In the vast majority of cases, the ringing disappears with repeated breathing practice. If you find that, after several weeks, the noise persists or intensifies, some underlying physiological condition may be at play, and we recommend you consult a medical professional.

My fingers tighten up— what is happening?

During the breathing exercises, you may experience involuntary muscle contraction, known as ‘tetany’. Intensified breathing causes an efflux of CO2, which in turn starts a cascade of ionization changes that leads to increased sensitivity of nerve cells. These then require less excitation to engender a muscle response, to the point where muscles can contract spontaneously. The effects are typically expressed most distinctly in the hands and feet, but can extend across the entire body.

Barring any preexisting medical conditions, this phenomenon is entirely harmless, and the effects dissipate within minutes. Over time, it may no longer arise at all. If the sensation is painful, please consult a medical professional.

Is it dangerous if I faint during the breathing exercise?

If you're lying down for the breathing exercise, there is little danger to fainting. However, it does mean you went a little too far. Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth can help stop you from breathing too fast.

Is it better to breathe through your nose or your mouth?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

The breathing exercises make me yawn; is this a normal reaction?

While exhaling you stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system. This is the ‘rest-and-digest’ mode that the body assumes during sleep, so it makes sense that you might get the urge to yawn. This is perfectly fine. Check out Wim's answer in the video below.

I don't see lights/stroboscope effects. Am I doing something wrong?

The exercises may introduce various lights and colors, sounds or other sensations. However, it’s fine if you don’t experience any of these. Everybody responds differently; just relax and let any sensations come and go as they please. Check out Wim's answer in the video below. 

My retention times drop/flatten out. Am I doing something wrong?

 

How many times a day do I have to do the breathing exercise?

  

Is this method the same as Tummo?

 

I don't feel the tingling sensations (anymore). What should I do?

  

How does the breathing relate to the cold?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How does breathwork relate to consciousness?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

I have trouble breathing. Can I still practice the Wim Hof Method?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How do I increase my respiratory capacity?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How fast should I breathe?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How should I breathe when I'm stressed?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How does breathwork affect sleep?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Why does my body temperature change during the breathwork?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How many rounds of breathing can I do?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Why do I experience strong emotions during the breathing?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Is hypoxia damaging to the brain?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is meant by the instruction to "squeeze to the head"?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How do you prepare yourself before going into the cold?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What can I do when I stay cold after a shower/bath?

 

I live in an environment where the water is not that cold. What should I do?

  Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What can I do against cold hands or cold feet?

 

I really dislike the Cold Showers? Do I need to do them?

  
 

What is the best mental preparation for someone who is in fear of the cold?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How long should I stay exposed to the cold? How do I know I've adapted?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How does the cold relate to the soul?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Should I do an ice bath before or after exercise for better performance?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How come I can't sleep when I've taken a cold shower just before bed?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What time of the day is best to practice cold exposure, and how does it affect sleep?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the best form of cold exposure and why?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Is there any benefit to switching back and forth between hot and cold showers?

Cold exposure boosts the release of norepinephrine, which as a neurotransmitter is involved in focus, attention and mood. It inhibits inflammation by decreasing the signaling protein TNFα. Norepinephrine also acts as a hormone, promoting vasoconstriction and thus decreasing the total surface area by which heat is lost to its surroundings.

The greater the jump in temperature, the more norepinephrine is released. It follows that going from hot to cold repeatedly, augments the concomitant health benefits. The effect is thought to be more pronounced with more extreme swings, as when alternating between ice bath and sauna. Research on this is lacking, and conclusive findings have yet to be established.

How does the cold relate to your mindset and the breathing?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the importance of mindset in relation to cold exposure and breathing?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the 'mind-body connection' and how can I control it?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the mind?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is your greatest motivation?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the best mindset for practicing cold exposure?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the best mindset for practicing the breathing method?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What should I do when I'm at the point of my greatest depression or despair?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is a powerful mindset?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What exercises can I do to strengthen the mind?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

How can I keep a steady flow when I lack motivation?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

I can’t do the more physically demanding exercises; what should I do?

 

Do I have to do the push-ups with inhalation or exhalation?

The main purpose of these exercises is to activate the autonomous nervous system. In addition, it’s a great way to gauge the degree to which the breathing exercises have attenuated the speed at which your body acidifies. The autonomous nervous system is composed of two branches: the sympathetic (fight-or-flight) and the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) nervous system. Doing push-ups with your lungs full of air activates the SNS, whereas doing them after exhaling activates the PSNS.

Where can I find the workbook?

On the course page (wimhofmethod.com/elearning/10-week-video-course for the Classic, and wimhofmethod.com/elearning/fundamentals for the Fundamentals course), scroll down the page until you hit the section titled Course Documents. Click the document in the language you want, in order to download the file.

What is the difference between the 10-Week Video Course and the Fundamentals?

Both courses teach the three pillars that form the foundation of the Wim Hof Method— breathing, cold exposure, and commitment (mindset). In the original 10-Week Video Course, the techniques and exercises are explained and demonstrated in a straightforward manner, leaving up to you the situations in which to put these into practice. The Fundamentals course was created to provide more guidance and practical application, and teaches you the WHM in the context of real-world scenarios. Each week has its own theme, centered around an area of everyday life that the WHM can help improve— such as stress, creativity, and sleep. This newer course is more polished, and features yoga lessons from a professional teacher, as well as one-on-one sessions that allow for WHM practice on the fly.

Check out this side-by-side comparison of the video courses for more details.

How do I access my video course?

If you already had a user account before purchasing, you can find your course(s) under Dashboard > My E-Learning after logging in at www.wimhofmethod.com/login.

If you purchased the course without an account, you'll have been sent an email that has an orange Get Started button. Click that button, or go directly to www.wimhofmethod.com/register to fill out your details and create a user account. You are then sent another email to confirm your registration (note that this may land in your spam folder). When you've clicked the confirmation link in that second email, you can find your course(s) under Dashboard > My E-Learning after logging in at www.wimhofmethod.com/login.

Do I continue to have access to the course once I've finished?

The course material remains available to you indefinitely, so you can take as much time as you need to complete the program, and repeat separate weeks or go through the entire course as often as you like. The videos will, however, unlock at set weekly intervals upon purchase so that after 10 weeks, all 10 are available, regardless of your progress.

Can I download the videos to watch them offline?

Both the original 10-Week and the Fundamentals course are online programs that require broadband internet access. The videos cannot be downloaded for offline viewing.

How do I skip weeks or unlock the whole course at once?

The video courses are designed to gradually build up in intensity. It takes time for your body and mind to adapt to the new impulses, and skipping steps or rushing through the program would adversely impact your progress. Moreover, we also simply cannot manually unlock separate weeks, because the system is not technically set up that way.

How do I select subtitles for my video course?

You can select subtitles by clicking the 'CC' button in the bottom right-hand corner of the video player.

What skill and/or experience is required to take part in the Expeditions?

The only physical requirement for the Expeditions is that you are able-bodied; you do not need special skills or experience in any specific fields, such as climbing or mountaineering. However, we do recommend you get a little familiar with the breathing and cold training. A great way to get a crash course is signing up for our free video Mini Class.

Can I take part in the Expeditions despite my ailment?

You must be able-bodied to participate in the Expeditions. If you have any medical conditions, we strongly advise you consult your physician before signing up. If you do sign up, please communicate any and all health conditions so we can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the other participants.

What payment methods do you offer?

You can pay via credit card or PayPal (debit & credit card). If you're in the Netherlands you can also pay using iDeal.

Can I pay the video course in installments?

The video courses can be purchased in 3 installments, due monthly. You can select this option at checkout. Note that you cannot use a coupon if you opt for this method.

What if I'm not happy with my purchase, can I get a refund?

There is a 14-day trial period for our video courses. For our activities, you can cancel up to one month prior to the start of the activity.

If you request a refund within the alloted timeframe, you will be fully reimbursed. Beyond that timeframe, you forfeit your investment.

How can I gift someone else the video course?

We do not yet have a proper way to gift our online programs. The best workaround is to purchase the course yourself, and then gift the confirmation e-mail you receive. That e-mail will have an orange button that says "GET STARTED". Whomever you forward the e-mail to can register through that button to have the course linked up to their own e-mail address.

Note that if you already have a user account at wimhofmethod.com, it is important that you are not logged in when you make the purchase, or the course will be automatically linked to your account.

We realize this is quite unceremonious, and hope to have a more elegant solution in the future.

My coupon doesn't work, help!

The codes can be a little finicky— you may need to refresh the page a few times, or use an alternate browser. You may also be trying a coupon code that has expired, or was never valid to begin with. Best to copy/paste the code rather than type it out, in order to avoid mistaking, for example, the letter O with the number 0. Note that each code is product-specific, and cannot be used in conjunction with other products.

Can I get an invoice for my purchase?

We do not provide invoices for our products, but you can download a PDF of your proof of purchase under 'Purchase History' in your user account.

What is included in the subscription?

The app subscription gives you access to all the features inside the app, except for the video courses. A complete list of all the free and premium features can be found here.

Do I need to go through Google/Apple to install the app?

The Wim Hof Method app must be installed via the Google or Apple store, so that the app can see what content you have access to. If you install the app using custom software, you will not be able to log in.

The segment of the userbase that employs alternative means of installing apps is currently too small for it to be feasible for us to develop support for these alternatives.

The app has a bug. How can I fix this or where do I report it?

We are continually adding new content to the app, and this sometimes introduces bugs. We try to address these as fast as possible, and routinely release updates with fixes. Therefore the first thing you should try when encountering a bug is to see if your app is up to date, and download the latest version if necessary. If your phone doesn't update apps automatically, you can go into the Apple or Google store to find the WHM app and update it manually.

Bugs that have already been reported are added to the pinned Community post. Please check to see if the bug you experience is listed here.

Once you have verified that you're on the latest version of the app, the bug is not listed in the pinned post, you can report the bug by sending an email to support@wimhofmethod.com. 

How do I get the app subscription?

To get the WHM app subscription, simply tap any of the features that have a lock symbol. A pop-up will come up, with the option to subscribe monthly or yearly.

Alternatively, you can also go to the Profile tab in the app > tap the wrench icon in the top right corner > tap GET SUBCRIPTION under the Subscription heading.

Why does it say 'Free account' on the website even though I have a subscription?

Your account designation is determined by whether you have purchased any of our online video courses. If you have a course, it will say 'Premium member', otherwise it will say 'Free account'. Your app subscription has no bearing on this.

How do I cancel my subscription?

App subscriptions must be cancelled throug Apple or Google store; we cannot do this for you.

If you're on Android, you can find more info here. If you're on iPhone, please see here.

I just got a new phone — does my subscription carry over?

If you haven't switched from Android to iPhone (or the other way round) but simply got a new phone, you can continue to make use of your subscription, provided that you are logged into the same Google or Apple account under which you made the purchase.

The app has a lot of advanced features, and developing these could only be achieved through what is called 'native design'. This means that the Android and iOS versions of the app are developed independently of one another, and are two different products on the Google and Apple stores respectively.

Hence your subscription also cannot be transferred from Android to iOS or vice versa. If you want to use the premium content across both platforms, you'll have to purchase the subscription twofold.

However in the event that you're switching from Android to iOS, we offer a partial refund commensurate with the time left on your old subscription. For this we'll need receipts for both your purchases. If you want your iPhone subscription refunded you'll have to go directly through Apple.

Do you support family sharing?

This app does not support the 'Family Sharing' feature on iOS or Android.

How do I stop auto-renewal of my subscription?

You can stop auto-renewal by cancelling your subscription.

You can find more information on this for Android here, and for iOS here.

I paid for the app previously; why do I need to pay again?

You may have purchased the Extended pack back before we had a subscription for the app. This expansion offered access to a number of extra exercises, and you retain access to these regardless of opting into the new subscription.

The subscription offers all new content that is separate from anything you had previously purchased. Note that the guided breathing bubble was always offered as a limited time feature and was never part of any expansion.

How do I get badges?

Go to the Badges tab in the app, and tap on a badge to see the requirements for unlocking it. Note that some badges may be linked to content outside of the app.

How do I share content from the app?

Go to any exercise of your choice (e.g. push-ups, breathing basics), enter your result and then tap Share. Note that you cannot Share once you've hit Save.

You can also share a badge by going to the Badges tab on the app. Tap any badge and then hit Share.

How do I backdate exercises?

To log an exercise for a date in the past, go to the Results tab > tap + LOG YOUR EXERCISE > tap the exercise you want to add > tap TODAY to bring up the calendar and select the date and time for which you want to add an entry.

The app tells me I cannot buy the course in the app?

The video courses cannot be purchased directly through the app. Please go to www.wimhofmethod.com/elearning to buy any of the online courses. Once you're signed up, you can access the course through the app.

The 30-Day Audio Challenge is stuck at Day X — help!

This is typically due to a faulty download of the files. Please uninstall and reinstall the app, then download the files anew. Because the progress for this feature is saved on your device, reinstalling the app will set you back to Day 1. However you can just skip to the end of the progress bar for all the days you had already completed, in order to quickly get back to where you had left off.

Do you offer any discounts on the app subscription?

Unfortunately we cannot offer discounts on the app subscription, as Apple and Google dictate fixed store pricing.

Where can I find the music/ebook I purchased?

There is a direct download link in the order confirmation email. Click the blue link to download the file:

Alternatively, you can go to your Dashboard > My Products. Click/tap the product you purchased, and you'll find a download button on the right hand side of the page.

Do you support X language?

The Classic course is spoken in English and subtitled in English, Dutch, German and Spanish.

The Fundamentals course is spoken in English or German, and subtitled in English, Dutch, German, Spanish, French, Brazilian Portuguese and Russian.

The app is available in English and Spanish.

Which browsers does the website support?

We support Chrome, Safari, Firefox, Opera and Internet Explorer.

I have lost access to my 10-Week Video Course, what happened?

In late 2017 we overhauled our website and moved to a new domain. Since the old domain is no longer active, you won't be able to access your course via old links and e-mails.

To regain access to your course, please register a new user account at www.wimhofmethod.com/register, under the same e-mail address with which you originally signed up for the 10-Week Video Course. Your course will be automatically linked to your new account, and you can then find it under Dashboard > My E-Learning.

I can only see the first video of the MiniClass, where are the other two?

Please click the orange "GET IT" button on the MiniClass page to actually get the MiniClass.

I get this error: "Because of its privacy settings, this video cannot be played here."

Please lower the security settings of your browser to resolve this issue.

I just bought a video course, but when I try to log in my e-mail is not recognized.

When you purchase a video course, you receive an automatic e-mail that has a big orange "Get Started" button. That button takes you to a registration page, where you can enter an e-mail address and password to confirm your registration. You will then find your course under Dashboard > My E-Learning.

If you've misplaced the e-mail or have never received it, you can go to the registration page directly.

How can I reset my password?

Go to www.wimhofmethod.com/login and click the 'Forgot password' button. You will be sent an e-mail that includes a link to reset your password. If you are logged in automatically, you may have to first log out by clicking the corresponding button from the downward pointing arrow in the top-right hand corner of the screen.

How do I change the e-mail address associated with my user account?

You cannot change this yourself, but send us your old and new e-mail address at support@wimhofmethod.com and we will happily change it for you.

Where can I find my e-book / music files?

Digital files can be downloaded directly via the link in the confirmation e-mail you receive upon purchase. Alternatively, you can always navigate to your Dashboard by logging in at www.wimhofmethod.com and clicking the down-arrow in the top-right hand corner of the screen. Go to My Products, and from there you can click through to the page for the digital product you want to download, and find an orange download button on the right hand side.

How did you discover this way of breathing?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What was your most transcendental experience while doing the breathing?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What does your daily practice look like?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is your opinion on smoking weed?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is your favorite book?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Do you plan on breaking the ice endurance record again?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

What is the secret to a happy life?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Do you ever take hot showers?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

When will you visit my city/country?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.

Where is the Icewoman?

Play the video below to hear Wim's answer to this question.