DISCLAIMER: CONSULT WITH A DOCTOR BEFORE DECIDING ON A TREATMENT PLAN FOR ANY DISEASE OR INJURY.
The Wim Hof Method is a technique involving deep breathing and cold exposure. It is intended to help support the health of the entire body as well as to get rid of pathogens or toxicities. Many people have successfully used the Wim Hof Method to cure various health problems, including Guillain-Barre Syndrome and other autoimmune disorders. Breath and cold exposure are two free and easily accessible “medicines” for most people, so they’re a good choice for the treatment of severe illnesses like GBS where the person may or may not have the funds to invest in more expensive treatment options or therapies.
Getting started with the Wim Hof Method is simple. Follow the steps below (or read Wim Hof’s book for a more detailed description of the method and its variations):
- For the deep breathing method:
- Begin by lying down or sitting in a comfortable position. Make sure your breath and body are unobstructed and can move freely. You should be able to breathe very deep.
- Once you’re comfortable, start breathing deeply and somewhat more quickly than normal. You should be breathing into your belly, then into your chest, as deeply as possible (but still quickly), and then when you breathe out, just relax to release the breath (don’t push your breath out).
- Complete 30-40 deep breaths.
- On the final breath, breathe in, and then release and stop. “Hold” your breath for as long as you feel comfortable (aim for 1-2 minutes if you can, but if you can’t hold this long at first, that’s fine).
- When you feel like you need to breathe again, breathe in as deep as possible and hold your breath in for 15 seconds.
- Release the breath and repeat these steps 2 more times.
- Do this method each morning or when you feel you need an energy boost during the day (such as in the afternoon around 3pm).
- For the cold exposure part of the technique:
- In the morning (or evening), take your warm shower like normal.
- At the end of your shower, turn the water to its coldest setting. Breathe deeply and slowly as you experience the cold.
- Try to stay in the cold for 15 seconds at first. Work your way up to 1-2 minutes of cold exposure as you feel comfortable. Though it’s likely to be a bit uncomfortable at first, many people get used to it very fast and even feel a kind of “euphoric” feeling after the cold exposure.
The Wim Hof Method has been studied in terms of its ability to reverse and cure autoimmune disorders of various kinds, including Guillain-Barre syndrome. In the Netherlands, one researcher, Matthijs Kox, Ph.D., examined how exactly the Wim Hof Method works to treat diseases and improve health. Kox observed the following results from his study:
- Participants’ control over the autonomic nervous system (a system that generally performs its duties entirely involuntarily)
- In particular, participants were able to voluntarily activate their sympathetic nervous system
- Some immune suppression (decreased reactivity of blood cells to pathogens)
- Increased hormone levels following hormone exposure
- Specifically, epinephrine levels were notably higher
- Ability to completely overcome exposure to toxins (a variant of the endotoxemia bacteria was used in the experiment, and the participants did not experience any symptoms when they did the breathing and cold exposure exercises)
- Lower inflammatory mediators in the blood
- More alkaline blood during the breathing exercises
- Blood is generally at a pH of 7.4. In the study, the participants demonstrated a temporarily increased blood pH level of 7.8 during the exercises.
- In a related study on patients with rheumatoid arthritis (to be more specific, the patients had axonal spondyloarthritis), the participants completed Wim Hof Method training over the course of 8 weeks, after which time they noted decreased symptoms and disease.
- Rheumatoid arthritis is also considered a neurological autoimmune condition and shares some similarities with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
For patients with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, the Wim Hof Method may therefore be valuable for a few reasons. First of all, since GBS is an autoimmune disorder, the immune suppression that occurs when a person uses the Wim Hof Method may reduce the autoimmune activity present in the disease. If the immune system can be calmed, the person’s body can begin to recover. Second, the Wim Hof Method is capable of helping people purge and sometimes kill/neutralize (through increased pH) toxins and pathogens in the body. Since GBS usually occurs following an infection or vaccination, being able to remove these is essential for recovery.
 N.A. (n.d). Testimonials. Retrieved January 18, 2022 from: https://www.wimhofmethod.com/testimonials
 Goop (n.d). Could the Wim Hof Method Help Treat Autoimmune Disease? Retrieved February 1, 2022 from: https://goop.com/wellness/health/wim-hof-method-for-autoimmune-disease/
 Cox, Matthijs (2019). An add-on training program involving breathing exercises, cold exposure, and meditation attenuates inflammation and disease activity in axonal spondyloarthritis – A proof of concept trial. Retrieved February 1, 2022 rom; https://www.researchgate.net/publication/337697155_An_add-on_training_program_involving_breathing_exercises_cold_exposure_and_meditation_attenuates_inflammation_and_disease_activity_in_axial_spondyloarthritis_-_A_proof_of_concept_trial