I have just finished reading this very interesting book by investigative journalist, Scott Carney. He had heard about a Dutchman called Wim Hof who was making some quite extra-ordinary health claims about using a combination of cold exposure, breathing techniques and meditation to improve health and fitness. Scott Carney visited Wim Hof and participated in some of his training, expecting to find that it was all a load of nonsense. However, it seems that Carney was quite won over and found the techniques personally very helpful. My particular interest in this is the potential benefits of dampening down the immune system. An over-active immune system can cause all sorts of problems, like rheumatoid arthritis, for instance. If there is a way of keeping our immune system in check without immuno-suppressive drugs, and stopping it from causing these problems, then this would be a massive help! Is it nonsense, or is there any benefit here? Have a look at the video see what you think!
Did I tell you that my youngest son is in his last year at Leeds university? We went to visit him there a couple of weeks ago. On the Saturday he took us to visit Harrogate, which used to be a spa town. The sick from all around the country used come to Harrogate to take ‘The Cure’ which involved all sorts of aqua-therapies, including the needle-jet showers. Cold showers used to be very popular and all sorts of health benefits were claimed, perhaps most cruelly by PE teachers of old, forcing their pupils through cold communal showers! Not surprisingly, cold showers have gone out of fashion. But seeing the needle showers got me thinking……..
I like to do an annual ‘MOT’ with my regular patients. Once per year checking a few key things such as weight, blood pressure and discussing exercise and diet. This helps me to make sure that we are not missing any important issues that may be slowly changing without being noticed. Is your MOT overdue?