15 min read
The Ultimate Health Hack For Post Rave Recovery
Want to know the secret health hack we use for post rave recovery?
After attending countless music festivals, EDM concerts, and raves… I’ve learned a thing or two. Specifically, I’ve learned that as I get older, the ole’ body just can’t hang like it used to. (sigh)
At the same time, I’ve learned a few sneaky tricks over the years for how to bounce back a whole lot faster after a long weekend of festivities.
And because you’re here, I’m going to share with you one of my all-time favorite health hacks that you can begin using to speed up your rave recovery and get back to feeling like you again. The best part is, this strategy is absolutely free and only takes a few minutes each day!
The Best Post Rave Recovery Hack
Wim Hof Breathwork
Now let me start by saying that breathwork is something that’s never been that appealing to me. Honestly, it just felt like a lot of work. (I mean can’t I just meditate and breathe normally?)
However, all that’s changed for me now as breathwork has become an absolute staple for me both in preparation for music festivals, as well as my everyday life.
And while there are many incredible & beneficial forms of breathwork out there, there’s one in particular that I became absolutely HOOKED on once I experienced the benefits from a short 10 minute session.
It comes from a man by the name of Wim Hof, a Dutch native who has been dubbed “The Ice Man” for the many incredible feats he’s been able to accomplish through his method of combining breathwork, cold exposure, and conscious mental focus.
If you’ve never heard of Wim Hof before, I’d strongly encourage you to look into his back story and the various tests he’s subjected himself to, to prove that we humans have more conscious control over our health & physiology than we previously believed possible.
He currently holds 21 Guinness Book of World Records, including..
- Staying submerged in ice for up to 2 hours and actually demonstrating that he has the ability to raise his core body temperature while in that environment.
- Summiting Mount Kilimanjaro numerous times in record time, only wearing his shorts.
- Swimming underneath ice for 66 meters.
- Running a marathon in temperatures that are 20 degrees below zero.
And sooo much more. Seriously, you’ve got to look this guy up.
All of this was done specifically to demonstrate the power of the human body & mind when you learn how to train it correctly.
Photo of Wim Hof aka The Ice Man
Now, before I dive into the different studies that have been done demonstrating the benefits of this breathing method, I want to first explain exactly how to implement this breathing technique to make sure that you’re deriving the maximum benefits, and that you’re doing it as safely as possible.
How To Correctly Perform The Wim Hof Breathing Method
There’s three primary components to Wim Hof Breathwork: the Power Breathing phase, the Retention phase, and the Recovery phase.
Power Breathing Phase
The Power Breathing phase begins with a period of 30 to 40 deep, controlled, inhalations and exhalations. During this time, what you’re doing is expelling carbon dioxide (CO2) from your body and bringing more oxygen into your blood cells. As you continue to breathe, you slowly begin to max out your blood oxygen saturation level, which is a measurement of how much oxygen is in your blood.
Now, what’s cool is that as you’re pushing CO2 out, you’re actually increasing your body’s PH level and making your body more alkaline and less acidic.
The PH scale is basically a balance between how acidic versus alkaline you are. For the average individual, that number usually sits right around 7.38 to 7.4. However studies have shown that when implementing this breathing technique, patients have been able to increase that PH level up to 7.8 or higher! It may not seem like a lot, but that’s a pretty substantial change.
When your PH levels increase in your body, your blood oxygen saturation level increases, and your carbon dioxide levels decrease.
Once you exhale your 40th breath you begin the Retention phase, which is where you will hold your breath for as long as possible until you get the natural urge to breathe (Remember, to hold your breath after the exhale, not the inhale).
Now what you’ll find is that you’re going to be able to hold your breath for MUCH longer than you normally would. This is because we get the urge to breathe due to a buildup of carbon dioxide in our body. And since we’ve just expelled so much of that CO2 through that period of deep breathing, it takes much longer for it to build back up and create the feeling of needing to breathe.
Now, you want to be careful.
This isn’t a competition. The goal is not to hold your breath until you feel you’re about to pass out. You hold it until your body starts slightly contracting, and it begins to feel slightly uncomfortable to continue holding. As soon as you can hold no more, you will enter the final phase.
This one’s pretty simple. Once you get that urge to breathe, you will take a deep inhalation and hold your breath for 15 seconds. You’ve just reached the Recovery phase. As soon as those 15 seconds are up, you exhale and you immediately repeat that cycle. Typically you will want to do between 3-4 cycles, each lasting about 4-5 mins long, to derive the maximum benefits.
Okay, now this is where it gets super cool, but a little nerdy.
As you continue to hold your breath and CO2 levels increase, that oxygen you had built up previously is slowly pulled out of your blood and into your tissues. When this happens, your blood oxygen saturation levels start to sharply decrease.
What’s crazy is that while blood oxygen saturation levels typically sit between 95-99%, during this time these levels can drop down to 50% or less! You might not think much of this until you learn that those low blood oxygen saturation levels typically mean someone is on the verge of dying or has already died.
Now don’t freak out! Because this is happening in a very controlled and safe way, it actually induces something called Hypoxia-Inducible Factor in the body. This is what’s called a “hormetic stressor”, an intentional stressor that actually elicits all sorts of beneficial responses in your body (think of lifting weights as another form of hormetic stress).
Hypoxia-Inducible Factor activates a number of different gene pathways that influence the immune system and are very, very healthy for the body.
In fact, in 2019, three scientists won the Nobel Peace Prize specifically for discovering this hormetic stressor and demonstrating the benefits that it can have for our health.
For example, when you’re in this Hypoxia-Inducible Factor state, it activates a kind of survival mode inside of the body where your adrenaline increases, your immune system is boosted, and old toxins are cleaned out & removed.
All of these incredible physiological benefits are derived once you enter the state, and as soon as you take that deep inhalation in, oxygen levels are restored, your body returns to baseline, and you can then continue to the next round.
I can say that after my fourth round of Wim Hof, my whole body is buzzing, and I get a warm sense of peace and euphoria unlike anything else. My thoughts are clear, and I feel totally centered and grounded. It’s been an incredible practice for eliminating stress & anxiety in my day to day life, and something I always do prior to any music festival I attend.
The Science Of Wim Hof Breathing
So now that you know how to do the breathwork correctly and have a better understanding of the specific physiological changes that take place when you’re doing this breathing technique, I want to share with you a specific study that was conducted in the Netherlands in 2014.
It was conducted by Radboud University, where they took 24 test subjects in a clinically controlled trial, and injected them with a specific type of endotoxin. They chose a form of bacteria from E. Coli that, when injected, isn’t too harmful to humans, but does induce flu-like symptoms for about 6 to 8 hours. So generally when people get injected, they experience a fever, chills, and all the common symptoms associated with a bacterial infection. (Don’t worry, I’m sure they got paid well)
Since Wim had previously demonstrated that he was able to effectively neutralize this same endotoxin in his own body through conscious influence over his immune response, scientists wanted to see if this was a direct result of his training, one that could be duplicated by others, or if he was purely a genetic anomaly.
During the study, scientists split the 24 test subjects into two groups. The first group of subjects remained completely untrained leading up to the trial. However, the other twelve individuals worked directly with Wim Hof, where he took them through a series of training involving his breathwork technique, cold exposure, and meditative practices.
Wim Hof was even asked prior to the study how much time he would need to train these individuals in order to elicit the same effects that he did when injected with the endotoxin.
They asked, “Do you need a year, two years?”
“How about ten days?” He said.
What’s even more unbelievable is that he ended the training by day four, claiming the test subjects were ready and that they didn’t need to train the full ten days.
Now on the day of the study, the individuals who received the training from Wim Hof actually spent about 1 hour prior to injection doing the deep breathing exercises, then followed that with about an hour and a half of breathing after getting injected with the endotoxin. What they found was absolutely astonishing.
Through the same breathwork techniques that Wim Hof had used previously to neutralize the endotoxin in his body, these twelve individuals, who had only trained with this specific breathwork technique for FOUR days leading up to the study, exhibited a much higher release of adrenaline prior to the injection than the control group, and saw a decrease in specific proinflammatory cytokines after injection. In other words, the study was a huge success!
Ultimately, these subjects demonstrated the ability to consciously influence their immune response by regulating the specific proteins called cytokines that cause inflammation in the body. There was a decrease in inflammatory cytokines called interleukin 6 and interleukin 8, while at the same time an increase in an anti-inflammatory cytokine called interleukin 10.
In fact the Wim Hof group outperformed the control group, the group who did nothing leading up to the injection, in almost every single marker that was tested. As you can imagine, this resulted in the Wim Hof group experiencing much milder symptoms than the untrained control group who unfortunately had to suffer through about 8 hours of fever, aches, and chills from the endotoxin.
Now, here’s why the findings of this study are so incredible and why we’re so excited to share this information with you. Because up until this point it was previously believed to be impossible to consciously control your autonomic nervous system, and to influence your immune response in the way that was shown by these test subjects.
So many illnesses & diseases are developed by chronic inflammation, and we’ve now learned that through a simple breathwork technique, one that is free and accessible to anyone, we have the power to tap into our own physiology, and actually decrease inflammation in the body. This is truly groundbreaking stuff, and I’m excited to see where this research takes us in the future.
Especially in the case of autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis or Crohn’s Disease, which are diseases where the body develops an overactive immune response and begins attacking itself, this could provide a promising natural solution to individuals who spend tons of money on expensive immunosuppressant drugs to help treat this ailment.
Now I want to be very clear here, that I am absolutely NOT claiming that this is a cure for any disease, or a substitute for any existing treatment for autoimmune diseases. I am not a medical professional, and you should always seek advice from a doctor before implementing this practice, especially if you have a pre-existing health condition.
However, this type of research does give us hope that we may be able to at least mitigate the severity of these symptoms by simply taking 15-20 minutes per day and implementing the breathing technique described above.
I can tell you from my own anecdotal personal experience that every time I do this breathwork, it feels like a wave of calmness washes over me. I think so much more clearly, I’m much more energized, and I don’t feel nearly as stressed or high strung throughout the day. I’ve also noticed that on days where I was up partying or drinking a little too much the night before, that implementing this breathwork works absolute wonders.
I’ve heard many anecdotes where people claim that this breathwork works great for eliminating hangover symptoms such as headaches or brain fog, and I can tell you from my personal experience that is absolutely the case.
I’m so excited to see what type of research comes out over the next few years as scientists continue to gain a better understanding of how various forms of breathwork can influence our health, and how we can use these tools to experience more strength and happiness in our everyday lives.
Lastly, if you’d like to take an even deeper dive into other proven methods for improving mental health as well as aiding in post rave recovery, then be sure to check out our free Ascended Raver program that you can access HERE.
Photo of the Wim Hof Method mobile app
Now, there are obvious dangers associated with the mis-use of this breathing technique. You should NEVER practice this breathing while submerged in water, or operating machinery. For your own safety, please consult with a medical professional before implementing this practice, especially if you have any pre-existing health conditions. Wim Hof offers a variety of educational resources to ensure you implement this breathing technique correctly, and I would strongly encourage you to seek out information on their website before attempting the breathwork yourself. This can be an extremely powerful modality for achieving greater health, happiness, and strength, but it must be done with proper care and attentiveness.
Check out some of our other favorite secrets for improving your health & bouncing back faster after music festivals. (you can thank us later)
This post was all about how to use breathwork as a post rave recovery tool.
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