When Leah Scott separated from her husband five years ago, she suffered extreme anxiety, panic attacks, stress and bouts of depression. When someone told her about Wim Hof’s scientific-based methods for dealing with these conditions by breathwork and ice water therapy, it was the beginning of an epic journey for her.
When Leah looks back on this journey, she says she would never have expected this man – Wim Hof – would have influenced her the way he has. These days, Leah is an accredited Wim Hof Method instructor and she runs her own retreats and workshops under the name – Wild Things Anatomy. She uses the Wim Hof Method because it was so effective for her and she’s been so inspired she wants to continue his work here in Australia and overseas.
Here, Leah has given us some of her thoughts on the process she went through over the past few years, after participating in the Wim Hof work:
Through a process of deep transformation and reawakening, I’ve been able to shed my past conditioning and re-evaluate what is important in life. This process caused me to question what I’d previously just accepted was how my mind and body worked and led me to explore new ways of thinking and living. I experimented with various bio hacks, but nothing came close to Wim’s breathing technique and ice water swimming in nature. It is the perfect balance for mind, body and spirit healing.
Initially I trained myself in the local mountains and rivers, before being fortunate enough to be trained by Wim himself in 2018 and then teaching alongside him in Thailand in 2019. This path has enabled me to bring a high level of respect, quality and safety to my teaching. Having trained myself in extreme environments around the world, I’m able to see the things that those I teach miss, see whether they have pushed themselves enough in the cold, or if they could go just that little bit deeper.
How important is it to breathe? The first pillar of the Wim Hof Method, breathwork. We want to train our breathing so we can become more efficient at oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange. Consciously guiding our respiratory system gives us a stronger heart, lungs and diaphragm. It helps us maintain a healthy cardiovascular system promoting blood flow throughout the body and allowing oxygen into our muscles and organs, including our heart and brain, breaking down nutrients and releasing energy. We become conscious of how our nervous system works, adapting, building resilience and flexibility throughout the day. Breathwork is the tool that enables deep inner work, to release stress and trauma that gets stuck within.
For me, the second pillar of the method, cold exposure provides an unparalleled level of self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-discipline. It tackles the biggest health problems in the world, cardiovascular related diseases, comorbidities, cold’s, flus and viruses, mental health issues like anxiety, stress and depression. It teaches us how to take control of our internal environment so that we are okay when our external world doesn’t go to plan.
We learn and grow when we train our adaptive mechanisms outside of our comfort zone. The cold, as a tool, takes you there and will help you truly learn about yourself. It has taught me how to respond and cope with the difficult things in my life. It helps me intuitively sense and comprehend others too. I live truthfully, vulnerably, confident, childlike and incredibly grateful.
Thirdly, this method asks you to commit. No other modality has given me the peace, freedom, strength and presence that the Wim Hof Method has. Overall, I have a better relationship with myself, greater love and acceptance and more emotional stability and inner peace.
I think it is a gift to be alive at this moment. However, I’m conscious that for others it is an incredibly intense time. That’s why sharing this Method feels like the right path, an authentic one, because I believe these practices – breathwork and cold training – together with the supportive communities they foster, help us to stay grounded and connected. To one another. And to the world.
Be alive, feel alive, challenge yourself and live your best life.
You can join a retreat or workshop with Leah and her Wild Things Anatomy team. For more information visit here: www.leahscott.net
For more information about the Wim Hof Method, visit www.wimhofmethod.com