Kam Waritsara, aka ‘Thai Ice Woman,’ is the first Thai-certified Wim Hof Method (WHM) instructor in the world. Once Kam tried and tested the WHM, it became such an important part of her life that she vowed to make the technique accessible to Thai people.

The WHM – discovered by Dutch extreme athlete Wim Hof – comprises three pillars: breathwork, cold exposure, and mindset. The reported health benefits include increased immunity, better sleep, reduced stress, and heightened focus – to name a few.

Kam and her husband Stuart run WHM workshops in Thailand for anyone brave enough to take the plunge into a 0°C ice bath. You can find all the details on the Breath Inspired website.

You never know unless you try, so ten members of the Thaiger team attended a Wim Hof Method workshop at the Breath Inspired studio in Bangkok…

Interview with Kam Waritsara aka ‘Thai Ice Woman’

How did you hear about the Wim Hof Method and what drew you to it?

My husband is a Wim Hof Method Instructor and taught me the breathing technique over three years ago. However, I was too afraid to do the cold exposure part of the method. I saw how much it helped him to deal with stress and that’s what ultimately led me to try the ice bath.

Can you please tell us about the 100-day ice bath challenge that you did?

After I tried the ice bath for the first time, I was shocked at how much better I felt – psychically and emotionally. I didn’t want that feeling to subside. So I decided to get in a 0°C ice bath with 300 kilograms of ice every day for 100 days.

I filmed it every day and posted it on social media. I was getting messages every day asking ‘Why?’ and ‘How?’ Some people thought I was just crazy, but many wanted to know more about it.

Why did you decide to do it?

During the pandemic, I was very afraid. I couldn’t see or teach my yoga students. I didn’t go out. I stayed at home, afraid, which I think many people did. I found myself becoming more and more depressed. I couldn’t sleep and the constant feeling of fear was close to being unbearable.

When my husband noticed how down I was, he suggested I try the ice bath. I had been practising the Wim Hof Method breathing technique for over three years but had never tried the ice bath.

I didn’t know how else to deal with my emotions, so I decided to do it and I am so happy I did. It made me feel happy, healthy, and strong.

How did you prepare mentally for it?

The Wim Hof Method breathing technique prepares your mind and body for the ice bath. Doing the breathwork correctly before the cold exposure will get you into a focused yet calm state. It also prepares your body for the added stress of the cold.

However, I am always nervous about getting into a 0°C ice bath. But because I know I can do it, and I have felt the benefits before, I just take that step, push my doubts aside and just do it.

How does getting in the ice make you feel?

Getting into the ice bath is always a shock. But by learning the technique, you can find comfort in the discomfort. You learn how to relax in a stressful environment. While I’m in the ice, I find my mind gets into a similar state as when I practise Buddhist meditation. It’s like a near-instant meditative state for me.

After the ice bath, I feel great. I’m full of energy and get a feeling of accomplishment. I’m ready for the day ahead.

Was there ever a time when you wanted to quit? If yes, how did you soldier through?

I never wanted to quit altogether, but I often had excuses appear in my mind. It was those times when I least wanted to do the ice bath that I gained the most from it. It was facing those doubts and overcoming them which made me stronger.

What made you decide to become a Wim Hof certified instructor?

I know personally that there is a high level of stress and depression among Thai people. Especially during the last few years. Because of the profound benefit I got from the method, I knew I wanted to teach more Thai people about it. I know it can help many people from all walks of life.

The method is extremely popular in Europe and the USA, with hundreds of instructors in those areas. There weren’t any Thai Wim Hof Method instructors in the world. I wanted to learn the WHM at a deep level so I could pass on my knowledge and my journey with the method to Thai people.

I know that you also do yoga. Do you incorporate yoga into the Wim Hof training process as well?

Wim was a yogi at an early age and used his yoga practice to discover the mind-body connection. So yoga fits in perfectly with the WHM. I take people through a simple short yoga session to prepare the breathing muscles for the breathwork and to start the mind-body connection process.

Can you tell us about some memorable experiences during your time as an instructor at Breath Inspired? E.g., any breakthroughs with clients, any weird stories?

At every workshop, people have some sort of breakthrough or realisation. I recall a time when a client, after the workshop, came over and told me that it was the first time in many years that he didn’t feel depressed. He said he couldn’t believe how powerful the breathwork and ice bath could be. This gave me even more motivation to get the method out to Thai people.

What are your plans for the future?

My goal is to get this method out to as many Thai people as possible. I have already done workshops in Phuket and Nan, but now I have plans to teach it in as many locations as possible.

What would you tell someone interested, but is afraid of the cold?

Safety is the most important thing. Always get professional training before you try extreme cold exposure. Getting in near-freezing water can be dangerous, and you need to know what you are doing.

However, you can safely experience mild cold exposure in places like the onsens or even some spas in Thailand that have cold water plunges.

At the Wim Hof Method workshop, we take you through every step safely. The workshop takes you from a beginner with no experience to being able to do the breathing and ice bath safely and gain all the benefits from it.

As Wim Hof himself says, “You are stronger than you know.”

 

By Wim Hof

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