Seaham Hall is an award-winning Spa and Hotel in Seaham, County Durham. They have started running sessions with Hayley Dorian, a cold water exposure coach, teaching and demonstrating the Wim Hof method.
I was kindly invited along to the event which makes this post an AD as I did not pay for my visit and was asked to create content for the event. However, my thoughts and opinions are entirely my own.
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Let’s get into it!
The Wim Hof Method
Wim Hof (AKA, The Iceman) is a dutch motivational speaker for those who don’t know. Although he has done a great deal more. Wim understood that the human mind can have a great deal more control over the body’s instinct reactions to many things, including cold water exposure.
If you do want to get into the Wim Hof method there are a great number of videos on YouTube about it for you to watch. Or you can have a look at his website.
When you breathe, the inhale and exhale do different jobs. Inhaling raises your heart rate, whereas exhaling slows it down. So the Wim Hof method utilises this information and enables you to breathe in such a way that keeps your heart rate from rising.
By taking short inhales and long slow exhales you can stop your body from going into the shock it does when you are exposed to cold water.
That is a very short and brief way of explaining it and doesn’t half do it justice. But you get the picture.
XHayle Wim Hof Cold Water Therapy Session
So, how does this Wim Hof method breathing technique fit into Seaham Hall?
Seaham hall has its own plunge pool, which is about 13 degrees. That makes it an ideal temperature to practice the Wim Hof method in the North East.
Withing that class which for us lasted just shy of 2 hours, she runs through the breathing method with you so you can grasp the hang of it. This was really interesting actually as she was able to get me into a position where I could hold my breath from about 10 seconds at the beginning to 2 minutes by the end.
When you’re in the cold water you won’t be expected to hold your breath, but rather control it. And that is what the class’s purpose is.
It shows you the technique you will need to control and focus on your breathing as opposed to the cold water.
After this, we were then served a light dinner from the Ozone Restaurant.
Ozone Restaurant Seaham Hall
If I am being honest, this was a huge selling point for me when I initially got the invite email. I have wanted to try this pan-Asian restaurant for the longest time. And I am so glad I did!
We were given a selection of Asian dishes from bao buns to spring rolls. They have recently upgraded their menu and everything on it was absolutely delicious!
Their summer rolls were my favourite part of the menu.
You can visit the Ozone Restaurant when staying at the hotel or visiting the spa. If you get the chance I would highly recommend it as the food was amazing.
Cold Water Therapy: Wim Hof Method
After the food, it was time to take the plunge.
The aim was to stay in the water for 2 minutes. Now then, I cannot begin to explain how long two minutes is until youre in that cold water. Its a different kind of minute!
There were a few different people in our group, so luckily we didn’t have to go first. However, the people who went before us absolutely bossed it. Hayley kept telling us we didnt have to stay in for the full time, but I didnt want to be that person.
So in I went.
And instantly forgot all my training. But after forcing myself to focus on short inhales and long exhales, I got my body out of the shock and managed to stay in for the full 2 minutes! The Wim Hof method really does work.
When I tell you getting out and putting my dressing gown back on was the best feeling!
There are a great deal of health benefits you are supposed to get after cold water exposure, such as sleeping better and I absolutely slept like a baby that night. I was also overwhelmed with a sense of accomplishement after doing it. I was so proud of my little self!
Hayley will be running more cold water sessions this year, one on the 9th October and the 11th December. So if you want to learn more about the method then there is no one more qualified to tech you!
Seaham Hall Serenity Spa
After the plunge we were able to use the rest of the spa facilities. This was my first time visiting Seaham Hall Serenity Spa, and the place was absolutely beautiful.
I cna absolutely see why the spa has won so many awards! It was such a relaxing place to be in.
The spa has a normal pool which has massage stations built in, outdoor hot tubs, a hydrotherapy infinity pool outside with a garden terrace, sauna, steam room, hydrotherapy pool indoors and water beds.
We had a go in everything and it was just perfect! A truly stunning place to be. We only had about an hour in there but I could have spent a whole day just relaxing in there.
Seaham Hall Serentiy Spa is regularly fully booked for months in advance as demand is very high to get in. So if you do want to go yoursel then make sure to be hot on booking! You can have a look at their spa packages HERE.
Overall, I don’t think I am fully convinced on cold water exposure therapy. However, what I have learned about the Wim Hof method thanks to Hayley was incredibly interesting and something I will keep with me should I ever need it.
The tickets for the next two Xhayle sessions will be going up soon so keep an eye on both Seaham Halls socials and Hayleys too to make sure you can get booked in. They are on the 9th October and the 11th December.
A huge thank you to both Hayley and Seaham Hall for inviting me to the session, I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed it!
Stay Safe, and don’t forget to breathe!
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