Discover the Below Zero Method
About the Below Zero Method
The purpose of the Below Zero Method is to increase your physical and mental durability through the optimization of various physiological and psychological bodily processes. The method works on your autonomous nervous system and teaches you to switch between your resting nervous system (parasympathetic) and active nervous system (sympathetic). You will learn how to optimize your sleep cycle, appetite, temperature regulation, energy level, stress level and your immune system.
Benefits of the Below Zero Method
- Boost immune system
- Higher energy level
- Better blood circulation
- Improved cold tolerance
- Losing weight, increased metabolism
- Reduces stress
- Better and deeper sleep
- Improving the ability to concentrate
- More power in strength and endurance sports
- De-acidifies body, faster recovery
Historie Below Zero Methode
Bart Biermans founded two clinics in cosmetic medicine after his medical studies. During his medical studies he noticed that many illnesses are treated symptomatically with only medicines. The past ten years of his life have been devoted to the search for a good definition of health. This brought him to many therapists, doctors and alternative thinkers and eventually decided to pursue a 4-year course as an Essential Therapy Therapist in addition to an instructor course in cold training.
The seven foundations
This method is built on seven foundations: scientific theory, quantifiable results, nutrition, breathing techniques, meditation, yoga and cold exposure (the ice bath).
- Scientific theory
- Measurable results
- Breathing techniques
- Exposure to cold
Strengthen your health and mental resilience
1. Scientific theory
We will spend 45 minutes teaching you about the backgrounds of the various techniques that comprise the Below Zero Method. We will examine the various parts of this method through a scientific, physiological lens. Not to get too bogged down in theory, this period will be broken up with several practical exercises.
2. Measurable results
“Measuring is knowing!” as we say. So no Below Zero Method workshop is complete without proving to you what this method can do for your physiology. We will take your blood pressure, heartbeat, blood oxygen level and the pH-level of your urine in order to map out the health benefits of this method on your body.
Nearly all processes in your body have an acidifying effect on your physiology. For example, muscle fatigue after a workout due to lactic acid buildup. But there are also many metabolic processes in the liver with an acidifying effect. Failing to breathe deeply, too, has an acidic effect on the body. Your body spends a lot of energy trying to counteract this acidification. This is primarily done by your kidneys.
By sticking to a balanced diet with as little acidifying food as possible, you can bring your body back into balance. Try limiting your intake of amino acids, fatty acids (especially transfats and saturated fat), preservatives, food colorings, sugars (fast sugars and monosaccharides), alcohol and coffee. Make sure to eat as many vegetables and high-fiber foods as possible, drink a lot of water and give your body the occasional rest, for example by fasting. During this workshop, we will give you the tools you need to wean off of unhealthy food habits.
4. Breathing techniques
The Below Zero Method utilizes two breathing techniques: Connected Breathing and Transformational Breathing. These techniques act on your active and passive nervous system. By consciously practicing these techniques, you can bring both parts of your nervous system back into balance.
Whereas Transformational Breathing constantly switches between action and inaction, Connected Breathing comprises long stretches of action, followed by long periods of rest and release. This breathing exercise will help you to rebalance your autonomous nervous system and your hormonal response. Both breathing techniques have an alkalizing (pH raising) effect on your blood, which acts as a trigger for many hormonal processes.
Transformational Breathing is about alternating between deep breathing and holding your breath. This is an ideal way to train your nervous system against stress. Deep breathing stimulates your sympathetic (active) nervous system, while breath holding affects your parasympathetic (resting) nervous system. This breathing exercise also has a profound effect on your physiology by stimulating your hormonal response. It activates your immune system, brings it into balance and at the same time trains your circulatory system.
Connected Breathing is all about constant breathing. This technique brings you closer to your emotions and can help you break long-held patterns or entrenched behaviors. This breathing technique deacidifies your body and gives you access to your subconscious—the part of your brain where emotions and traumas are stored. This breathing exercise can also diminish fears and strengthen your intuitive abilities.
5. Yoga exercises
Yoga is an ancient Eastern doctrine. We include yoga into the Below Zero Method because it teaches you how to stay calm in uncomfortable positions. There are many types of yoga exercises. Yin exercises, for example, stimulate the resting nervous system, while Yang exercises stimulate the active nervous system. During our Below Zero Method workshops, yoga will help you to relax when entering the ice bath (Yin exercises) and heat you back up after you exit (Yang exercises).
Ready to enter the ice bath
6. Cold exposure (the ice bath)
Thousands of years ago, Tibetan monks practiced the what is known as the Tumo technique. This technique allowed them to form a deep connection to their bodies and fortify their health. The Tumo technique is based on a number of visualizations and breathing techniques that enable you to heat up your body from the inside. This visualization/breathing technique incites the physiological processes that you will need to enter the ice bath and maintain the focus that’s necessary to remain inside the bath.
In life, balance is key. Spend too much time in the heat, then it makes sense to train in the cold. If you eat too much, you should learn how to fast. Are you always busy? Learn to rest! Our society puts immense pressures on us, to the point where we’re often busy 24/7. Of course, not everything we do may be considered work, but it can still demand an incredible amount of energy. When animals are hurt, they can simply lie under a tree until they have recovered but us humans often need to stay in go-mode around the clock. There’s always something left to do, another notification left to respond to. Whereas our grandparents actually rested on Sunday, few of us keep to this tradition today.
During a Below Zero Method workshop, we will try to rediscover these moments of peace, which starts by planning them into our schedule. We start the workshop with a guided meditation and end the workshop with a guided meditation. After a full day of training your nervous system, a new world will open up for you during your final meditation.