Chill Zone: Beth Huckel brings ‘life-enhancing’ ice baths to the region

Discovering the healing power of the Wim Hof Method when grieving a loved one, Pilates teacher Beth Huckel now offers ice baths and breathwork therapy across Suffolk and Cambridgeshire

What motivated you to research the Wim Hof Method?

I found the Wim Hof Method as part of a long journey of discovery following the death of my mum to cancer. My grief triggered a period of severe anxiety which was treated reactively – rather than proactively – by conventional medicine and in a way that ultimately left me feeling less in control. I wanted to explore whether there were ways I could teach my mind and body to react less to stress.

Despite being a Pilates instructor with nearly 20 years’ experience, until I discovered the WHM I realised that I had never fully felt the true transformative power of mind-body connection. I taught how to bring balance to the body but now I help to bring balance to the body AND the mind.

Beth Huckel
Beth Huckel

How did you find ice baths and the WHM helped you?

Clearly ice baths are a test of mental resilience but really, they are a mirror for how you face fears by understanding your responses to them and the power of being in control of your breath to tailor the default, knee-jerk reactions. It’s not simply just a case of feel the fear and do it anyway. I have a far more in-depth knowledge of the science behind our fight or flight responses as a consequence of my training as a certified ‘Hoffer’ and knowledge is power to be harnessed to our benefit and to those I now coach.

When did you launch The Ice Beth (we love the name, btw!) and where do you run workshops?

The Ice Beth (the name Beth was clearly a gift) officially launched last November. I run workshops all over Suffolk and Cambridgeshire. Sometimes out of my Pilates studio Functional Pilates & Movement in Bury St Edmunds, recently at Floatwell Cambridge, and I’m soon to launch regular retreats at the beautiful Branches Park near Newmarket.

Beth and Wim
Beth and Wim

What do your workshops involve?

Explaining, showing and experiencing the proven science behind the method, all backed up by peer-reviewed medical papers, to understand breathwork. I then give a breath class, followed by the science and benefits of cold therapy finishing with an optional ice bath. These are interspersed with regular Q&As and finished with something delicious to eat and drink.

What issues can ice baths and the WHM help people to deal with?

The combination of cold therapy, breathwork and mindset which are the three fundamental principles of the method (setting it apart from other breath-based modality or ice bath therapy on its own) have proven benefits. These include reducing stress and anxiety, improving mood, increased anti-inflammatory benefits (which are massively important for anyone suffering with an auto-immune disease), reducing blood pressure and easing hormonal symptoms. Other benefits include boosting oxygen levels for sports performance and endurance, improving white blood cell count and therefore immunity, better sleep, higher brown fat versus white fat count; I could go on for ages!

Time to chill: Beth instructing a client
Time to chill: Beth instructing a client

What kind of feedback have you had from clients?

The feedback has been amazing with clients describing the workshops as ‘life enhancing’ and commenting on the wonderful camaraderie. Many have since incorporated breathwork and cold therapy into their daily lives.

What are your dreams for Ice Beth?

That I can empower people with the knowledge and understanding that as Charlie Mackesy says in his book The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse (which is a quote I use in my workshops) that ‘One of our greatest freedoms is how we react to things’.

For me, the Wim Hof Method has given me the space, the knowledge, confidence and power to choose how I react – and that is a transformational gift I can pass on and one that can be continued and accessed free by everyone.

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