Strengthen your body and prevent disease
“The mind under control is your best friend, the mind wandering about is your worst enemy. Make it your best friend, to the point where you can rely on it. Your mind makes you strong from within. It is your wise companion. The sacrifices you make will be rewarded. Life doesn’t change, but your perception does. It’s all about what you focus on. Withdraw from the world’s influence and no longer be controlled by your emotions. If you can grab the wheel of your mind, you can steer the direction of where your life will go.”
— Wim Hof
After listening to a recent podcast with Joe Rogan, I was introduced to a fascinating Dutch bloke by the name of Wim Hof. World record holder, adventurer and daredevil. Commonly nicknamed The Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold. With my full attention, it was not long into the podcast that Wim Hof began making some extraordinary claims. One of which was his ability to directly influence his immune system to fight illness or stress by simply altering his breathing and using his mind. Of course I was skeptical and I promised myself to look further into this man upon completing the podcast.
As the discussion continued, it only grew upon me what a fasinating chap this guy was truly turning out to be. Swimming vast distances under polar ice, climbing Everest and Kilimanjaro in only his shorts and shoes! Yeah, you heard that right! Oh and when you look past his full marathon run with no food or water in the 50°C Namib Desert and his incredible ability to comfortably relax in ice baths for hours on end, then you can then move on to the scientific boundaries he is pushing!
My scepticism was crushed. It was apparent after researching The Wim Hof Method that he has truly found the ability to manipulate his body in ways to repair his body. And the most extraordinary thing about this? He isn't just some freak anomaly like a student of Professor Xavier's school for mutants. 24 scientific study participants were injected with a dead strain of Escherichia coli, a bacteria that normally induces violent sickness for days on end.
However, none of the 12 people who were trained in The Wim Hof Method experienced any ailment whatsoever. This was the evidence needed to show that that humans can consciously control their immune system. Oh and the other twelve in the untrained control group? Not quite so fortunate.
“Hitherto, both the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system were regarded as systems that cannot be voluntarily influenced. The present study demonstrates that, through practicing techniques learned in a short-term training program, the sympathetic nervous system and immune system can indeed be voluntarily influenced.”
— Proceedings of the National Academy for Sciences
THE BREATHING TECHNIQUE
It all starts with the breathing. The method will consist of rapid breathing that reinvigorates the body. One mechanism of this practice is the complete oxygenation of your blood and cells.
Close your eyes and begin with a long, strong Inhale through the nose and brief exhale through the mouth in short but powerful bursts. This should be done around 30 times or until you feel your body is saturated with oxygen. Symptoms typically include tingling sensations in the body and light-headedness.
Suddenly, you're able to hold your breath substantially longer (Try it against your normal time, it's true) And through continuous training with this method, you can begin to make conscious contact with your heart, autonomic nervous system and immune system. It also has a positive influence on your blood circulation.
CONFRONTATION WITH THE COLD
The next step in Wim Hof's method is the immersion with the cold. Our primal human abilities that where triggered by immense cold have been lost with time and Wim Hof's method has brought this all to light. Through certain exposures to the cold you can make your body stronger. You can start now by practicing this at home! For example, take a cold shower after a hot one. This will train the tiny muscles in your veins to be come stronger. As you progress you can even sit, walk, or run through the snow and ice.
For those interested in taking part in Wim Hof's method you can try out his free mini-course here: http://www.wimhofmethod.com/video-miniclass
And check out his fasinating interview with Dr. Rhonda Patrick below: