Like a real life superhero, a man named Wim Hof has achieved unbelievable feats that have earned him the formidable nickname ‘The Ice Man’ and taken the world by storm. His amazing stunts include being fully submerged in ice water for more than an hour two days in a row, climbing Mt. Everest wearing shorts, and climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in only 2 days. Hof’s amazing feats have gathered to him quite a following which has only increased with his Wim Hof Method training programs he has developed in which participants can learn the seemingly super-human skills needed to survive such harsh conditions from Hof himself; but what kind of skills would allow a person to defy what modern scientific thought has regarded as absolute limitations to achieve remarkable? How does Wim Hof do it?
If you’re wondering how this is possible, you aren’t alone. Hof openly and confidently declares that his abilities derive from his understanding of how to consciously control his body functions, immune system, and autonomic nervous system through meditations and mental training. In fact a small handful of scientists have now shifted the lens of immunology and focused on the possibility that truly, through ones thoughts and the power in specific training and meditations could actually alter the functioning of the nervous system on command.
A recent study designed to investigate Wim Hof’s training protocols was done using 24 participants, 12 in a control group who received no training and 12 in an intervention group who were trained in 3rd eye meditation, breathing techniques, and exposure to extreme cold. After a period of training for the intervention group, all 24 participants were administered a flu-inducing toxin and monitored for the responses of the autonomic nervous system, which is related to immunity and inflammation.
Amazingly, the 12 participants in the intervention group who had undergone the training showed that, ”techniques resulted in intermittent respiratory alkalosis and hypoxia resulting in profoundly increased plasma epinephrine levels. In the intervention group, plasma levels of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 increased more rapidly after endotoxin administration, correlated strongly with preceding epinephrine levels, and were higher. Levels of proinflammatory mediators TNF-α, IL-6, and IL-8 were lower in the intervention group and correlated negatively with IL-10 levels. Finally, flu-like symptoms were lower in the intervention group,” according to the study.
Or in other words, in layman’s terms, the group who had undergone the training released less inflammatory substances, more anti-inflammatory substances, and their immunity was much more successful in preventing the onset of the infection with which they had been injected, thereby proving that the techniques had clearly affected the behavior of the nervous system.
Previously, the belief held by immunologists and biologists was that the autonomic nervous system could not function beyond its automatic controls, but this study has clearly demonstrated otherwise. It is possible to alter one’s autonomic nervous system and immunity with thought.
In his video transmissions, Hof insists that his abilities are something anyone can learn within a 4-10 day training workshops, one which he travels around the world to offer. This information lends exciting and previously unimagined possibilities for the potential of us as human beings to consciously orchestrate the functioning and health of our body and its various systems. It truly is ‘mind over matter’.