By Samantha Yardley
Photography by: Innerfire BV

None possess such ethereal brilliance in quite such a unique and anarchist fashion than the icon that is Wim Hof. His revolutionary approach to holistic wellness has earned him a legion of fans across the globe and even if you have an aversion to the cold, he’s bound to have piqued your interest with his awe-inspiring feats that seemingly transcend the limits of the human body.

Muscle and Health Editor-in-Chief Danni Levy quizzes the living legend to learn why we should all be embracing a cold shower and practicing restorative Wim Hof breathing technique. 

“We will burst the ball of ignorance to bring awareness and awaken the potential for people to bring happiness, strength, and health to themselves and their families through mother nature” begins 61-year-old Wim Hof, who has gained worldwide notoriety through withstanding freezing temperatures to optimize his health.

“You will become the captain. What do you want to do with your vessel?”

“This method is about accessibility, effectivity and giving power to everybody,” he says. “No matter who you are or where you come from, once you start practicing my method, you will develop a profound connection with your own body. 

“I developed an unstoppable curiosity for the scientific world”

“You will become the captain. What do you want to do with your vessel? Go and live your life the way you want- happy strong and healthy- that’s the way we’re built. I discovered this by doing strange things in extreme conditions. I developed an unstoppable curiosity for the scientific world” he says. “Scientists intervened and claimed that what I was doing was physiologically impossible. They began to experiment on me for things which up until then were deemed unachievable for the human race. I proved them wrong. I made my own method. And that method is accessible to everyone.”

Breathe Easy

“Deep breathing techniques make your body alkaline, that is a fact,” Wim says. “Our bodies can become increasingly acidic throughout the day due to a build-up of stress, but deep breathing techniques cleanse the lymphatic system, causing pH levels to lower,” he says. “If you don’t intoxicate yourself too much during the day, your pH levels will remain alkaline”.

“I proved them wrong. I made my own method. And that method is accessible to everyone.”

“When faced with a stressful or painful situation, if you turn your body alkaline by performing deep breathing exercises, you will have far more control over that pain or fear. Deep breathing exercises cleanse the body of chemical residue caused by stress. This residue is like garbage that blocks up your system. You have to cleanse your body of that trash,” he explains. 

“Deep breathing exercises cleanse the body of chemical residue caused by stress.”

Wim Hof doing the splits

“Doctors have now started implementing these methods, because they appreciate the preventative power of this and they see that when the body is clean, the garbage is not fermenting. If we’re able to directly execute control over incoming stress or danger and neurologically activate the adrenal axis, then when we see something that’s not good, we get rid of it,” he says. “I have proven now with brain scans that the power of your thoughts alone are able to fend off danger and physical stress- just the power of your own mind. How? Deep breathing techniques promote a spike in adrenaline. This means we can fend off danger more successfully. If we consciously spike that adrenaline, not only can we face extreme things like a bungee jump with less fear, but our bodies are actually able to fend off bacteria, because adrenaline also makes the immune system much more alert.

“Opioids, cannabinoids, serotonin; all a magical pharmacy of ours which we previously didn’t know how to access.”

“Emotional stress, bacterial stress, viral stress, stress because of the heat or the cold- it’s all stress on the body. A spike in adrenaline enables your body to cope far better in any of these stressful situations. The breathing techniques I advocate have shown themselves to activate the deepest part of the brain in which exists a reservoir of opioids, cannabinoids, serotonin; all a magical pharmacy of ours which we previously didn’t know how to access.

“We have proven this by injecting people with bacteria, which had no effect on them after performing these breathing techniques- yet thousands of people who didn’t practice the same exercises became sick. Ultimately, when the body becomes alkaline, the pain receptors uncouple and when this happens, the body cannot make pain signals.

“This is the way we are built, but we were never schooled in this, and we never exercised or believed this- but now it is science.”

Clearly adept in the science to back up his revolutionary techniques, Wim explains the multitude of health benefits from hacking our autonomic nervous system.

“The autonomic nervous system can reduce resting heart rate, improve digestion, reduce blood pressure, improve metabolism, and improve your sex life. Practicing my method on a daily basis will help you to reap all of these benefits and it only takes a few minutes.”

Cold Treatment

Not a fan of the cold? It’s time to reconsider the cold shower method, which according to Wim if paramount to his happy, strong, and healthy campaign.

“We were not built to wear clothes all of the time.”

“We’ve got millions of little muscles in our cardiovascular system that are there to dilate the veins, arteries and capillaries,” Wim explains. “If we have clothes on all the time, then our largest organ, the skin, is not exposed to cold, heat or pressure. We were not built to wear clothes all of the time. This modern-day way of dressing creates a de-stimulative behavior wherein the electoral, temperature and pain receptors in the skin are not being sufficiently stimulated through cold, heat, or pressure, because we don’t feel these sensations. 

“We know what happens when we don’t exercise our muscles. They become smaller and smaller. The same goes for the cardiovascular system. If it’s not stimulated, it becomes weaker. Subsequently, the heart needs to beat harder to get the blood flow through the system in order to reach the cells with vital nutrients, vitamins and oxygen.

“When cold water envelops your body, you automatically ‘think’ your body temperature goes down- that is the normal reaction- but if you intervene at that moment and say, ‘I don’t want my temperature to go down’, then it won’t. That is fending off physical stress with the power of your own thoughts and that is the new science. It’s truly amazing.

 “Cold showers help train the cardiovascular system to restore it to its natural condition within ten days. At that point, your heart rate will go down by 20-30 beats per minute, 24 hours a day. Just a 30-second cold shower after a nice hot one is okay. Once these muscles awaken, your energy levels and blood flow will improve drastically. Vital oxygen, vitamins and nutrients will find their way to your cells far more efficiently. Your heart rate goes down and your energy levels go up. It’s a win-win!

“I’m talking to you the reader- you are in control- show some muscle of spirituality inside out- it’s all there.”

“Within just a half an hour, you will have that innate capacity to train your mind and your body to be happy, strong and healthy- that’s natural logic. When shit happens or stress comes to you creating chemical residue, you’ll be able to fend it off and cleanse yourself of that. So, when you get fired, or COVID happens, you will not lose your happiness, your strength, or your health. Maybe you’ll lose your money or your car, but you’ll stay fucking happy, strong and healthy. That’s muscular strength at its best- very simple and very accessible to anybody and that’s our work- we bring common sense back to the people. I’m talking to you the reader- you are in control- show some muscle of spirituality inside out- it’s all there.

“Not only can my method tackle cardiovascular related diseases, but many other chronic diseases, depression, or causes of inflammation that enter into the brain creating mental disorders, all because we live in a dissimulative environment. I mean really- a cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.”

“When I meditate, I’m just thinking of sex all day long”

Wim holding bodyweight one handed

Let Mediation Be Your Medication 

“When I meditate, I’m just thinking of sex all day long,” jokes Wim. “Actually, the only time I’m not thinking about sex is when I paint and create! On a serious note, meditation is the ability to bring blood flow to the deeper parts of the brain. When the blood flow follows the neural activity of our constant thinking, then the blood flow stays within the shallow part of the brain, or the neocortex- the modern brain. As a result, the rest of the brain is deprived of adequate blood flow. It’s by learning to bring that blood flow to the deeper part of the brain that reduces stress. In the deeper part of the brain there are no thoughts- it’s as simple as that.

“I attended brain scans and demonstrated how we are able to control the blood flow inside of the brain and bring it deeper into the brain stem. We are living in the shallow part of the human brain. It’s go-go-go all day long and we don’t feel the purpose of life anymore.

“We’ve learned to control the part of the brain that gives us purpose, emotion, and soul. The part that controls ‘the five Fs’: fight, flight, food, fuck, or freeze.”

“We are now able to tap into the deepest part of our brain, make it alkaline and gain neurological control. We’ve learned to control the part of the brain that gives us purpose, emotion, and soul. The part that controls ‘the five Fs’: fight, flight, food, fuck, or freeze. We have found this biohacking technique through studies, and we can now control things like bacteria and emotions that were previously not able to be consciously controlled by humans.

This is not a joke anymore. I’m gonna fucking change the world”

“So, don’t meditate- go deeper than meditation and deeper than mindfulness. You own your own mind. We never got schooled in this and we are serving in a system that got fucked up, through COVID arresting us, lockdown, being told we need vaccinations. Fuck off all I say! Get back into yourself and take ownership of who you are and what you are, the way nature meant it to be.

This is not a joke anymore. I’m gonna fucking change the world because it needs to stop this nonsense and bring common sense to the people to be happy, strong and healthy.

wimhofmethod.com

@iceman_hof

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