Wim Hof has developed a method characterized by simplicity and effectiveness. The effects and applicability of this method are being investigated by various scientific institutes, including Radboud University. Initial results have shown that the method appears to affect the autonomic nervous system and the immune system. This means that application of the Wim Hof Method (WHM) may be of particular importance in the fields of public health, sports and at many other levels.
The effectiveness of this method has been known to Wim Hof for years, which is why he wishes to share it with the world. He wants to ensure that this method will be applied on a large scale. To achieve this, his method is being scientifically investigated, he is leading training sessions and workshops, and he is giving interviews to national and international media.
Wim Hof has trained his body and spirit in hard natural environments, particularly under conditions of extreme cold. Under these circumstances, breathing and mindset enhance the ability to withstand such extreme temperatures. Through enhancing his resilience in the face of extreme conditions using these techniques. Wim has been able to constantly explore his own physiology and mental capacity in greater detail. In doing so, he has continually developed and perfected his method over the years, constantly shifting his goalposts higher and higher.
Wim's impressive performance, especially under cold conditions, have earned him fame, along with the nick-name “The Iceman”. In the meantime he has accumulated almost 20 world records, including the longest ice bath, climbing snowy mountain peaks wearing only shorts, running marathons around the polar circle, as well as many others.
In 2007 Wim Hof was examined by the well-known Feinstein Institute. The results showed that Wim Hof appeared to be able to influence his autonomic nervous system. From this moment onwards, Wim Hof made it his goal to share the possibilities offered by his method with the world. He also sought further cooperation with the scientific community to study the possibilities resulting from his method.
The Wim Hof Method (WHM) will be explained in this section. The three components of the method are outlined, along with the associated physiological effects on the body.
There are various methods that separately deal with breathing techniques, the training of mindset/concentration, or exposure to the cold. As far as we know, there is no method with an interactive basis between these three components. It is the very interaction of these components that appears to provide proof of the positive effect on the body, as shown by several scientific studies. (Hopman et al., 2010; Pickkers et al., 2011 and 2014; Kamler, 2009). The method consists of three components that reinforce each other and is characterized by simplicity and effectiveness.
The three components of the WHM are as follows:
• Breathing exercises
• Training of mindset/concentration
• Gradual exposure to the cold
To explain why the method is so effective, the above mentioned components will first be separately highlighted, followed by an explanation why the interaction between these three components is so effective.
Hof, W. (2015). The Wim Hof Method Explained.
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