Felt by Thousands, Backed By Science
Health fads come and go; the list of “biohacks” and “good for you” habits is endless - so what makes the Wim Hof Method any different?
Great question; we should always be critical of anything that claims to improve your health and put in diligent research before committing to any lifestyle change.
What sets the Wim Hof Method apart from other health fads of the past is the illustrious amount of scientific research and testimonials from thousands of practitioners over the years.
Here’s a list of some of the physical health benefits of the Wim Hof Method.
Head to the official Wim Hof Method Benefits page for the complete list of both physical and mental health benefits of the Wim Hof Method.
Inflammation is a common misfortune that is also the root cause of many diseases, including arthritis, asthma, allergies, diabetes, fibromyalgia, and others.
In 2012, Dr. Matthjis Kox and Dr. Peter Pickkers released a study where Wim and a group of volunteers trained in the method and were injected with E. Coli endotoxin. The results showed that the Wim Hof Method allows those who practice it to modulate their autonomic nervous system and influence their immune response through producing stress hormones such as adrenaline, noradrenaline, and cortisol.
The production of these stress hormones in turn suppresses inflammatory bodies in the bloodstream, therefore reducing inflammation.
Stronger Immune Response with Less Symptoms
That same study also proved that practicing the Wim Hof Method strengthens your immune response while also greatly reducing the symptoms associated with it.
In short, the white blood cells that are the part of your innate immune system that marks and destroys the toxins by engulfing and digesting them. The symptoms you feel when sick such as headaches, shivers, inflammation, and fever are a result of the proinflammatory proteins from your innate immune response, not the toxin itself.
Practicing the Wim Hof Method breathing dampens the inflammation response by flooding the body with adrenaline, which stimulates the release of IL-10, an anti-inflammatory protein. This in turn inhibits the release of other cytokines that contribute to inflammation, therefore reducing acute symptoms and speeding up recovery.
While this happens, white blood cell counts are increased, so the toxins can be marked and destroyed faster.
TLDR; the breathing lessens symptoms, shortens the duration of your sickness, and gets the bad stuff out faster.
Improved Cardiovascular Health
Cold exposure is an excellent workout for the muscular walls of your blood vessels, and keeping these healthy and strong is key to an optimally functioning cardiovascular system.
When entering the cold, your veins constrict to retain body heat and shunt warm blood to the vital organs. Upon exiting the cold, your veins dilate to release the warm blood back to the extremities. Your blood vessels are like your hand gripping railing; cold, squeeze; warm, release.
Training the muscular walls of your vasculature repeatedly with the Wim Hof Method strengthens them over time. As a result, your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout the body, therefore lowering both your heart rate and blood pressure.
The combination of the three pillars of the Wim Hof Method also helps to relieve stress, which reduces your blood pressure and heart rate as well.
Greater Pain Tolerance
In 2018, the ‘Brain Over Body’ study was conducted at Wayne State University in the Netherlands. The purpose of this study was to understand the brain function that allows Wim, and practitioners of the method, to withstand extreme cold exposure.
The results showed activation in the areas in the brain associated with pain suppression, primarily the periaqueductal gray area (PAG).
Improved Athletic Performance
By training the mind and body to tolerate extreme cold temperatures, athletes are able to train harder and longer, recover faster, and establish a mind of steel to push the boundaries of their endurance.
Faster Workout Recovery
By practicing the Wim Hof Method, workout recovery is sped up via reduced inflammation and muscle soreness through cold exposure. The breathing exercises also disperse toxins much more quickly, and the overall method improves quality of sleep.