The Wim Hof method is a kind of intense mental and physiological training meant to help you realise your full potential. This approach has taken the world of health science by storm. Research and studies are now underway to validate the scientific base of some of the claimed benefits of this technique. For the uninitiated, Wim Hof method incorporates 3 basic techniques to enhance the quality of your life – breathing exercises, cold shower therapy and meditation. To learn more about this technique, go through the review of wim hof’s 10 week course.
The website healthygeeks.net believes that following the Wim Hof method has several benefits that are aimed to improve your health and a general sense of well-being. We decided to get a more comprehensive understanding of the advantages of this method. While we are at it, we have also included the science behind this method for a better appreciation.
Adhering to the three basic principles of the Wim Hof method, we can manipulate our autonomic nervous system and immune system at will. It was earlier believed by scientists that these are systems that cannot be voluntarily influenced – till Wim Hof came along and astonished the world of science. Scientific analysis was done by Feinstein Institute in New York in 2007 and the University Medical Center St. Radboud in Nijmegen in 2011established that Wim and others who practised his method was able to influence their autonomic nervous system voluntarily.
These findings were published in PNAS (Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences) and Nature and has bred curiosity among scientists to conduct further studies. Several research works related to this method are currently underway. The volunteers who followed the Wim Hof method was considered to have a considerable increase in the release of epinephrine – a chemical that leads to the growing production of anti-inflammatory mediators. This helps in the treatment of autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. When our immune system is functioning well, it protects us from harmful bacteria, viruses as well as other pathogens that can lead to diseases.
Researchers from Maastricht University concluded after studies that the ‘superhuman’ powers of Wim Hof come from a higher concentration of brown fat which is mitochondria-rich brown adipose tissue that heats up the body fast when metabolized. The repeated cold exposure improves the concentration of brown fat in your body which becomes almost 5 times more than that of most 20-year-olds. This, in turn, helps in burning your fat faster and more efficiently making you lean and fit.
The longest of the cranial nerve is the vagus nerve. The polyvagal theory introduced by Steven Porges explains how this nerve influences physiology. The muscles affected by his breathing exercises and other facial muscles used in expressing emotions like happiness, fear and anger are connected to the vagus nerve. This gives us clues as to how the Wim Hof method can reduce inflammation. The breathing exercises are also found to move the diaphragm and the lymphatic, nervous system with its continuous inhalations and exhalations. This is useful in clearing out the toxins from our system.
If you are contemplating trying this method, proceed with confidence as science is on your side.