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Wim Hof is well known for his remarkable activities in extremely low temperatures. Hof claims that he can influence his autonomic nervous system and thereby suppress his immune response through concentration and meditation.
To investigate this, Hof was administered endotoxin while practising his concentration and meditation technique. During this experiment, various measurements were performed, including brain activity, autonomic nervous system activity and inflammatory mediators in the blood.
Pickkers said: "After endotoxin administration, the increase of the stress hormone cortisol in Hof was much more pronounced compared to other healthy volunteers. We know that this hormone is released in response to increased autonomic nervous system activity and that it suppresses the immune response. In accordance, the levels of inflammatory mediators in Hof's blood were much lower. On average, Hof's immune response was decreased by 50 percent compared to other healthy volunteers. In addition, hardly any flu-like symptoms were observed. These results are definitely remarkable.Source
When Wim was younger he did a lot of soul searching. He says, “I travelled the world studying everything from Karate and Kung Fu to Yoga and Buddhism. But nothing quite fulfilled me”. So with an understanding of Tummo meditation (a Tibetan Buddhist meditation practice) and Pranayama yogic breathing he created his own, more powerful, technique. Perhaps the best way to describe this for anyone who’s never seen it is a controlled form of hyperventilation. This sounds completely contradictory since hyperventilation happens involuntarily and is far from controlled. But imagine the sheer oxygenation blood and cells without the panic or stress. Wim says, “You become charged. Carbon dioxide goes out. Oxygen comes in. The body becomes oxygenated. PH levels goes up. At a certain point you’re so fully charged, you change the chemistry in your body.”Source
Yes, the study at hand confirms that the long-held theory that both, the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system, cannot be voluntarily influenced must be considered disproven - the "Wim Hof Method", of which the authors of the present paper highlight that it consists of techniques that can be "learned in a short-term training program" (Kox. 2014) seems to do what scientists have long considered impossible: it allows people like you and me to directly influence their sympathetic nervous system and immune system in a way that triggers highly pronounced increases in the stress hormone epinephrine and down-stream immune effects in form of increases of the production of anti-inflammatory mediators and a subsequent dampening of the proinflammatory cytokine response to an (albeit artificial) immune challenge with bacterial endotoxin.Source
originally posted by: YouSir
a reply to: Argentbenign
I would be personally extremely cautious of pushing any buttons in the autonomous nervous system...
originally posted by: SolAquarius
Weird I just posted a thread about Wim Hof in this very forum two days ago.
It seems to be a recent hot topic about a very cool guy.
Linky: Inside the Super Human World of the Ice Man