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Wim Hof explains the power of the human brain, and the scientific benefits of cold showers and deep breathing.
Speaker: Wim Hof
Interview: Tom Bilyeu
Music: Fearless Motivation Instrumentals
Wim: I was exposed to cold water, and just by a thought I was able to make the skin temperature not going down while I was exposed to cold water on my skin, ice water.
Tom: Your skin temperature didn’t go down?
Wim: Yes. Normally it goes down, that is what everybody thinks, isn’t it? And yes, 74 people before me, they did it and they saw all the same graphics. It goes down. And then I did it, I didn’t do anything. Why? Because I am in command of my breath and with that I become in command of my alchemy. And I’m able then to send and to manipulate any part of my body.
Tom: Do you feel the pain and divorce yourself from the suffering? Or do you literally not feel any discomfort?
Wim: You followed the breath and thus the hormonal system, the endocrine system, which we have shown in scientific research is really active within your command. With that comes the adrenaline, the epinephrine, the opioids and the canavanoids.
They are very strong.
Tom: I have a really specific… they’re really strong painkillers, is what you’re saying, right?
Wim: Yes, yes.
Tom: So that’s interesting. So you’re saying you’re actually killing the pain by tapping into that system because you’ve kicked off all this neuropharmacology bases?
Wim: Yes. These breathing techniques I’ve learned to do in extreme cold. Very soon, I was able to stay and prolong my time in ice water feeling great.
Tom: But is the breath just about oxygenating the tissues?
Wim: Oxy- uh, oxygenating uh, to go pass the lymphatic nodes uh, which normally inhibits the, the oxygen to go deeper. Now we found a way to go pass these nodes into the lymphatic system of your body and making you able to alkalize your blood within a couple of minutes. And with that, when the blood is the right pH degree, then suddenly the neurology of the mind, which is like electricity is able to run through.
If you go in to the ice, you feel, the focus will be on your feeling. How to get this feeling into adaptation and to overcome whatever is coming. The cold has been my teacher. I just follow the teacher, the feeling and learned to let go.
Wim: Intuitively I felt I wanna do this. I did yoga, I did kung fu, I did … all, all kinds of things and, and… great. But, the cold is really merciless but righteous. And I was ready to go in, I felt intuitively, I wanna go in because that’s got something, I don’t know what it is. I went in and I felt it. The connection was there, beyond any words and that’s what I was looking for. This tapping into deeper part of the brain, feeling pure energy, feeling power. Innate capacitated power we have to deal with that. I was looking for that.
Wim: And finally, I began to realize but so in the mind. Oh yes. So learning to let go in the right way following your breath. Your breath is able to prime the body. And then your mind, the neurology of the mind, if I’m able to make my skin temperature not going down while being exposed to ice cold water, skin temperature, that’s power. And that power is the same power we can learn to embrace and awaken uh, uh, in which we are able to tackle any stressor in the world. Any stressor emotionally and physically. And mentally. Whatever you come up, we are built to be able to oppose that, to get through and to learn and not to be afraid, ’cause we have the power of the mind.
Tom: So something that I didn’t expect when I started impact theory is the number of people that stopped me, the number of people that write to me and tell me that they’re contemplating suicide.
Wim: We got so many people who don’t commit suicide because they found this..
Nobody wants not to live but they don’t know how to live.
Wim: And this, they’re reactivate, uh, resets their body to the way nature meant it to be. And that is to be happy, strong, and healthy.
Tom: Yeah. Talk to me about your wife and how-
Wim: This is the way I started. My wife jumped from a eight story down in ’95, four children had. No money, just there with four children. My children made me survive and nature healed me and it was the cold. Because in the cold you shut up and all this turmoil, the emotional confusion, the broken heart is all physical, it’s all real. The cold is able to shut it up, shut it down and survive. And with that I came slowly but surely in control over my emotions.
Wim: Now I was powerless then with my wife was uh, schizophrenic and psychos that put all kinds of pills in, injections. Didn’t work whatsoever. There was powerless. But now, I’m empowered.
Tom: So the, the sort of general root cause, ’cause you’ve talked about being able to alleviate symptoms of arthritis, even thrown in cancer, uh, because to you the root cause of all that is inflammation.
Wim: Inflammation cause the irregulation on cell level in the DNA, in the genome express. It’s all the same thing. So there’s a mediocre state of our vascular conditioning. Killer number one in our society is cardiovascular related and it’s amazing how simple we can tackle this serial killer, the cardiovascular related diseases. And for that we take cold showers.
Tom: Shock to the system that does it.
Wim: Yes. Hormesis. We do it consciously and with that we connect even with the brain, with the vascular system, all over.
If you do the breathing before you go to sleep, or if you do the cold showers, then you will sleep better. Cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.
That, the way we are schooled is to take on that autoimmune diseases, cancer, depression, and alike, and power uh, gaining power and be insensitive is normal. I think it is sick. And we got to stand up and show through scientific, uh, research, that no speculation, that is it’s nonsense.
Wim: Mindfulness is very much research. And it shows that uh, through mindfulness you are able to activate deeper parts of the brain. They become more alive because simply the blood flow goes to these deeper parts. But what we have seen now in the brain scans, not even seasoned practitioners and mindfulness are able to activate those part you have been activated. And I say, it’s innately capacitated to anybody, but it needs the conscious technique and passing on of that. Not money, but it is there, but it needs to be awaken. It needs to be shown.
Wim: If you always walk to this way to the house because that’s your knowledge, you don’t know the shortcut which was always there.
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I'm Jonathan Boyd, blogger at Self Improvement Life. I'm passionate for all things related to motivation & personal development. My goal is to help and inspire others to become better. Follow me @modern.therapist