Wim Hof (00:00:00):
This is the time for awakening to our inner mechanisms, our potential, the way nature meant it to be.
Mark Hyman (00:00:13):
Welcome to Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman, that’s pharmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y. A place for conversations that matter. And if you want to know how to hack your biology and attain super powers, that aren’t really super, but are just our human powers that we haven’t accessed, you’re going to love this conversation with my friend Wim Hof, who I’ve known for many years.
Mark Hyman (00:00:32):
I’ve experienced some of his teachings personally. And in fact, in his honor, he’s known as the Iceman. I just took an ice bath before our podcast. They’re literally did. He is an extraordinary guy. He holds multiple world records for his feats of endurance and exposure to cold. He has climbed Mount Everest in shorts. He has been in ice bath for almost two hours. Can you imagine being dunked in ice for two hours? He swum beneath the ice for almost 130 yards, which is stunning. He’s been injected with biotoxins that would cause people to die and has willfully controlled his immune system to fight the infections. Imagine if we could all do that with coronavirus right now.
Mark Hyman (00:01:21):
And he is the author of this incredible new book called The Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential. And he is not kidding. The benefits of Wim’s method, now practiced by tens of thousands have been validated by eight university research studies. So this is not just hokey pokey, kind of super duper parlor trick. This is validated scientific techniques that help you access parts of yourself that you have never even dreamed you could and empower you in ways to not only create health, but to actually have a happy fulfilled life, which is a side effect.
Mark Hyman (00:01:54):
He has been featured on Goop Labs, six part Netflix series in episode two, which I encourage you to watch called Cold Comfort. He’s been at BBC, vice mini discovery channel, and now he was featured also in a bestselling book called What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney. And he lives in the Netherlands with his family where he’s speaking to us today. And I’m so glad to be able to have you on the podcast. Before COVID, I didn’t podcasts in person, now I can talk to anybody anywhere in the world. It’s pretty awesome. So you’re welcome to the podcast Wim.
Wim Hof (00:02:23):
Thank you. Thank you, Mark. You made to muck with this on.
Mark Hyman (00:02:29):
Well, remember we shared a stage at Tony Robbins event, and you came on before me and there was no con competing. Like you got onstage, you jumped and you did a giant split. Then you played your guitar and then you give this incredible talk, and I’m like, “Oh my God, I don’t know what I’m going to do.” And then I’ve actually been in one of your workshops where I literally was able to easily hold my breath for over two minutes, without any stress or pain or discomfort using these techniques that really are pretty extraordinary.
Mark Hyman (00:02:57):
You hold 26 world records from climbing Mount Everest in your shorts, to doing a marathon in the Namibian desert at 104 degrees without drinking any water, you don’t actually quite sound human. So how did you get started on this? You weren’t born in the Iceman. How did you become the Iceman?
Wim Hof (00:03:18):
Yeah, exactly. I was born a human like anybody else, but I think it was a trauma. Not only me, I say this, it was my mother. I was one of the twins. I was one of the twins and unexpected, I was the second. I was too long in. And then I almost suffocated and I was born in the cold of the hall just before entry into the operation room.
Wim Hof (00:03:46):
So I think it inflicted a trauma right over there. And that made me different. That made me different of my identical twin. It was getting born, being almost suffocated in the cold of a hall, that inflicts on that little being there. Something you don’t know, but it’s there. And that made me always different of my twin brother, identical twin brother. Because he has been experimented or researched upon because we are identical.
Mark Hyman (00:04:26):
That’s incredible. Yeah.
Wim Hof (00:04:28):
And it shows that he is not capable of doing what I do. Because I trained. But the drive I got from that trauma made me a sole searcher for something that is deeply within me, and I had to go and connect with that and solve it. And then, you know where I solved it? Where I found it? When I was 17, consciously, I felt the attraction to go into cold water. I just felt and I went in and it felt like, “This is it. I was looking for this,” without words. And that made me feel good.
Wim Hof (00:05:13):
And then the other day I went back and I did the same thing and it felt good as it did the first day. And then I began to do it of course every day. And then what happens when you go into the cold water, you do, huh! You take a deep breath. That’s natural, a natural reflex because you need to influence your biochemistry deeply when cold ice water, which is a stressor, is inflicting upon you as an impact, you need to change the biochemistry inside. And that is done by deep breathing.
Mark Hyman (00:05:58):
Wim Hof (00:05:59):
Then I separated the deep breathing doing it at home, and I saw all what been reading upon these chakras, the tattered disciplines. I learned to control the breath and to manipulate my nervous system, endocrine system to the level of the autonomic nervous system. This was thought of impossible by humans. So I did this for 25 years on my own because everybody was thinking I was crazy. Swimming outside-
Mark Hyman (00:06:38):
Well, you are crazy, but that’s okay.
Wim Hof (00:06:40):
Mark Hyman (00:06:41):
In a good way.
Wim Hof (00:06:44):
I’m bloody crazy about my wife and my life. Yes. And it’s not so crazy after all showing insights to a go past the existent paradigm of our possible influence at will within our own bodies and mind. That means, the autonomic nervous system, endocrine system, immune system, all our lymphatic system. We believed we were schooled that that was impossible to interact with or to influence simply inside those systems of ours. And now we’re doing in comparative studies to make people within a couple of days, being able to tap into all those systems that in contrary of what was written in medical science.
Mark Hyman (00:07:46):
Yeah. So just to put it in perspective for those listening, what Wim is talking about is you have two nervous systems, essentially. You have the voluntary and the involuntary nervous system. The voluntary nervous systems, you can raise your hand, you can scratch your head. You’re doing that at will. But there’s a whole set of operations in your body, your heart rate, your breathing, all the basic functions of digestion, your immune system, your endocrine system, they’re all governed by your nervous system that’s called the automatic or autonomic or involuntary nervous system.
Mark Hyman (00:08:18):
And this is not something that we typically can control. Yes, we can control our breath. We can breathe faster. We can breathe slower. And that’s the doorway you’re talking about into this system. But what you’re talking about is really a medical paradigm shift, which is that we can have voluntary control over what we previously thought were involuntary functions, such as regulating our body temperature, which is what you do when you climb Mount Everest in your shorts.
Wim Hof (00:08:42):
Mark Hyman (00:08:42):
And what I’m really curious about Wim is, you mentioned these esoteric texts and Tibet, these practices. We were searching for outer space and we’re going to outer space, they’re going into inner space. So the technology systems that we’ve developed that are our current modern technology systems, the amount of science has gone into that, they put that into the science of the mind and to understanding our biology, understanding how to influence it.
Mark Hyman (00:09:07):
And it seems like you somehow hit upon that. And there’s an ancient technique called TUMO from the Tibetans, which is used as a spiritual practice, where they teach monks, how to drive the sheets. They dip sheets in ice water, they wrap themselves in the sheets and when they are able to drive the sheets and they send them up to the top of the mountain in their underwear to sit in the snow all night, not freeze to death. And essentially, was that the thing you read about that got you started thinking about this?
Wim Hof (00:09:32):
Yes, absolutely. And got me absolutely intrigued because there is not only more than meets the eye. I wanted to find it. I wanted to find what was written in all these esoteric books from the Bible to the Qur’an, to the Bhagavad Gita to the Torah and all the textbooks, yoga. There’s potentially all those things I wanted to see how to experience, what are they talking about? What is this possible connection to a deeper level with it? And now I found it and I brought it to science.
Wim Hof (00:10:16):
I found the proprioception, interoception, being able to be top down regulated. So it all began with being inspired, looking at Tummo, which is one of the esoteric practices in Buddhism done by Naropa. The doctrines of yoga, Tummo is one of them, [inaudible 00:10:44] is another as running and trans for days and on-
Mark Hyman (00:10:48):
Trans running. Yeah.
Wim Hof (00:10:49):
Yes, trans running. And you got the levitation, [inaudible 00:10:55]. You get all kinds of supernatural, so-called supernatural abilities within us, but they have to be awakened. You have to learn to connect with those abilities. And I thought, very inspiring, but what I actually want is to find happiness, strength and health. So for that, I went inside and the cold, it shows you who you are and what you are.
Wim Hof (00:11:32):
You have a possibility to learn, to control interior mechanisms, insight through the power of your unconscious will. It is concentration, and then neurologically, we learn to connect with systems existence within us, but within our western science sort of impossible to connect with. Impossible to connect or to control at will by humans. And now I’ve shown in studies how to do it. For example, the last study I did in Michigan, Detroit, psychiatry brain scans, I showed how to tap in to consciously into the deepest part of our brain, which is the periaqueductal gray hemisphere. the place where opioids and cannabinoids are being activated. But this was knowing to be not possible to be done at will. And now I showed how to do it, in brain scans, just by my sheer willpower.
Wim Hof (00:12:58):
So in brain scans, not even moving, I was not allowed to move. Just by the power of my thought, I was able to make cold water coming on my skin and just by thought, making my skin temperature, not going down. That is top down regulation interoception thought of non-existent in science, but nowadays, so, “Hey, I was doing that all the time.” And the temperature never decreased. It stayed one degree up. And so one degree more than normal, it’s there I positioned it apparently, that’s the way it works. And it stayed over there after exposure of cold water for 45 minutes. And it stayed over there. And then they saw what normally happens with test subjects because they had 74 test subjects done the same thing in the brain scan and the FMRI. They saw them.
Wim Hof (00:14:12):
And then they saw that the insula was very low activity, and the prefrontal cortex was very high activity because of the stress. But they never saw the deep brain STEM activity of the periaqueductal gray hemisphere, the endocannabinoid system at work. And in my case, my endocannabinoid system insight was at will being activated and thus I had a great time. My insula was very nice. My prefrontal cortex or stress was not there, because I had a good time while being in the brain scan, exposed to icy cold water on my skin.
Mark Hyman (00:14:59):
Wim Hof (00:15:01):
That shows the deep esoteric disciplines of the Tummo and the Buddhists and the yogas and all, this is what I show people to be able to do within a weekend.
Mark Hyman (00:15:15):
Incredible. So, let me just stop you there because what you’ve just said there was groundbreaking. Aside from the ways in which you can control yourself, that last sentence, that this can be taught in a weekend. I’m reading a book now called The Way of The White Clouds by Lama Govinda, maybe, you know that book. And he talks about these practices, whether it’s Tummo, the trans walking, the levitation these “super powers” that these monks get after being in a cave for nine years, meditating or 12 years meditating. But what you’re talking about is a weekend.
Wim Hof (00:15:49):
Mark Hyman (00:15:50):
That actually, you’re not necessarily that guy who’s been meditating 40,000 hours, but somehow you’ve found a shortcut to access your happiness. And in a way, these practices are really not about having super powers. Who cares if you can jump in an ice cold lake? Fine, maybe you’ll won’t drown if you jump in the ocean, if you fall off a boat, but really it’s not about that.
Mark Hyman (00:16:11):
It’s about mastering control over your own biology, your own mind in a way that most of us don’t think we have the power to. So, tell us, how can you take a bunch of overweight, unhealthy people from the city and have them climb Kilimanjaro in their shorts and be great after just a few days of training? Like how does that even work? Because you’ve been mastering this for 25 years.
Wim Hof (00:16:35):
Yes. Last time I climbed Kilimanjaro in shorts, the oldest participant without former experience in mountaineering, suffering from Lymes disease, he did it in shorts in 31 hours. He is healing people with Lymes disease now. Because he tells-
Mark Hyman (00:16:57):
Normally it’s four days to go up, right? To get up there.
Wim Hof (00:17:00):
Normally it’s five to nine days. And then 40%, in well-dressed with a lot of layers, about 40% only summit.
Mark Hyman (00:17:12):
Wim Hof (00:17:12):
And in my case, everybody is going to summit, and then in record times. We are defying all the existence, physiological loss of acclimatization of red cells and white cells. We just show a different paradigm. And that is possible in only say one day.
Mark Hyman (00:17:37):
Wim Hof (00:17:38):
And that is amazing. So, how many-
Mark Hyman (00:17:39):
So, how do it? Because usually you can meditate for 40,000 hours to have these changes in your brain, right?
Wim Hof (00:17:46):
Mark Hyman (00:17:46):
You see these altered traits. We’ve had Dr. Daniel Goleman on our podcast talking about these studies with Richard Davidson at the university of Michigan, looking at brain imaging of these meditators who’ve been meditating for 40,000 hours. This Olympic meditators and have all this control and power over their physiology and their brain and their mood and their happiness. But you’re saying it’s a weekend training?
Wim Hof (00:18:06):
A weekend training, yeah. Maybe one day.
Mark Hyman (00:18:09):
Wim Hof (00:18:10):
Or one morning, even.
Mark Hyman (00:18:13):
Wim Hof (00:18:15):
Mark, it’s like your house is on fire. Then you don’t think you do. And then incredible things happen. We think too much. We are over complicated. We have never learned to bring the blood flow from our neocortex into the deeper hemispheres of our brain, which is the seed of all those so-called supernatural abilities of ours. The adrenal access.
Wim Hof (00:18:46):
We showed in comparison of a research where they took the blood of people going into their first bungee jump, and these people doing these breathing exercises, they took the adrenaline of those people doing breathing exercises, and I can show people doing that within 10 minutes, that they have a higher level peaking of adrenaline than the people in fear go in for their first bungee jump.
Mark Hyman (00:19:22):
Wim Hof (00:19:22):
You see what I mean?
Mark Hyman (00:19:23):
Wim Hof (00:19:24):
It’s fully in control. They align down, they feel a kind of high and they are tapping into their adrenal axis deeper than those people go into their first bungee jump.
Mark Hyman (00:19:39):
Wim Hof (00:19:40):
If you have a control over the adrenal axis, then you know how to reset yourself to the way nature meant it to be. To be the utmost of functionality, because there is danger and now you get a control over that. And then suddenly the tables are turned. Then suddenly bacteria and virus and, how do you say, anxiety and all those things, they disappear.
Mark Hyman (00:20:11):
Yeah. Incredible. Incredible. So, you talk about cold being your only master, your only teacher. Why is cold so healing?
Wim Hof (00:20:20):
Because it shut up. It’s not complicated. You just have to adapt. You’re learning about the mind. It’s learning how to let go of your fear, anxiety too much thinking, overthinking, complicated being. No. In the cold you learn to let go. So the body is able to respond, to adapt. And then you get into adaptive mode of the immune system.
Wim Hof (00:20:50):
You get into the adaptive power of the body and you learn about it. And with that, because when you go into the cold and you learn to do that on a regular basis, then the neurology changes and you get neurological pathways to the adaptive power of your own bod, the way nature equipped you with. Very logical. And that bacteria and virus and anxiety, mood regulation, all those things, they happen naturally.
Mark Hyman (00:21:25):
Wim Hof (00:21:26):
Because that’s the way we are built. We are built to be not in anxiety, because we have to judge and to be alert. We have a system for that inside. So depression, bipolar and all those things. We are doing the studies now with San Francisco and Michigan on bipolar and depression, to show that we have found keys to equip people with a higher control within their own brain.
Mark Hyman (00:21:57):
Using cold therapy or using just the breathing?
Wim Hof (00:22:00):
Breathing. Most of it is breathing. Because what do you do when you go into the cold? You learn to breathe deep.
Mark Hyman (00:22:09):
Wim Hof (00:22:11):
So the deep breathing influences par direct the biochemistry and the biochemistry changed, is learning how to suppress the inflammation.
Mark Hyman (00:22:23):
Wim Hof (00:22:23):
And then it doesn’t go through the blood brain barrier or the brain blood barrier and affecting and deregulating their hormonal homeostasis over there. I call it depression or feeling bad or feeling confused or anxiety or anything like that. We have a natural ability to rebalance our biochemistry through breathing within 10 minutes.
Kaya Purohit (00:22:54):
Hi, everyone. Hope you’re enjoying the episode. Before we continue. We have a quick message from Dr. Mark Hyman about his new company Farmacy and their first product, the 10 Day reset.
Mark Hyman (00:23:04):
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Mark Hyman (00:23:39):
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Kaya Purohit (00:24:11):
Back to this week’s episode.
Mark Hyman (00:24:13):
So, what happens when we’re exposed to cold, like really cold conditions. What are the benefits? Why should we even thinking about it? Because I go like, last thing I want to do is jump in an ice cold bath or in ice water.
Wim Hof (00:24:23):
Yes. I say always gradual cold exposure. Gradual. First take a cold shower. And a cold shower does wonders miracles. Our biggest enemy within our Western society, the killer number one is cardiovascular related diseases. And anything that has got to do with the quality of life is a bad blood flow, too much stress inside because the condition of the millions of little muscles in our hundred thousands of kilometers, like 70,000 miles of vascular channels and capillaries, they contain all these little muscles.
Wim Hof (00:25:07):
When they are stimulated through cold showers, they help the blood flow go through. Then the heart rate goes down 20 to 30 beats a minute, 24 hours a day. That means stress is out and the blood flow is guaranteed going better to all cells. So oxygen, nutrients, vitamins get better into the cells. You get more energy. You get more energy and less stress. That’s what the body wants. That’s the natural state of our body. To have sufficient energy for anything.
Mark Hyman (00:25:43):
Wim Hof (00:25:43):
Because that’s the influencing into the mitochondria, the energy factories through aerobic dissimilation. Oxygen getting in because the blood flow is being helped through the stimulation of those millions of little muscles. And a cold shower a day keeps the doctor away. In this case, the doctor is arrived.
Mark Hyman (00:26:09):
Okay. So, how long do you have to stay in the cold shower?
Wim Hof (00:26:13):
It begins with 30 seconds. You got to take the shower anyway to cleanse yourself, to be clean and every time-
Mark Hyman (00:26:20):
So, in the end just put the cold on.
Wim Hof (00:26:23):
Yes, 30 seconds. And naturally you will feel a boost. Naturally, you will feel the effect of the stimulation on the millions of little muscles inside the interior of you. This is the greatest vascular fitness exercise ever. A cold A shower.
Mark Hyman (00:26:44):
Wim Hof (00:26:44):
And 30 seconds, then it goes very fast because the condition of the vascular system, goes very fast to its natural state, which should be much better than the way we are because of our de-stimulative behavior. Wearing clothes over our biggest organ all the time.
Mark Hyman (00:27:06):
Wim Hof (00:27:08):
That for the body it’s not logic. So a cold shower a day is the best exercise to train all these little muscles. Then you get a lot more energy, you feel a boost of energy. Yeah, because it gets better into the cells.
Mark Hyman (00:27:23):
Wim Hof (00:27:25):
And it produces more molecules, more energy ATP. It’s all logic.
Mark Hyman (00:27:31):
Wim Hof (00:27:32):
That naturally people are very fast able to prolong inside the cold shower, go for 45 seconds to one minute. So when it arrives at three minutes, then you got so much more outcome in energy in the day, then the investment is by far, it’s nothing. And you know what? A cold shower is addictive.
Mark Hyman (00:28:00):
Yeah. Well I like the cold bath. So I do the steam, then I jumped in just the cold water in the bathtub and I lay there for a bunch of minutes. And it’s incredible. You literally feel your whole system come back online, your brain come back online, your energy increases. It’s pretty amazing. So you created this, this
Wim Hof: To Activate Your Full Human Potential. The book is incredible. I encourage everybody to get a copy. It’s really not just about a simple technique to jump in cold water. It’s really about reclaiming your health, your life, your happiness-
Wim Hof (00:28:30):
Mark Hyman (00:28:30):
… Your control over everything. It’s not just a little technique to get in cold water. Instead of the side effect of doing that is your life, right?
Wim Hof (00:28:40):
Mark Hyman (00:28:40):
So you’ve learned how to control your breathing, your heart rate, your circulation, to withstand really extreme temperatures, to actually be injected with infectious agents that would kill people and subdue them with your immune system under your conscious control. And you’ve developed this into a teachable method that everybody can learn. So it’s not, “Oh, here’s this cool guy can do these party tricks.” It’s like this is a gift you’re giving to the world. It seems like a little bit of a shortcut than living in a cave and meditating for nine years and cheating, but it really isn’t. And you’ve really develop these three simple pillars, cold exposure, conscious breathing and the power of your mind. So, can you talk about the method and how it works and what we should be doing?
Wim Hof (00:29:24):
First of all, in the new book of Scott Connie, he is an investigative journalist and he wrote that book, What Doesn’t Kill Kou.
Mark Hyman (00:29:35):
Wim Hof (00:29:36):
Which has been sold in 34 languages all over the world, very successful, New York Time bestseller, blah, blah, the whole thing. And he was to debunk me six years ago.
Mark Hyman (00:29:49):
Good luck with that.
Wim Hof (00:29:51):
Yeah. He’s an anthropologist and an investigative journalist. He was paid to debunk me. And then two days later you was standing in the snow barefoot, doing, and standing. Like a clown. he was standing in the snow. He was making himself ridiculous almost. No. He, saw that it is real. It is real. And in his new book, he tells, and he was investigating all a lot of doctors.
Wim Hof (00:30:27):
And one of them is a psychiatrist doctor who’s into brain scans and all, and he tells, that’s a Professor of Muzic. And Professor Muzic states, ”
Wim Hof has found the secret of placebo.” What we see as mind power, but we don’t know where it is placebo. Now it isn’t two, it’s an entity. And we are able to connect with our will with that power of the mind and to intensify even the placebo effect and to make it even stronger. That’s the power of the mind.
Mark Hyman (00:31:10):
So even for people whose minds are disciplined or trained. You’re saying this is possible?
Wim Hof (00:31:15):
Yes. Absolutely. Because they are born with it. Only if you are schooled all the time, say that you are not, but that you are Peter Franklin. Then at a certain point you become Peter Franklin. Because is not accepted, it’s not the way you cannot do this. You are crazy if you are, and all those things. We have been schooled that we are not able to tap in at will with our mind, into our bodies and to deal with stress. And that’s the way we are taught.
Mark Hyman (00:31:51):
Wim Hof (00:31:51):
And now, I teach the people within one weekend. Within one weekend, I teach them to change the paradigm. Man, you can do whatever you want, but you are built to be able at will to control yourself so much better inside your own body. And it’s only logic.
Mark Hyman (00:32:15):
Wim Hof (00:32:15):
It’s only logic that our will, which is already inside of our body, that is able to control systems in our body to push buttons, whenever is necessary. That of course it’s a complete different paradigm that up till now, we thought is possible. We are made to be dependent on pills, medicine, pharmacy on a McDonald’s, on television and all that. That is our system.
Mark Hyman (00:32:51):
Wim Hof (00:32:51):
And at that system it’s has to change because that system is polluting the world, sodomizing the planet, exploiting the planet, and we’ve become insensitive to ourselves and to others. This is the time for awakening to our inner mechanisms. Our potential, the way nature meant it to be. The way nature gave it to us at birth. And we have to listen to that.
Mark Hyman (00:33:24):
It seems like there’s little doorways that you’ve created, right? The cold exposure, the breathing techniques, the meditation mindset that you use in the book. These are the sort of doorways that people can access these abilities that help them manage their own minds and manage their own happiness and wellbeing and their health in ways that are pretty striking.
Mark Hyman (00:33:43):
And I think, I want to just child you for a minute about this experiment that you did, which I still find mind blowing, which is you willingly let doctors inject a known biotoxin from e coli into your bloodstream, knowing that this is something that would kill a normal person. And yet you were able to overcome this using your techniques and manage your immune system. ANd I’m curious about is did you consciously go, okay, I’m going to direct my immune system to fight these bacteria or these toxins or neutralize them, or were you just dropping into a state of meditation? Like how did you, how did that work?
Mark Hyman (00:34:23):
I mean, it just, it seemed particularly this time of coronavirus. We’re all wanting to strengthen our immune system. We’re all wanting to make sure we are able to fight whatever we’re exposed to it. How can this play a role for us? And what did you do? And tell us about that study because it’s so fascinating to me.
Wim Hof (00:34:37):
Exactly. The same flammatory markers that are the damaging factor in COVID. What is happening now? That is-
Mark Hyman (00:34:47):
The side occurence.
Wim Hof (00:34:49):
Yeah. The side occurrence. Number one, number six, number eight, and number 11, I suppressed them within a quarter of hour. This was known not to be possible by humans. I did my breathing, I did my… I changed my biochemistry and I do it willfully. And of course I know, Oh, the doctor is going to inject me with the endotoxemia, now the e coli. Okay. Then the e coli is working now. Not the effect after one hour than it is at a… then you begin to notice. I began directly to fight the e colis reaction upon my immune cells, with the immune system inside the cytokine storm and all that.
Mark Hyman (00:35:39):
Wim Hof (00:35:40):
I began to fight it directly by alerting my body through my mind. That was one. And through the breathing. Breathing, specific breathing exercises. And that they are within the method. They are very accessible for everybody. And they are very effective. Not only with me, then I said, “Oh, but you are the ice man. You can do this. You can get the sides. You can say down where or 16,000 people could not. You are the first one to show a complete different… yeah.
Wim Hof (00:36:17):
A complete different picture. You, Oh, you have gone into the autonomous nervous system. You have been influenced into the endocrine system, into the immune system, sort of all not possible. And you have done that, but you are the ice man.” Then I said, “No. I’m the Iceman. No, at the most, maybe you can say, I’m a nice man.” That is nice for my ego, but I am just a simple man. Nice man. But let me tell you, there is we can do so much more than what you guys are thinking of in the science. We are built to be able to tackle disease, to prevent from disease.
Wim Hof (00:37:03):
For that we have our will and our ability through our breath, manipulation of our breath to go deeply within and to change the biochemistry, to be on the alert, to activate the adrenal access to the utmost. And then danger can be emotional danger, emotional stress, mental stress, bacterial stress, viral stress. Any stress in the end is sel biological stress, which is danger. And then the adrenal axis activation takes care of that. There it is. [crosstalk 00:37:43] that’s what I did.
Mark Hyman (00:37:45):
But you also, you said you did also the study with people who weren’t you.
Wim Hof (00:37:50):
Mark Hyman (00:37:50):
And I read that they actually were also able to do the same thing you did, even though they weren’t the Iceman.
Wim Hof (00:37:55):
Mark Hyman (00:37:56):
They were like four other volunteers who were ready to be-
Wim Hof (00:37:58):
Mark Hyman (00:37:59):
… injected with these toxins.
Wim Hof (00:38:02):
Exactly. 18 other…
Mark Hyman (00:38:04):
18 others. Wow.
Wim Hof (00:38:05):
Yes. And 12, randomly chosen of those 18. After four days of training were exposed to the e coli bacteria as well. And they all showed a hundred percent being able to control and suppress the cytokines storm, the inflammation, they all felt good. They made jokes. They said they didn’t injected us with e coli, but with sugar water,
Mark Hyman (00:38:39):
That’s unbelievable. And they measured the cytokines and they measured all of that. And they saw that change in your biology, which we only see often with medication or not at all. I mean, it almost seems like this is such a simple technique to everybody will learn to help fortify them against coronavirus, right? I mean, even if you have coronavirus, do you think you could actually help to reduce the inflammation ends results absolutely?
Wim Hof (00:39:00):
Absolutely. Especially when you feel the symptoms. And I had many already, but it is not medically researched. I don’t know why it may be, they are not interested. Like yourself, in your position with integrative medicine. You can not make the money out of that. But it doesn’t matter. Let’s go past and let’s get back to the facts.
Wim Hof (00:39:27):
The fact is that the cytokines, the internal key number one, number six, number eight and 11 are the damaging factors of the COVID. And we show to 2014 in a competitive study within groups. And, we show to suppress it within a quarter of hour. When you feel symptoms of COVID, then get into the breathing and you will be effectively able to suppress the cytokines. That’s it.
Mark Hyman (00:40:02):
That’s unbelievable. So share with us what a technique of breathing that you teach us.
Wim Hof (00:40:07):
You just lie on the sofa or in bed. And then relax. Relaxed body is able to store up oxygen in the tissue. So, relax. There’s nothing going up. Nice. Then you take a full breath in from the Valley. Relax, and you let it go? And once again. And once again. We do the 30 times. Pull in, let it go. Pull in, let it go. Keep on the going. I explain what is happening.
Mark Hyman (00:40:57):
Wim Hof (00:40:58):
We are blowing off the carbon dioxide, but it becomes very alkaline. More than normal. And that is the side within the brain, too alkaline. Adrenal axis activation. And that, the adrenaline pumps in. It peaks and everything that should not be in the inside of the body is going to be eliminated suppressed. And what is it in covert. Cytokines. So, if you activate the adrenal axis through doing this, 30 times, then we go after 30 times because the oxygen trigger to breathe is carbon dioxide, but it’s blowing off. But is very alkaline.
Wim Hof (00:41:51):
Biochemistry is great. It’s great. And you just exhale. You hold after the exhale. So only a residual amount of air is left in the lungs. And you stay in that condition. And then easily you’re able to go one minute, one and a half minutes, maybe two minutes, if you have done well, the 30 deep breaths. Two minutes without a residual amount of air in your lungs for two minutes without breathing. At that, what happens, of course, the brainstem, the primitive oxygen parameters, they say, “There is no oxygen.” And they go shoot into the adrenaline.
Wim Hof (00:42:45):
It’s all reactive. So the brainstem, the reactive part of our brain is just… the buttons are pushed. And then the adrenaline shoots out a bit of fringe. Shoot out. Oh, well, all the body. And this is very good to detoxify. So, people with a hang over, if they do this 20 minutes, they detoxify, they can go for a drink again.
Mark Hyman (00:43:12):
So, the idea is you with 30 breaths, then you hold your breath for a minute or two. I mean, you do it again.
Wim Hof (00:43:18):
After exhalation. And that at the end when you feel the urge of breathing again, you take a fully in. You halt for 15 seconds. Fully in, halt and squeeze a little bit to your head. Because it’s nice. You bring in cerebral spinal fluid to the heart. Then it gets into the brainstem and into the limbic system, into the midbrain where we normally don’t have so much blood flow. Because we always think, think. Is where the blood flow goes. Not only push it from the inside, inside the deepest part of the brain, and then suddenly, it begins to become a neurally alive.
Wim Hof (00:44:03):
And then we are able to connect at will, because that’s neurology. So we are… and then we get a sense of control over our mood. That is mood, absolute mood regulation. In case of people with depression, mostly it’s caused by inflammation and stress and emotional deprivation, all that creates a biological or a biochemical deficit. And through doing this, you feel you’re filling up the tank. And you feel that you are in control and nobody wants to feel bad, then they feel good again.
Mark Hyman (00:44:47):
That’s incredible. So, basically the technique is 30 breaths, hold for a minute or two, take a breath, hold for 15 seconds and then repeat. Yes.
Wim Hof (00:44:56):
Repeat. And you will see… find out that every time it goes and easier and longer.
Mark Hyman (00:45:02):
So do this for 20 minutes a day is what you’re saying. That’s it.
Wim Hof (00:45:05):
That’s what we do right now in San Francisco, big study on the DNA with this method, with this breathing. And it’s amazing. The results are amazing on the DNA.
Mark Hyman (00:45:16):
So is it two or three minute cold shower and 20 minutes of breathing. And you can give up all your winter clothes?
Wim Hof (00:45:22):
Yeah. You can hit the road anytime without cup. And-
Mark Hyman (00:45:27):
You can fight coronavirus. You can feel happy, empowered, in control of yourself.
Wim Hof (00:45:34):
You feel the connection. And then when you need it, you know what to do. You just go within. And then you learn about the lost connection within, because of our exterior way of gaining information control over the world, et cetera. And that the control inside we lost, and now it’s back. And we don’t need to sit for nine years in a cage.
Mark Hyman (00:46:05):
That’s incredible. It’s incredible to me because I’m always thought-
Wim Hof (00:46:06):
That’s who we are.
Mark Hyman (00:46:09):
… that you need to practice and practice. And meditate for decades in order to be able-
Wim Hof (00:46:14):
You know what Mark. They compared, 10 minutes of this breathing specifically, but a breathing. It brings people deeper in the brain than people who are doing… exercising for four hours, mindfulness a day for years.
Mark Hyman (00:46:33):
Wow. All right. I’m in. I’m starting to-
Wim Hof (00:46:39):
Anybody can do this.
Mark Hyman (00:46:40):
… I’m starting today. I’m so excited about your book because your book, the
Wim Hof Method: Achieving Full Human Potential is exactly about teaching you how to do this. It’s not just the theory. It’s not just all the stories of how you had these super human feeds, but it’s really about how you, as an individual can overcome some of the challenges we face as human beings that feel us… Make us feel powerless over our own minds, over our on happiness, our on life, our wellbeing or on health. And this is very empowering idea.
Wim Hof (00:47:10):
Right now. Especially right now, with all the turmoil, the confusion, the anxiety and the helplessness against the COVID. Man, there is so much more within us and it’s time to wake up.
Mark Hyman (00:47:25):
Yeah. It’s so beautiful. It’s like, you’re the unlikely as cool. I love… there is crazy guy from the Netherlands, was just like found some doorway into something that was obscure to most of us for thousands of years. And, I’m just so grateful for your work and your commitment. And, I know you got to this…
Wim Hof (00:47:51):
Likewise. I’m honored to be your guest on your podcast. Thank you very much-
Mark Hyman (00:47:55):
Wim Hof (00:47:55):
Mark Hyman (00:47:57):
Wim Hof (00:47:58):
You are not a great, bloody great guy.
Mark Hyman (00:48:01):
Thank you. Oh, we have fun together. That’s pretty together. That’s for sure. And I’m coming. I want to go as soon as a COVID lightens up, I want to go do bunny or week-long. What is it? A week long workshops in Poland, you go to the ice in the winter?
Wim Hof (00:48:15):
It’s like four or five days. And the end, you will be exposed to the elements of cold, wind, that is wind chill at all for five hours in your shorts. And you’re going to have a great blood flow chart.
Mark Hyman (00:48:32):
Oh my God. I need it. You know why? Because I love swimming and there’s lakes here. And I went in yesterday, it was a little chilly. I was like, I came out freezing and like, Oh no, Wim’s going to be mad at me. I was so cold. I had to come and take a hot shower.
Wim Hof (00:48:49):
Men. I don’t like, yeah, I love hot showers, but I also love the cold. The cold gives you such a power. And if you do the cold on a regular basis, like daily, you become when you get older and so many people get old and get so many inflammation and deterioration of the condition and this, we’ll never get sick no more.
Mark Hyman (00:49:18):
It’s amazing. Yeah. I know. Speaking of that, I think looking at the studies you’ve done and combining cold exposure and breathing meditation and your mental attitude has had huge effects on people’s health. And there are many students that you’ve had who were practicing this method for years, and they been able to reverse diseases, things like diabetes and Parkinson’s and lose weight and do incredible feats about rheumatusm [crosstalk 00:49:43]. How does that work? I mean, can you share some of these stories because this seems like a revolutionary approach to treating illness?
Wim Hof (00:49:53):
Yes. Auto immune diseases is inflammation. Based on inflammation cytokines, cytokine storms, an over-reactive immune system. And we had no control over that. So, when you begin to do this, you learn to tap into the adaptive immune system. You learn to go into the innate immune system both. And suddenly your rheumatism, arthritis, Psoriasis, a disease of Crohn’s, Parkinson’s… all these things begin to become within your control. You sense it, you feel it, you don’t to know what is all happening.
Wim Hof (00:50:41):
You simply sense that you are in control over the inflammatory markers, the inflammation doesn’t happen anymore. How is that possible? Now, that is what is happening. And that needs to be researched and into the research right now with Radboud university here on rheumatism, on arthritis, because hundreds of people with arthritis and it’s gone. They control it.
Mark Hyman (00:51:09):
Wim Hof (00:51:10):
Without medicine, without pills, they just control it. They got there. And the doctor say, “A spontaneous remission.” No man! Look into their healing power for now with.
Mark Hyman (00:51:27):
Well, I’m very close to the the rheumatology department at Cleveland clinic and the doctors, they are very interested and open to these ideas and be amazing to do a study. I love that.
Wim Hof (00:51:35):
Yes, please. Let’s go.
Mark Hyman (00:51:38):
Because auto immune disease affect 80 million people, more than diabetes, more than heart disease, more than cancer together-
Wim Hof (00:51:45):
There we are.
Mark Hyman (00:51:45):
… and the treatments we have, are only somewhat effective and often have a lot of side effects and costs. So, I think it’s a really important idea. I love this idea. So we’re going to figure this out. Now, one of the other things, is really relevant right-
Wim Hof (00:51:58):
Mark. This is very important.
Mark Hyman (00:52:02):
Wim Hof (00:52:03):
Studies non-speculative evidence-based trials is what we need.
Mark Hyman (00:52:10):
Yeah. I agree.
Wim Hof (00:52:10):
… because 80 million people relieving of their suffering by autonomy within themselves. That is love.
Mark Hyman (00:52:18):
Yeah. All right. And you just said it it’s love. That is exactly what this all about. I just… you’re so full of love. You’re so giving. You’re so on a mission to teach people how to be happy and be empowered. And, right now is one of the most challenging times in long time in human history. And, we’re all facing the threat of economic loss, the disruption of our social fabric, the incredible fear and disease. The depression and loss of autonomy. I mean, there’s so many things that are taking us down. And I know this is a very tough time for a lot of people. And, what you’re saying is that a lot of this is in our minds.
Mark Hyman (00:52:58):
I mean, there are realities externally that are real, and yes, there’s loss and there’s all sorts of things, but how we handle that is up to us. And using these methods in this power of learning how to regulate your own biology and your own health that actually you can relieve things like depression and anxiety and, talk about how that works because we’ve sort of hinted at it. But I think it’s worth spending a minute talking about how these techniques, the
Wim Hof method that you described in your book, achieving your full human potential, which everybody should get.
Mark Hyman (00:53:31):
And, I’m excited that my copy and go through it and practice it is… How can we use this method, to help us with this difficult time? And how does it work to relieve depression and anxiety?
Wim Hof (00:53:44):
Exactly. Depression is directly related to a deregulated biochemistry inflammation. A deregulated immune system caused by oxidative stress. Could be stress from a mental stress, emotional stress, bacterial, viral doesn’t matter. It’s all cell biological stress. Are we able to have by a cell biological stress influenced positively by us at will? Yes, we have. And-
Mark Hyman (00:54:23):
Before you go on. I just want to make a point. For those listening, depression from the traditional scientific perspective. Now we understand is a disease of inflammation in the brain.
Wim Hof (00:54:32):
Mark Hyman (00:54:32):
So, you’re depressed, your brain’s on fire. And that’s why what Wim’s talking about is so important. So continue. I just wanted to make that point.
Wim Hof (00:54:39):
Yes. So, that is deregulating the hormonal balance of dopamine serotonin in the brain because of the inflammation. Are we… the question is, are we, and inflammation is the cause and effect of actually any disease, but let’s get back. Are we able to bring down inflammatory markers or inflammation? And I say yes, within a quarter of hour, within a quarter of a… I mean, a very developed stage of a disease takes more time. Of course it takes healing. It takes energy. It takes plasticity and all. We are all able to influence there in vigorously. If we just take up the techniques, well. I’ve seen so many people with so many diseases thought of incurable without the aid of pills and medicines.
Wim Hof (00:55:43):
And now, these people took on these natural ways, and then they get a control, a sense of control within their own bodies, and then it all starts. But for prevention, I tell you and depression, which is inflammation. We are very able within 20 minutes to feel a different human condition of the mind within 20 minutes. Just do this breathing, and then find out and feel, because feeling in the end is the real understanding.
Mark Hyman (00:56:19):
Wow, incredible Wim. I mean, this is such a gift. One of the things that you talk about is how when we push ourselves physically, that we learn about our boundless capacity as humans and of our spirit, can you talk about that?
Wim Hof (00:56:37):
Yes. The human performance. When I get people, anybody, and within five minutes, I can make them doubling their pushups performance without breathing.
Mark Hyman (00:56:52):
Without holding your breath.
Wim Hof (00:56:53):
Exactly. Holding… they hold their breath and push up, like twice the amount in number of their pushups they ever did.
Mark Hyman (00:57:06):
Wow. So I can do 50 pushups. You’re going to get me do a hundred?
Wim Hof (00:57:09):
Yes. And then without the aid of breathing.
Mark Hyman (00:57:16):
Wim Hof (00:57:19):
So, you do tomorrow or after this because you got to lay on the ground, but this is what it is. We, if we are able to influence, part direct into the biochemistry, into the muscle tissue and make it alkaline, then performance, when you become so acidic, you’re not able to perform anymore.
Mark Hyman (00:57:45):
Wim Hof (00:57:46):
But if you make it super alkaline, you keep on going because the neurotransmitters are able to keep on going. This is the simplicity of performance, is learning how to control and influence deeply into your biochemistry. I’ll be able to do that. Yes. We showed this and that’s it. We are incredible. All of us.
Mark Hyman (00:58:12):
Well, when you’re talking about is regulating your pH through the breath. So, for people who are in medical, your pH is your acid alkaline balance. And it’s kept to a very strict number in your body, 7.4, but it can vary slightly. And it has big impacts on your physiology, on chemical reactions, on performance and the best way to quickly regulate. And the only way to quickly regulate your pH is through your breath.
Mark Hyman (00:58:37):
So, carbon dioxide, if it builds up will tend to make you more alkaline. Right. And if it’s low, it’ll make you more acidic. So, if you’re increasing your carbon dioxide, you’re actually becoming more alkaline, right?
Wim Hof (00:58:54):
Yeah. What we do is actually blowing up carbon dioxide. We blow it off. We blow it off and it’s being measured in the university. And it shows that the pH level went from yeah, 7.3 7.4 to 7.8, to 8, even. And you know what happens with the virus? They become irreversibly damaged viruses, when it reaches the point of eight. That is-
Mark Hyman (00:59:33):
That is more alkaline?
Wim Hof (00:59:34):
Yes. Very alkaline. But it only peaks, then it comes back to its original state, but what happens in most of the people with auto-immune diseases, they have a chronic presence of being slightly acidic-
Mark Hyman (00:59:52):
Wim Hof (00:59:53):
… their lymphatic system, and they don’t clean up inside or whatever the reason doesn’t matter, it’s there. And that is the foundation for our team deregulation of the immune system. In the end, it gets back into the system. And with this techniques, we are able to empty the lymphatic system of being acidic.
Mark Hyman (01:00:18):
Wim Hof (01:00:18):
And make it, make the right… to clean it up. That’s that’s prevention of auto-immune diseases. Boom! So simple.
Mark Hyman (01:00:27):
It’s so powerful. Depression, auto-immunity, happiness.
Wim Hof (01:00:30):
Yes, happiness. Yes man!
Mark Hyman (01:00:33):
And so good. So, what do you say to people who kind of say, “Oh, this is nonsense. This can’t be true. I don’t believe it.”
Wim Hof (01:00:41):
This is what I always say. None sense. Try to sense this. Feeling is the understanding. Do it just once. And then judge.
Mark Hyman (01:00:53):
Yeah. That’s good. I think try it. You’ll like it, like I said, right. So you’ve inspired so many people around the world. What are you most proud of what you’ve done?
Wim Hof (01:01:04):
Every time I get a letter that I saved somebody’s life. Or that he cured of a terrible disease or depression, or being out of this dark space where they have been with a family for God sake, not being able to be a genuine, beautiful father or mother over their children, then that blesses my soul. That is the best.
Mark Hyman (01:01:31):
Yeah, it is. It’s nice hearing those stories. I think it’s just incredible. And, Wim what’s your vision for the Wim Ho method? What would you like to see happen with this? You’re putting this book out in the world. You’ve been doing this for a long time. You have a cult of followers, but now you’re getting out into a bigger stage. What’s your vision?
Wim Hof (01:01:49):
My vision is that we actually… I want to show that everybody is able to awake through a non-dogmatic choice to become happy, which is the control over the hormonal system. To become healthy, which is the control over the immune system. And to become strong, which is the control over the metabolic processes in the cell. Are we able to do this? We have shown this in science, and now it’s coming to you as a non-dogmatic choice. And that’s what I wish people to be happy, strong, and healthy. Man! It’s a great place. Let’s enjoy.
Mark Hyman (01:02:28):
I love that. I think it’s so true. I mean, you’re such a gift to the world. And you’ve taken something that’s very abstract and mystical and religious and turned into something that’s really practical, accessible, immediate, and powerful, and its ability to reset your mind and your body on a path from disease and depression and despair to hope and happiness and health. And I mean, it’s just-
Wim Hof (01:02:55):
Mark Hyman (01:02:56):
… an incredible gift. And I am just so happy to know you. And I’m so excited. When are you going to do your courses again because I want to come. When are they happening?
Wim Hof (01:03:05):
Most welcome to come anytime when it’s possible, when the presidency allows us to travel again.
Mark Hyman (01:03:13):
Okay. So, everybody should, should check out his book, the Wim Hof Method: Activate Your Full Human Potential. It’s out. You can get everywhere you get books, go to his website, WimHofmethod.com. It’s an incredible, a treasure trove of information.
Wim Hof (01:03:31):
Yeah. I got to say something. We are on our website. We have developed a free app. And a free app really covers all the basics. You never have to see me again, just take on the free app and become happy, strong, and healthy. If you want to get to know me and do some crazy stuff like climbing a mountain in your shorts and… then come. Welcome.
Mark Hyman (01:03:57):
Great. And you know what? You also have these great online courses, right? With wimhofmethod.com/e-learning. So you don’t have to go to Poland and sit in an ice bath in Poland, which sounds like fun [crosstalk 01:04:09] which sort of sounds like fun I think. That’s what I want to do on my vacations in the next November. I am excited about going, and you can learn yourself at home and I encourage you to check out Wim’s stuff. He’s one of a kind, and he’s opened a doorway that most of us never dreamed we could possibly enter.
Mark Hyman (01:04:24):
And it’s really three minutes in the shower a day, 20 minutes of breathing. And that’s a great way to start. There’s much deeper dive in the book. So check it out. I know you’ll love it and leave a comment if you love this podcast. We’d love to hear from you what your thoughts are, have you ever tried which method or know someone who has, are curious about it, tell us about your story.
Mark Hyman (01:04:41):
Subscribe, wherever you get your podcasts, and share with your friends and family on social media and everywhere you can share it because this is a groundbreaking podcast that I think will help millions of people if really you dig in and share.
Wim Hof (01:04:55):
Mark Hyman (01:04:55):
That, thank you so much-
Wim Hof (01:04:55):
Power, happiness and strength for everybody. That’s power. It’s called love.
Mark Hyman (01:05:03):
Love. Amen to that. All right. Well, thank you all for joining us in the doctor’s pharmacy. Thank you Wim for being here and I will see you in an ice bath soon.
Wim Hof (01:05:11):
Yes. Love it.