Wim Hof Method and Science

Scientific background is key to support Wim Hof Method and spread the word around…

For introduction to the WHM, go to the ‘Wim Hof Method’ section above.

Scientific Research on Wim Hof Method

Wim Hof is very keen on proving that his Method is not just another voodoo theory but a firm concept of body and mind working in unison, and backed by science. Therefore, Wim is always happy to undergo any scientific research to show the incredible results to the world, to make the incredible facts credible! And the more incredible, the better… So far, the biggest developments have shown that the so-called ‘autonomous’ nervous and immune systems cannot be considered autonomous any more, hence the medical science books needs to be completely re-written to take this ground-breaking news into account. Wim has proven that he can at will control his both nervous and immune systems, to fight off diseases, increase the metabolism of the body… and that he can teach others to do the same!

Most of the scientific and academic articles on Wim Hof Method can be found in the Science section of the WHM Platform. For your convenience, please find the links to the downloadable media below.

 Letter: Blood tests during meditation and breathing exercises in New York led by Dr. K. Kamler & G. Stewart (2009)

 Article: The Influence of Concentration/meditation on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and the Innate Immune Response: A Case Study; Authors: M. Kox, M. Hopman, P. Pickkers. et al. – Radboud University Medical Center (2012)

 Article: Voluntary Activation of The Sympathetic Nervous System and Attenuation of the Innate Immune Response In Humans; Authors: M. Kox, P. Pickkers et al. – Radboud University Medical Center (2014)

 Article: Controlled Hyperventialtion After Training May Accelerate Altitude Acclimatization; Authors: G. Buijze, M.T. Hopman (2014)

 Article: Frequent Extreme Cold Exposure and Brown Fat and Cold-Induced Thermogenesis: A Study in a Monozygotic Twin; Authors: J. Vosselman, W.D. van Marken-Lichtenbeld – Maastricht University Medical Center (2014)

 Chapter: Biology Now – Endocrine and Immune systems – Testing the Iceman (2015)

 Article: The Role of Outcome Expectancies for a Training Program Consisting of Meditation, Breathing Exercises, and Cold Exposure on the Response to Endotoxin Administration: a Proof-of-Principle Study; Authors: H. van Middendorp, M. Kox, P. Pickkers, A.W.M. Evers – Radboud University Medical Center (2015)

Article: “Brain over body”–A study on the willful regulation of autonomic function during cold exposure. Authors: Otto Muzik, Kaice T.Reilly, Vaibhav A.Diwadkar (2018); excerpt here.

Other Science specific knowledge…

In the following sub-section, we have created a list of scientific articles related to Wim Hof Method, splitting them into two groups, WHM Breathing based and Cold Exposure based. Please do not treat the list as either exhaustive or definitive but it has been our intention to use our best current knowledge to compile the list for your use.

I. WHM related breathing exercises.

  • Role of calcium in tingling sensation and muscle spasms during hyperventilation. “Alkalosis promotes the binding of calcium to albumin and can reduce the fraction of ionized calcium in the blood, and ionized calcium may reduce without changes in total calcium. Hypocalcemic symptoms are more common with respiratory alkalosis than with metabolic alkalosis. The clinical manifestation of hypocalcemic symptoms are associated with overexcitabilty of sensory and motor neurons, which causes stiffness and spasms of the facial nerve, masticatory muscle spasm symptom (Chevostek’s sign) and wrist spasm secondary to upper extremity ischemia during measurement of systolic blood pressure (Trosseau’s sign).” “Hypocalcemia and hypokalemia due to hyperventilation syndrome in spinal anesthesia -A case report-”: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249577/
  • Intermittent Hypoxia and dopamine distribution: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26211645 and hypoxia training to increase dopamine synthesis, esp. in the right striatum: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1025311; effects of intermittent hypoxia are serotonin dependent to some degree, as well: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26211645
  • Reversal of immune cell proliferation by breath holding, which potentially increases momentary capacity to address certain threats and challenges in the immune system (recruiting additional immune cells as needed): https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3921075/

II. Cold exposure related to WHM.

The above is a growing work in progress, so please be patient and bear with me. I will update as soon as I find time to do so 🙂


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