Updated: Oct 20, 2020
All over the world contemporary science and eastern introspective practices have joined forces to explore fields of the mind and body previously out of reach. Examining how the effects of meditation, deep breathing, yoga and mindfulness can enhance our cognition, change our physiology, rewire our brain and transform our perspective of reality. With the growth of new sciences like neuroplasticity & epigenetics, we are looking further into the mind than ever before. Discovering that what we think, how we feel and what we do can impact our genetics, health and our reality.
Meditation, energy therapies, chanting and other introspective ideologies spout that by thought and intention you can directly impact your body and your reality. What was previously capped as quasi-psycho spiritualist mumbo jumbo or ‘new age science’ is now been put under the microscope, and those fanciful ideas are fast becoming a reality. Just like when we thought the world was flat and we were the centre of the universe, we now are learning that the power of intention can be just as powerful as homogenised medical practices in pain management and cell renewal. The new great leap for mankind will be in how we perceive and create reality through our own thoughts and actions.
Now There Is Proof
The most intriguing and possibly the most studied athlete on the planet to date is Wim Hof AKA The Iceman. This Danish daredevil born on April 20th 1959 has single-handedly changed our perceived knowledge and scientific understanding of how breath and mediation can significantly alter body chemistry.
Wim has crushed over 20 world records including; the longest submersion in freezing waters, he has climbed Mount Everest and Mount Kilimanjaro in a pair of shorts multiple times, run a marathon in the Namibian Dessert without drinking any water or eating any food. and completed a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the arctic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F) in a pair of shorts. The most startling and controversial experiment to date is Wim and 12 of his students being injected with E .coli at the Radboud University Hospital, Netherlands. He and a team of 12 students trained by Wim in his breathing practice were able to actively suppress parts of their autonomic nervous system and control their reaction to an incredible toxic bacterium. This active and deliberate intervention using the breath and the mind to modify your own chemistry was humanly impossible until Wim proved otherwise.
Wim can consciously modify his own autonomic systems and can actively control the release of chemicals and hormones in his body by using his mind and his breath. This radical ability to hack into his own systems is literally unheard of except in the literature and teachings of Buddhist Monks and ancient mystics.
He attributes his superhuman athleticism and the mastery of his mind and body to the way he uses his breath. His technique which is now accessible worldwide includes the exposure to extreme temperatures, controlled hyperventilation coupled with concentrated breathing patterns and breath holding and good old fashion will and determination.
Exploring the depth of his unknown abilities began as a spontaneous urge to jump into freezing water in his homeland in the Netherlands when he was just 19. Wim says “nature is your teacher'” and believes that “hard nature” is the key to unlocking the hidden potential we all have to change our physiology, biochemistry and our endurance.
” cold is your warm friend …” – Wim Hof
If you want to learn more about the mental and physical health benefits related to open water swimming and cold exposure, feel free to join our ICEWIM Facebook group.
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This article was first published on https://spmonbulk.catholic.edu.au/the-iceman/