Tami Simon: Welcome to Insights at the Edge, produced by Sounds True. My name’s Tami Simon. I’m the founder of Sounds True, and I’d love to take a moment to introduce you to the Sounds True foundation. The goal of the Sounds True Foundation is to provide access and eliminate financial barriers to transformational education and resources, such as teachings and trainings on mindfulness, emotional awareness and self-compassion. If you’d like to learn more and join with us in our efforts, please visit SoundsTrueFoundation.org.
Welcome friends to the special edition of Insights at the Edge, with someone known as the Iceman, and also someone I think of as a dear friend, both to me and Sounds True. Wim Hof, joining us from the Netherlands. Many people know Wim Hof because he’s won 21 world records for amazing feats, such as spending 112 minutes in an ice bath and doing a half marathon above the Arctic Circle in bare feet. But let me tell you what impresses me the most about Wim: it’s his heart, vulnerability, his willingness to lead with his great love of life and his love of humanity, his infectious aliveness, and the fact that he’s on a mission.
He’s on a mission to introduce as many people as possible to a method that he’s developed with Sounds True. He’s published a book called, The Wim Hof Method: Activating Your Full Human Potential. It’s a method that combines exposure to the cold with conscious breathing and the power of our minds. Here’s a chance to catch this great love of life and love of love that Wim Hof communicates, and to learn a bit about how we can each bring some of the lessons of the Wim Hof Method into our lives, this special conversation with Wim Hof.
Wim, it is so awesome to be with you. It is so great to be with you. What a love light you are.
Wim Hof: Yes. And so are you—and that’s sort of an understatement. To shine such a light into the world through books, interviews, workshops, it’s so much. It’s really lifting up the awareness, the neurology, the consciousness of the people. And for that, I bow deeply to your work and to your being. Thank you. You’re lovable.
TS: Here we are together, and I want to start, we’re going to get into the Wim Hof Method, and I want to make sure that through the course of our conversation, we actually make sure our listeners understand what the Wim Hof Method is and what its power is in the world. But I want to start, if you will, with the light. You write about in The Wim Hof Method, how, if we do this practice, we become the light. I wanted to start there, Wim. What does that mean to you, becoming the light?
WH: It’s very simple. Our deeper physiology is connected to the all over control through our will over our neurology, and the neurology is inside the brain, It’s a wonder, all over the body—it’s electricity. It’s electricity, protons, electrons going through the body, making us able to connect with that. But because we are so in comfort-zone behavior, we got disconnected, and then the light is not so strong, while the light is sufficient to take on anything we should shed our light upon, which should serve us in the realization of our beautiful soul. Without our soul, in one day, we stink. So, let’s shed some light upon that, and that goes through a direct, deeper connection with the nervous system, which is composed by electrons and protons.
TS: OK. Very good. And help me understand when you say we can control our neurology, our nervous system. I think a lot of times people feel, “Really? My nervous system, that’s this thing that’s happening to me. I’m not happening to it.” What does that mean to you?
WH: I do these studies. I want to bypass, transcend the philosophy and so-called doctrine saying, “We are the light, we are the soul.” “Hey, where is it?” “I don’t know.” So, I go to science. In brain scans, suddenly we show that we have found the key components of the autonomous processes in the brain. Autonomous is outside of our will. But we found the key components to regulate our mood, to be light, not heavy, to be light, not in the dark. Those are not just words; they are real. Dark is like dark, there is no light. There is no energy, and it is heavy, because we don’t feel that energy, which makes us able to defy gravity.
I go through the science and then show that we have a possible willful control to go to the deepest part of the brain, which makes us able to control our neurology far deeper, far better, because nobody chooses unhappiness over happiness. Everybody would choose happiness if they only would have control over that which regulates their mood. And that goes through the control within our brain, to the deepest of our brain towards all of our body. That’s now a fact and through cold, and through breathing, the neurology, the biochemical environment for neurology to be controlled and connected with the will has presented itself. The cold helps it, the breathing helps it, but we will explain that later.
We are completely built to willfully control our electricity, the nervous system, that is, to the level of the autonomous processes in the brain and body. That is the autonomic nervous system. And that is connected with the deepest part within our brain. And I say always, if you are able to connect consciously with the deepest part of your brain, then where else can you not go? That is what we have shown in the best brain scans in the world—over 100 percent neural activity activated at will. They never saw this before. And now this should have actually awakened a lot of more neuroscientific professors, doctors, investigators, to see that we actually have willfully a possible control over 100 percent over our neurology, which is the brain, and anything connected to and with it.
TS: You’re saying that there have actually been scientific studies that you’ve participated in that have shown this, and yet, of course, still people are quite skeptical. They’re like, “Oh, Wim, he’s just some kind of Nordic God outlier.” And yet there’s science behind what you’re describing. Can you tell us what the studies are that have shown the Wim Hof Method is effective at controlling the autonomic nervous system?
WH: Yes. If we go, right now at this moment, new data has been processed on 600 people doing these breathing techniques in cardiology. And it shows that the people doing these breathing techniques flush five times more blood into the brain and the heart, willfully, controlled. That is with people with low current electrical current in the heart, and that’s a lot of people in the Western world, cardiovascular related problems. They were five times controlled in a controlled way, these breathing exercises, five times more blood flowing into the heart chambers is like boosting the electrical currents, and it works just amazing.
When people do these breathing techniques, people feel amazing in the head and their body. Why? Because five times more blood is flowing into the brain and the heart. That’s what they found. And another thing is, they said to me, the professors—that is, Matthias Friedrich from Montreal, well known in the world of cardiology—he told me, “Wim, do you know that every trauma, every trauma we have as humans has a cardiovascular imprint.” And now because of these breathing techniques, we see extreme closure contraction of the vascular system, the whole thing, cardiovascular system, and then an extreme opening that if you do that enough, for a long time, 30, 40, 45, 50 minutes, then extreme contraction and opening is like shaking the cardiovascular system.
And thus, we shake off the trauma, and that is the future of psychology and psychiatry as well, besides of cardiology, because doing these breathing techniques brings you into a much deeper level, a level we call the autonomic nervous system, which is the fight, the flight, the deepest of systems. And that is also where emotions are stored, trauma is stored, and this can all be shaken off through these exercises. So simple it is. Then another point is, with these specific breathing techniques, your pH level goes way up, and that’s exactly the right biochemistry for the electrical currents of the nervous system to flush and to flow freely throughout the system to the deepest, to reach all cells.
TS: You said 600 people were being studied who have been trained in the Wim Hof Method. So, it’s not just any longer that scientists and researchers are studying you, they’re studying everyday people who have been doing the Wim Hof Method. That’s a really important development.
WH: Exactly. And they don’t have the 20 or 30 or 40, 46 years of experience I have, and I can teach them in half hour.
WH: So, it’s not about me. I’m just a messenger. I’m not the circus artist—I did all kinds of extremes, etc. I’m a soul searcher, this is my path, but I found things that anybody can adopt. I found things that everybody is able to awaken within themself, through science, and very accessible, very powerful. The autonomic nervous system is no longer autonomous, and that is through breathing exercises and a certain exercising within the cold, which exercises the cardiovascular system. Let’s just face it, cardiovascular related diseases is killer number one. How can we exercise the cardiovascular system through cold water—a cold shower a day keeps the doctor away, it is as simple as we say. And that is what I want to bring to the people, the gravity of a cold shower, and some deep breathing brings us back to what we own, and that is our own body and own mind in deep connection.
TS: Let’s go into it a bit, both the breathing and the cold exposure, because I want to give people right here from this conversation some experiments that they can try. In terms of the cold shower, keeping the doctor away, a cold shower a day, you recommend a kind of gradual process that actually makes it, and I’ll say this from personal experience, not so terrible, even for a comfort-loving Westerners. We can do it. So, describe that gradual process of cold exposure in the shower.
WH: We are actually mammals with clothes on. There is no mammal outside that has clothes on, it’s only us. That’s possibly because we have so little hair covering our skin. But the skin is the biggest, the greatest organ in our body. That is our skin. And in our skin are all kinds of receptors, it’s like 75,000 miles long in every person, that is arteries, veins and capillaries. And everybody is 75,000 miles inside, and that has millions of little receptors in our skin, yet we cover ourselves up mostly and most of the day, that means de-stimulative behavior. That is comfort zone behavior, where we are dressed always and have a mediocre stimulation upon our skin.
Thus it weakens, it doesn’t give the right signals to our temperature receptors, pain receptors, to our blood circulator, there are maybe 20 kind of receptors in our skin. It’s not just the skin; it’s a lot more. It shows—is there danger, is there cold, is there heat? It is an information center which goes ultimately to our brain and makes decisions. Now we make wrong decisions because we think it is always nice weather, while it is not; it’s always no danger, while it is not. We become half asleep and that’s logical. And then the cardiovascular system, which is all connected to all the skin, that becomes also on a low current, low signaling, low stimulation.
Therefore, we have this problem in our society, which is cardiovascular related problems, killer number one. And it has a big contribution into any disease. It’s really conditionally connected with any disease, a low current, a low condition of our cardiovascular system, while being dressed. This is the first thing I say to the people—listen, the mammal physiology you have is beautiful; it’s beautiful to feel alive. When you take a cold shower, you feel, you begin naturally to breathe deeply. You are not just a comfort zone kind of a being, a real comfort, real power there is, when you go into the cold, then you have deep stimulation.
Then afterwards you feel invigorated, you feel cleansed, you feel the vascular system, the millions of little muscles called the endothelium being exercised. And then the heart rate goes down 20 to 30 beats a minute, 24 hours a day. That means stress is out of your life, and the blood flow will be helped through the millions of little muscles in the right condition, which is the endothelium. Thus, it reaches the cells better by which you produce a lot more energy. That’s why we feel always “Whoa, oh, whoa, no, oh” afterwards.
First we have to go past our conditioned body and mind. And that is, “Oh, it’s terrible.” So, I said, don’t go shocking-wise into a cold shower, go for 15 seconds, and use your mind. The power of your mind is now there. This has been proven in Detroit, in brain scans, that only using your mind you are able to influence the temperature impact upon your body. It has been shown, they got cold water on my skin, I was not moving, just using my mind, and the temperature of my skin did not go down. Everybody has this connection, only I got it exercised.
TS: Wim, what were you doing with your mind during this experiment, were you focusing, were you visualizing?
WH: Yes. I just told my body before, “I want to make the difference, I don’t know how,” because I was the first one to show that in a brain scan ever. I was not really sure what to do, but I was sure that I was going to give my best. Inside I was tranquil. There is a real margin. It’s not that you are focusing, focusing, focusing. No. Your intention lasts when you have to, say, get on stage or get into a stressful situation. If you talk to yourself, like a prayer it goes, like an intention, and you feed into the intention, then suddenly a calmness comes over you, your body understands what is going to happen, and you are ready. That is a new way of using our mind.
It’s like a bicycle, which is outside your house, but you never use it, and you go always in these fatiguing walks to your work, to this and that, because you don’t know that you have a bike, but it’s a beautiful bike. Our mind is really capable to address what is going to happen, even in the future. It goes past time and space, which is our trust, our confidence and belief. This is no longer just something abstract, it’s neurology. And that neurology needs to be awakened.
If we don’t know that it is ours, then we just go past. Somebody is always the first one. When the first time somebody ran below the 10 seconds, then the year after 15 people—what is that? That is just—hey, it’s there, it’s possible, so let’s go for it. And then people feed into this. Now this aspect to face stress and to deal with stress just by the power of intention is far less than running 100 meters within 10 seconds. What I’m talking about is something natural. Anybody should be able to control stress just by using the power of his or her intention.
TS: So, if I want to start with the cold exposure, and I want to use my power of intention to make my way from 15 seconds, at the end of a hot shower for me—I’m going to take a real hot shower.
TS: And then at the end, I’m going to give it 15 seconds of cold. Then a couple of days later, 30, I’m going to build all the way up to two minutes.
TS: There’s a certain point where it actually becomes enjoyable instead of terrible. But talk to that person who’s not yet at that point, it’s not enjoyable yet. They’re starting it, they’re experimenting with it, and they’re like, “God, I really don’t like this. I want to do a spiritual practice, a health practice that I like.” There’s that place where you end up liking it, but what if the person’s not there yet, Wim?
WH: For those people, I say, “Listen, the investment of two minutes to reach the point where you are able to go with a cardiovascular system improved to a natural condition, being able to go in for two minutes without any problem. That is your true investment for when you get older.” Sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, my oldest participant is 101 years, and they love it. Why? Because this really goes past all the ailments, all the stress. If you don’t go to the cold, then the cold comes to you. If you don’t go to the stress, the stress comes to you.
If you don’t address the disease, the disease will come to you. This is a perfect way to deal with this. All these phantom kind of influences in our life, we don’t know, we to try to hide but they still come. Hey man, with this one, with the cold shower, you cut it all out of your life. And you feel much more energy than ever because this trains the inner works, the inner physiology, the blood flow, the 75,000 miles inside, millions of little muscles.
Your energy will go way up. And the heart rate goes way down. That is what you get instead of this stress, low energy, high energy, low stress. So, know that to begin with as a motivation, “Hey, wow, I want that.” Because in the end, it is natural for you, mammalian physiology, to be able to go, for two minutes at ease. And so, 80 years old and 90 years old, and they only started. And very soon they could go swim in icy water outside in the winter, and they feel just bloody—and it’s about the blood flow—bloody great.
TS: One thing you recommend to people, and you recommended it to me in a previous conversation too is, when you get out of the shower, if you feel a little, especially at the beginning, shaky, you can do the horse stance.
TS: Can you explain that? What is the horse stance?
WH: The horse stance is standing like this. Just take it here, step like this. I get my legs like this. If I do that, then my legs are down, like in Haka. Like firm. Like I go out of the comfort, I go into the hunting. I go outside, face the danger. So, once you contract, activate the muscle tissue in the thighs, in that way, then it is connected to the adrenal access. That means that you become stronger suddenly within. There is no doubt this works for every person. This is when you go into the fight and flight, just it goes directly. The thigh muscle tissue activation is directly connected to the adrenal axis, and thus, you become stronger. And very soon the cold is gone.
TS: I realize when we’re talking about this cold exposure at the very, very, very beginning level, we’re offering kind of like just a way to get started. You yourself do an actual ice bath on most days. Tell us about that, what are you doing with an ice bath?
WH: Oh, yes. I have a chest freezer and I filled it up with the ice water and then have it frozen. And then I go in every day, regardless. The last time—I turned 63 on April 20th. I turned 63 and I went in for 63 minutes.
WH: Just to celebrate the power of my mind and my body at my age. And nobody’s able to do that. What is this? This is exercise. Exercise. Just, if you do it every day, then that power which is so horrible, it becomes your power. It’s amazing how that gets to you, and then you really become quite invulnerable. You get so much energy, you got so much lust for life, and inflammation goes down, the darkness goes away. You are fully in the light. You are fully in connection with the whole of the nervous system, the electricity system of the body, and your energy levels go way up.
I just want to change the world, and I need my body, my vessel, and I’m doing it together with your help, Tami. And you deserve a Grammy, Tami, and more for what you do. As I told you in the beginning, there’s an uplifting consciousness, the perception, which in the end is neurology, is the light. We all want to become light. We all want to become in connection with the purpose of our life, in the deepest. And with that, we realize we have a soul and that wants to realize it’s light shine and be irradiating. And that’s what we do, that’s what I do when I go into an ice bath.
TS: OK. Yes. Let me ask you, so there you are, you’re in an ice water bath for 63 minutes. What’s happening for you, Wim, during that time, what’s going on for you? Are you focusing on something, are you just relaxing, like what’s happening?
WH: Actually, I was quite relaxed. I also know fear, right. Fear is a good signal. It is a signal that makes you very alert, that makes your adrenal axis go, so you are ready. But then I had a little fear like, “Hey, what if,” those thoughts, a little of those came to me. But then once I was in, wow, it was a party. I was actually celebrating my birthday in a joyous, gay, kind of way. I’m happy. I’m here. I’m singing. I’m in control. I’m in bloody great control that I’m able to be happy and joyous while being confronted with one of the most extreme, aggressive impacts. I see water upon me, and I astounded myself actually.
I’m into the power of the mind, to see how that works. Not just muscle power, no, just the power of the mind. And it’s amazing what it can do. And I’m venturing in new areas. The big thing now is to pass it on, to tell people about the benefits of icy water, cold water, into their lives. Really, anybody who takes up within 10 days, you will get into a natural condition, within 10 days of his cardiovascular system. And with that inflammation goes down, the connection with the neurology is there, much more energy, much less stress, it’s all there. And this should be taught in primary schools, because this gives us much more confidence within our body and mind.
TS: OK. So, Wim, I’m not ready for the full-on freezer, chest ice bath, but I do think that along with many of our listeners, we could experiment with an ice bucket immersion of some kind. What would you recommend there as a next step, after the cold showering?
WH: After the cold shower, say two minutes, you are able to do, a couple of minutes into icy water in the winter, but in between there is the ice bucket. In the ice bucket is a very able to train the hands, the extremities of hands and feet. And a lot of people have problems with that, because the physiology, the blood flow circulation physiology of the hands and the feet is different than the rest of the body. So it’s a great learning moment we can get by learning to get two minutes hand immersion into icy water. You learn to focus to connect because in the end, the blood flow circulation system in us is a closed circuit.
It’s all connected. So if you train this, you train the whole body. So get your mind together and go within that. Focus is able to connect with the hypothalamus, which is the thermal regulator inside the body, which is also the hand, it’s everywhere, and learn that you are able just by using the mind to make a difference already in your hands, your feet. And if you can do it over there, you can do it anywhere. That’s what you learn out of it. And now physically going for two minutes in the icy water, after the 10-day challenge of 15 seconds, 30 seconds, 45, one minute, up to two minutes, around that, then going into an ice water bucket challenge.
Two minutes is really a great step, and then from there you learn really to control this great stressor, the icy water on the physiology. And with that, you learn that you are able to go much deeper and differently into your own physiology and retrieve what has been hidden through our comfort zone behavior. This deep primordial power comes to you, and then you feel in the wintertime, “Hey, I’m the boss, I can swim outside, and oh yes, look at me.” And being completely poised like in the eye of the hurricane, stress all over and you’re in control. It’s amazing.
TS: Wim, as I mentioned, there are three pillars to the Wim Hof Method, and we’ve introduced cold exposure, and also a little bit about the power of the mind. The third pillar has to do with breathing. We’re going to get there in a moment, but before we do, I want to ask you a personal question, which is, as I was carefully reading the new paperback edition of the Wim Hof Method—
WH: How’s it going?
TS: It’s going well, people love it. And it has so much pass-around, people saying to other people, “You’ve got to get the book, you’ve got to try the cold exposure combined with the conscious breathing. You have to do it.” Health professionals, etc. OK. Here’s my personal question though, Wim, you talk about in the book, your own birth and how you were a hidden twin, that your mother, when she gave birth to your twin brother, didn’t even know that you were in the womb at the time, and how that—actually you hinted this—connects to your own love of the cold. That’s what I wanted to understand more about, because here you are, you’re such a unique person, bringing cold exposure, righteous cold to the people. How did that link actually to your very own birth experience?
WH: I think it is the love for my mother, in the end. But as a baby hidden, I was so deeply within my mother while I was one of the identical twins, but they only found out almost too late there was another one, so they pushed the bed to where the operation room, because I was too deep in, I had to be gotten out through cesarean, because I was suffocating inside. And I came with the words of my mother just before arriving into the operation room, I came to the world with the invocation of my mother saying, “Oh God, let this child live. I will make him a missionary.” She was pious, naive, but don’t mess with the mother in fear of having a baby—who is protecting the love of her over her baby—invocating to what she thinks is a higher power, God.
That’s exactly what happened. I came to life, into this light, as a purple nothing, with those words, and those words are really imprinted on my soul. And therefore, that makes me connected right now with my mother, with God, with the light. And that sounds all wishy washy maybe, but I feel it very strongly that the purpose of my mother was to bring me—because 48 years later, I was in New York and got a telephone of Dr. Ken Kamler, with the results of the blood, of a vagus nerve experiment to show what nobody had shown before, how to influence deeply into the vagus nerve, which means that if you do what nobody had done before, and I did, because the blood results showed is when Dr. Ken Kamler said, “Wim, if you are able to reproduce this in a comparative study, then that means huge consequences for humankind.” Then meaning all these diseases, when you are able to control or influence deeply into the vagus nerve, as I had done, then all these diseases would cease to be so severe and so dangerous. And then at that moment my mission was born. At that moment I became a missionary. A half hour later, I got a telephone call from my family saying, “Wim, your mother died. She collapsed.”
WH: You see how that is connected. Is that a story? Is that coincidence? I don’t believe it. I believe in purpose in life. And this is my purpose to be a missionary of, and show there in true science, through rigid science, that these techniques coming from the soul surge somewhere in nature, because in the books, it was not, and now it’s available for every person in the world. And for that, I have to thank you again, with your platform, making me able to bring it about in this Wim Hof Method book. And now with the first chapter of Into the Depths, which is actually a new revolution, a revolution wherein we show to go into the deeper part of our physiology and all what is ours. A man who’s in control of himself—a human I mean.
WH: Men, women, it doesn’t matter. A human in control would choose happiness, health, and strength, and not as some substitutes or alternatives, because nothing is as much as the value as happiness, strength and health. A happy man doesn’t go to war. A happy man is not into possessive thinking. He is simply there. And it’s time that we bring it about, and that is this podcast, the book, and the coming books all about. I keep that goal, and that is because I loved my mom.
TS: Wim’s referring to his next book with Sounds True, after the Wim Hof Method, [which is called] Into the Depths, coming out in a couple of years now; we’re working on it, in the process.
Wim, you said something very interesting, that you sense your mom right now, and that could be woo woo, or something, but that you feel it. And I think this is an important idea to help this be very real for people, this experience. Tell me what you experience right now? Your mother’s presence.
WH: Oh, yes. So, come on, that is very powerful, very strong, very here and now. And without, once again, like in the earlier phase of this conversation we talked about, hey, if we have no soul, we stink in one day.
TS: Because we’re dead flesh. We’re dead flesh.
WH: Yes. We are not just flesh; we are a soul, and that’s why we are alive. And those souls, souls are unbreakable. They are forever. So, my mother has no body at this moment, but I can feel her, directly. I can feel the purpose. I can feel the understanding. And I’m a man of fact, I’m a man who works on a millimeter. I’m not into superstition or anything like that. I love science. I want science. I welcome, I intrigue, I tease all the scientists of the world to prove me wrong, but it doesn’t begin when we are born and it doesn’t end when we are going to pass on.
The other thing is, when we catch on with what our predecessors, our ancestors, our mothers and fathers have been telling us out of love, then we are the ones to embody it and to bring it on and to make progress. And fuck enlightenment. Sorry that I say it in that way.
TS: It’s OK.
WH: It’s so self-indulgent. I want to heal the world. I want to heal my friends, my babies, the women the men, the living beings, live in harmony with nature. That gives me salvation of my soul. That gives me development of my soul. I’m not into this self-indulgent being. I train hard. Go into my ice baths, etc., because I want to preserve this vessel to be strong. But my message is happiness, strength and health, that is love, that is for me to bring to this world, and I will push it all the time through the books together with you.
You do it through your platform, amazing light work you do. People should be not ashamed to say, “I’m a warrior of the light. I am there. I’m not here in doubt.” And “Maybe I can say this, maybe—” No! When you are in love, you fly! You have no inhibition. You go like a child, and children are innocent. Let’s be innocent again. Enigma, the music, “Return to Innocence,” beautiful music they make. But it is actually a fact—without the soul we are like zombies. Let’s be alive and live in the soul from the deepest, here and now, and become kings and queens, all.
WH: And we saw this too, Tami—kings and queens, the symbol for kings and queens is the corona, isn’t it? The crown.
WH: Now, the corona—and I’m talking about the virus—that has been. But let me tell you, there’s some new news. That is the corona radiata. The corona radiata is the radiance crown—those are nerve endings. In yoga they are called the crown chakra. But now within a half hour, we can activate those nerves, thus the crown chakra, the corona radiata nerve endings. And this is a full statement of Dr. Kevin Tracy, who is healthcare man number one in New York state.
So, he wants now me in the panel with the greatest of professors, in San Diego in March this coming year. I mean, he knows that what we have found is the future. It only needs to be translated into general understanding, because the science needs to build up. I don’t know the existent establishment—but hospitals, and they cannot even fend off invisible enemies like virus, bacteria, and depression, which is darkness. That’s where we come in.
We have natural tools to face all these invisible enemies. That’s the way we are built in the depth of ours. Nature has been over millions of years to make us so sophisticatedly, to be able to—what we even cannot see defy and fight, through our will. That’s the power of the mind. And now that’s where we go, so we go where nobody has gone before. That’s what we do because we are fearless in what we do, we want to venture, we want to discover like a child.
TS: It’s so interesting to me, Wim, that you use this metaphor of the crown on top of our head as a king or a queen.
TS: It’s so powerful. It’s easy to see the crown that you wear in your sovereignty and power and empowerment inside. But what’s interesting is, I think you’re pointing that all of us have this inner king/queen inside, and I wonder if you can just speak more about how that’s a product of practicing the Wim Hof Method.
WH: It is. It wasn’t me even. It was Dr. Kevin Tracy, who’s an authority in immunology, and he’s got a whole biochemical institute. He’s the most down to earth man you can ever think of. And he told me, after we did the studies here in the Netherlands, we’re injecting E. Coli bacteria inside, that the processes in the brain, he was looking at the studies and peer reviewing, examining, and then if you do that, then inflammation goes down. That means you activate the vagus nerve, and once you begin to willfully activate the vagus nerve, then you enlighten, activate all the white nerve endings called the corona radiata, which is the radiant crown.
He told me, it’s only a result of logical deduction, and now it’s there. This is the way you should feel. When you are in love with somebody, you feel like a king, you feel like a queen, because you are stronger than matter. You are stronger than the world. No obstacle can hold you back. That is the power of love. So, if you feel, when you go into the cold, then this power comes to life because all systems begin to work, and they enlighten what normally in our conditioned, narrowed mind is not able to be fed in with the right blood flow and neural activity, and then we’re dust.
It’s so simple, and it’s there. And then it is a question of what do you choose? Do you choose this abundance of energy coming out of you and flowing, or do you choose to go back to your conditioned way of life? The thing is we have found this deeper control, this higher control, and change our consciousness. We are not dogmatic therein, we bring people—this is a tool and this tool is able to bring you past, your conditioned mind more than science even thought possible. But science serves development, serves growth; and in the end, it is for the growth of a human student, get into a higher consciousness, which is nothing more than logical.
It’s no longer just religious. It’s just the nature of neurology, to broaden, to go more, like a child, keep up—it’s stronger than your boredom, than your thoughts, to go past in your time space, consciousness, your ego. Now you can go past and understand the omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotency. And that is the full range of your brain, which we have shown in Hanover, in the best brain scans of the world, 100 percent activity, neural activity, willfully activated, it means your brain now is at your disposal. What do you do with it?
TS: Wim, we have to talk about the breathing, because this is such an important part of the Wim Hof Method, and you discovered it through the cold exposures, the cold taught you the breathing. Can you explain that?
WH: Yes. Imagine you go for the first time into icy water like that, involuntarily it wants to go and breathe deep. This is what it has taught me, to breathe deep, and therefore it activate all systems inside to be able to adapt to the aggressive impact. The body is able to do that, but our conditioned shallow breathing is not able to feed into the mechanisms that need to be fed into to make them work. The blood flow needs to become alkaline. Alkalinity is the way that the neurology goes fast, the electricity, the neurotransmitters inside the body who signal and make things work, they go best when the body’s pH level goes up. This happens through deep breathing.
TS: The breathing, the way you describe it, it’s pretty simple to describe these full inhalations, natural exhalations. You recommend people do that, something like 30 to 40 times.
TS: So as the first step here of the breathing process, and I wanted to ask you about that, because I notice sometimes when I do it in the middle of the day, I’ll breathe five or six full inhales, and I already feel a little, like I can feel the lights turning on inside. I don’t make it all the way to 30. What do you think about that, Wim, is it important? And then you suggest, we go all the way 30 to 40 big inhales, natural exhales, and then we let the breath out, and we don’t breathe in for a while.
TS: This is very important. Yes. Explain this.
WH: OK. For example, I have people, CEOs who sit a long time behind a computer, and brains are like muscles, they get sore. If there is a lot of neural activity constantly going on, like running, you become sore. In the brain, the blood becomes sore, and then they become sluggish. And then I hear this of these people coming to me, “And then I do 20 minutes of this breathing.” They take 20 minutes just for themselves, deep breathing, pulling in, letting go, pulling in, letting go, pulling in, letting go, pulling in, letting go. If you keep on going 30 times, then you blow off the carbon dioxide, that is as the acid inside the body, it suddenly goes way down, pH level goes way up.
That means when the pH level is up, you don’t need to breathe; it’s only when the carbon dioxide, the CO2 in the body is high, is when you breathe, that is a breathing trigger. So, we bring it down. After 30 deep breaths, pH level is way up, and then the last time, you stop breathing, and you don’t need to breathe because the pH level is very up. So it takes a minute or one and half minutes, it’s 90 seconds, 100 seconds, and you don’t feel the force to breathe. What happens is a lot of biochemical processes inside the body. The body is going to be reset, five times more blood will flush into the heart and brain.
Adrenal access is spiked at that moment, just for a moment to reset the body, and if you do this a couple of rounds consecutive, then you will be very easy. It doesn’t matter the age, 70 years, 80 years, even 90 years, for two minutes or two and a half minutes without air in the lungs, in three rounds that happens. And what happens then is that your pH level goes way up, you become very alkaline. And then those people, those CEOs have been working all day, very sluggish in their mind, suddenly they are fresh like chickens again. And that’s amazing. And so everybody will feel that the mist, the clouds in their head, they are gone, and they, “Wow, what a wonderful day.” And that’s the afternoon. So, it’s really worth it to do this, because it will make the productivity, effectivity, the sharpness of your mind, the clarity, go way up.
TS: OK. So, after these 30 inhales, as you just described, letting go, then you let the breath out and you let it stay out. I’m curious, Wim, when you do this breathing, how long does the breath stay out? Have you ever timed yourself, like the longest amount?
WH: Oh, yes. Of course.
TS: Yes. And how long, friend?
WH: In the beginning I did it for five to seven minutes under the ice.
WH: I did it in icy water. If you exercise, you are able to go really far. And so that’s what I did. I’m a soul searcher, so I have been challenging myself, going in shorts up to Mount Everest, to the death zone without oxygen, in just my shorts, where it is very cold and less than half the oxygen there. Those are all breathing exercises actually, is learning how to control oxygen. Even when there is little, that’s amazing what we can do without, then the power of the will comes in. So at the start I did five minutes, six minutes, seven minutes without breathing.
So, five to seven minutes every day, regardless and no force, under the ice, that’s what I did. And then after a time I began to separate the breathing and do it at home without the icy water. And then at home, let me tell you, Tami, I saw all the chakras, all the colors, all the geometric patterns, anything that was in the esoteric books, I saw it all, the transformations, the trauma release, the 3D, the DMT, all, all, all. And I’ve been doing that for 25 years on my own, because it was crazy. It’s like the kundalini, fully, fully, fully young. And yes, just serving me.
That’s why I never felt sick. I had always all the energy, and this was actually the great answer after I lost my wife in ‘95 through a suicide. I had all the energy all the time for my four kids to grow up, and I had no money. So, it hasn’t got to do with money and power, it’s the power within the unconditional power, and that is able to be unlocked through these breathing techniques. So, there is no excuse therein, anybody can adopt these breathing techniques and show it for themselves. Feeling is the real proof; feeling is the real understanding. We are just offering through this book, through stories, through signs, we are showing something that can be owned by any person in the world, and that is a much deeper control within the existed natural physiology anybody has to become happy, strong, and healthy.
TS: Wim, I just want to talk a little bit more about this long exhalation without inhaling again, this space that you’re able to occupy for upwards of five minutes. Even for us who are new to this, if we are able to be in that space for a minute, something like that in our practice at home, help people see the kind of stillness of the mind, what’s possible in that space where you’ve exhaled and you’re not breathing in again for a period of time.
WH: Exactly. This is what happens. Physiologically more blood will be flowing into the heart and brain, which gives, spinally, past our conditioned blood flow, the right nutrition to get into the deep brain, to deep sensations in the heart, that is physically going on. In the nervous system it is the deep stimulation activation of the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the peace. Because after exhalation and not breathing, that is completely without action. There is no breath. There is no oxygen. There is no air, nothing is feeding into the active mode of the nervous system, and suddenly, therefore, after 30 seconds, 40 seconds, you feel such a stillness.
And that goes deeper than people exercising four hours a day, mindfulness for years. It has been compared in brain scans, so this deep activation of the peacemaker, the deep peace, the regeneration, the rehabilitation, the deep peace within, where mind is getting into deep stillness, where the blood flow goes suddenly into the deeper areas of the brain, like a cloud it descends, because there is no action going on. That is the result of going into retention after the exhalation. And it is amazing. Anybody can do it, because anybody should be able to own the ability to become still anytime.
TS: Just one further question about this, because I think this space, in the exhale, this retention phase, and being in that space and the discovery that can happen, you point, Wim, to the possibility also of this helping us with our intention and purpose in the world, that in that space we can plant the seed of the impact we want to make in the world. Can you talk some about that?
WH: Yes. It’s like when you are in too much action, it will be swiped away. This little seed of our neurotransmitter activation, our willful intent is a little, very subtle current, and that within the stillness created is able to land into the soil of eternity. And eternity only exists, because time and space exist, we are able to go past time and space and sense it, sense who we are and what we are, our purpose, and it really has the ability to listen to what we as humans want, our deepest wish. It’s no longer, somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, it’s in us, it’s here. And through the breath, we go into unprecedented, deep stillness, where we learn to feel that our intentions are heard, that prayers are being heard.
TS: I think I’m emphasizing this here, as we come to the end of our conversation, because right now, at this time, I think a lot of people are feeling so concerned about the state of humanity, and so concerned about the ecological challenges we’re facing, the divisiveness in our world, and they want to help, and yet there’s a feeling I think in many people of powerlessness. And yet, here you are with a crown, a being of light, saying that we have the power, we can go into that space and become empowered by it to bring our souls forward. And I want to end on that note, Wim, of your recommendations for how people can see this particular time we’re in and find their own empowerment.
WH: Yes. The old paradigm is ceasing to be; that’s what is happening now. And it looks like our safety is gone, but this is the opportunity, the opening up for us to go past our conditioned mind, coming from the wrong schooling. I mean, the schooling that serves this system that is polluting the world, that is serving only a couple of people who have all the power, where famine and disease, cruelty, abuse, wars, etc., are going on. These leaders are not able to govern over this world. We have to learn to govern over ourselves.
We have to learn and become the kings and queens within ourselves, to own our sovereignty of the purpose of this earth, of this planet where we live; we have to awaken to the purpose of that. And that is love, love is the future, living in harmony with nature, outside inside, and it is there for everybody. That’s why I’m doing the science, to not just have hollow expressions of “hey, let’s go, flower power.” No, get high on your own supply, you don’t need drugs of the outside.
You don’t need the external world, you need this subtle little connection within, called faith, which is now a neurological connection. Professor Muzik from Detroit is saying in the book of Scott Carney, an investigative journalist, “Wim Hof has found a secret of placebo.” And the healing within us, we are in charge of that. And with the healing in us, the healing of our children, of our friends and all living beings on this earth, it’s time to awaken to a great future, where in paradise will manifest, and we are all in it. What is your choice?”
TS: I just want to say, Wim, every time I talk to you, you are this contagious love light that I catch. So I just want to thank you.
WH: I love you, Tami.
TS: And thanks for bringing your love with the crown and sovereignty on your head, and the power of your mind with your mother’s love coming through you to the world.
TS: Thank you so much, Wim.
WH: Thanks Tami. Thanks.
TS: Thank you.
WH: I really respect and bow deep for your work. Thank you for your being. Absolutely.
TS: Thanks everyone for being with us.
Thanks for listening to Insights at the Edge. You can read a full transcript of today’s interview at Resources.Soundstrue.com/Podcast. If you’re interested, hit the Subscribe button in your podcast app, and if you feel inspired, head to iTunes and leave Insights at the Edge a review, I absolutely love getting your feedback and being connected. Sounds True: waking up the world.