The Science behind the Wim Hof Method
Hitherto, both the autonomic nervous system and innate immune system were regarded as systems that cannot be voluntarily influenced. The present study demonstrates that, through practicing techniques learned in a short-term training program, the sympathetic nervous system and immune system can indeed be voluntarily influenced. -Proceedings of the National Academy for Sciences
The Start of Scientific Research
What Wim is capable of was long viewed as scientifically impossible. In 2007 the first scientific analysis was done at Feinstein Institute in New York. In 2011, the University Medical Center St. Radboud in Nijmegen really got the ball rolling. After running several tests they couldn’t but admit that Wim and others are able to voluntarily influence the Autonomic Nervous System. Something which up until then was thought impossible. This groundbreaking finding, published in PNAS and Nature, established credibility and bred curiosity among academia. Increasingly, researchers across a wide range of disciplines have since taken an interest, and various promising studies are currently underway.
What Wim is capable of was considered to be scientifically impossible. We are continuously working with various research institutions to explore the potential of the Wim Hof Method. A timeline of the research done up to this point is detailed below.
Various research institutes all over the world are continuously studying the effects of the Wim Hof Method. Below you can find a summary of the studies that are currently underway.
Motivation and Experiences of WHM Practioners
RMIT University in Australia is conducting a survey study, exploring the motivation and experiences of Wim Hof Method practitioners worldwide. This will offer insight on the impact of practicing the WHM on health & wellbeing. The survey is ongoing and you can contribute right now by going here: http://explore.wimhofmethod.com/survey/
Inflammation & Pain
In the Netherlands, Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen is completing a new study about the effects of the various components of the WHM on inflammation and pain.
Kenkodo Metabolomic Discoveries in Germany is working closely with Radboud UMC. They are analyzing blood samples that have been taken by Radboud UMC in previous studies. Using this data, they seek to deepen the understanding of the metabolic activity in blood cells when practicing the WHM. Its various parameters can provide new insight into shifts in metabolic rate.
The Amsterdam Medical Centre (AMC) in the Netherlands is conducting a study into the effects of the WHM on inflammation and quality of life of people with Spondylitis.
Wayne State University in Michigan, USA, is measuring the effect of the WHM on brain activity. This research consists of 2 parts:
1. Effects of isolated cold exposure
2. Effects of cold exposure combined with WHM breathing exercises and mind-set
Sleep Patterns & Stress Levels
Wim trained a group of America’s Navy SEALS in the WHM! They now continue their training by following the 10-week Online Course. A research team is looking into the effects of the Method on sleep patterns and stress levels.
We are continuously in conversation with research institutes all over the world about the possibilities to conduct research into the various aspects and effects of the Wim Hof Method.
Chapter: Biology Now - Endocrine and Immune systems - Testing the Iceman
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
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
Article: Controlled Hyperventialtion After Training May Accelerate Altitude Acclimatization
Authors: G. Buijze, M.T. Hopman
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
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
Letter: Blood tests during meditation and breathing exercises in New York led by Dr. K. Kamler & G. Stewart
Study: Blood tests during meditation and breathing exercises Feinstein Institute led by Dr. K. Tracey