Wim Hof Method

Systematic review finds promise in health benefits of Wim Hof Method

The scientific journal PLOS One has published a systematic review of nine studies that have been conducted on the Wim Hof Method over the years, in an attempt to consolidate the individual studies’ results and to determine how effective of a practice the Wim Hof Method really is when it comes to its various purported health benefits.

According to the review, the Wim Hof Method is a promising practice that “appears to have the most benefit in the stress and pro-inflammatory/anti-inflammatory response categories.” They remark on the myriad health conditions that are caused or aggravated by inflammation, and the wealth of potential relief that the Wim Hof Method holds.

The link between the WHM breathing exercises and improved exercise performance was less conclusive. However the authors note that the repeated climbs of Kilimanjaro at record speeds and with no mountain sickness amongst the ascendants, indicates potential in that area too.

The authors ultimately come to a conclusion that echoes what Wim Hof has been preaching for years: while the study results are overall promising, bigger more robust studies are needed to cement the findings.

The studies conducted thus far have been relatively small, which makes it hard to draw firm conclusions from which further big steps can be taken— such as developing the Wim Hof Method for clinical application. After all, the end goal is for the method to be recognized among the established mainstream health and medicine resources.

The Wim Hof Method organization collaborates continuously with various institutions and researchers worldwide who are interested in exploring the impact of the Wim Hof Method on physical and mental health. Four new studies have since been published, that fell outside the scope of this review. Another two are entering the publication phase. All hold promising results and contribute to the growing body of evidence. Studies for which we either developed or explicitly signed off on the the training protocols can be found on our science page.

But it’s an uphill battle sometimes. Funding remains one big hurdle on the road to those all-important bigger and more definitive studies. Meanwhile, entrenched skepticism from mainstream media works to undermine the image of the Wim Hof Method, just as we are working to build it up.

While the Guardian echoed both the potential benefits of the Wim Hof Method and the need for further research to solidify those findings, CNN unfortunately chose to give the story a negative spin, suggesting that the claims of the method are based on shoddy science. It’s disheartening to see such a big public platform give such unwarranted negative press to the Wim Hof Method. CNN continues to hold an authoritative voice worldwide, and its many readers are now potentially left skeptical of a practice that in actuality has made hundreds of thousands live happier and healthier lives.

We encourage everyone to always consume the news with a critical eye. Click links to full studies whenever you can, fact-check the claims made, and draw your own conclusions.

Meanwhile we soldier on in the quest to prove the Wim Hof Method’s legitimacy. We want to thank the Wim Hof community and the researchers involved in this review for their efforts to do the same.