Using a combination of cold immersion, breathing techniques and mental focus, Wim says anyone can do what he can do.

He’s climbed Mount Everest in nothing but a pair of shorts and ran a marathon in the Namibian Desert with no water. He broke a world record after staying submerged in ice for almost two hours without his core body temperature changing. He’s been poked and prodded in a science lab and resisted illness with the power of his mind.
When he’s not living in his houseboat in the Netherlands, the 56 year old takes daredevil punters on expeditions to freezing locations around the world, teaching them his method.

“For me, God is cold,” Wim told them. “You could say that. I think of the cold as a noble force. It’s just helping me, training me … It’s bringing me back to nature the way it was meant to be. And this way, I not only endure the cold, I love the cold.”

Almost everything Wim has done was previously thought to be impossible, but he’s not a freak of nature; he’s a master of meditation.

To demonstrate that any human can learn his methods, Wim offered to teach VICE hosts Matt Shea and Daisy-May Hudson how to climb a freezing cold mountain in their shorts without getting cold. But when Matt and Daisy signed up for the training, they had no idea that the so-called Iceman was planning to lead them on a psychedelic journey across Europe that circled the chasm between science and spirituality.


Hof holds twenty world records including a world record for longest ice bath.[2] He broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Guinness World Records 2008. The night before, he performed the feat on the Today Show.

Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to “turn his own thermostat up” by using his mind.

In February 2009 Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days.[3]

In 2007 he climbed to 6.7 km altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts, but failed to reach the summit due to a recurring foot injury.

In 2009 Hof completed a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the polar circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F). Dressed in nothing but shorts, Hof finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes. The challenge was filmed by Firecrackerfilms, who make productions for BBC, Channel 4 and National Geographic.

Hof again broke the ice endurance record in 2010 by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2011 Hof broke the ice endurance record twice, in Inzell in February and in New York in November. The Guinness World Record is now set for 1 hour and 52 minutes and 42 seconds by Hof.

On 18 April, Hof got the test results regarding the “The influence of concentration/meditation on autonomic nervous system activity and the innate immune response” case study, demonstrating that he is able to directly influence his own Autonomic Nervous System and Immune System. Hof seems to be able to raise his cortisol levels and lower the amount of cytokines (inflammatory mediators) just by using his meditation techniques. A different study on Hof while immersed in ice showed that Hof suppressed the cytokines by 100 percent.

In September 2011, Hof also ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water. The run was performed under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels.

In this documentary, Wim’s son Enahm says his father’s decision to push his body this hard came after his wife committed suicide in 1995. He has since remarried.

“Everything started there,” Enahm explains. “My mum was psychotic. She had 11 personalities and she was never there for us. They stuff her up with pills and she committed suicide. So that was the beginning of my dad exploring the answers to all of life’s problems.”

Wim says sadness motivates him. “What happens when your wife, who you love so dearly, suicides? You don’t understand. You just don’t understand. You have no power anymore.

Wim wants to use his body as a laboratory and hopes his techniques will lead to a cure for mental illness and trauma. His goal is to make us happy, healthy and strong. “Love is my mission.”

The benefits of Wim’s techniques

Not only can you learn to control your autonomic nervous system, Wim´s method can provide you with the following benefits:

    • Influence on the immune system
    • Influence on your mind
    • Improvement of blood circulation
    • Improvement of concentration and targeting
    • A greater confidence and a conscious development

The Iceman: From circus act to scientific breakthrough

Wim Hof, test subject

Scientific literature said it was impossible, but Radboudumc researchers have now proven that it is possible voluntarily to influence both the autonomic nervous system and the immune system.

In 2011 the same researchers monitored the response of Iceman Wim Hof’s body to an endotoxin injection as he performed the techniques he had developed himself. It turned out that he produced half the amount of inflammatory proteins healthy volunteers did who did not master his method. Moreover, he hardly showed any influenza symptoms. It seemed that he could suppress his immune response through the autonomic nervous system. But since one finding in one individual does not constitute scientific evidence, the scientists decided to do a follow-up study. For that reason, in 2013, studies were performed on a group of young, healthy, male volunteers: and, indeed, it turns out they are able to influence both the autonomic nervous system and the immune system.

By breathing in and out at specific intervals, Wim Hof can make the CO2 level in his blood drop and the O2 level rise. CO2 is considered waste and is degraded. A higher oxygen level, or O2 level, will lead to an overall better physical condition.

In his most remarkable milestone, Wim Hof was not alone: in late January 2014 he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania with 25 others. In only 48 hours, 24 of the 26 expedition members reached the summit, an achievement that, until then, was thought impossible. Striking detail was that a number of the members of the group suffered from a variety of diseases, such as MS, rheumatism or cancer.

Wim Hof was given endotoxin while he meditated. Endotoxin is a dead component of the cell wall of a bacteria. The substance in fact fools the body. The immune system will respond as if a live bacteria is entering and will produce inflammatory proteins. As a result of this immune response the test subjects experience short-term influenza-like symptoms, such as a fever, shivering and headache. The question was: would Wim Hof?

After administration of endotoxin, the stress hormone cortisol level in Wim Hof increased much more strongly than in other test subjects. This stress hormone is released in the event of increased activity of the autonomic nervous system and suppresses the immune response. Wim’s blood produced a much smaller amount of inflammatory proteins. On average, Wim Hof’s immune response was 50 percent lower than that of other test subjects. He hardly showed any influenza-like symptoms either.

Radboudumc called the results ‘remarkable’, but they were not considered scientific evidence that meditation could help the autonomic nervous system influence the immune response. That would take a follow-up study on a group of people that follow Wim Hof’s method and a group that haven’t.

‘The immune system cannot consciously be influenced’ was the prevailing opinion in science. The study of Wim Hof seemed to point in a different direction. The desired follow-up study was carried out. Two groups were composed: a training group to be trained by Wim Hof, and a control group that would not be trained.

 24 healthy male volunteers were recruited for the study. Out of a pile of applicants a training and a control group were determined by drawing lots. The training group travelled to Poland for a boot camp by Wim.
Wim energetically went to work on the training of the training group. They were trained in Wim’s techniques and had to adjust to extreme cold at a rapid pace. Ice baths, hiking a mountain in the snow, meditating in the snow: under Wim’s guidance the group seemed to adjust to the circumstances rapidly. After four days of training followed by home exercises, they were ready for the study. But first, it was time to relax. A game of soccer. In shorts. At a wind chill temperature of -15℃.
The endotoxin was administered to the members of both the training group and the control group. At the hospital, both groups were carefully monitored. On the face of it, the members of the training group seemed to experience few symptoms. The people in the control group showed different responses, varying from minimal symptoms to feverish shivers.
Researcher Matthijs Kox presents the progress to date of the study. Although he observes that the training group does, indeed, show fewer symptoms than the control group, he keeps his options wide open. A measurable result requires lab results. In the end, it is all about the blood levels. Hard findings about the immune response of the training group can be made on that basis only. ‘We’ll see’, says researcher Matthijs Kox.
Little by little, the results are received. After the brief training, the training group proved able to influence the autonomic nervous system. This is the first time that this is scientifically proved.
The control group has a low adrenalin level. This does not rise until later. In the trained group, the adrenalin level rises immediately after the techniques are started, which inhibits the endotoxin induced inflammatory response. The amount of inflammation inhibiting proteins remains relatively low in the control group. In the training group this amount rises quickly and stays high. The opposite is true for the inflammation promoting proteins. These are high in the control group and much lower in the training group. The training group consciously influences the autonomic nervous system. Knowingly.
We know now that it is possible consciously to raise your adrenalin level so that it suppresses the immune response. The adrenalin level of the trained test subjects who used the method and on whom the study was performed was higher even, for example, than a person doing a bungee jump.
There are various diseases that are caused by an overactive immune system, such as rheumatism. Hof thinks that these patients could benefit from his method. Radboudumc researchers Pickkers and Kox explicitly warn, however, against raising false hopes, and state that more research will be required to see if the method is also effective in patients. Yet, the breakthrough is clear: it is possible voluntarily to influence the autonomic nervous system and the immune system.


In this video Wim Hof talks about how you can use breath and ice to boost you immunity.

The breathing techniques are used to influence the central nervous system, while the gradual adaption to ice baths are used  to stimulate the cardiovascular system, both are connected to the immune system thus making it stronger and more alert to fight of invading viruses and bacteria.

Wim suggests building up by simply taking cold showers & baths and to swim in natural bodies of cold water like rivers lakes and ocean  whenever possible.

The second part of Wim Hof’s method is a breathing technique that is simply three-parts

1. The first part is for over-oxygenating your system [Suggests 30 breaths]

  • Wim recommends you exhale as a if blowing up a mattress. Inhaling immediately after the exhale. Then simply completing this next cycle over and over and over again by anyway that works for you
  • The idea is to get your CO2 levels down and your oxygen levels up
  • Once you feel a little light or maybe even light headed and dizzy with your oxygen levels up
After completing 30 deep breaths:
  • You take one enormous inhale then exhaling fully all the way out holding if out for as long as you can
Wim then simply recommends  repeating this 3 step process as many times as you like

After 3 days of Breathing

After 3 days of breathing with Wim Hof, ‘The Iceman’, Marla Mervis and Robin Sol talk about their experiences with the practice


In this video Wim Hof talks about how to access & release deeply imprinted trauma by using his methods of controlling the autoimmune system… You only need to really want to.



Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous