Wim Hof, The Iceman Cometh | HUMAN Limits


(Bunny) #1

What do you think explains Wim’s ability to withstand such harsh cold temperatures?

My theory:

Most will say brown fat (BAT), which I think is partially the explanation, but there is one part of the physiology that no one really talks about and that is the human SPLEEN which I think is directly connected to Wim’s breathing techniques and why he can tolerate very very harsh conditions and stay under cold water or in very harsh cold weather in general for so long?


The spleen is part of the livers (hepatic) immunological lymphatic system of the body but it also regulates very subtle and vital involuntary and voluntary reciprocal responsiveness to environment, metabolic activities and functions (i.e. autonomic nervous system; “…The autonomic nervous system has three branches: the sympathetic nervous system, the parasympathetic nervous system and the enteric nervous system. Some textbooks do not include the enteric nervous system as part of this system.) such as the need for oxygen (larger non-dormant spleen?[7]), adrenaline; flight-fight responsiveness etc… Bigger spleen = hyper-oxygenation and outside pressure tolerances (i.e. atmospheric pressure e.g. “the bends” which occurs when nitrogen dissolved in the blood under the immense pressures of deep water bubbles out as we rise.) …at least that’s my theory about this?

His spleen (…as well as those he trains) is much larger[7] (my hypothesis) than the average persons because of his breathing techniques?

Respiratory-Cardio-Synchronization of the brain-liver-spleen-axis including the HPA-axis…

Wim Hof, The Iceman Cometh | HUMAN Limits; Superhuman “Iceman” Wim Hof is showing the world how to kick Mother Nature’s butt, one deep breath at a time.

Related References:

  1. Cephalic Phase Response and Hunger – Fasting 18 - J. Fung
  1. Sitali Pranayama - Kundalini Yoga - Exercise for Spleen, Liver and Digestion - Ancient Vedic Historical Reference; Breathing Asanas
  1. “… A study in rats found that cold exposure revamped thyroid function and increased BAT oxygen consumption by 450%. Researchers reported in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that cold exposure in humans can increase energy expenditure, and may assist in fat loss. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that adult humans have more brown adipose tissue (BAT) than previously thought and can significantly increase energy expenditure in response to cold. …”
  1. Dr. Rhonda Patrick on the Health Benefits of Cold Exposure and Sauna: “…The health benefits of cold thermogenesis are due to the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT), a form of fat that burns regular fat for heat generation through fat oxidation. This has mitochondrial effects in cranking out more ATP (look at the Berkeley College take on this below [7]?). The more mitochondria there are, the better our aerobic capacity will be. Cold exposure increases the number of mitochondria (mitochondrial biogenesis). The more BAT you have, the better your body becomes in burning fat for energy. Fat loss benefits, anyone? Cold exposure also releases cold shock proteins such as RNA binding motif 3 (RBM3) that is linked to regeneration of synapses. Similar effects have been observed in so called heat shock proteins that are released under heat stress. …” …More
  1. Size Matters: Spleen and Lung Volumes Predict Performance in Human Apneic Divers: “…We conclude that both spleen- and lung volume predict apnea performance in elite divers. …” Holy Divers?
  1. “… The spleen also serves as an important connection between the brain and the immune system. In 2008, for the first time, fibers of the vagus nerve were found in the spleen. … In situations of severe septic infections, stimulation of the vagus nerve gives increased survival in laboratory animals. …” “… The spleen also serves as an important connection between the brain and the immune system. The vagus nerve supplies parasympathetic fibers to most organs in the body and influences heart rate, digestive processes, sweating, speech and other functions. In contrast to sympathetic nerve fibers—think fight or flight, excitement and anger—the parasympathetic branch of the nervous system is associated with relaxation, a slower heart rate, lower blood pressure and feelings of calm. Research is ongoing on vagus nerve stimulation in people with severe seizures, depression and severe pain. Activation of the parasympathetic nervous system is also associated with decreased inflammation in the body. Long, slow breathing, preferably through the nose, is a simple way you can derive the benefits of vagus nerve stimulation. Most meditation methods use this kind of breathing.* Establishing a daily practice of relaxation can lower blood pressure, help digestive disorders, decrease anxiety and possibly improve your immune system. Research in this is ongoing. …” …More
  1. “…A normal cell uses mitochondria like a battery to perform work. … But in brown fat cells, UCP1 short-circuits that battery, causing it to heat up instead of producing ATP. (look at Dr. Rhonda Patrick’s take on this above[4]?) With UCP1 activated in the mitochondria, brown fat cells soak-up fat and sugars from the diet and burn them for heat in the mitochondria. …” Mar 5, 2018 U C Berkeley College
  1. “…A long-term high-fat diet changes iron distribution in the body, increasing iron accumulation specifically in the mouse spleen. …” …More

Note: …iron is what makes this specific type of fat cell brown/dark; hence iron rich mitochondrial adipose tissue or brown adipose tissue (BAT)!

  1. (SPLEEN) SYK kinase mediates brown fat differentiation and activation: “… Here we show that spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) is upregulated during brown adipocyte differentiation and activated by β-adrenergic stimulation. Deletion or inhibition of SYK, a kinase known for its essential roles in the immune system, blocks brown and white pre-adipocyte proliferation and differentiation in vitro, and results in diminished expression of Ucp1 and other genes regulating brown adipocyte function in response to β-adrenergic stimulation. Adipocyte-specific SYK deletion in mice reduces BAT mass and BAT that developed consisted of SYK-expressing brown adipocytes that had escaped homozygous Syk deletion. SYK inhibition in vivo represses β-agonist-induced thermogenesis and oxygen consumption. These results establish SYK as an essential mediator of brown fat formation and function. …” …More

Freezing cold while extended fasting - my remedies
(Carl Keller) #2

He looks half white walker. Winter is coming!


LOL! :+1:

(Bunny) #4

Just watching that video of him and young padawan (looks like he was getting a little shivery from the cold? …Lol) walking around in the snow in blizzard conditions almost naked, no shoes or socks, that would kill most peeps within minutes (bare skin = flash hypothermic exposer) is just short of being miraculous? Wind chill factor makes it even more cold!

Just watching them do that makes me shiver and want to put on a jacket or sweater!

I think there used to be a ‘polar bear club’ that use to do something similar at ski resorts, not sure if they are still around?

What Wim does makes a cold shower look like a warm sauna?

(Heather Meyer) #5

Wow… i mean… i walk in flip flops in -4 weather and snow and people ask “arent your feet cold?” but they arent… but i dont do any special breathing. I think my feet and body simply adapted to its new normal. Thats what the body wants… to stay the same…maintain homeostasis. So if you make changes and are persistent…then we should be able to c9nclude that the body recognizes the persistentce in changes and reset the normal pattern to its new normal?

(Bunny) #6

I’m a flip flop wearer in below zero weather too…lol I get asked the same question?

Speaking of this I was shoveling snow this morning in my flip flops and throwing down rock salt…lol

Not ready to throw on a bikini and make snow Angels just yet! :joy::rofl::joy:

(squirrel-kissing paper tamer) #7

And it’s brought to you by Coor’s Light

Seriously, though. Neat video. Thanks for sharing!

(Bunny) #8

Hmmm? Wonder if that’s his secret, Wim drinking Coors Light to keep warm?


”…The monks of the St. Bernard Hospice deny that any St. Bernard has ever carried casks or small barrels around their necks; they attribute the image to an 1820 painting by Edwin Landseer, perhaps Alpine Mastiffs Reanimating a Distressed Traveler (which became a popular engraving in 1831 by Charles Landseer). …” …More

(Carl Keller) #9

My feet got cold just reading this. I live in the north but have lived most of my life in the south. Since I’ve dropped 35 pounds of ‘insulation’, I find this winter a little colder than usual, even in the eerie absence of snow. It’s only snowed a few inches this winter and 10 years ago we’d get 2-3 feet on average.

(Boudewijn) #10

That is what I was concluding from all the youtube clips I’ve seen of him as well, until the “experiment” he did with the Yes Theory team…
That almost forces to think that surviving cold and other harsh exposures is just part of forgotten human nature and that mindset is far more important.
The breathing may help to get into that mindset…

(Bunny) #11

Seemingly things that look miraculous are actually natural survival mechanism that we have lost sentients with, our spiritual nature which I do believe can be explained using science, each organ of the body has spiritual pathways (types of energy invisible to the human eye) just like biological sciences tries to explain physiochemistry pathways; their are energies and pathways that cannnot be sensed simply because we do not have the sensory organs to detect them does not mean they do not exist?


Have become a fan of this guy lately. The book What Doesn’t Kill Us by Scott Carney is a good read mostly centered around Wim Hof.

(Bunny) #13

Wim is amazing, somebody that can be injected with endotoxins and remain completely calm is equivalent to the adrenaline that would be induced in a very very tragic event.

Never take ice baths without a spotter just in case because it is extremely dangerous not too?

Looking at these charts below we can see a little bit on how hormesis works: