They call him the Iceman. He holds 26 world records for athletic feats done in the cold including longest ice bath where he was packed in ice over an hour, the furthest under ice swim of 186 ft (57.5m) and most recently set a record for scaling mount Kilimanjaro in a record time of 31 hours and 25 minutes.
Wim Hof is a 55 year old father of 5 from Holland. His 26 world records are simply amazing and all centralize around one theme – his ability to control his autonomic nervous system (ANS). Hof claims that he is able to consciously regulate his body temperature by using specific breathing patterns and meditation practices he borrowed from Indian yogic traditions.
The ANS has been considered by most to be involuntary, responding to environmental and endogenous stimuli but not the mind or conscious control. The ANS is a critical neurological cornerstone in the self regulating human being, a cornerstone deeply and positively impacted by all the Reorganizational Technologies. The ANS is really de-signed to modulate the body’s response to stress and changing environments. The reason the ANS is so heavily focused in Network Spinal Analysis, Somato Respiratory Inte-gration and the rest of the Reorganizational framework is that in most people, it seems to be on overdrive.
The ANS is a primary controller of the stress response and most people have a stress response that seems to have been turned on and not ever turned off again. The negative effects of stress can have an impact on your digestive health, your memory, sleep, pain and many other physical, emotional and mental factors in your life.
The Bio-Energetic Intelligence is the organizing energy that runs the physical body. It is responsible for the primary tissues in the body like the bones, ligaments and discs, cartilage, blood, connective tissue and skin. When there is enough bio-energetic intelligence and enough energy all of these systems run well. When there is a deficiency of either the bio-energetic organizing Intelligence or energy then these system break down, express symptoms and eventually disease.
Most people are operating at a baseline of “just enough energy to get by”. In Reorganizational Healing we call that “Energy Neutral”. The more energy the system can hold the more it can move towards Energy Rich, in which a surplus and overflowing of energy can be experienced.
In short, what Wim Hof has done is “hacked” his ANS to reach states of Energy Rich (maybe even super rich). This is what has allowed him to survive in environments of extreme cold and low oxygen when others who haven’t learned his methods would certainly have died.
Traditional Buddhist and Yogic traditions have stories of superhuman abilities such as suspending the heartbeat, mimicking death and enduring long durations of cold. Hof claims to have uncovered these secrets and systematized them for modern use.
Aside from these amazing feats the techniques Hof uses have also been shown in research to substantially increase the immune response. Researchers had a group trained by Hof in the breathing and cold exposure methods and a control group who were not. They subjected both to a small injection of E Coli endotoxin which would typ-ically produce a flu like response. In the trained group they found not only a great re-duction in symptomatic response but a much higher immune response. The Interleukin 10 (IL-10) measured in the breathing group was at 194% the control group. IL-10 is a anti-inflammatory cytokine. They also found that during the breathing exercises those that were trained reached a pH of up to 7.75. Microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses and fungi are purported to more easily thrive in an acidic internal environment. This respiratory alkalosis may support the immune system to fight off these microorgan-isms.
Hof is a phenomenon, and the fact that the methods are teachable suggest that its not just him. There are certainly parallels with the vigor and intensity of his breath practice and SRI, and, while there is no present research to show that SRI modulates the im-mune system, there is a potential advantage in SRI – conscious focus on the Bio-Energetic organizing Intelligence. When the organizing intelligence and sufficient ener-gy act on the ANS the same results would likely be produced.
Written by: Dr. Matt Kreinheder for the Association for Reorganizational Healing Practice more information at Reorganizational.org