The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #60 - Wim Hof
Wim Hof aka 'The Iceman' is the Creator of the Wim Hof Method, a method consisting of cold exposure, breathing techniques and mindset/commitment. For the first time in history scientific research has shown that people who practice the wim hof method can influence their autonomic nervous system and immune system; this was thought of as impossible. Since this study, more research has been done on the wim hof method showing what human beings are capable of. Wim has been a extreme athlete with 21 official world records. Climbing Mount Everest in shorts, sitting in a bucket with ice for almost 2 hours, and many more extreme feats.
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8:30 - Wim's story: Finding Connection, Hormones Vs Drugs
11:30 - the power of the cold and breathing
12:45 - Studies On Wim: Hacking The Autonomic Nervous System
14:00 - Willful Control of The Body: Endocrine, Autonomic, And Immune System
16:30 - feeling alive And Love
17:00 - LPS Study, Modulating the Immune System For Covid
23:20 - The Cold: Epinephrine, Alkaline State, Activating the Adrenal Axis
26:15 - The Power Of Mindset: Neutralizing Danger
27:45 - Spiking Stress: Activating Parasympathetic Nervous System
29:10 - Are The Cold And The Breath The Same?
30:00 - The Role Of Blood Flow
34:40 - The Role Of Love
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38:40 - The Paradigm of What We Think and experience: Limited Consciousness and Perception
41:45 - Unlearning Trauma, Generational Stress, Being Happy And Healthy
44:10 - Mantras
47:40 - The Primordial State Of The Cell And The Role Of The Soul
49:50 - Activating Cold Shock Proteins For Repair
53:15 - Losing Our Purpose: Finding Consciousness, Unconditional Love, And Enlightenment
57:20 - How To Do The Wim Hof Method: Alkalinizing Your Body: Cold, Breathwork, And Mind
1:03:00 - Studies On The Mindset
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1:07:10 - The Role Of Control In Freedom
1:08:10 - Hysterical Strength And The Role Of Physical Performance
1:09:50 - Casting Away The Darkness And Saving Your Life
1:13:15 - Wimhofmethod.com/elearning/fundamentals Get 35% Off The Fundamentals Course With The Coupon Code melanieavalon
1:13:30 - Ice Baths
Melanie Avalon: Hi friends, welcome back to the show. I wish you guys could see me right now. I am just glowing. Glowing with excitement about the conversation I am about to have. Listeners, you know that one of my favorite things in the entire world is the cold. You guys know this, I talk about it all the time. Half of you love it as well. The other half probably think I'm crazy. But I personally thought I was a little bit crazy with the whole cold thing because I would always just feel so intuitively alive whenever I would get in really cold temperatures. And then, a few years ago, I came across this crazy, amazing man named Wim Hof and started learning about his method which combines cold exposure, breathwork, and mindset techniques. And on top of that, brings in what you guys are going to love, a lot of clinical research, a lot of science actually supporting the benefits of all of these methods. It's just honestly the dream situation with everything.
The man himself Wim Hof is a wonder. He actually holds 26 world records, and these include insane things like climbing Mount Everest in shorts, sitting in ice buckets for hours. He has the farthest swim under the ice, so many things. Like I said, they've done a ton of research on his work that we're going to talk about in this show. I can't believe it, but I am actually talking to this man now. Wim, thank you so much for being here.
Wim Hof: Thank you, Melanie. Yeah, let’s have a great conversation into the depth and meet all the hidden questions intuitively of all the listeners and fine-tune with beautiful answers and new insights.
Melanie Avalon: You have a new book coming out, The Wim Hof Method. It's definitely my new favorite book pretty much of all time, and you just use those words 'beautiful' and 'insight.' And there is so much beauty, so much insight in this book. You read it and you just walk away, inspired for life. And it's not just the mindset, like I said, you talk about the science and what's actually happening in the body. I love all of it so much. To start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal story? It's a beautiful, fascinating story with its own depths of emotion and tragedy and what actually brought you to the methods that you practice today.
Wim Hof: Yes. I'm like everybody, simple, but also very determined to pledge an oath, which I did when I was 12. Around that age. I was talking to my friends and I said, "Yeah, let's do-- The way the world is right now, wars and disease and cruelty to animals and nature, I don't think this is right. I will not submit to what I see. I will make the change. I don't know how, but I will." From there, I consciously set into a different mindset, not knowing what was to come, but began to say, belief or as I say, now neurologically invest into a view, a vision, which still had to be developed. A vision wherein love was there, harmony with nature was there, where we are able to find excitement every moment, every day within our mind and the purpose why we live, that is fully there. With that, a war-free world, a world freed of confusion, a world where love is reigning, and wherein the harmony with nature is present every day. There, we walk in and walking into that nature, with that inner nature is like being on drugs without drugs because you are on top of your own hormonal system. What is hormones? Those are drugs, but as long as we have not this deep connection with ourselves, with our systems, the hormonal system, vestibular system, lymphatic system, the immune system, and so much more, then how can we activate it? This is what I teach people. But it began when I was 12. I pledge the oath to the world, to the universe, and it all came back.
The first 25 years or 35 years, I was really standing on my own. I was doing all these things on my own. The soul search was deeply going into cold water, going into breathing because the first thing you do when you go into the water, cold water is [gasp] you become aware of this deep breathing, which is able to change the biochemistry. I was doing this for more than 30 years, three decades, on my own because everybody thought I was crazy. Then, when I met a newspaper one day, they made an article because they saw me swimming outside in wintertime and doing all the splits and putting two legs behind my neck and standing on one arm in the midst of winter in freezing temperatures after having taken a bath in those freezing waters. It didn't make me stiff, I know, contrary, my blood really began to run and I was steaming and showing power of human physiology in the depth.
From there, from that little newspaper article, I got 10 days two television stations coming to me and I had to show it again and again and again and again. There, it began to get known into the television world. First, the Netherlands, then Guinness World of Records in London, they became aware of this and they began to challenge, “Okay, you do this. You swim 50 meters. Can you swim 100 meters under the ice? Can you climb Mount Everest? Can you run a marathon barefoot in the snow, in shorts? Can you stay in the ice for two hours? Can you hang by one finger up in the air in mid-winter at a mile's high?” All these crazy challenges were being offered by the television and they made me go around the world, from Tokyo to Los Angeles to New York to Paris to London, to all the world.
Then, the scientists came in. They saw me doing things. They thought, and that is well stated in scientific medical science, that it is not possible. For example, to go into the autonomic nervous system, to go into the immune system, to go into the endocrine systems, the hormonal system. This was all considered impossible for humans. But they were seeing this and then they began to experiment on me, taking my blood and then they saw me connecting and influencing deeply into the autonomic nervous system, immune system, hormonal system, and many other things, like going into the deepest of the brain, going into the DNA, going into the marrow of their bone and all at will. That means all within the control, and then they said, “Hey, but you are the Iceman. Only you can do it. You are an anomaly of nature, an exception that confirms the rule.” And I said, “No, no, I'm just exercise in nature.” And that brought me to the depth of myself. And that now is willful control. This is what I show.
I said to the professors, “You guys, you give me a group of people and I will take them within.” “And how much time do you need? A year, one and a half year to get to the results you have shown?” I said, “No, 10 days. I just put up two hands. And I don't have more fingers than 10. So, 10 days.” It became four days. In four days, I trained a group of people to get into systems thought of in science impossible for humans to get into at will. And that is the autonomic nervous system, that is the endocrine system, and that is the immune system. Imagine, if we would have control considered by science not possible within a couple of days, everybody in the world related to the power of us at will, related to the immune system, which is very up to date now. Everybody should. The immune system, the endocrine system, which is about the mood regulation, depression is all over the world. If you do this, depression is gone. Immune system gets boosted, and your strength is going to-- you're going to feel alive as it is. It's a flow, and that flow is stronger.
It's like love. When you are in love, you don't ask yourself, “Am I in love? What is love? Is it good for me? Yes or no? Should I do it?” “No. Fuck off. I want to live. I want to love. I want to go to my love.” That's what it is. And that's what everybody should feel every day for the life.
Melanie Avalon: Listeners, can you see why this is so incredible, so amazing? Yeah, Wim, you're mentioning some of the studies that have been conducted on your work. One of the studies that really, really resonated with me was, I personally often have GI issues. We can talk maybe a little bit later about fear and things like that, but I say that I have a fear of LPS of lipopolysaccharide because I feel like my gut bacteria will get off and I was so obsessed with LPS and how toxic it was. I was literally fearful of LPS. And in one of your studies, they tested the participants' response to injected LPS. For listeners, what they found was that it modulated the immune system so that the immune system still had an immune response to attack the LPS but it wasn't an inflammatory response. It was the noninflammatory immune markers, which is just mind blowing. When that happened, what were your thoughts? Researchers in the trials, how did they respond to that?
Wim Hof: Yes, this is after 16,134 studies by injecting people with LPS, with lipopolysaccharide or endotoxemia, which is the part of E. coli bacteria which makes people very sick, headaches, all over, agony, muscle aches, backaches, fever, all that happens. Sometimes, vomiting and things like that happen. And it is an experimental model, endotoxemia model to find out how people could maybe find a control of overactive immune system, the inflammation, which is causing the effect of disease in general. Could be bacteria, virus, or bad cell, doesn't matter, it's always inflammation, the overactive immune system.
Now, if that happens, which is also for example, the damaging factor in COVID-19 is an overactive immune system, the cytokine storm, the interleukin 1, 6, 8 and number 11. I've been looking at up and we showed in 2014 to suppress the interleukins, just mentioned all of them, within a quarter of hour at will. That means the damaging factor of say COVID or a virus or bad cell or bacteria. In this case, the model was endotoxemia which was E. coli bacteria, lipopolysaccharide. It was being recorded 16,134 times with all different subjects. That 16,134., The main thing therein is that everybody gets sick. And then, suddenly I trained 12 people--actually 18, and then 12 were randomly chosen from the 18. And they got subjected to the LPS as well, the injection and they did not become sick, all of them. 100% score.
And what does it mean and what did they see? Of course, they were flabbergasted. They were becoming what is going on, is something wrong with the measurement devices? Their patients, the test subject made jokes. They said, “I think they just put sugar in us. This was like nothing.” That is E. coli. E. coli is really strong fever and headaches. It's not nice. It's agony. It's not nice, It's really being sick, and they didn't show any of those symptoms. Of course, that was a great, great victory, because for the first time we showed in medical history that we were tapping willfully into the autonomic nervous system related to the immune system. And that control had never been shown that way. And that should have opened up-- it has been propagated already as a chapter in universitarian books, but they should go into that direction, much, much more, especially now, with the virus and the inflammation and people dying.
They saw recently in New York, people bringing them in hypothermia of 34.5 Celsius degrees core body temperature. Normally, those people would have died of COVID-19, in advanced stage of COVID-19. They recovered within 48 hours completely, that is natural medicine. If you go into the cold, yourself you begin to learn to breathe deep and controlled, and then that way you reach into the biochemistry, into the toes everywhere where you are, your breath goes, and you are able to influence that. With that, you bring in activation, in this case through these breathing techniques, and becoming so alkaline that the epinephrine shoots out throughout the body and resets the body the way nature meant it to be. Not the hospitals and the people the way they think, nature. And in nature, bacteria, emotional stress, mental stress, virus, it's all bad cell, biological stress. And for that, we need to learn how to activate the adrenal axis. So, is that possible? That's what we are showing.
We showed lying in bed in the university, blood drawn comparison at the adrenal axis with people go into their first bungee jump, and they had them both taking blood samples. So people doing these breathing exercises that comes from going into the cold, you learn to breathe deep. So, now you do that as an exercise. And I showed them and within a couple of days, they were very able to do that. And they did it and then they compared it, the adrenal axis which is a reset within our body to connect all the systems, which is only logical to confront the danger, to evict the danger. It could be bacterial viral, it could be emotional, it could be mental, it doesn't matter. Deep breathing brings you to the possible activation of the adrenal axis. And they compared that with people go-- So, people lying in bed, doing these breathing exercises, feeling a sort of high doing it, and then take the blood, compare it to people going into their first [unintelligible [00:18:37], and what appeared that the adrenal, the epinephrine, the adrenaline was more present within these people lying on bed than people going into their first bungee jump.
You see how strong this is. This is so strong, that you learn to control the deep physiology of ours, we are equipped with, but because of our comfort zone behavior, we got alienated from it. And now, it's back. It's back, guys. Any disease is a danger. And for any disease, you have to learn to activate the adrenal axis at the best. And if it is more than somebody who goes into his first bungee jump, talking about fear, more than somebody go into his first bungee jump, being in fear and still has to jump and that amount of adrenaline is not as much as the people doing these breathing exercises, which comes naturally from going into the cold. You learn to breathe deep because the cold also is a danger and you are able to adapt from the inside by changing the adrenaline and different hormones and thermoreceptors, etc. The whole thing to neutralize the impact. The cold, that is my teacher. From there, I learned how to breathe.
Then, I began to cultivate breathing exercises. Then, my mindset. It is amazing what the mindset is able to do. I showed in the latest study in the brain scans, having cold water being poured, pumped on to my skin, in connection with my skin, making just by thinking skin temperature not going down after exposure with ice water, that is the power of your mind. That is mental attitude, that is the mindset. So, it's nothing abstract. It's neurology, and we are equipped with that. With that, we are able to command our buddies, to connect with our bodies and to make physical impact or physical danger, just by thinking, go away or being neutralized. You see, it's really, really powerful what we have, only we have to connect with it.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that's what I've loved so much specifically about the cold is that, not that it does the work for you, but when you go into an extreme cold, it's like you have all of these feelings that happen and you don't have to ask for them to happen. They just happen. You feel more alive. You talk about in your book about how when you're in the extreme cold, you're not thinking about all your chronic stressors. You're not thinking about your job or your relationship because you're just dealing in that moment with the extreme temperature. Question to something you just talked about, so you were talking about how with the method, with the breathing exercises that the participants laying in bed had equivalent adrenaline to people about to bungee jump--
Wim Hof: More than. Not equivalent.
Melanie Avalon: More than people about to bungee jump. What about people who think that they're in a chronic state of stress and they feel like they're always having adrenaline going? So how does that help us who might be in a state of overstress?
Wim Hof: Yes. So, it is not because we do this consciously. We spike it, it's like pushing the button for reset within the body. And then directly afterwards, it goes into deep parasympathetic activity. So, nervous system, parasympathetic, nervous system activity, that means peace, rest, a deep rest. A rest, which has evicted the cortisol out of our body.
Melanie Avalon: Gotcha. With this punctuated, having a purposeful time to the extreme extent of having it and then on the other side going into that parasympathetic state, that is so incredible. Question, so you talked about how when you first started engaging in the cold and you realized that it made you gasp and you were breathing, so is the cold and the breathwork, are they working on the like the same mechanism of action, the same system?
Wim Hof: Absolutely. The breathing, I began to realize very soon by going into the cold water, which I liked, because it made me just connect from the gut inside my own body and it answered those questions I could not answer by thoughts or books, or talk. It is the deep connection within the gut, what is good for me? Who am I? I am me in the depths. That's at me in the depth and under surface and anything in between, that's me. When you go into the cold, you learn to go into deeper areas of your brain, into deeper areas of your presence, conscious experience. It shows. It shows that when you go into the cold, your limbic system and your brainstem gets more blood flow. Because we have been schooled so much into mathematics, history, regulations, moral ethics, what do you got to do, your career and this or that, their blood flow has learned to follow those neural pathways, and that's on the surface. That's the human brain. But we are more than the human brain alone.
Then what happens when you overthink, when you think, think, think, think, you get logically questions in yourself. Who am I? First, 25% of your blood flow is being deprived because of this thinking brain, asking for blood flow because of the neural activity on a constant basis. And then, 25% less blood flow goes into the limbic system, into the brainstem, and thus, you get a sense of who am I? I'm looking for something. Yeah, you look for a full brain functioning at your will. That was thought of impossible. So, they said, “16% only can be controlled at will in our brain, over our brain.” Let me tell you. We have been in one of the best brain scans in the world, doing these breathing exercises consciously and showing 100% neural activity and equal blood flow in all the brain. That means it opens up to our will now to go into any part of our brain because there is no overactivity, there is no narrowed neural pathway channeling, it is open. This is the school of life. We own our own mind. Only, we have never been schooled in that.
And now I just show nature has taught me to go into the cold water, you don't need to think. You can think but doesn't work. You have to be. What you learn therein is to bring blood flow in the deeper parts of your brain, and suddenly it all begins to be alive. That's why we feel ourselves so alive after going into a cold shower or in a cold bath. Different blood flows going on, different biochemistry, neural activity, that makes you feel alive. Like when you are in love, you don't ask yourself, “Am I in love?” You just want to go. And that feeling, we miss out on in society because we got a society built with all the extension tools, the industries, the warming devices, cold devices, cars, that are extensions of our thinking brain and are not connected with our deeper brain because the [unintelligible [00:27:34] don't come there from it.
Unconditionally, being in love with life, that's my goal for everybody. Spirituality, with two feet underground, is who we are and what we are. There, we have no questions. There, we are the questions and answers and anything else. We don't question ourselves. We just live our life and it's amazing because you are driven through the life, you never question yourself because it's there. It's amazing. And that’s direction I'm only pointing out through all kinds of studies, showing comparative studies, showing that we have the ability, born with so innately capacitated to control 100% of our brain, into the bone marrow, into the DNA.
I'm doing the research right now in San Francisco with top researchers, is coauthor with a Nobel Prize winner on DNA, Elizabeth Blackburn. They are doing the work in San Francisco in the university right now because they see this is the new direction. This is where humans actually need to go. Not to the moon, not to Mars, no, go within. There is an infinite amount of power of love, love for life without questions, without conditions, it's there. And that we are pointing out, Melanie. And for that, we do these podcasts because in the mainstream, still it is not understood that is this possible. Is this love? Is this [unintelligible [00:29:16] power or something? Or is this drugs? No. Get high on your own supply. This is what I'm telling everybody, and it's very simple. It's there. And if you begin to neurologically invest in who you are, then you will find the connection and bring the blood flow controlled in all of your brain connecting you with new neural pathways to all your systems, all your pathways. That means into the DNA, into the telomeres, into the proteins, into the bone marrow, into the T cells, the adaptive immune system, the endocrine system, all systems. Why should we not tell this to the people? Adamantly say, “It is there.” And that is the real schooling, and not the schooling that brings us to our careers, which is a serving a system, that is polluting the world, sodomizing the world, exploiting the world and its nature and the love and for what? For a couple of guys, for a couple of people who are pulling the strings. It is time that we begin to awaken up to our full potential and love is coming their way.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, this is so overwhelmingly beautiful. When you first started talking about how the blood flow in your method would move to different parts of the brain, like the limbic system, I was going to ask would that mean that it's just shifting our conscious like, interpretation of reality, because now the blood flow is somewhere different. But then, you were saying that the blood flow goes all over the brain. So, does that mean that we can only really experience our true complete existence if there's blood flow everywhere, if we're experiencing the entirety of our body all at once? At that same time, if there is blood flow everywhere, if we are experiencing everything, is that just a state of love? Or can we still have fears? Can we still have trauma? Can we still experience bad things? How do those relate?
Wim Hof: Through these techniques, they are very simple and very accessible. They are endorsed by science and it shows with millions of data that goes to a direction wherein we see, A, we are actually able willfully to do so much more than we thought possible. It is a shift of paradigm, and the paradigm is what we think. And what we think is the neural activity, electricity. It demands the body, it directs the body. But for that, it needs the biochemistry which is blood. Only when we go like we are neurologically conditioned, we are actually in a narrowed consciousness, and consciousness is perception. Perception is neurology.
We have been driven into a limited amount of neurological possibilities within our own brain. That's why we say, “Ah, only 16% can be controlled at will,” as if that is normal. As if evolution made us to have a brain, which is 84% not within our willful control. That is illogical. We are equipped with all what we have inside to come at terms, to connect with.
It's like the little baby, where there's nothing wrong with the baby in your hands, in your arms, and your [unintelligible [00:33:18], it's nothing wrong with the legs, but they're still not able to walk because the neurological connection still needs to be set. And we have a brain, but we never have been schooled to set the neurological pathways to all the parts of our brain. We actually do not own our own brain. Now, how can we learn? Yes, to do it, if you're long time have learned something in a certain way, sometimes it's quite difficult to unlearn that.
What I say for people without [unintelligible [00:34:01] trauma, or any shortage, or even genetical deficit because I'm going into the genetics very soon. We are into that, the genetical past, our ancestors, or something the natives know about naturally, intuitively. They always bless the ancestors of your past, like the seven generations before and the seven generations to come. They have this intuitive relationship with the DNA already set in. Only, we came, the Westerners, took over their land, took over the world, began to exploit the place, pollute the place and do all, and then think that it is without consequence. It is not without consequence, and we cannot just go on. Real power is the one who knows how to control and be happy, strong, and healthy any day, every day, begin to learn.
In the morning, when you wake up, today I'm going to be happy, strong, and healthy. And if something is there, breathe. Do these breathing exercises because they are able to do so much more than I can tell now within a couple of sentences, there's so much more. It's learning how to regulate your mood. The last study showed, the psychiatrist taught me, this is a transformational technique that will change mental healthcare. And that is exactly needed in this world right now. People have no hold over their mood. This is what I say in the morning, wake up and be happy, strong and healthy because that is your natural state of your mind and your body. That's the way we are equipped.
If that is not so, then make it a mantra like this. Just be happy, strong, and healthy. The rest is bullshit, and that bullshit, learn to defend yourself from it. Do not make it your own or when it's coming, then regulate your mood instantly by doing these breathing exercises. They've been showing itself within brain scans to go psychiatrically into a depth. They call it off inaccessible at will. And now it's there. It's simply there, and that the professors and doctors all over the world are not taking all this directly up is because we've got a sick industry. The pharmacy, the people in power, who want to dominate over us and to manipulate us and they don't want happy, strong, and healthy people. They give promises but they don't give the tools to be so, they don't get the schooling to be so. No, they want the power. I say this power is pathetic. It's sick and it makes the world go wrong. And we see that all over the world.
The world is in confusion right down. Now, some transition is going on and let it not be from one power system to another power system. Let people wake up to themselves. It has been shown in brain scans, in blood proof that we are capable to take over so much more control within ourselves and become independent of these systems. The systems up till now, they should be obsolete, like CTRL, ALT, Delete. The paradigm should shift because they are polluting the world, exploiting the world, making people insensitive to each other. And that is over because Mother Nature does not want this, this is bad. This is poison. For the world, for the upcoming generations, we need to stand up and it is time. If we want it, yes or no. It is time that we begin to awaken to our deeper neurology, deeper control to become nothing more than happy, strong, and healthy.
A happy person doesn't go to war. A happy person is not into possession. A happy person is just the radiating beautiful energy, good for the world, not intoxicating the world, not poisoning the world, not poisoning relationships. It does not happen, and that happens when we wake up to our innate capacity and it has been shown now in science that it is there, and that it is not for one person, it is for everybody. Everybody has those innate capacities to gain control over their endocrine system, immune system, over their metabolic activity within the cell, and so much more. It all has been very meticulously studied, and it shows only, “Hey, guys, it's time to take over our own mind and our own heart.” Heal the world, heal ourselves.
Melanie Avalon: I cannot agree more with everything that you said. I'm so glad you touched on the generational stress. There was this idea of seven generations but then you talked in your book about how scientifically they've shown stress from 11 generations continues. You posit this idea that we could actually through these methods revert ourselves to their original primordial state. That's just such a profound idea. So, I was wondering if you could expand on that a little bit more. Is it possible to remove the trauma from ourselves and revert to this state, like the original cell?
Wim Hof: Yes, Melanie. That's a good question. The purpose of this world four billion years ago was to be activated, ignited with light, with a soul. It came into the cell, began to compose amino acids, with mitochondria, with bacteria, with proteins, all kinds of things and it composed the cell. That was a miracle on its own. The manifestation of this set of lump of stone and gases like Venus or Mars, why is the earth so multi-diverse? Because there is a soul, guys. There's a soul, and the soul is not only inexplicable, we are able to become conscious of it. Become conscious of it, and we are now, after four billion years, it evolved to be able to neurologically express the soul’s presence for 100% through our brain, the seat of our mind.
And with that, in the process, we are able to take away the stress accumulated genetically, not from 11 generations, possibly from hundreds or from beginning of the cell. From the beginning of the cell, stress has been always there. Now we have seen in DNA research, how to learn to activate through hormetic exercising, to bring back into the primordial state of this cell, protected by cold shock proteins. These are like little guards. When those proteins are at work, then oxidative stress and inflammatory markers or inflammation is not able to get through the skin of the cell, because it is being protected by these guards, these cold shock proteins and they are being activated through this hormetic exercising. And this is done by these breathing exercises and going into cold because when the cell began four billion years ago to be composed, nature took care that it was protected from the acidic sea. The acidic sea which was hot and acidic, and for that, it needed those proteins.
But because we evolved and we got into comfort zone behavior, those protective proteins went away. There is no direct hostile environmental stress going on, on ourselves and thus the proteins get weaker. And thus, inflammation gets in, oxidative stress gets in. It damages our DNA. It damages and stresses up our telomeres, our genome expressions.
The thing is any stress now we are able to-- through our consciousness, that is the 100% ability to go within our brain. Through that, we are not only in 100% of our brain but connected with the cells. And our brain, our consciousness perception, that means neural pathways are able, when it is conscious, then it is gone past certain areas of the brain, which are the proteins, they say the guards, “Hey, this is okay, you can go in.”
Positive energy, your energy is able to go in, but negative energy like oxidative stress and inflammation is not able to go in. That means inflammation, oxidative stress does not go in within the cell and thus the cell is not in war anymore. There is peace. It can work out it. And suddenly, it switches to not survival, it switches into healing, it switches into repair. What needs to be repaired is what has happened in all the genetical path, of all what has been set in through our ancestors who have not worked out what this world is all about, and they have stress and trauma and all that. That now is able to be processed within that.
It's magic. Suddenly, we are able to enlighten the stress which was not worked out but passed on genetically into our moments and we don't know what happens but we don't feel good. We are into this, we get diseases and we don't know where it came from. Why? Because we lost our purpose. Our purpose is consciousness, is to widen our consciousness, is to expand our consciousness. And consciousness now, it's nothing abstract, it's neurology. Those are neural pathways. We have learned a way to make use or being used within our brain, to only use a part of our brain and the rest is not important. We are mostly into survival, but we are not into the purpose of our being in this world. Thus, we don't feel so good. And that's logical because if you're disconnected or living half, or the blood flows a lot less in certain parts of the brain, it's like survival. It's not enough thriving.
Going back in the end, it is time for the soul to appear. It is time that we learn to love, and love this time is a guarantee. A person who is happy is not going to war. He’s not into possession. He’s just being happy. He is healing the world. He is healing his surrounding. He is healing his nature. His nature is healing by itself. And that unconditional love, that is the true purpose of our soul. And that's what the soul wants. The soul, the way it came in four billion years ago, now is able to meet people, to awaken to 100% control within the brain, which is the seat of the mind, which is able to bring enlightenment and protection from inflammation, oxidative stress in any way within the deepest of ourselves. And thus, we're going to free the spirits of our past who are still trapped and entangled. Then, we will feel enlightenment.
Enlightenment is not something egocentric. It's to enlighten the burden and the traumas of the past ancestors. That's why we are here. That is our purpose to be here every day and to work it out, to get through the mud, and to do it all because you are the captain of your soul, you are the master of your mind. That is the way that our children should learn what is happiness, strength, besides of mathematics, language and history. I can go on, but we are absolutely into this direction. I will not cease and not stop until it's all there and everybody begins to understand. “Shit, man. He is right.” Shit, man. I was always right. I'm going to be in love with life every day. And if it is not happening, then I will find a way to love again, to shine through it, and to enlighten it all.
Melanie Avalon: I will say to that point, getting people to actually experience this. That's one of the reasons I always loved the cold, like I said, was because it just forced you into these experiences and these realizations. You didn't have to think about it or do a lot of work. You just went in the cold and you felt this way. For listeners looking to implement your method, and they're probably really excited, really wanting to try, but there's the cold exercises, there's the breathwork. What does that look like practically? How long does it take? How fast can people experience it? For listeners, by the way, if you get Wim’s book, The Wim Hof Method, it's all in there.
By the way, Wim, I've been doing the cold for years, but now since reading your new book, I've started doing your breathwork exercises, and they are profound. They're profound. And they don't take a lot of time either, it is just amazing. So, yeah, tell listeners a little bit about how they can actually start doing your method.
Wim Hof: Yeah, sure. It doesn't take long. The best is done when you wake up and you are of an empty stomach, then the breath really is able to access all systems because it is not being blocked through the digestive system where you eat, oxygen goes over there. You want to have it to go freely all over the body, create flow. And within 10 minutes, you can look for yourself with these acidic alkaline papers. There are papers, this test.
Melanie Avalon: Like test strips? Urine tests?
Wim Hof: Yeah. That you alkalize the blood actually within 10 minutes doing this breathwork. That is amazing. If you just look at it, you are the alchemist. You are able within 10 minutes to change the biochemistry in your blood. And the consequence is that once you become alkaline controlled, the outcome of your performance is a lot better because the neural activity goes a lot better in an alkaline environment, biochemical environment. Do it because it is simple, accessible, very powerful, that go very deeply within your biochemistry. And you will learn that the investment is by far the outcome. That is one thing about the breathing.
It's about 20 minutes. 20 minutes in the morning, just do it once. If it doesn't work, then you'll never do it again. But if it works, then you will feel what I try to make you understand. It is terrific, but after you feel it, it is more than the worth. And that I really want you to experience. So, that is one.
The cold shower. If you take a cold shower, then end it up with a cold shower. If you take a shower, and you take it hot and warm, nice, but [unintelligible [00:52:12] cold, because it is the best vascular fitness exercise we are not aware, really aware of. Killer number one in society is still cardiovascular-related diseases. That's why I say always, “A cold shower a day keeps the doctor away.” You learn to exercise your veins, your arteries, and your capillaries where they contain millions of little muscles. And our biggest organ, which is our skin, is always covered with clothes. So, it's destimulated for environmental changes, like cold and heat, and then it works on the skin. But now, it's covered, so it's always destimulated. It's like muscles are not exercised and they become weak. And What happens is that the vascular system, the blood flow doesn't go as well as it could. Through a cold shower, you train all these millions of little muscles, they help the blood flow go through, which is the transportation system. They make the veins, the arteries, the capillaries react, that means opening and closing, they become very flexible. Then, the heart rate goes down with 20 to 30 beats a minute 24 hours a day, and the blood reaches the cell much better, with more oxygen, more nutrients, and vitamins in a faster, better way. And thus, you get a lot more energy.
So, you get more energy and less stress by taking just a cold shower. Besides of that, it's the best skincare you can ever imagine because all these pores, all these thermoreceptors and natural receptors in the skin, they suddenly are much more alive. And when blood flow goes, there is life. That's what your skin really wants, not a cover-up. No, real blood, real blood flow to the skin, that's amazing, so just to know.
And then the mindset, really your mind is able to influence into your body, that's a natural state, and our natural state of our mind should be when we are being, we should be in peace, not into this running hamster in the head. No, feel peace, be peace. When we think, then we think very concentrated neural activity for solutions, and that concentration, meditation-- they compared the breathing exercises in a study of brain scans with people who are doing four hours of mindfulness a day for years, and then looking at the brain scan what was happening in those minds and those brains. And then, they saw people doing this breathing exercise, they went deeper within 10 minutes inside of the brain. That means, you learn to let go in you. Consciously, you learn to go into areas of the brain, even deeper than people who practice mindfulness four hours a day for years. And that is what you can experience, and that should be your mind state, your state of mind when you wake up. You are the master of your mind. But if you don't own your mind, it goes everywhere. And you are more or less defective of what are the result of what you have done all and what the way you are schooled and the way they demand upon you and society and this and that and you don't know. It should be peace.
It should be peace because everybody who owns his own mind, isn't neurological possible connection to activate parasympathetic, deep neural system activity at will. That is peace. More than a person who is four hours a day doing mindfulness for years. You see what I mean?
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, that is shocking. Wow. Listeners, it's so accessible. And that was one of the things I love that you talk about in your book was how ultimate freedom is with control because I think a lot of times people think, oh, control, that's more stressful, or that's not what we should be aiming for. But you talk about how having control over your mind really is the ultimate freedom and it's just so incredible.
Wim Hof: Exactly. I always say this, Melanie. The person who owns his own mind is able to access into any part of his own mind. And the mind has unlimited power. The power of the unlimited mind now is able to be accessed in consciously. And part of the mind is not action, it's pure peace.
Melanie Avalon: For example, like the hysterical strength when people find they can suddenly lift a car off a child. Is that the power that we have in us all the time, we're just not accessing it?
Wim Hof: Yes, external triggers. We do not experience them. We are living a conditioned neurological pattern that makes us actually disconnect from the deeper parts of our brain, which is so much more stronger than our willful control now gives to us. And how to access into that, it is possible, but in the end, the brain is not about performance, the brain is about to have it within control. Control the brain or the mind in control is your best friend. The mind not in control is your worst enemy. This is long time known in the Scriptures, but that in the esoteric Scriptures, it was always made so far away. So, esoteric, enlightenment, and enormous superpowers and this and that, “I just want to be happy guys. That's all. I want to make my people happy and I want to heal people. Makes me happy. Makes me happy in my soul. It gives me deep purpose every day. I'm attaining to that goal." I think that is a superpower is to heal people, to bring joy and happiness to people.
If I want to climb a mountain or do crazy stuff, etc., I'm able to do that. But that was only a part of the journey. The real journey has now begun. I get letters on a frequent basis of people saying that I saved their life, that they cast away the darkness within that they have lived in, those anxiety, deep anxiety. And now, every day, they are so thankful for just a day. Why do we need to live so much darkness to understand what is the light? What is just simple happiness/ That now is there. I want to give that to people without any condition, for free, and keep on going until it's done.
And there's a lot of work needed to be done. That's why I'm doing this science. I'm doing the science to the point of or to the level of the DNA, the building blocks of life itself, and show. I showed in the deepest of the brain. I showed into the bone marrow with the T cells, the B cells. As you said, in the beginning, the specific immune system, for example, thought of impossible because disease is a real cause of suffering for so many people. If we could take away or give a direction to the people that are learning how to regulate your own mood and to beat inflammation and pain is possible, that will be freaking amazing to give to anybody, anytime.
And that's more than lifting up 1,000 kilos or 2,000 pounds, and all these things. Though I've been able to do all those things, but I'm not really interested. I do my nice stretching in the morning. I take my ice bath. I do a nice planking. I look good, I feel good, and I'm ready, ready to take on and change the world. I'm a simple man that just wants to change the world.
Melanie Avalon: I'm so glad you said that because it's so true, because you do have all these records and it can be easy, I think, for people to think, “Oh, this is about performance or a certain feat or a certain award," but it's not that. It's like what you just said, it's this state of happiness and love that we all can exist in. One of the things that was so haunting from your book was you talked about how somebody once told you that you gave them their soul back. And that is just so, so beautiful and so inspiring.
Wim Hof: It makes me cry. It makes me surrender so completely. We have to teach this to our children. That is the most powerful thing you can do within yourself and to others. And the rest is frustration and impotence and aggression and anger, it's no control. Control comes from the soul expressing itself and that's always through love. It's amazing what it brings every day.
Melanie Avalon: Well, thank you so much for your work and what you're doing. For listeners, Wim is so kind, he's actually going to give away two online courses as a gift. So, I'll put a link to that in the show notes. The link will be at wimhofmethod.com/elearning/fundamentals and then the code will be MelanieAvalon, so you can jump right into this work. I have to ask you really quickly because we were talking before the call. If somebody wants to take their cold exposure to the next step in house and they live, not in Alaska, I want to live in Alaska, but they don't. You said I could get an ice chest and fill it with water.
Wim Hof: Chest freezer, make sure that you seal it with silicone glue, you can buy that in any mall, department store, on the sides and then fill it up with water so much that when you go in and sit in, you sit in until your neck. So much water because when you go in, you have volume, so the water should not be up to the top. Just look a little bit about those practical things and then you get the electricity in. And every time when you go in into the chest freezer, which by the way makes the water cold, just overnight. It doesn't matter if you live in Florida or in California or in Atlanta, because it gets very hot over there, I know, and all that. It's going to be Alaska, Alaska all the time.
When you go into the chest freezer, it's really freaking freezing cold. And it's done. So, it's amazing what it does. It's all the thermogenesis is gone and learning how the adaptive immune system, how the adaptive processes in the body to the deepest are working. Nothing will be a secret for you anymore with a daily ice bath. A chest freezer, and make sure that every time when you go in, you get the electricity unplugged.
Melanie Avalon: Right. Can I keep it outside the chest freezer or does it need to be inside?
Wim Hof: No, it doesn't matter. Wherever you have space.
Melanie Avalon: I was so excited. I ordered a chest freezer right before COVID started for my meat and then I was like, “I'm going to order another one for an ice bath.” But then, they were all out of stock because of quarantine and everything, but I think if I can get one now. I'm so excited. Okay, I'm doing this. I'm doing this. This is great.
Wim Hof: It's amazing. Alaska. Just buy Alaska. Put Alaska on it. I go to Alaska. [laughs]
Melanie Avalon: Every day. Okay, I'm going to Alaska, friends, every day. Well, this has been absolutely wonderful. I'm just in awe. Thank you for talking with me. Thank you for talking to my audience. Thank you for what you're doing. It's just nobody else is doing this. And it is so incredible. You're providing the tools to people to make these profound changes in their life and you're doing all the scientific research to back it up. So, hopefully, we'll continue to see a paradigm shift in the literature, in education. We've just got to keep spreading the message. So, this brings me to the last question that I ask every single guest on this podcast. And it's just because I realize more and more every day, like you said, how important mindset is. What is something that you're grateful for?
Wim Hof: Well, for life itself, the love. My oldest son is 37, and I got a two year and nine months old little son, my youngest son. And he is just irrationally, absolutely cute. And every day I'm so bloody grateful that I look at him. How is this possible? I'm just standing still. I'm also very much involved with my work. Then comes the day, and the chest freezer, and going into Alaska, and then going to do my planking for six minutes, seven minutes and then do my exercise. I feel great every day. So, from there, I just jump in, what can I do for the rest of humanity, for all the animals and all the living beings? Because I'm ready, every day.
Melanie Avalon: Thank you, Wim. This is incredible. Thank you so much. Hopefully, we can talk again in the future. You're amazing and I am so inspired for life, and I know my listeners are as well. Thank you.
Wim Hof: Melanie, great work you're doing by bringing consciousness and insights of so many angles to the people. Very good and very lovable. Thank you very much.
Melanie Avalon: Thanks, Wim. Thank you.