Your mind is an amazing tool
The Holy Trinity
Nature shows us that we cannot capture knowledge, but that we must be knowledge. We can’t just say that if you have brown fat, you can take anything. New. You also need the power of your mind. When you realize the true magnitude of the power of the mind, you are essentially just developing neurological pathways that contribute to a new reality. This is the holy trinity: the cold as a mirror , the breath as a guide, and the mind (or mindset) as a creator.
The proofs of the self-healing ability
According to science, we cannot control our autonomic nervous system, the deepest part of our nervous system. But I defied that assumption. I also defied the belief that it takes decades of yoga to gain such control over your body. We did that through the breathing techniques, by holding the breath.
In collaboration with researchers from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (rmit) in Australia, we had more than three thousand people complete a questionnaire. Among them were more than a hundred people who claimed that the method helped them relieve or even completely eliminate the symptoms of arthritis. Another fifty respondents answered that the method helped them put their cancer into remission. And many more people reported relief from chronic pain. The response was, in a word, overwhelming.
I have now participated in dozens of studies by researchers at Radboudumc and other leading scientific institutions in various places in the world. Those studies have yielded great results. And in addition to the controversial discovery that we as humans are able to consciously influence our autonomic nervous system, our endocrine system and our immune system, we have shown that the method can be used as a natural form of treatment for a large number of diseases, conditions and disorders.
The influence of optimism on your immune system
Your attitude can strongly influence your physiology. A 2015 proof-of-principle study, which was an extension of the Radboudumc endotoxin experiment, found that a higher degree of optimism could be associated with a stronger immune response. Your mind is an amazing tool.
Personal story: the Wim Hof Method and chronic pain
My life changed when a medical error was made during hip replacement surgery. Additional surgeries did not improve and I suffered from chronic pain and physical limitations every day. But then I was introduced to the Wim Hof method, and my life changed completely.
The method gave me the insights and skills I needed to fundamentally improve the quality of my life, despite the pain and physical limitations. Pain is a complex phenomenon that can have a huge impact on life. If you’re in pain every day, you can get into a negative spiral. Ultimately, this can lead to depression, social isolation and drug dependence.
It can also have a negative effect on your work and relationships. But thanks to the Wim Hof Method I no longer had to take medication and I was able to influence my pain in a natural way. Through concentration, breathing exercises and cold training I was able to produce the morphine hormones and cannabinoids that relieve pain. Pain may be part of life, but with the Wim Hof method we can gain control over it.
Exercise: Breathing for Regulating Pain
1: Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. When you are relaxed, focus your attention on where you feel the pain. Then breathe in and out slowly and deeply five times.
2: Then take twenty deep breaths. All the way in, and relaxed out again. Don’t force anything.
3: On the last exhale, exhale completely, then inhale all the way once more and hold your breath for ten seconds.
4: Focus your attention on the area of pain while holding your breath, and ‘push’ the held breath in the direction of the pain. Tighten the muscles around the pain area as well.
5: Breathe out relaxed and release all tension. See the pain as a signal. Motivate yourself to listen to and tune in to this signal. This signal makes it clear that the chemistry in this area needs to change, or is changing. Positive thoughts or a positive mindset influence your perception of pain. It’s not about suppressing the pain signal, but changing the chemistry that causes the pain.
If you have not yet been to a specialist or doctor for (chronic) pain, it is advisable to do so.