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Mind over Matter with Wim Hof, a.k.a. the Iceman

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by on 11-29-2011 at 09:00 AM (2620 Views)
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Wim Hof, a.k.a. the Iceman, is an extraordinary human being. According to the Huffington Post, the 52 year-old Dutchman holds an uncanny ability to control his body temperature and withstand extreme cold. He also holds multiple records, including a Guinness world record for running a half marathon (13.1 miles), barefoot, wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, in the snow, above the Arctic Circle in northern Finland. I would say this guy give new meaning to the term 'tough as nails.'

In 2007 Wim attempted to summit Everest wearing nothing but a pair of shorts and sandals. He turned back after suffering frostbite, but not before reaching 24,300 feet. The following year, he again stunned the public when he remained encased in an ice-filled tank for 71 minutes, a world record at the time.

To see some of Wim's talents in action, check out one of his recent Columbia Sportswear commercials:



Normally, the unprotected human body will start to suffer the effects of hypothermia within minutes of being exposed to extreme cold. So how can Wim do what he does? It may be as simple as mind over matter. According to Science Daily, Wim appears to have a unique ability to mentally influence his body's response to cold and even suppress his immune system response, something he does using meditative techniques. Although Wim claims he has no formal training, he may be unknowingly performing a unique type of meditation similar to one used by Tibetan monks to increase body temperature.

"I never had a teacher, and I never had lessons, other than hard Nature itself," Wim claims. "If you do it wrong, it hurts and you take some knocks, and if you do it right, then you really learn."

What's your remedy for withstanding the cold winter? Personally, I think I'll stick to a warm sweater, some wool socks and a hot cup of cocoa!

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