How to survive in extreme temperatures? Secrets of the Ice Man
Wim Hof known as IceMan – the Ice Man, has to his credit remarkable records related to prolonged exposure to extremely low and high temperatures. Many consider it an impostor trying to cash in on people’s gullibility. But its ability was looked at by scientists and they came to some interesting conclusions.
Unraveling the mystery of Wim Hof’s extraordinary abilities has been undertaken by researchers at Wayne State University in Michigan, USA. The results of the study were published in the journal „Neuroimage”.
Wim Hof was born in 1959 in the Netherlands and has lived in Amsterdam for many years. The man claims to have found waysob to control body temperature only through willpower, meditation techniques and self-control. He calls his skills „Wim Hof’s method”. The point is m.in. o fast, shortoshort breaths, whichore cause a kind of hyperventilation of the body.
Scientists wondered if the man was just an intelligent charlatan, or if there was something more behind his method. The reason for the researchers’ interest was roThe various records broken by Hof. He spent nearly two hours submerged in ice, ran a marathon at minus 15 degrees Celsius and in the Namibian desert at plus 40 degrees Celsius without taking in water. On top of that, in just shorts and boots, he climbed Kilimanjaro, prowas also in the same wayob conquer Mount Everest, but due to a foot injury had to end the adventure at 7400 metersow.
Interestingly, despite the extreme conditionsow Hof’s body temperature does not change. Research has previously confirmed that a man can to some extent control the level of cortisol and the content of cytokines in his body.
Wayne University researchers conducted the scans mozgu and Hof’s body when exposed to extreme cold. The study lasted three days, using twooch roof the following methods: functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET).
With this, experts wanted to find out what happens in Hof’s muscles and head when exposed to extremely cold temperatures. The researchers put a special suit on Hof’s body, to which theorego they injected alternately cold and heated water inducing states close to hypothermia. The reactions of Hof’s body when he used his technique and when he did not use it were studied. The results were porownane with the results of other osob participating in the experiment.
Scientists have found that Hof’s body maintains the same temperature even when exposed to the cold. The PET study showed that the breathing technique warmed the blood in the lungs, whichora then circulated better in the body. In someoHof’s muscles experienced an increase in innervation and glucose consumption.
In contrast, fMRI studies revealed increased activity in an unexpected area of the mozgu. – Regulating sk temperatureory (and thus the temperature of the entire body) only by force of will, an unusual circumstance thatora can explain Hof’s resistance to frostbite – mowi Otto Muzik, a researcher involved in the project.
– After our earlier arrangements, we thought that mozg „Ice Man” will show increased activity in the area responsible for the body’s thermoregulation. Instead, we observed changes in the gray matter. This area is linked to a person’s sensation of bolu and with the ability to control it by releasing opioidow and cannabinoidow – Muzik adds.
In their conclusions, the researchers write that they are intrigued by the possibilities that Wim Hof’s method used in medicine would offer. However, many researchers remain skeptical of the method and consider Wim Hof to be a clever charlatan, ktory wants to make money on people’s gullibility.