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Wim Hof ice baths and cold showers are rewriting the medical textbooks and for our brain health.

Dr Diwadkar,professor of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences. has imaged the Iceman's brain- Wim Hof.

Listen to Episode #90 of the Thriving Minds podcast.

This is an excerpt from Diwadkar and Muzik paper and news press from Wayne State University and first discovery.

  • "They have shown how his brain responds during experimentally controlled whole-body cold exposure.

  • Over three days, Muzik and Diwadkar studied Hof's brain and body functions using two distinct imaging techniques -- including functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study his brain and positron emission tomography (PET) to study his body.

  • During the studies, Hof wore a specifically designed whole-body suit the researchers could infuse with temperature-controlled water while the imaging data were acquired in order to relate changes in his biology to cold exposure.

  • The practice of the Wim Hof Method may lead to tonic changes in autonomous brain mechanisms, a speculation that has implications for managing medical conditions ranging from diseases of the immune system to more intriguingly psychiatric conditions such as mood and anxiety disorders," said Diwadkar,

  • "We are in the process of implementing interventional studies that will evaluate these questions using behavioral and biological assessments. These possibilities are too intriguing to ignore."

"Brain over body"-A study on the willful regulation of autonomic function during cold exposure

The defense of body temperature against environmental thermal challenges is a core objective of homeostatic regulation governed by the autonomic nervous system. Autonomous mechanisms of thermoregulation are only weakly affected by top-down modulation, allowing only transient tolerance for extreme cold. There is however, anecdotal evidence of a unique set of individuals known for extreme cold tolerance. Here we present a case study of a 57-year old Dutch national, Wim Hof, the so-called "Iceman", with the ability to withstand frequent prolonged periods of extreme cold exposure based on the practice of a self-developed technique involving a combination of forced breathing, cold exposure and meditation (collectively referred to as the Wim Hof Method, henceforth "WHM").

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