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Novel study is first to demonstrate brain mechanisms that give “The Iceman” unusual resistance to cold – The findings suggest that his method could be relevant for management of some autoimmune and psychiatric disorders

‘Novel study is first to demonstrate brain mechanisms that give “The Iceman” unusual resistance to cold – The findings suggest that his method could be relevant for management of some autoimmune and psychiatric disorders’, http://research.wayne.edu/news/novel-study-is-first-to-demonstrate-brain-mechanisms-that-give-the-iceman-unusual-resistance-to-cold-29291, Wayne State University (February 28, 2018)

The immune system and psychiatry

Practice of the Wim Hof Method made Hof’s skin temperature relatively invariant to cold exposure. (…) The method appeared to allow him to generate heat that dissipates to lung tissue and warms circulating blood in the pulmonary capillaries. (…) The willful regulation of skin temperature — and, by implication, core body temperature, even when the body is being stressed with cold — is an unusual occurrence and may explain his resistance to frostbite. (…) The researchers hypothesize that by generating a stress-induced analgesic response in periaqueductal gray matter, the Wim Hof Method may promote the spontaneous release of opioids and cannabinoids in the brain. This effect has the potential to create a feeling of well-being, mood control and reduced anxiety. (…) Results document compelling brain processes in The Iceman and present intriguing possibilities for how his techniques might exert positive effects related to disorders of the immune system and even psychiatry. (…) These possibilities are too intriguing to ignore.

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