Doctor Dissects the Wim Hof Method - Cold Hard Science Analysis

  • Published: 27 June 2019
  • Get 1 no-obligation month of unlimited CuriosityStream at using the promo code ‘medlife’. Go take a look at the rest of the Human Limits series!

    If It Ducks Like a Quack is a series where I seek to find the truth (if any) behind high profile medical claims, while attempting to teach critical analysis of scientific statistics.

    A HUGE thank you to Scott Carney. Seriously, if you enjoy this channel you will love his book. Go here:
    His RUclip is here:

    I'm a cardiologist and academic and this is an overly detailed look at the Wim Hof Method.

    For those that might ask: yes I've tried the technique, quite extensively. But I haven't shared those experiences as they're not relevant to an attempt at unbiased scientific appraisal.

    More Medlife Crisis:


    The Dark Glow of the Mountains by Chris Zabriskie, Fly Inverted Past a Jenny by Chris Zabriskie, Take Off and Shoot a Zero by Chris Zabriskie are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution licence (

    Main references:
    Neurocognitive and Somatic Components of Temperature Increases during g-Tummo Meditation: Legend and Reality
    Voluntary activation of the sympathetic nervous system and attenuation of the innate immune response in humans
    The role of outcome expectancies for a training program consisting of meditation, breathing exercises, and cold exposure on the response to endotoxin administration: a proof-of-principle study
    Frequent Extreme Cold Exposure and Brown Fat and Cold-Induced Thermogenesis: A Study in a Monozygotic Twin
    The Influence of Concentration/Meditation on Autonomic Nervous System Activity and the Innate Immune Response: A Case Study
    “Brain over body”–A study on the willful regulation of autonomic function during cold exposure
    The role of outcome expectancies for a training program consisting of meditation, breathing exercises, and cold exposure on the response to endotoxin administration: a proof-of-principle study
    Evolution from four mental states to the highest state of consciousness: A neurophysiological basis of meditation as defined in yoga texts
    Brown adipose tissue
    Kirsi, A., Virtanen, M. D., Lidel, M. E., Orava, J., Heglind, M., Westergren, R., Niemi,
    T., Taittonen, M., Laine, J., Savisto, N. J., Enerbäck, S.,& Nuutila, P. (2009).
    Functional brown adipose tissue in healthy adults. The New England Journal of
    Medicine, 360, 1518-1525
    Controlled Hyperventilation After Training May Accelerate Altitude Acclimatization [Letter]
    Effect of two breathing exercises (Buteyko and pranayama) in asthma: a randomised controlled trial.
    Buteyko breathing techniques in asthma: a blinded randomised controlled trial.
    Buteyko Breathing Technique for asthma: an effective intervention.
    A randomised controlled trial of the Buteyko technique as an adjunct to conventional management of asthma.

Comments • 1 484

  • Medlife Crisis
    Medlife Crisis   3 months back

    This video is long as I wanted to tackle as much as I could. It might not be for everyone but if the thought of all 44 minutes gives you chills, here's a cool table of contents:
    00:00:04 Intro
    00:01:19 Why this isn't about my own experiences
    00:02:04 The problem with many 'WHM science' videos and blogs
    00:02:56 Structure of the video
    00:03:21 This is not about Wim Hof, it's about the method
    00:04:13 Scott Carney on the general concept behind the WHM
    00:05:54 The pillars of the WHM, its origins and basic outline
    00:07:40 Scott Carney on why Wim differs from 'gurus' he's encountered before
    00:09:21 Running order of the science
    00:09:52 The WHM and cold resistance - how does it work?
    00:12:24 The WHM and brown fat
    00:15:20 How tummo/chandali/WHM breathing heats you up
    00:17:00 The WHM and breathing - effects of hyperventilation
    00:17:41 Rhonda Patrick and Pierre Capel on alkalosis
    00:19:25 Are these effects long term?
    00:20:48 Priming the sympathetic nervous system - a key step
    00:22:41 The WHM and the immune system - the reality including analysis of the endotoxin study
    00:24:55 The pros and cons of the endotoxin study
    00:26:38 Good and bad stress
    00:28:09 The WHM and altitude sickness (ft Scott Carney)
    00:33:46 Putting every claim into 3 categories of plausibility
    00:41:42 The one line summary for the truly attention-deficient
    00:43:06 Don't send money, just watch this bit if you want to support the channel
    00:43:57 Insert joke here


    • parasu108 parasu108
      parasu108 parasu108  3 weeks back

      ​@Leanne Griffin Dr's have to spend so much time in medical school because it actually takes many years to indoctrinate and convince them to serve such a corrupt, hypocritical, harmful institution. I have studied them for many years and they are such a powerful multinational parasitic world-wide evil in our world. Along with the food industry they poison and kill us in far more ways than they help and are simply a profitable corporate enterprise created by atheists who's consciences allow them to do anything! all you have to do is look at what they and their sister corporations have done to the oceans, lands, rivers, and air to see that poisoning people bodies and minds is the least of their crimes! they are implicated fully in the world-wide decline in mental and physical health and the increase in mental illness, neurotic identity confused, depressed, obese, diabetic, suicidal, insane populations in all our modern cultures! they are doing some truly sick things, like using aborted baby fetus in immunizations of other babies! this is a form of cannibalism, they are implicated in all manner of such ethically, morally, and logically degraded things? So as authorities they are not qualified to lead a race of rats, and those that ignorantly support and promote them for their own selfish lifestyles and gain are mad! and as indoctrinated and foolish as the most stupid ignorant and traitorous people among us! they have no zero qualifications to be any kind of authority! lol hows that?

    • Leanne Griffin
      Leanne Griffin  3 weeks back

      I'd love your oppinon on Dr Bruce Lipton and epigenetics

    • parasu108 parasu108
      parasu108 parasu108  4 weeks back

      Pretty ignorant video really, His only source of authority is the corrupt multinational parasite medical industry? do we still accept these criminal parasites and their scientists as authorities?

    • Matt Boothman
      Matt Boothman  4 weeks back

      Could you do a video about how much doctors _really_ know about drugs they prescribe? How much access they have to information about drugs, other than "this is prescribed to treat X" and "the side effects are X, Y and Z"? Do doctors have access to all the trial data? Do they need trial data? How useful is trial data?

    • Barry B
      Barry B  4 weeks back

      Hello doc.

      Why whas the conclusion of the experiment with the cold/hot vest that it was controled by Wim's mind? He was allowed to do his breathing technique's, why couldn't the effect only be because of his breathing exercises?
      Thank's for the great video!

  • lee norson
    lee norson  14 hours back

    Really really important question.... Maybe dumb... But is this meditation going to hurt me if i have adrenal fatigue?

    • Springteen
      Springteen  15 hours back

      If it’s about oxygen intake then why not walk around with oxygen tank ( save time and less tiring)

      • Jenny Sebbo9
        Jenny Sebbo9  17 hours back

        Carnivore diet is the best.

        • Simple Guy
          Simple Guy  21 hours back

          is cold shower or mixing hot and cold shower could benefit vassels and vascular system in general?

          • Tube Valve
            Tube Valve  23 hours back

            Bottom line is almost no value in WHM to achieve some radical improvements. Yes, there are some benefits, but don't expect miracles. What is quite possible, thank you !!!

            • Humberto Lopez
              Humberto Lopez  1 days back

              Can you get damage for the holding breath or the hyperventilation ? Or deamage ur blood pressure

              • delyth
                delyth  1 days back

                keep on taking the orthodox pills guy's see how long you live

                • Important History Lessons

                  This video is absolutely is brilliant, excellent!

                  • Ольга Каштальянова

                    Пожалуйста, переведите на русский

                    • G T
                      G T  1 days back

                      adversarial 31:33

                      • Candice Witzkoske
                        Candice Witzkoske  2 days back

                        Can’t just listening to 432hz or 528hz frequencies do the same?

                        • Douglas Sunlin
                          Douglas Sunlin  2 days back

                          I have profound doubts about this method.
                          Mainly, I wonder that the many (Thousands? Millions?) of humans who have died from hypothermia over the ages, merely needed to learn how to hyperventilate.
                          Secondly, if Wim had obtained this skill naturally, without studying the science, applying it to himself, and developing results, then he'd be the worst person to teach it. He may be simply genetically abnormal (and he's been found to have significant brown fat), in which case this can't be taught through breathing techniques.
                          People who have paid to attend his classes will have "drunk the Koolaid" and it will be rare to find someone who will admit that they have bought into a false cult.
                          It's certainly possible to learn enough self-hypnosis to alter one's response to pain. Since one of the first responses to cold is pain, then one can mask the sensation of hypothermia through this self-hypnosis. If that's all that this is, then I'd call this very dangerous.

                          • Goethe's Faust
                            Goethe's Faust  2 days back

                            I can't believe you pulled the bat credit card in 2019, and I love you for that.

                            Thank you deeply for the sound analysis amidst so much hype behavior!

                            • Curious One75
                              Curious One75  2 days back

                              What do we need to get to the Moon?
                              The Will to do it.
                              And THATS exactly what it boils down to.

                              As you stated at the beginning... You are critical, and you are a scientist.
                              Look at the data, and blend out your cognitive bias because as you said... its all "pseudo-science" anyways.
                              And perhaps buy a book from Rupert Sheldrake : The Science Delusion

                              • Mary Kaminski
                                Mary Kaminski  2 days back

                                I'm just curious if you tried the Wim Hof method yourself? Also I would like to say that you kept saying you hold your breath during his method now I'm sorry it is retention not holding your breath that makes the difference the holding of the breath is the last step of the three step process I'm not sure I follow you on what you're saying here because you're not really explaining his process properly they are for I'm not sure f what you're saying here should be considered valid. I have been doing them off for almost a year now and for me I have not been sick ever since I've done it and it has helped my hands with arthritis the Bones have gone down that's just me everybody is different all I'm saying is I'm 53 and it has helped me so good luck to you little doctor that you are. As they say namaste

                                • Adrian Lee
                                  Adrian Lee  2 days back

                                  Controlling breathing to control temperature. So Avatar the Legend of Aang was right?

                                  • Raziel De Melo
                                    Raziel De Melo  2 days back

                                    You had 50% credibility, then I noticed the human skull crotch and realized you are indeed 100% incredible. Like your skull, that last part goes both ways. ;-P

                                    • Dave Manthey
                                      Dave Manthey  2 days back

                                      Nice skeleton in the background. I know a few 'dickheads' just like it.

                                      • Nathan
                                        Nathan  2 days back


                                        • Dan Bujor
                                          Dan Bujor  2 days back

                                          Why your science cannot what he does ?

                                          • Lynne Turner
                                            Lynne Turner  3 days back

                                            I think most doctors are drug pushers who work for drug companies. It doesn't pay them if we are healthy. By the way should we trust a doctor who a skeleton with a pelvis for it's head and it's head, look close, in it's crotch ?

                                            • Cavelle Ardiel
                                              Cavelle Ardiel  3 days back

                                              Fantastic talk. I really appreciate how thorough and thoughtful you are with this video.

                                              • JOE peeer
                                                JOE peeer  4 days back

                                                thnk u,,,u handsome devil

                                                • Mud Puppy
                                                  Mud Puppy  4 days back

                                                  😂 took me 5 minutes to notice the skeleton in the background. Hilarious!!!

                                                  • Dragan Radonja
                                                    Dragan Radonja  4 days back

                                                    16:30ish you show a graph from a study with hot/cold suit, where Wim is able to regulate his skin temperature by generating heat in his chest muscles... but where does to cooling part happen, where is his AC, because generating heat with muscle contractions is somewhere logical, but it doesn`t really explain how he is able to lower his body temperature when the super-suit gets hot??

                                                    • Bobby Brady
                                                      Bobby Brady  4 days back

                                                      Learn the meaning of the word evidence, doctor. A large number of anecdotes pointing towards something is certainly evidence. Evidence is simply data that ***indicates*** something is or is not. For example, the vast majority of paranormal activity is based on anecdotes. Skeptics and so-called scientists, who apparently have no idea what the word evidence means, will always say that their is no evidence to support paranormal activity. That’s just ignorant nonsense. Human history is littered with evidence of paranormal activity.

                                                      What they are thinking of is proof. Evidence is not synonymous with proof.

                                                      • Devastated Pigeon
                                                        Devastated Pigeon  5 days back

                                                        I like his sense of humor and the skeleton in the background lol.

                                                        • Ryukikon
                                                          Ryukikon  6 days back

                                                          I made it through 2:27 secs and there are already fallacies present in this video. I will try to make it through the end. These fallacies are also pretty bad esp on the grounds of using science.

                                                          • Agus Puig
                                                            Agus Puig  6 days back

                                                            a doctor with charisma? i thought quantum mechanics forbid this

                                                            • Christopher Robleto-Harvey

                                                              amazing video!!! thank you!

                                                              • Tim Schwoegler
                                                                Tim Schwoegler  1 weeks back

                                                                Wrong about wim being a genetic exception, he has an identical twin brother that can’t do any of the feats he’s done but through training and practicing he was able too

                                                                • Jamilio Roy
                                                                  Jamilio Roy  1 weeks back

                                                                  Had to unsub and resub when this Doc popped one punch man up

                                                                  • Tadeu Ravasi
                                                                    Tadeu Ravasi  1 weeks back

                                                                    In some networks such as reedit/quora there are discussions regarding potentially brain damage due Wim Hof Method and the time without oxygen supply to the brain, the hyperventilation, Borh effect, hypocapnia etc, but none of them brought some scientific explanation based. I imagined that you analysed it too, what is your opinion? thank you very much for the attention

                                                                    • Ben Miles
                                                                      Ben Miles  1 weeks back

                                                                      Did I understand that wrong or did someone try to breathe underwater with the Wim Hoff method?
                                                                      Edit: I am further understanding that this person was, perhaps, standing in a swimming pool, passed out and drowned. Wim Hoffs instructional video specifically tells you several times not to be in a pool and this may be in response to the drowning incident.

                                                                      • Mrstubbsthezombie
                                                                        Mrstubbsthezombie  1 weeks back

                                                                        One thing that slightly bothers me is when people put down the placebo effect. Who cares if it's placebo or not as long as the person feels better. Half the battle with any ailment is psychological. Half the battle with anything is psychological.

                                                                        • CrossBoltCZ
                                                                          CrossBoltCZ  1 weeks back

                                                                          I really want to have that heart poster in my room, may I ask where you got it?

                                                                          • SC G
                                                                            SC G  1 weeks back

                                                                            Always negativity, you are full of.! The universe is too big for human science.

                                                                            • Ionut Florea
                                                                              Ionut Florea  1 weeks back

                                                                              How about oxygen free radicals? Nice video by the way, i was looking for something like this.

                                                                              • Kevin J Bonet Guadalupe

                                                                                It might disappoint you to hear that i didnt watch the whole thing

                                                                                But im greaful for time stamps and concise wrap up at the end, liked and subsribed for more videos like this one

                                                                                • Ron M
                                                                                  Ron M  1 weeks back

                                                                                  Thank you so much for the time stamps. You set a new level of accountability for YouTube creators by being respectful of people’s time. 👍❤️🇨🇦 When I listen to men like this, I realize how ignorant I am on these topics but am grateful for the opportunity to learn. What a wonderful time we exist in from a access to knowledge perspective. Gotta love YouTube.

                                                                                  • Daniel Jakab
                                                                                    Daniel Jakab  1 weeks back

                                                                                    How did he run a marathon in the desert without drinking? There is no info available about this.

                                                                                    • John Doe
                                                                                      John Doe  1 weeks back

                                                                                      Drinking water is a bad habit. It actually dehydrates you. Sounds contradictory but research it.
                                                                                      Very interesting.

                                                                                  • illi Jo Nathan Diverse
                                                                                    illi Jo Nathan Diverse  2 weeks back

                                                                                    @medlifecrisis I understand why you would say that if people train what wim hof teaches they won't be able to do what he does because he is a world champion. But not to many people train this and if we look at youtube and the number of parkour practitioners and break dancers that are doing things work champion gymnasts couldnt do sixty years ago I think it's safe to say that not only will people be able to do what whim does they with be able to more than him

                                                                                    • Roving Jack
                                                                                      Roving Jack  2 weeks back

                                                                                      the breathing video mentioned at 6:00 might be

                                                                                      • Michael Doolan
                                                                                        Michael Doolan  2 weeks back

                                                                                        Wow, @medlifecrisis you are a clever legend! Thanks for all the references too, will enjoy checking them out myself!

                                                                                        • Bryan Panic
                                                                                          Bryan Panic  2 weeks back

                                                                                          This guy is awesome if u want krav maga hit me up.

                                                                                          • Wim Van Asch
                                                                                            Wim Van Asch  2 weeks back

                                                                                            "Life would be so much easier to study if everybody had a clone somewhere stuck in a cupboard. Huh. I'm joking. Of course."
                                                                                            Still a cool sci-fi idea, as long as you're not the clone...

                                                                                            • A9
                                                                                              A9  2 weeks back

                                                                                              Whats the low frequency buzz through the whole video?