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Dublin: 21 °C Tuesday 4 August, 2020

Man who climbed Everest in shorts can teach you how to control your immune system

It can be as simple as breathing in and breathing out.

Source: Vice

I do not fear death. I fear not to live fully.

WIM HOF HAS submerged himself in ice water for almost two hours without any change in his body temperature, climbed Mount Everest in just his shorts and finished a marathon in the Namibian Desert without drinking any water.

Perhaps his most incredible feat was in 2011 when scientists injected him with a bacterial endotoxin which, in normal humans, would result in a strong immune response causing fever, headaches and chills. Not with Wim Hof though.

Source: Vice

He was able to suppress his immune response by making his body secrete adrenalin. Scientists and sceptics had suggested the man may simply be a freak of nature but the same experiment conducted with 12 subjects Hof trained in Poland yielded the same results and he says anyone can do this. He also believes these methods could be used to fend off or help treat a number of disorders and diseases.

In a stunning documentary by Vice one of their reporters Matt Shea and his crew take on a challenge: to learn his methods and then climb a snow-covered mountain in their shorts (without getting hypothermia and/or dying).

Shea, like many others who have looked into Hof’s theories, certainly starts his journey as a sceptic but the so-called ‘Iceman’ appears unflappable.

His mission started after the tragic loss of his wife to suicide. She had suffered with mental illness for a number of years. In his grief he went searching for an answer, for some way to take control of his life – and especially his body.

He does not claim to be a miracle worker and nothing he does is based in religion. For him scientific proof of his techniques is paramount.

For the most part it is all about breathing and the crew learn his special method in an impressively short space of time on the first day of training, managing to hold their breaths for long periods.

Source: Vice

At Hof’s training camp in Poland, we see the impact this breathing can have on the body. Participants have almost euphoric reactions to it, and are able to use it to stand outside in the snow barefoot without any discomfort.

Source: Vice

Within two weeks, they mastered the technique and were able to stand immersion in freezing cold water and eventually, climb that mountain in their shorts:

Source: Vice

Hof speaks of a restlessness inside himself that he can only get relief from once he finishes this journey he is on, pushing scientific discovery using his own body as a laboratory.

What was sparked by the deep loss he felt for a wife he “loved to death” is still all about love for the Iceman who wants to “bring love back to the world”.

“If you radiate good energy because you’re happy, healthy and strong, that’s love,” he says.

And as Shea points out in the documentary: “He walked up Mount Everest in his shorts – what have you done?”

Watch the documentary in full over on Vice.

Read: Bear Grylls wants to help save Ireland’s most famous lifeboat>

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