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Wim Hof Method (Highly Recommended)

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I have been following Wim Hof’s teachings since February and it has completely turned my life for the better. I no longer suffer from most symptoms I was experiencing after antidepressant discontinuation. I am more mentally fit than I think I have ever been in my life and I’m just getting started. The man behind the interview is Lewis Howes. I strongly recommend checking out some of his content. YouTube is a great resource for content, both informative and motivational, that you can use in your healing journey. 



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You may want to move this to the media section as it may be a better fit there. I originally posted here because the Wim Hof method is scientific at its core (Wim’s method is rewriting science books). The video attached is informative but not exactly scholarly or something you would find in a scientific journal.

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Posted (edited)

I have been on SSRIs (20mg paroxetine) since 2008 (with a 2 year med-free gap, 2010-2012). This year I tried a tapering regime for about 6 months, reducing 5mg every 2 months. Withdrawal symptoms were extremely debilitating... I couldn't sleep, was on the border of panic attacks 24/7, and constant suicidal thoughts.


I went back to the 20mg baseline because I felt I wasn't really well informed, and now the plan is to follow the 10% rule and keep reading more stuff around here. I'm already on 18mg, feeling somewhat stable.


I started to practice the WHM consistently, although I haven't gone any further than an everyday breathwork + cold shower routine.

Just like anything else, moderation is key. I am witnessing huge progress though.


It does have a deep impact on the nervous system, and it helps me keep motivated, confident and strong during withdrawal hell. It connects me with my inner self, and the biology behind these deep feelings is the conscious activation of the limbic system.


I would love to learn more about how the method affects SSRI withdrawal, if anyone has experiences to share. I'm new to the forum, but in case I am (along with Cnick91) one of the few practitioners here, I'm also willing to keep a detailed log of my progress to help lay down the path for people that might be interested in using the WHM for coping with withdrawal.


Setting goals is super important during withdrawal hell, especially to keep the suicidal thoughts at bay. I want to go to a Wim Hof retreat in late 2020 and do the Mount Sněžka hike. Hopefully I'll be either med free, or at least on a really low dosage by then.


🌬️BREATHE M***********! ❄️


Edited by Altostrata
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A few interesting and useful videos for anyone who's interested in learning more about the Wim Hof Method (WHM):


Inside the Superhuman World of the Iceman (Vice Documentary)


Wim Hof - London Real Interview


Joe Rogan Experience #712 - Wim Hof


"Brain over Body" Michigan Study


Depression and Anxiety - WHM practitioner testimonial


Wim Hof breathing tutorial


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"Brain Over Body" - A study on the willful regulation of autonomic function during cold exposure


The defence 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”).


The relative contributions of the brain and the periphery that endow the Iceman with these capabilities is unknown. To investigate this, we conducted multi-modal imaging assessments of the brain and the periphery using a combination of fMRI and PET/CT imaging. Thermoregulatory defence was evoked by subjecting the Iceman (and a cohort of typical controls) to a fMRI paradigm designed to generate periods of mild hypothermia interspersed by periods of return to basal core body temperature. fMRI was acquired in two separate sessions: in a typical (passive) state and following the practice of WHM. In addition, the Iceman also underwent a whole body PET/CT imaging session using the tracers C11-hydroxyephedrine (HED) and 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) during both thermoneutral and prolonged mild cold conditions.


This acquisition allowed us to determine changes in sympathetic innervation (HED) and glucose consumption (FDG) in muscle and fat tissues in the absence of the WHM. fMRI analyses indicated that the WHM activates primary control centers for descending pain/cold stimuli modulation in the periaqueductal gray (PAG), possibly initiating a stress-induced analgesic response. In addition, the WHM also engages higher-order cortical areas (left anterior and right middle insula) that are uniquely associated with self-reflection, and which facilitate both internal focus and sustained attention in the presence of averse (e.g. cold) external stimuli.


However, the activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) was unremarkable. Finally, forceful respiration results in increased sympathetic innervation and glucose consumption in intercostal muscle, generating heat that dissipates to lung tissue and warms circulating blood in the pulmonary capillaries. Our results provide compelling evidence for the primacy of the brain (CNS) rather than the body (peripheral mechanisms) in mediating the Iceman's responses to cold exposure. They also suggest the compelling possibility that the WHM might allow practitioners to develop higher level of control over key components of the autonomous system, with implications for lifestyle interventions that might ameliorate multiple clinical syndromes.


You can read the full study here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1053811918300673




An excerpt of the "Brain over Body" Michigan Study video:

"Priming and placing yourself in a difficult position will cause the neurological processes in the brain to beautifully excite with activity, producing the conscious experience of that focused mind.


Yet, the counter perspective can also be made. That focus, attention, and diligence can stir and train activity within the gray matter of the brain and cause a change in experience.
It's reminiscent of an upward spiral that the conscious decision to improve, in turn, creates new connections within the brain and causes a positive feedback loop that produces A NEW PERSON.
From mind, forming the physical brain... And the brain, forming the experience of the mind.
It is with this wider perspective that we'd like to view this experiment. Here we have a man capable of overcoming deathly cold environments. Yet, we seldom considered that his neurophysiology was trained over time for such survival. That if he were to behave as a control, the body would react normally to the cold. Yet with focus and honing of mind and body, he is able to access those deeper layers of his physiology, producing something truly spectacular.
In this way, we leave you with this idea:
Change, in any direction... IS POSSIBLE!
It can be incremental, small contributions every day towards what is valued, but EXPONENTIAL in the long run. To the point where a person truly renews."



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