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Power of the Mind vs Cold

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Scientists find indications that after following meditation techniques (Wim Hof Method) the upper brain stem is activated releasing endogenous opioids and cannabinoids to help deal with extreme cold.

"... 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."

Other changes where also observed such as "increased increased sympathetic innervation and glucose consumption in intercostal muscle."

Press release

Paper pre-print is attached.


  • 101016%40jneuroimage201801067.pdf
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Thanks for the paper, Loveall. Great to see the research backing up cold exposure. I do feel really nice and relaxed after doing it, so it wouldn't be a huge surprise if opioids and cannabinoids were involved. When I attended his course last year, our teacher told us Wim was talking with Rick Strassman to formulate a study around his "DMT Pineal Activation Technique". I spoke up regarding the current research debunking that claim and who knows if they will actually go through with it.
That's interesting DoingKermit. I hope they look into it. If not DMT, maybe there could be other endogenous entheogens released by the brain. Others have brought up 5-MeO-DMT as a possibility. Who knows, maybe a new potent psychedelic currently unknown to us could be waiting to be discovered.
I don't think that DMT or the pineal gland have anything to do with the Wim Hof breathing techniques, but he does like to make big claims about it. Let's wait and see if Strassman gets on board.
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