The scene baffled scientists for decades. A group of Tibetan Buddhist monks wearing only light robes enter a frigid room, registering barely 40 degrees Fahrenheit on the thermostat. They sit and begin to meditate, seemingly undisturbed by the cold.
Others from the monastery up the ante, taking large towels, soaking them in cold water, and placing them overtop the meditators’ shoulders. If the seated men were like most of us, they would start shaking and shivering violently. But the monks do not move. Suddenly, steam begins to rise from the towels. Within an hour, the towels are dry.
This scene described from a French study in the mid-2000s by the Harvard Gazette, and which has also been observed historically in ceremonies in the Himalayas for the last century, shows the power of Tummo meditation. Tummo is a Tibetan word for “inner fire,” and with the practice, skilled meditators are able to raise their core body temperature by several degrees (up to 17 has been recorded), even in freezing conditions.
The practice takes years or even decades to master. But an athlete known for extreme stunts in frigid temperatures says he’s developed a method that allows people to access benefits similar to those produced by Tummo in just hours. Laboratory studies show that he might be onto something.
The Iceman Cometh
The athlete is Wim Hof, who’s also known as “The Iceman.” He earned the name by performing incredib…