How To Do Wim Hof Breathing “The Right Way,” Making Your Own DMT, Inhaling Pure Carbon Dioxide, Cold Showers, MDMA, & Much More – The Keys to Human Resilience.

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Biohacking, Brain, Podcast

My guest on today's show, an immersive journalist and self-experimenter named Scott Carney, first joined me for the fantastic episode entitled “What Doesn’t Kill Us: Why Your Body Needs Freezing Water, Extreme Altitude & Environmental Conditioning.

Today, Scott—a New York Times Bestselling author—is back to discuss his brand new book, which I found to be a thrilling and inspirational read: The Wedge: Evolution, Consciousness, Stress and the Key to Human Resilience.

Thrive or die: That's the rule of evolution. Despite this brutal logic, some species have learned to survive in even the most hostile conditions. Others couldn't—and perished. While incremental genetic adaptations hone the physiology of nearly every creature on this planet, there's another evolutionary force that is just as important: the power of choice. In an explosive investigation into the limits of endurance, in The Wedge, Scott discovers how humans can wedge control over automatic physiological responses into the breaking point between stress and biology. We can reclaim our evolutionary destiny.

While writing the book, Carney submerged himself in ice water and learned breathing techniques from daredevil fitness guru Wim Hof. It gave him superhuman levels of endurance and quieted a persistent autoimmune illness. At the core of those methods is a technique called The Wedge that can give a person an edge in just about any situation.

In this thrilling exploration of the limits and potential of the human body, Carney searches the globe for people who understand the subtle language of how the body responds to its environment. He confronts fear at a cutting-edge neuroscience laboratory at Stanford, and learns about flow states by tossing heavy weights with partners. He meets masters of mental misdirection in the heat of a Latvian sauna, experiments with breathing routines that bring him to the cusp of transcendence, searches his mind in sensory deprivation tanks, and ultimately ends up in the Amazon jungle with a shaman who promises either madness or universal truth. All of this in service of trying to understand what we're really capable of. What can we accomplish when there are no true human limits?

During our discussion, you'll discover:

-What exactly “The Wedge” is…18:00

  • It's a continuation of Scott's book, What Doesn't Kill Us
  • Learned in depth from Wim Hof (breath holds, ice water)
    • Less anxiety
    • Improved immunity
    • Breath holds prepare the body for the ice water
    • Ben did daily Wim Hof Breathwork with his kids for 4 weeks
  • Morozko Forge (use code BENFORGE for $150 off the retail price for any Forge)
  • Natural response to ice water is to crunch up; Wim teaches you to relax
  • The Wedge separates stimulus from response to stressful situations
  • Change (or hack) the way we respond and react to stress
  • Focus on the response vs. the reaction
  • Tony Robbins' walking over hot coals
    • The people who get burned are the most confident they'll get across okay
    • Fear releases a slight amount of perspiration on the feet which may assist getting across the coals

-The concept of “neural symbology”…18:23

  • We create an “archive” of information every time we experience a new sensation (neural symbols)
  • Someone experiences ice water for the first time
    • Signal goes to the brain: chemicals, electricity, volume, but no character (to the limbic system)
    • Brain receives the signal but can't decipher what it means
    • Signal goes to the paralimbic system (like a book binder)
    • Paralimbic identifies ice water as terror/horror due to the body's response to it
    • The next time we have ice water, we experience terror/horror due to our previous experience
    • We're living in the emotional past
  • The Wedge fills up the library with more and more neural symbols to not live in the emotional past
  • Creating new symbols with each experience (grow the collection of books in the library)

-How kettlebells build trust and allow your body to relax in the face of stress…24:10

  • Andrew Huberman virtual shark tanks to simulate a scary situation (which didn't work because Scott's not afraid of sharks)
  • Introduced to kettlebell throwing as a way to create a legit scary situation
  • It's more about focus, empathy, connection with the other person vs. getting in shape
  • Relaxation under stress
  • It's a great way to strengthen a bond between spouses
  • Kettlebell Partner Passing, invented by Michael Castrogiovanni

-Scott's findings on carbon dioxide (CO₂)…37:09

-How Scott and his wife condensed 6 months of couples therapy into 3 hours…58:00

  • MDMA (ecstasy) or what Scott calls “Truth Serum”
  • Scott and his wife took MDMA in the presence of 2 couples therapists
  • Ayahuasca is part of the Christian church in S. America and small parts of N. America
  • Terence McKenna theorizes that the roots of religion come from psychedelic plants during the Paleolithic era

-Projects and biohacks Scott is currently working on…1:07:30

-And much more!

Click here for the full written transcript of this podcast episode.

Resources from this episode:

– Podcasts and articles:

– Books:

– Gear:

– Other resources:

Episode sponsors:

Kion Lean: Support for normal blood sugar levels and healthy energy metabolism, even after large, carb-rich meals. Ben Greenfield Fitness listeners, receive a 20% discount off your entire order when you use discount code BGF20.

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Bioptimizers- Magnesium Breakthrough: If you want to beat stress, get fit, sleep better and recover faster, you need Full Spectrum Magnesium to complete your healthy lifestyle. Get 10% off your order when you use discount code BEN10.

Vuori: Activewear and athletic clothing for ultimate performance. Vuori is built to move and sweat in, yet designed with a West Coast aesthetic that transitions effortlessly into everyday life. Receive 25% off your first order when you go to vuoriclothing.com/ben .

Do you have questions, thoughts, or feedback for Scott or me? Leave your comments below and one of us will reply!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question


7 thoughts on “How To Do Wim Hof Breathing “The Right Way,” Making Your Own DMT, Inhaling Pure Carbon Dioxide, Cold Showers, MDMA, & Much More – The Keys to Human Resilience.

  1. Mike says:

    Hey Ben, the Vuori code does not appear to be working. Thanks!

  2. Joseph Starr says:

    Hi Ben,

    Like Joel, I’m also looking for clarification on the DMT push. My understanding is that you do the push on the recovery inhale after the longer breath hold on the exhale. Is this correct? WHM advises 10-20 second hold on this recovery inhale. With the DMT push do you retain longer than this? Last thing, when I’ve attempted longer holds on the recovery inhale I get a sense of pressure in my head, like the inter-cranial pressure you might feel when doing valsalva technique with heavy lifting. I don’t like it. Any sense that this kind of pressure might be dangerous? Any ideas about mitigating?

    Thanks,
    Joe

  3. Joel says:

    Hey Ben,

    I was just looking for clarification on the DMT push during Wim Hof breathing.

    Is the push done during each breath in of the breath work, or is the push done during the breath holds at the end of the breath work? If during the breath hold, you mentioned the push/squeeze/hold is on a breath in, but Wif Hof breathing requires the hold on the breath out.

    I look forward to your feedback so I can test this out during my Wim Hof breath work.

    1. Jacob Virginia says:

      I’m looking for the same clarification on the breathwork since I would love to implement it! Thanks in advance Ben!

  4. Ken says:

    Hey Ben,
    Wondering what brand you would recommend for a dmt vape pen?? All the best!!

  5. Sean says:

    Hey Ben,

    In the show notes above, I think you meant to say that “Epitalon creates DE-calcification in the pineal gland” instead of calcification. I think it’s a typo, thanks!

    -S

    1. You are correct. Thanks

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