The Benefits of Extreme Wellness Training with Marc Cohen – EP065

 In Podcast

If you’re curious about the benefits extreme wellness training, but not all that interested in climbing Everest in your board shorts, Dr. Marc Cohen is your man. He has spent time with Wim Hof, exploring the science behind the breath control, cold exposure and mental focus that serve as the pillars of Hof’s method, and Dr. Marc has adapted his own practices to help you enjoy the benefits of extreme wellness without having to run a marathon in freezing temperatures.




Dr. Marc is a pioneer in the field of integrative and holistic medicine with degrees in western medicine, physiology and psychological medicine as well as advanced degrees in Chinese medicine and biomedical engineering. He leads the wellness research arm of the School of Health and Biomedical Sciences at RMIT University, and Dr. Marc is currently studying the use of organic foods in reducing pesticide exposure, the use of yoga and meditation to treat insomnia and stress, and the use of various therapies and lifestyle interventions for detoxification from environmental chemicals.

Today, Dr. Marc explains the difference between wellness and illness—and how it relates to his mission around realizing worldwide wellness. He shares his experience with and understanding of the science behind the Wim Hof Method, covering the latest research around the health advantages of cold exposure and breath control. Listen in as Dr. Marc walks us through his five-phase breathing practice and learn how you can benefit from extreme wellness training! Who’s up for a little Cold Water Hokey Pokey?

Topics Covered

[1:36] The difference between wellness and illness

  • Wellness = open system, community (WE)
  • Illness = closed system, isolation (I)
[4:16] The five elements all cells relate to

  • Water, glucose, oxygen, temperature and carbon dioxide
  • Can be manipulated (voluntary control)
[7:32] Dr. Marc’s experience with Wim Hof

  • Combination of mental focus, breath control and cold exposure
  • Gentle introduction through ‘Cold Water Hokey Pokey’
  • Blood vessels open in hot water, constrict in cold
  • Emerging research that Scott shower led to 29% fewer sick days
  • Trains to remain calm in uncomfortable situations
  • Forced mindfulness practice, mastery over breathing/body
[19:08] The benefits of extreme wellness training

  • Consciously control immune system (Netherlands study)
  • Train body to cope with stress, exercise adaptive mechanisms
  • Cold exposure induces brown fat production, burns white fat
[28:02] Dr. Marc’s insight on fat loss and metabolism

  • Cold exposure increases thermogenesis AND appetite
  • Personal experience of efficiency in burning energy
  • Breathing technique ‘regenerates cellular machinery’
  • Cells metabolize more efficiently from experiencing extremes
[30:00] The benefits of long periods of cold exposure

  • Athletes use ice bathing to reduce pain, inflammation
  • Overcome trauma by recreating panic in controlled way
[38:54] Dr. Marc’s five phases of breathing

  1. Flowing breath
  2. Staccato (hyperventilation)
  3. Chaos (breath hold)
  4. Recovery/lyrical breath
  5. Stillness
[48:36] Dr. Marc’s theory of cell efficiency via breathing practice

  • Cells get comfortable, proteins past ‘use by’ date
  • Breathing practice gives cells wake up call to become more efficient

Learn More About Dr. Marc

Dr. Marc’s Website


The Science Behind the Wim Hof Method

The Wim Hof Method

‘The Effect of Cold Showering on Health and Work’ in PLOS One

‘Voluntary Activation of the Sympathetic Nervous System and Attenuation of the Innate Immune Response in Humans’ in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America




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