Pushing Our Limits to Achieve Health

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Compounding, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Pushing Our Limits to Achieve Health

By Emeka Onyedika, MD on July 1, 2019


human body is an absolute marvel. The more I learn and experience, the
greater my sense of awe. It’s incredible that we have studied our
anatomy for years and there are still organs and functions we don’t
fully understand. We have yet to create any piece of technology that
rivals the body’s efficiency and complexity. This fact is illustrated by
those among us who choose to test the perceived limits of our bodies’
capabilities. The account of one such individual has forever altered my
life and transformed my view of our innate abilities. 

The man’s name is Wim Hof. He has developed the ability to control his autonomic nervous and immune system. This allows him to perform feats such as withstanding extreme cold and avoiding the sequelae of exposure to endotoxin. I initially thought that he was born with a genetic variant that provided him with these abilities. However, extensive studies and examinations of him and his twin brother have proved otherwise. Furthermore, Mr. Hof has shown that he can teach others to do the same. Check out a documentary on the subject here.

The more I learned about Mr. Hof, the
more I wondered, could I use his methods to tap into the human body’s
innate ability to persevere and heal?

Pushing my limits

I decided to test my own limits of
cold tolerance. Over the past year, I have been experimenting with cold
showers. I had heard about the possible benefits of reducing
inflammation, improving mood, and strengthening personal mindsets by
promoting tolerance to uncomfortable situations. 

In winter, I started gradually by
wearing a sport coat instead of a heavy winter coat when outdoors.
Eventually, I was able to comfortably go out in a short sleeved polo
shirt with scrub pants regardless of the temperature or weather, even in
heavy snow. The experience was exhilarating and empowering. 

I had been taught and grew to believe
that I needed to protect myself from the cold in order to avoid
illness. Though many of us are aware of the fact that cold exposure is
not directly associated with respiratory ailments such as the common
cold or flu, we still choose to adhere to the habits we learned as
children that support comfort rather than health. I echo the sentiment
expressed by Wim Hof that our pursuit of comfort and our modern day
obsession with it is limiting the resilience of our bodies and our
ability to overcome and prevent disease. My experiences, to date,
corroborate this. 

Harnessing natural abilities

As discussed by Dr. Lissa Rankin in multiple TED Talks, Dr. Ranjan Chattergee in his book, The Stress Solution, and Dr. Joe Dispenza in his book, Evolve Your Brain,
our bodies have the natural ability to deal with essentially every
disease and ailment we know of. We simply have to figure out what is
interfering with the intrinsic processes and/or develop the ability to
maximize their effectiveness. 

Pain management is one I investigated
for myself. As I learn more about the shortcomings of pharmaceuticals, I
look to minimize or eliminate my reliance on them. Thankfully, the only
medication I have taken consistently for most of my life is
over-the-counter pain relievers as needed. However, after reviewing the
nature of pain and the body’s response to it, I have changed this habit
as well. 

As many of you may remember, pain is a
neural impulse that the brain receives, signifying an abnormal
condition involving the tissue adjacent to the nerves (for example,
irritation or injury). Feeling uncomfortable or upset about pain is a
learned behavior that actually perpetuates the discomfort. Research
shows that neurotransmitters and hormones that promote negative moods
slow healing and promote upregulation of pain receptors. In individuals
with chronic pain, this cycle gains strength and efficiency to the point
that it actually becomes their homeostasis. 

The opposite is true of endorphins
and other neurotransmitters, such as dopamine, associated with euphoria
and bliss. They are natural opioids and are more potent than their
prescribed counterparts. Therefore, they are the best option for pain
management and elimination. 

Moving beyond pain

I can attest to this. Over the last
six months, I have successfully eliminated severe back and calf pains
without medication. Instead, I expressed gratitude for the pain and
committed to regular exercise and stretching of the affected areas in
order to release endorphins and train my body to do this effectively and
efficiently. I believe many of us are capable of this through
dedication and discipline. We can use similar habits and practices to
manage and eliminate conditions such as hypertension, glucose
intolerance and diabetes, depression, and arthritis. The potential
benefit is significant. Why remain dependent on medications when the
superior therapeutic processes of our bodies can be bolstered and

For those of you who are not already
convinced or lack the personal experience of the benefits of these
methods, I recommend practicing them first for yourself before making
suggestions to patients and others. Once you discover the power and wide
ranging ability of the incredible machines we call our bodies, you will
want to share the knowledge. Let’s stop underestimating and dismissing
its ability to self-regulate and maintain in most instances. The might
of the body’s internal forces can do without the interference and often
unnecessary assistance of many external tools we choose to employ. 

Emeka Onyedika, MD, is a physician
evaluator conducting in-home health evaluations. To contact him, please
send messages to: cratixhealth@gmail.com

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