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Reported psychological effects of the Wim Hof method : an interview study

Suppmann, F.L. (2021) Reported psychological effects of the Wim Hof method : an interview study.

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Abstract:The present global pandemic of Covid-19 has exacerbated mental health problems around the world, highlighting the long-standing social issue of the need for more sustainable and efficient psychotherapy treatment resources. According to existing literature, the recently popular Wim Hof Method (WHM) has demonstrated promising effects in enhancing immunological functions while impacting the autonomic nervous system. Currently in progress, but still lacking, is research on the psychological effects of the WHM.The aim of this study was to explore how people who practice the WHM perceived, and experienced noticeable changes. Semi-structured interviews with eight participants were conducted online to explore the topic at hand. The interview questions were based on Elliott’s (2008) ‘Client Change Interview Schedule’, including the motivation to practice the WHM, the changes experienced, and the personal evaluation of the WHM. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. The interviewees showed three types of motivation: Task-oriented motivation, motivation for health benefits, and external motivators. The reported changes included positive psychological, positive physical, and positive social changes. The WHM was evaluated as simple and effective while also negative experiences were shared. The findings confirmed that the WHM-practitioners experienced beneficial effects on mental and general health. More research on the WHM's potential to act as a treatment for mental health problems is needed in the future to provide a solid scientific foundation for these findings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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