Swimming in clear water
Swimming in clear water
The 5-pillar philosophy

Sebastian Kneipp in his element: water and the development of a new kind of water cure

Water is omnipresent: not only are around two thirds of the earth's surface covered with it--the human body also consists predominantly of H2O. No wonder that this special element has a great influence on our well-being. Even for Sebastian Kneipp, the principle applied: water and health go hand in hand.

Water, health and Sebastian Kneipp

This insight did not come about by chance - after all, the son of a Bavarian weaver was already able to convince himself of the health-promoting effect of water as an adolescent. Kneipp had been suffering from tuberculosis for over two years when he came across a book on the effects of water in 1849. According to this book, cold water in particular is healthy and helps against a wide range of ailments.

Reason enough for Sebastian Kneipp to dare the self-experiment in the cold Danube. The result of the daily river baths: the theology student soon feels increasingly fresh and refreshed; after three years of regular baths and water showers, his tuberculosis even disappears completely. And so Kneipp - in the meantime ordained as a priest - begins to apply his findings on the subject of "water health" to patients. Among them: a woman suffering from cholera, whom he cures completely.

Word quickly spreads among the population that the "water doctor" Sebastian Kneipp uses water for all kinds of illnesses and works wonders with his treatments.

In 1886 he made his big breakthrough with the book "Meine Wasserkur" (My Water Cure), and hydrotherapy according to Kneipp was born.

If there is a cure for me, it will be water.

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Sebastian Kneipp

Washed with all waters - Bathing & Co. then and today

From baths to casts to wraps and washes: There are a total of 120 water treatments according to Sebastian Kneipp. For Kneipp, cold water is the main remedy of choice, while warm water is usually only used in alternation with cold water.

Generally speaking, it is worth noting that in Kneipp's day it was by no means customary to wash regularly, let alone more than once a week. For a long time it was even assumed that public baths spread diseases and epidemics in the first place. A misconception that Sebastian Kneipp was able to disprove with his teachings...

But how do things actually look nowadays in terms of bathing fun and personal hygiene? According to various surveys, most people take a shower every day, some even more than once. In addition to cleaning, well-being aspects are playing an increasingly important role. Especially on hectic days, you can do your body and soul some good with a refreshing shower or a relaxing bath. It is advisable to pay attention to the water temperature as well as to the right shower products or bath additives - from relaxing to invigorating to strengthening the entire organism, there are hardly any limits.

Why cold water boosts the immune system and circulation

If you think "a lot goes a long way", let me tell you: as with almost everything in life, the right amount of water is crucial. Sebastian Kneipp recommended neither too hot nor too frequent bathing. Depending on your needs, his work "Meine Wasserkur" (My Water Cure) contains precise instructions for refreshing, soothing, stabilizing baths, wraps and casts that harmonize all body systems. Especially the short applications with cold water have a positive effect on our immune system by stimulating the immune system and making us less susceptible to colds in the long run.

Another advantage of these "cold showers": The interplay of constriction of the vessels and their subsequent widening gets the blood circulation and thus our circulation going. Perfect for an energetic start to the day or a quick refreshment in between!

The facial cast and the thigh cast also present themselves as a kind of beauty elixir, as they tighten the skin and give it a radiant glow.

Water, properly applied, is the most innocent remedy.

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Sebastian Kneipp

Everything in flow - and all naturally

So why complicate things when they can be simple - with one of the most ingenious elements that nature has given us? As a gentle aid, water applications according to Kneipp can have a lasting positive effect on our health and well-being. Especially in combination with his other recommendations for a healthy life, such as the targeted use of herbs, a balanced diet as well as sufficient exercise, we are also well advised today. In this sense: Water march!