Sebastian Kneipp (1821 – 1897) was a pioneer of hydrotherapy (therapy with use of water) combined with special diet, herbal treatments, and physical activities. The cure is believed to help patients suffering from psychological, cardiovascular and metabolic problems such as chronic fatigue or stress, sleeping disorders, venous insufficiency or ulcers, restless legs, phlebitis, diabetes type II, obesity and hypertension. Kneipp therapy is also suitable as a prevention treatment to avoid arterial disorders and degenerative diseases such as rheumatism. The best-known destination for Kneipp therapy is Bad Wörishofen in Germany, where Sebastian Kneipp gave lectures and developed the treatment.
Elements of the Kneipp therapy:
- Water treatments (hydrotherapy): various kinds of showers with cold and hot water, mineral and herbal baths (balneotherapy), body packs, and massages are just some of the treatments on the extensive list.
- Herbal treatments (phytotherapy) with use of warm bags with herbs, herbal teas and essential oils.
- The diet: balanced diet or fasting based mainly on vegetarian and vegan wholesome products – lots of fruit and vegetable, whole-grain products, quality diary and meat (in reasonable amounts), a lot of water and herbal teas.
- Physical activities: daily moderate exercises, outdoor activities such walking barefoot (e.g. in snow or a meadow).
- Inner balance: regulation of daily routine and deep relaxation.
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