Sebastian Kneipp revolutionized naturopathy in the 19th century by developing a healing method based on the properties of water as a heat and cold conductor. He did so after curing himself of severe tuberculosis through injections, ablutions, and baths in cold water.
He was a pioneer in the healing uses of water and was one step ahead of his time Vision that proposes cultivating health rather than fighting disease.
Kneipp’s name is inextricably linked to Kneipp’s Wórishofen, the Bavarian town where he lived as confessor and pastor, and who became a very popular hydrotherapy center. Today’s Bad Wórishofen welcomes more than 70,000 visitors every year.
Who is Sebastian Kneipp?
Sebastian Kneipp was born in 1821 into a humble family of weavers from Bavaria (Germany), after years of great deprivation during which he had to work very hard, managed to study theology.
At the age of 28 he suffered a recurrence of his tuberculosis and already expelled by the doctors, he discovered the book of dr J S Hahn in which he described Cold water healing techniques that have made it possible to treat this disease.
Kneipp applied these frictions, partial washes and full baths with stubborn discipline.combined with baths in the Danube, followed by vigorous exercise and copious water intake.
So that strengthened his health, improved his performance and received a scholarship to study at the Munich seminary. Since he could no longer take his baths there, he had to do his practiced almost furtively with the help of watering cans.
in 1850 A medical examination showed that he was cured, so he began teaching his method to fellow students who were affected by his old illness.
In 1854 he declared a Cholera epidemic in Munich. Kneipp, pastor of the small parish of Boos, applied hydrotherapeutic techniques by Vincenz Priessnitz and with them he managed to heal the 42 sick of his parish without using a single medicine!
To hide them medical scandal The authorities he was sent to a monastery the Dominicans in Wórishofen. But his fame had already spread. The laundry became a hydrotherapy dispensary and in 1889 a health resort was founded, which had to be expanded.
At the age of 71 he entered Series of conferences in more than a hundred cities and even addressed the Pope Leo XIII
In your Books My water cure Y my will refers, among other things, to the carefully designed techniques for the therapeutic use of cold water Tips on some medicinal plants whose use helped spread and is still used around the world.
He died at the age of 76, well respected not only for the benefits of his regimens but for the moral influence and the depth sense of charity what you put in them
Kneipp hydrotherapy: what it is and what it is used for
Kneipp therapy is based on five fields of application that complement each other synergistically everyone:
- exercise therapy (kinesitherapy),
- diet and
- “regulatory therapy” or order.
Kneipp hydrotherapy is essentially thermotherapy: withdraws or adds heat to the body to stimulate its responsiveness through a transcutaneous stimulus activates the autonomic nervous system.
As a rule, it is more important to apply repeated small stimuli than large isolated stimuli.
It usually starts with a morning treatment in bed at dawn based on ablutions or cold wraps activate metabolism. It is important that the body is warm before performing such a wrap or wash.
The temperature difference between water and skin must be at least 10ºC. If it is lower, the body loses a little temperature, but later does not react by developing heat.
The processing temperature must always be below 18ºC since the ends of the body are only 30ºC.
What is the hydrotherapy of the Kneipp cure based on?
For alternating baths, the warm water must have a temperature of 36-38°C. A higher temperature can cause vasospasm.
It is considered very important personalized treatments, depending on the responsiveness and condition of each person, but it can be said that hot baths last about ten minutes, while cold ones are much shorter. The essential thing is to be able to evoke the reaction.
For applications with hot water, Hyperemia, that is, abundant blood flow to a specific area of \u200b\u200bthe body, is achieved passively, while hyperemia is active in cold areas and produces a slight tingling sensation.
Within the Kneipp cure more than 120 different hydrotherapy techniques that allow suitable adaptation to all types of patientseven those with very low reactivity.
In which Patients with acute myocardial infarction A Kneipp cure can be started two days after the acute flare-up arm baths which are successively expanded and generally carried out With warm water; then gradually lower water temperatures are tolerated.
Mild stimuli are used on children, the elderly, or those with low responsivenessboth in terms of temperature and application surface.
How is the treatment of the Kneipp cure
Treatment must be started in an area of the body that is far from the area affected by the diseasesince the organism also reacts in parts that are more or less distant from those where the stimuli take place.
So for them hepatic applications are commonly used up to the hot, wet haysack the back between thoracic vertebrae 6 and 12, because there is a reflex zone in the shoulder.
Direct applications on the liver can have a positive effect on colic Liver because they provide pain relief. However, applications in the back area can increase blood flow to the liver.
For colic, the suprahepatic application would have to be very hot, even almost burning the skin; while On the back, the applications can be less hot because the reactivity is greater.
According to the clinical experiences observed in the Kneipp School and in the centers where this type of therapy is carried out, it can be affirmed that there is a degree Relationship between the vasomotor activity of the skin, lower pelvis and throat, and between the feet and the rest of the organs from the body.
Types of water treatments
There are more than a hundred applications Water possible, from gentle washes to massages with pressure jets.
They are made in bed with a coarse linen or cotton cloth, soaked in cold water, drained and folded..
Vinegar can be added so that the contact is not so abrupt. This improves the patient’s ability to react.
Is ordinary Start with partial washes of arms and legs and then move on to half body and full body washes.
after the frictionthe patient must get with wet body in bed, cover well and silence.
Treatment based on water jets -except for those of great intensity and short duration- applies with 15mm hose in diameter or with a watering can pour the water over the skin without pressure until it turns slightly red (about 30 or 40 seconds).
It is necessary that the patient does not freeze beforehand (You can first apply hot water, friction, exercises…).
The changing temperature rays cause vascular gymnastics.
The cold water jet on the thighs promotes blood circulation
That partly bathroom (of the arms or feet), those sitting in the bath, and those of half the body are often used with cold water or alternatively cold and hot.
That hot arm bath It lasts between 10 and 20 minutes and ends with a jet of cold water. It is stated for joint pain.
It is usually applied after baths a quick splash of cold water or a cold water wash. Then it rests for an hour.
Stepping on dew or snow
It was one of the therapies that defined healing. First you walk on the rope for a minute or twowhich can be increased to up to five minutes as the workout progresses.
The time you go on snow it is much shorter, for example 20 or 25 seconds.
when you go for cold water (bathtub or river) half a minute or a minute is enough.
A is placed wet coarse linen cloth in the part selected for treatment. Another wider linen or cotton cloth on top so that no moisture penetrates. And finally, a wool or flannel cover. you must stay very tight on the body to prevent the formation of air pockets that alter the desired therapeutic effect.
The envelopes are made almost always with cold waterto withdraw or accumulate heat depending on the duration of the application. That hot are usually applied after the mealto promote abdominal blood flow, and during menstruation.
sack of hay
It consists of contact with the skin a sack half filled with hay and moistened in a steam chamber. An airtight package with peat mudwhich retains heat, and everything is covered with a Kneipp wrap. ease the pain
When is the Kneipp cure indicated?
Despite the importance of hydrotherapy in the Kneipp cure, The combination with kinesiotherapy or movement therapy is also essential (exercises with rhythmic activity), the use of medicinal plantsa Eat as varied as possible (Kneipp was not a vegetarian in today’s sense, but the introduction of the therapy in Spain was mainly due to the vegetarian movement) and a regulation therapy that establishes a natural rhythm of life both physically and mentally.
The Kneipp cure is indicated for:
- physical or mental exhaustion,
- psychosomatic or neurovegetative diseases,
- nerve hypersensitivity,
- metabolic disorders,
- Heart muscle rehabilitation (two days after the infarction, with a warm arm bath),
- dyspeptic disorders,
- changes in the genital apparatus,
- respiratory diseases and allergies,
- vascular diseases,
- malignant tumors
- and psychotic patients.
only should have Caution in people with severe heart or kidney failure.
In summary, the therapy is favorable in the therapeutic prevention of many diseases. It tends to improve health, does not cause changes in the organism, it is almost always well tolerated and does not conflict with or undermine other forms of therapy.
- Kneipp hydrotherapy; RM Bachmann and GM Schleinkofer. Ed. RBA Integral
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