Kneipp therapy is a concept named after the priest Sebastian Kneipp. The five pillar Kneipp philosophy contains these elements – water, herbs, exercise, nutrition and lifestyle management.
Kneipp therapy, in its classic sense, is complex and the treatments are chosen according to requirements and symptoms. Various tools help create an individual programme depending on fitness level with the aim to train and strengthen the body’s efficiency through slowly increasing stimulation. Only natural tools are used for treatment like light, air and plants, massage and exercise.
There are approximately one hundred different water treatments. The range varies from slight stimulation through washing with lukewarm or cold water to half or full baths, steam baths and inhalation as well as more strenuous methods like cold and warm alternating showers, flash showers or baths where the temperature gradually increases. Water treatments on warm skin always move towards the heart. It is not advisable to have a cold shower on a full stomach. After a bath or hot neck and back shower, it is recommended to rest in bed for one hour.
Herbal healing products are added to compresses, baths, inhalations and steam baths. They are also added to creams and oils in exfoliation treatments, as well as to teas, juices and tablets.
Kneipp used to ask his clients to chop wood or do an hour’s housework as a form of exercise therapy. Nowadays, Kneipp cures include extensive walks in the fresh air – also known as terrain cure - cycling, swimming, running in the forest and gymnastics.
Nutritional therapy is founded on the idea that diseases can be avoided with a healthy diet. He believed that it is important to eat a well balanced, low fat diet that is free from harmful additives.
Lifestyle management encourages patients to listen to their bodies and to find a balanced lifestyle. It is important to review and redefine what is important in our lives.
Kneipp therapy is used to maintain and strengthen general health as well as being used in rehabilitation after an illness or operation. Kneipp therapy is also beneficial in treating heart and circulation disorders, digestive problems, inflammation, fever and pain. Water gymnastics support the joints and is particularly beneficial in helping knee, shoulder and back problems. There are also special therapies for children who suffer from asthma, infections and physical weakness as well as treating weight problems.
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