The therapy named after Dr. Sebastian Kneipp monk is based on the stimulus generated by the alternation of cold and hot water. Dr. Kneipp revolutionized holistic medicine in the 19th century. Main features of the Kneipp-therapy: first of the all the body is heated up, which is followed by a short cooling session and the body is reheated again by using physical exercise. Traditional Kneipp-therapy elements are the followings: hand-, elbow- and knee pouring; hot-wet bolstering and hot baths. The therapy also involves physical exercise in fresh air.
The bottom part of the Kneipp foot bathis covered with rounded stones. Stones are covered by cold water. Guests are walking in the bath by lifting their feet from the water to hot air, while the stones are gently massaging the soles. This way cold water and hot air generates the alternating bath character. The alternation of cold water and hot air stimulates the vein walls, thus having a beneficial effect on the blood circulation and refreshing the feet. Regular usage of the Kneipp foot bath prevents the development of inflammations and stimulates the metabolism. Kneipp-therapy is also applied in the case of circulation disorders, tense muscles and exhaustion.
Principles of the Kneipp-therapy:
- for the treatment of chronic illnesses hot stimulus and in the case of acute illnesses cold stimulus is recommended;
- accurate, unambiguous water therapy dosage is required for the best effects;
- cold stimulus can be exclusively applied on hot body (heating takes place by using hot water or with the help of exercise);
- re-heating after treatment (with hot clothing or exercise).
Sebastian Kneipp was suffering from a serious disease from an early age: he had tuberculosis. He was trying to overcome his illness by self-healing. He applied the knowledge written down by Johann Sigmund Hahn in his book in practice. He tried a method in the winter of 1849 – he run to River Danube, while breathing heavily, he got undressed and jumped into the ice-cold river, than he came out of the water, got dressed and run home- which had a positive effect on his illness. As a result of the “treatment” he felt refreshed and healthier and he repeated the treatment on many occasions following his first try. As an additional treatment he was pouring water on his body and he regularly went bathing. As a result of the therapy he regained his health.