Kneipp therapy is popularly accepted as a scientifically confirmed treatment modality that functions on the basis of five elements. It considers the healing power of water, aims at promoting a balanced programme that can helps in functioning and exercising of the heart and the circulatory system.
Another important aspect, the herbal therapy or phytotherapy is also considered. A healthy and balanced diet helps in regular growth and health promotion. The regulative therapy, which is the main part of Kneipp’s therapy mainly, takes into consideration the physical and spiritual wellbeing.
Bavarian Almoner and Dominican priest Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) founded the Hydropathy-centered system of “natural healing” and it was promoted by the Kneipp Institute, in Germany. The primary focus of this therapy is herbalism.
Kneipp’s healing therapy is based on naturopathy and herbal therapy. This therapy aims at regulating the body, mind and soul and aims at bringing harmony in the inner self. It tries to gently stimulate the body naturally, to strengthen the immune system and help in improving the body’s tolerance for external stimuli.
Some of the concepts on which this therapy is based include:
- Hydrotherapy – This therapy uses the therapeutic effects of water to hydrate the body and increase disease resistance. It also helps to regulate the functions of nervous and hormonal systems.
- Herbal therapy – Herbs in the form of teas, baths, wraps, packs and oils are used to provide prophylactic and healing effect.
- Exercise therapy – Physical exercise that stimulates systemic functioning of the body, relaxes muscles and promotes circulation are prescribed; they may also be clubbed with massage therapy.
- Nutrition therapy – Preventing nutritional disorders is important and can be attained by consuming a low fat diet, comprising more of freshly prepared food, fruits and vegetables.
- Lifestyle therapy – Health education and lifestyle management is the key to good health and can help to lead a healthy and balanced life.
Based on a person’s problems, a trained therapist analyses the entire case and the problems. After a thorough evaluation, the therapists make an individual prescription for the person, taking into account the above factors as principles of Kneipp therapy. A prescription comprises of a combination of many or all of the therapies like herbs, oils, exercise, diet and lifestyle management that can work in conjunction to prevent diseases and promote good health.
It can beneficial for medical illnesses and is advisable to follow this therapy under medical supervision.