Kneipp Medicine

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Kneipp Medicine
Kneipp Medicine

Video: Kneipp Medicine

Video: Kneipp Medicine
Video: Understanding Kneipp: Kneipp philosophy 2023, March

Kneipp medicine

Kneipp medicine uses treatments from the five pillars of naturopathy, the beginnings of which go back to antiquity. This includes order, water, exercise as well as nutrition and medicinal herbs. The aim is to use natural therapies to increase the immune system, train the regulatory mechanisms, eliminate malfunctions and promote a healthy lifestyle.


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  • What is the background?
  • How does the method work?
  • What areas of application are there?
  • What are the limits of the method?
  • What evidence is there?
  • Whom can I ask?
  • How are the costs going to be covered?

What is the background?

Father Sebastian Kneipp (1821-1897) was the founder of Kneipp medicine. His cure from pulmonary tuberculosis was attributed by his followers to regular cold water applications. Over many years he developed his system of hydrotherapy (hydrotherapy) by closely observing the patients, combined with nutritional and exercise therapy, medicinal herbs and order therapy (ie conscious, health-preserving lifestyle).

How does the method work?

The best known are the Kneipp water treatments. Sebastian Kneipp defined a system of therapeutic stimuli that can be dosed at different levels in the form of washing, bathing, pouring, wrapping, steaming, defrosting (snow running) and treading water. Simple Kneipp treatments can easily be integrated into everyday life, such as a cold arm bath for low blood pressure. Kneipp treatments are used as home remedies for minor health problems. In the event of illness, it is the Kneipp doctor's task to determine which applications are best for the patient in the respective situation.

The most intensive form of treatment is the Kneipp cure in a Kneipp spa house, where targeted applications take place daily for two to three weeks to stimulate self-healing powers or to improve illnesses. The water applications are supplemented by dietary recommendations, regular exercise, medicinal herbs and recommendations on lifestyle.

What areas of application are there?

According to its proponents, Kneipp medicine can be used for the following ailments:

  • Musculoskeletal disorders such as cervical syndrome, lumbar pain, spinal problems; supportive with rheumatic diseases or signs of wear and tear on joints;
  • Gastrointestinal disorders such as gastritis and irritable bowel syndrome; supportive also with inflammatory bowel diseases (not in the acute phase);
  • Respiratory diseases such as respiratory infections; supportive in asthma and COPD;
  • Stress-related functional disorders, burnout prophylaxis and follow-up treatment;
  • Supportive with heart and circulatory diseases.

What are the limits of the method?

Kneipp treatments are intended to stimulate the body's reaction and regulation mechanisms. They are therefore not useful if the body is extremely weakened or has reached the limits of its capacity. Kneipp therapies cannot reverse pathological changes in organs or tissues, but are intended to improve the overall situation of the organism.

What evidence is there?

Kneipp medicine is part of the traditional European medical tradition and was included in the nationwide directory in March 2016 within the meaning of the Convention for the Conservation of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Germany. Randomized, controlled clinical studies on the effects of Kneipp medicine are not yet available in sufficient quality.

Whom can I ask?

The Austrian Medical Association awards doctors the diploma for Kneipp medicine after completing their training. A list is available from the Austrian Society for Kneipp Medicine. Contacts can also be requested from the numerous Kneipp Active Clubs in Austria.

How are the costs going to be covered?

The costs for complementary medical treatment are usually not covered by the health insurance carriers and in a few cases with the approval of the chief physician. In the spa and rehabilitation sector, at least partial cost coverage is provided for individual services. In any case, it is worthwhile to ask the responsible health insurance or insurance provider.

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