Author: Nancy Welliver ND
I’ve been a naturopathic physician for 25+ years now, and steeped in natural living concepts for going on 40 years, and yet nothing excites me, or satisfies me quite like Fr. Kneipp’s system, philosophy and practice.
Maybe it’s because I’ve been trained to “get to the root” of things, maybe it’s because I love to learn from history, but mostly I think it’s because I’m pragmatic. Kneipp therapy works.
As an ND, we get marketed to, constantly. Every seminar has the answer. As a younger doc I bought lots of products, and followed various industry protocols and it was always the same-lots of their product sitting on my shelves, maybe some patients improved, became less symptomatic, but if we took them off the products, they would revert. As an ND, that felt like the wrong road.
In my quest to find a better way I discovered German Biologic Medicine, which interestingly, sounded at its root like Lindlahr and Lust, the fathers of naturopathic medicine in the U.S. About the same time, my dear Bavarian friend, Petra, reminded me that I had learned about Kneipp, and taught me how to water tread in a cold water stream.
Fast forward a few years, and I as naturopathic faculty, get to go to Germany, and land in Bad Worishofen, home of Kneipp! It all becomes clear. Lust and Lindlahr regained their health with Fr. Kneipp, came back and ignited naturopathic medicine! German Biologic Medicine derived much of its philosophy and theory of healing from Kneipp. It all begins with Kneipp.
Kneipp philosophy and therapy is structured by the 5 pillars of hydrotherapy, movement, whole foods, herbs, and life balance (ordnung). These five pillars are at the base of every western holistic practice. Kneipp is a humoral based system, looking at the quality and delivery of the fluids of the body. The nutrients must be delivered, and the waste products flushed for healthy tissues, and healthy epigenetics. No supplement, no one pillar without the other 4, can deliver this. Kneipp therapy as a whole, not just the hydro piece, will restore and maintain health. Acute or chronic, Lyme disease or the flu, sprained ankle or rheumatic disease, health will be restored if Kneipp is the central focus of your therapy. It is effective, I am pragmatic, this is a primary reason why I am so excited about Kneipp therapy.
I just want to spend a few words on the manner in which it is effective, because to me that is where my real excitement springs from. Kneipp therapy is the most reliable way to systematically nurture the person’s own internal healing mechanisms. It works by empowering people. My patients don’t only shed symptoms, they increase the sense of who they are in this world, and come to cherish themselves, care for themselves.
That is the secret of Kneipp therapy, it is self-care, self-love, self-awareness, self-compassion, systematically applied. The individual is not deficient in x, y or z found in a bottle. They have the power to heal themselves, through, essentially, self-regard. They are enough. This sounds very esoteric, but it is fundamental. My work with people over the decades has taught me that the greatest pathology of, at least western civilization, is that people have no idea how wonderful they are. They have lost their self-regard.
Join us in Bad Worishofen Germany. Our course is immersive, you will eat well, receive treatments, learn skills, walk a lot, and be held in a town suffused with Kneipp’s sweetness.