O ne of the major advocates of the use of water to cure disease, Kneipp was born in Stephansried, Germany and died in Wörishofen. He was a Bavarian priest and one of the founders of the nineteenth-century naturopathic ("Naturheilkunde") movement. He is most commonly associated with the "Kneipp Cure" form of hydrotherapy, a system of healing involving the application of water through various methods, temperatures, and pressures. Such cures were commonplace for disorders of metabolism and formed a part of most therapies for overweight until the mid-twentieth century. His Austrian contemporary Vincenz Priessnitz also treated his overweight patients with baths, packs, and showers of cold water. Such approaches are still standard models of therapy in Spain and India. Though today he is mostly known in Norway for his bread recipe (Kneipp Bread), Kneipp was an advocate of a strict "naturopathic" diet including whole grains, fruits, and vegetables with very limited amounts of meat of all kinds. He also advocated the use of regular exercise. His system is spelled out in a series of widely popular books translated into all major languages, many of which are still in print: My Water Cure, Thus Shalt Thou Live, and My Will. In 1997 the German Government printed a stamp in his honor.
See also Fat Camp
Kneipp, Sebastian (1894) Thus Shalt Thou Live: Hints and Advice for the Healthy and the Sick on a Simple and Rational Mode of Life and a Natural Method of Cure, London: H. Grevel & Son.
-(1896) My Will: A Legacy to the Healthy and the
Sick, London: H. Grevel.
-(1898) My Water-Cure: Tested for More Than 35
Years and Published for the Cure of Diseases and the Preservation of Health, London: H. Grevel.
-(1996) Healing and Treatment of Diseases through
Water, Delhi: Sri Satguru Publications.
Richter, Thomas and Caesar, Wolfgang (1998) "Von Kneipp bis zur Phytotherapie: Geschichte der Naturheilverfahren," Deutsche Apotheker Zeitung 138:2848-9.
Schomburg, Eberhard (1963) Sebastian Kneipp, 1821-1897: Bildnis eines dienenden Lebens, Bad Wörishofen: Sanitas Verlag KG.
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